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Hockey Banter, Week XVI: Mailbag! Part II of III

Part II of this week's Mailbag where we take the time to answer your hockey-related questions, however serious -- or not serious -- they might be.

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Joseph Gravellese: @MMoche: Jack Parker or a severed horse head: wnich would you rather find in your apartment?

Grant Salzano: Severed horse head. Jack Parker would leave quite a mess.

JG: Severed horse head, because if Jack Parker were hanging around in my apartment that would probably mean he got fired by BU, and then BU might actually hire an in-touch coach.

GS: "I think the severed horse head is more responsible" --my wife.

JG: @sal_cip: I love Conte, it’s a great place to watch a game, but would you ever replcae it for a new rink and new bball arena?

I used to be anti-Conte but they've really done a great job jazzing it up in recent years. That being said, YES, absolutely, and if I ever become a zillionaire I'm donating a gorgeous, 6,000 seat hockey palace to BC, with a hockey hall of fame, and a steep seating bowl. Shootyhoop can play at the Plex.

GS: "Ever" is a long time. Definitely "ever." But more medium term -- if you had asked me 5 years ago I would have said yes. Conte was pretty drab, in retrospect.

But man, it is a wonder what a fresh coat of paint, some new banners, and EPIC SCOREBOARDS can do. I'm a big fan of Conte now.

If I were ever a gajillionaire, I think my money would go toward a modest women's-hockey only arena. It would be called Kelli Rink.

JG: The hockey team *could* use a dedicated practice facility, which the women's team could use permanently. Right now lots of practices happen at local high schools. That being said, I'm aware it's about 554th on BC's list of institutional priorities, and I'm cool with that.

@AustinHBurns: If you could change the student seating in Conte in any way, what would you do?

GS: Putting the student section entirely in the upper decks came very, very close to happening just a couple years ago (to the point where, I believe, season ticket holders in those sections were notified -- though I could be wrong). I was a very big proponent of that. Conte would have been loud as hell.

JG: This is another thing that used to be a problem but isn't. When it used to be students behind both nets and a scattering in the balcony it was pretty bad, and I lobbied hard to move the students up to the balcony when I was a young'in. Now, the student section has grown exponenetially and takes up the whole balcony plus behind the nets. I'd say it would probably make a difference in atmosphere to have the seating just be behind one net, but stretch it out to the corner sections, while keeping all the balcony student tickets on the half of the ice where BC shoots twice; that would probably improve coordination/atmosphere.

GS: I agree -- that would be probably my favorite option at this point. An enormous student section in the balcony + twice as big behind one net.

JG: @BCInterruption: Why does a program as terrible as Northeastern have the conference’s best (Free) streaming video service?

I don't know, but we can't possibly give them enough props for how great their service is. A+++.

GS: I DON'T KNOW, but someone needs to find out.

Honestly, Bates -- give them a call, find out their provider, and do what it takes to make it happen. Let the contract with CBS Sports run out if you have to, but seriously. It's a big deal.

JG: @bostonian_thot: What inexplicable WTF game will BC lose in the coming weeks?

GS: Oh God.

JG: It wouldn't really be a WTF game with how well Lowell is playing, but that will be a tough game between the two weeks of the Beanpot. It's always shocking to lose at home to anyone who isn't BU or UNH, so I'll say that one as a WTF.

Can't see this team losing to Maine or Vermont even if they play blindfolded and with hangovers.

GS: My gut, for some weird reason, is telling me we'll lose one of the Maine games. They are TERRIBLE and I can't figure out why I feel that way. But yeah.

Second place is @ Merrimack, because, again, who knows.

JG: @BCInterruption: Is it true that girls that wear a Johnny Hockey or Gaudreaubey Baker t-shirt go from being a 7 to a 9?

I'm going to need some sort of photographic evidence before I answer this question properly.

@lilybraden: Why do you throw Fresca at small children?

Get off my lawn.

@BCInterruption: Will Notre Dame’s TV deal with NBC Sports Network hurt the Big 4’s ability to recruit?


GS: No, it won't. 1) Honestly we aren't really battling Notre Dame for recruits in the first place, and 2) Honestly, it will help, because our pitch to recruits would likely be "look how often we're on TV"

JG: @BCInterruption: The Eagles want to get into the Frozen Four obvi, but does the fact that Milner, Wey and Jeke are from Pittsburgh add extra motivation?

Hold on, let me call Milner up on his cell phone and ask him.

Yo, Parker. Hey. Would you mind conference calling Wey and Jeke on to the line? Thanks. I'll wait.
Hey. Yeah. So. You guys, are you extra pumped about wanting to make the Frozen Four because it's in Pittsburgh?

THE THREE OF THEM (In Unison): Oh yeah, totally. Why else would we want to make the Frozen Four otherwise?

Awesome. Thanks guys.

@bgenco: Worst & best BC hockey wins and losses you’ve seen in person? Top 3 for each.

Great, but difficult topic.

Three best, I'd say: 1) Nothing can top being there in person to see a national championship, which I was lucky enough to do in 2010.... 2) The BC-Miami NCAA regional final game in 2008, with the 3 goals in 1:58 and Whitney winning it in OT... 3) the 3OT Hockey East semifinal game against UNH, which was probably the best hockey game I've ever seen live - the other two beat it just because of circumstances. That dizzying stretch of the UNH game one weekend and the Miami game the next while I was a sophomore really cemented my college hockey mania.

GS: For me: Best, in no particular order: BC vs. Miami OT win in the 2008 regionals, the 2012 Beanpot final, and the 5-0 beatdown of Wisconsin in the 2010 natty's.

