On December 29, 2012, Jerry York made college hockey history.
But first, let’s rewind a little — earlier that month on December 1, York earned his 924th win (against Boston University!), giving him a share of the NCAA all-time wins title with former Michigan State head coach Ron Mason, who had held sole possession of the record since 1993. The Eagles had a chance to deliver York’s record-breaking win the next week against Providence, but settled for a 3-3 tie going into the semester break.
They didn’t have to wait too long. York won his 925th game in the team’s first matchup after the holidays, a 5-2 win against Alabama-Huntsville in the first game of the Mariucci Classic. Though it was a sparse crowd, the 1,251 spectators in attendance in Minneapolis were lucky to witness history.
The Eagles had five different players get on the scoresheet in the win. Although the Chargers outshot BC 12-9 in the first period, the Eagles went up 3-0 on goals from Cam Spiro, Bill Arnold, and Danny Linell. Pat Mullane and Steven Whitney scored in the second and third period respectively, putting the game away.
While this game held a lot of weight, in typical Jerry York fashion he treated it like any other game in a long season. “If I’m thinking about how many games, it’s not good for the Eagles,” he had said after the game. He did take the time to celebrate the milestone with pizza, but at the end of the day the work wasn’t done and the Eagles were still looking to defend their national title from the year before.
At the time, York had won 125 games at Clarkson, 342 games in 15 years at Bowling Green, and 458 games at Boston College. Of course, we know he’s gone on to win many many more with BC since then. But December 29, 2012 will always be remembered as a special date in the history books of college hockey.
“(The record) is not important to me. Maybe when I retire in 10 years and sit down on a porch it will,” he said after win 925. Almost exactly 10 years later in 2022, perhaps York will be able to look back at his record and finally appreciate its importance as we all have done (many times!).