By the 2007-08 season, I had fully gone from a casual Boston College men’s hockey fan to the fanatic I am today. The last home game I had missed was in 2006 (for a close friend’s sweet sixteen), and not counting COVID, I’ve only missed one more since. This was just the right time to be getting so invested in BC hockey, as the 2007-08 season was about to propel the Eagles into years of dominating Hockey East, the Beanpot, and the NCAA.
Like many BC fans, I entered the 2007-08 season still devastated by losing the NCAA Championship games the two previous years, and a little anxious about what the team would look like without Brian Boyle and Cory Schneider. But counting Jerry York out is always a mistake, and this team ended the year in dominant fashion.
The Eagles started out the year looking like a team that was still figuring things out - losing to Michigan in overtime to start the season, and going 3-3-6 to start the season before a pair of 6-2 wins against BU at the end of November turned things around.
In February, the Eagles defeated BU and Harvard both in overtime to take home the Beanpot, and then in March went on to win the Hockey East Championship with a triple overtime win against UNH and then a 4-0 win against Vermont.
After starting the season with a lot of ups and downs, the Eagles ended the season on a 9 game winning streak, culminating in their first NCAA Championship since 2001 - and the first I remember watching.
The Eagles started out their journey to the Pepsi Center out in Worcester at the DCU Center with a 5-2 victory over Minnesota for Jerry York’s 800th career win. Freshman goalie John Muse made 31 saves in the victory.
Next up, BC faced Miami (OH), a frequent NCAA foe during these years. I still remember how tense I was watching this game, as Miami jumped out to a 2-0 lead before BC scored 3 times in under 2 minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy and Miami tied the game to send it into overtime, but Joe Whitney took a sprawling rebound at 12:12 in overtime to send BC to the Frozen Four.
Once the Eagles got to Colorado, winning it all was seemingly a piece of cake. The Eagles defeated North Dakota 6-1 to advance to the championship game, thanks in no small part to a Nathan Gerbe hat trick.
Gerbe led the way in the championship game as well, scoring a pair of goals in BC’s 4-1 victory over Notre Dame. Despite a somewhat lopsided score, this wasn’t quite the easy win it seemed, and BC was helped along after a Notre Dame goal was called off for being kicked into the net .
The Eagles ended the postseason in 2007-08 having outscored opponents 19-8 in the NCAA Tournament, and having killed 41 out of 43 postseason opponent power plays.
The 2007-08 season kickstarted BC into a successful run of 3 NCAA Championships over 5 seasons and 6 Beanpots over 7 seasons. I missed out on attending the NCAA Tournament this season (probably partially because high school and partially because I had been burned by the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons), but this season taught me to never count BC out.
This season was the start of the greatest years of Jerry York’s coaching career, and I’ll always be impressed at how he took a team of guys who were definitely skilled but wouldn’t go on to any major NHL careers, and coached them into the best team in the NCAA.