JG: Three worst: I've been lucky enough in that I've been a season ticket holder for six years and in three of them they won it all; in two, they ended by losing in tournament games I wasn't at. Thus, #1, by far, was seeing the season end in person for, to this point, the only time, knock on wood, when we lost to BU in the 2009 Hockey East semifinals. That was an absolute ball-buster.

2) The 2007 Beanpot final, an OT loss against BU; and, 3) probably that stupid Fenway game, because I was cold, and because eff BU.

GS: For me: 2007 Beanpot final against BU (loss in OT), The 5-0 loss to BU last year at home, and yes, the 2009 Hockey East semis. Three goals in like 49 seconds from BU after we took a 1-0 third period lead. LAME.

JG: Dishonorable mention to getting smacked down by NU in the first round of the Beanpot in '09, and losing to BU at home in OT in '10 a few weeks after the Fenway game.

@BCInterruption: Milner has played a ton of minutes already. Are we expecting a Muse ‘08 type performance, or will we see moar Billett?

Oh no, it will be Milner all the way.

GS: Yeah it's Milner Time.

JG: @Mandylizz: Best game and/or memory from a BC women’s hockey game?

I'll let you handle this one.

GS: Oh boy. Our freshman year, #8 BC @ #3 Dartmouth, NCAA quarterfinals -- BC a HUGE underdog, we win in 2OT to go to our first Frozen Four. Pile of humanity among those of us in the stands.

All goals from that game are on YouTube by the way. One in particular was LOL-worthy.

Honorable mention to the 3OT win over Harvard in the 2007 Beanpot semifinals that lasted until like 1am.

JG: Grant's wife chimes in with a query:

@asalz9: Why do you like women’s hockey so much?

This doesn't have a simple answer and might be worthy of its own post. Short answer: my love for hockey and for my alma mater is so big, there's too much room in my heart for it to be filled by men's hockey alone.

Semi-longer answer is that I went to some games freshman year out of obligation as a reporter for The Heights, and it quickly became exciting - that was a great season, an underdog team making the Frozen Four and winning a bunch of thrilling games. As I stopped going as a reporter and started going as a fan, it became A Thing to Do with my roommate and best pal, my current banter-partner.

And that's pretty much that.

I also find that women's hockey at an elite level is really entertaining, if you watch enough to get past the very noticeable speed difference from men's hockey, which is initally jarring. But once you get past that and watch it differently than you'd watch a men's game, mostly for speed and physicality, it's a great game, with great puck movement and skill. It's different, but it's hockey.

GS: Eventually it went from A Thing To Do to The Thing We Always Did. After becoming so emotionally invested in the team over that first magical season -- and, really, that 2006-2007 season was the very definition of Sports Magical -- it just grew to become very important to us.

JG: @BCInterruption: Does the fact that Northeastern and Harvard never win the Beanpot detract from the tournament? And who breaks through first, NU or Harvard?

It detracts from it somewhat, in that Harvard has absolutely no interest in the tournament right now, from a fan perspective. I'm lead to believe by older folks that that wasn't always the case. But NU is still engaged and energetic about the Beanpot. It probably WOULD spice up the plot to see one of the other two win, but it's actually a compelling storyline in and of itself right now to see if either of them can break through.

GS: I think you can look at it as one of two ways -- one, the fact that they've never won adds to the intrigue of "will this finally be the year?

But two, it's usually assumed to be either BC or BU, and from someone outside these two schools it gets pretty tired, from what I understand.

But, I wouldn't know, so HAHAHA WHERE'S YA BEANPOT

JG: I'll say Harvard wins it first because NU is trending down in a big way and everything painful that could possibly happen to NU usually does.

GS: Harvard will definitely win it before NU, the Cubs of the Beanpot. The probably won't win it for a very, very long time.

JG: I think the tournament hasn't been hurt on the inside, but maybe from the perspective of casual, non-alums of the four participants, it's less interesting than it otherwise would be if it were more open, because you can just watch BC play BU in December or whatever.

@MandyLizz: How many times did Grant get in trouble for bringing/playing his trumpet to/at a game?

So many times. Which ones can we think of right off the bat where you were actually in trouble with arena staff?

It happened at Conte, obviously, and at Agganis, and at the Mullins Center when you whipped it out late during a game @ UMass. I don't think you were ever once hassled at Providence, NU, or Lowell. Or Vermont, if I recall correctly from that one trip.

GS: The times that it happened at Conte were definitely the most fun.

Humorously, UNH not only didn't give me any trouble at all, they seemed to embrace it. NESN definitely got a kick out of it.

I don't think BU really enjoyed it. The nice little "sad trombone" after our empty netter was a Grant Classic Moment I think. To go along with a nice "OH WHA HAPPA"

JG: @BCEagle1974: The new gold unis - where can I get one and are the stripes bigger and new? Thanks kids.

At the bookstore, or I don't think the design has changed at all this year, other than adding that awesome fifth star.

@ACal6888: What anti-Maine chants do you suggest I teach my mom before she comes to the game on Saturday?

GS: That depends, how hip is your mom?

JG: Jokes about dental health and/or NASCAR are usually the best bets. I'd say you'd probably want to avoid teaching her the chant that begins with "Your sister is your mother, your uncle is your brother..." depending on your relationship with your mom.

GS: Maine fans have Manti Te'o's girlfriend for teeth.

JG: @BCInterruption: Would having a fake girlfriend improve #JohnnyHockey’s chances at winning the Hobey Baker?

Johnny Hockey's fake girlfriend in Hawai'i wore a Gaudreaubey Baker shirt and went from a 7 to a 9.

GS: According to Mrs. Gaudreau, Johnny isn't allowed to have a girlfriend until he's 16.

Come back tomorrow for the third and final installment of our first Hockey Banter Mailbag.