The number one team in the nation, the Boston College Eagles, are Hockey East champions once again! BC carried its momentum from a fierce first period to defeat the #10 Maine Black Bears, 4-1.
What do you even say at this point? Boston College hockey has won fifteen games in a row. Fifteen. That is the most consecutive wins in the Jerry York era. We've won our third straight Hockey East title and our fifth in the last six years.
Let's take a quick walk down memory lane with a rundown of this one.
Both of these teams came out playing their best hockey of the season. It was a breathtaking pace, especially in the first. BC struck first when Johnny "Gaudreaubey Baker" put in a rebound off a Black Bear from point-blank range. Two minutes later, Joey Diamond made a great hit on Patch Alber, and then decided that wasn't good enough, got up, and plowed Alber well behind the play into the boards in front of the Maine bench. Par for the course for Diamond, who is quite the hack. On the ensuing power play, Johnny "He's A Freshman" Gaudreau put in a juicy rebound just ten seconds in. Poetic, given the boneheaded penalty on Diamond.
It would stay 2-0 Eagles deep into the second period, when Maine's Brian Flynn put in a feed from aforementioned hack, Joey Diamond, after an unfortunate interception after Milner attempted to throw the puck up the boards. Pat Mullane would answer with just over a minute left in the period on a brilliant feed from Gaudreau from behind the net. Mullane pointed right to Johnny after throwing the puck in -- always nice to have a layup for an insurance goal.
And that's how the score would remain until Barry Almeida would pot the empty netter to seal the deal. What wasn't to like? 4-1 Eagles, an absolutely thrilling game (shots were a wild 43-42 in favor of BC), an extremely well played game by the Eagles, and yet another sparkling performance by America's newest sweetheart, Parker Milner (eat your heart out, whoever The Bachelor is).
Johnny Gaudreau was named tournament MVP, and Milner, Gaudreau, and Dumoulin were named to the All-Tournament team.
Now really, it's enough to win. Normally, it's more than any fan can reasonably hope for. But I challenge you to name another team whose fans can be more proud of their team than BC fans are of this team. Every time a Boston College player represents our university in public, be it on TV, on radio, or in print, you see just how much this team embraces Jerry York and what he stands for. Every interview involves a BC player talking about how he "couldn't do it without his linemates" or something of the like. And obviously, any time you even catch a glimpse of Jerry York, you suddenly feel the urge to live your next 24 hours with just that much more excellence.
Just imagine how different things are just three miles east.
Going into selection Sunday, here's how I'm thinking the Pairwise will shake out:
Worcester: #1 Boston College, #2 Minnesota-Duluth, #3 Boston University, #4 Air Force
St. Paul: #1 Michigan, #2 Minnesota, #3 UMass-Lowell, #4 Cornell
Bridgeport: #1 Union, #2 Ferris State, #3 Maine, #4 Western Michigan
Green Bay: #1 North Dakota, #2 Miami, #3 Denver, #4 Michigan State
Bracket integrity has Maine in St. Paul and Lowell in Bridgeport. There's some talk of switching Maine out of St. Paul and swapping them with BU or Lowell for attendance purposes. Bridgeport looks like it could use a little help, and we were just peppered for the last 3 hours on NESN about how great Maine travels, so I made that swap. But I'm seeing all three (BU, UML, UMO) moved around any which way.
The selection show is at noon on ESPNU (or ESPN3 to those of you who don't have the channel). It seems certain that BC gets Air Force in Worcester, but beyond that, who knows.
Four more wins!