Let's take a look at what Jerry York had to say following BC's 4-1 win in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal against Harvard. I offer some of my own reactions in italics after the York quotes.
Quotes come via bceagles.com:
Jerry York's Opening Statement
YORK: "When you are in these type of Regionals or any type of NCAA, Frozen Fours - your opponent is going to be a quality opponent. Winning is difficult, but winning at this level is extremely difficult. I thought Harvard posed a lot of problems for us tonight. Their first line, (Kyle) Criscuolo, (Alexander) Kerfoot, (Jimmy) Vesey, is as good a line as we've played all year. I thought we limited a lot of their offensive chances."
It's worth noting that, despite the overall shot attempt advantage Harvard had (66-49), Vesey, Kerfoot and Criscuolo were not allowed to run rampant whatsoever. They had 11 total shot attempts, and just 5 that went on net. That's pretty freakin' solid.
"I thought Thatcher played outstanding in goal for us. There was one save, it was the third period - the game was still very much in question and he kicked out his left leg - just was an incredible save. We got big performances from a lot of players tonight, with Alex scoring twice and Austin scoring twice. What I liked an awful lot about the game was the blocked shot by Ryan Fitzgerald - he slid out, got great wood on it, stacked his pads and slid into a really - the bench got so excited on that play there. Pretty tense in the third period and I thought we made some good plays defensively to advance to the title game, but again very, very proud of the Eagles because of the quality opponent that we had to go through tonight."
Jerry York on containing Jimmy Vesey
YORK: "I thought he was pretty dominant tonight when he had the puck. He was a dominant player. We held our own at best with him. Clearly, when he has the puck, he's really dangerous and Thatcher (Demko) made some good saves off of him, but he's an outstanding, outstanding player."
Jerry York on Thatcher Demko's performance
YORK: "We're getting used to these delays to start the game. Last week, we waited two hours and tonight, an hour and 15 minutes I think we were waiting. I think he's had a terrific year. we've seen it right from the get-go. He had that hip surgery last year - both hips - he's elevated the team a lot this year. This was an outstanding game for him, but he's had a number of these type of games over the course of the year. You get to NCAA's and you expect him to play well. He's become a real leader for us and I thought he made some outstanding saves tonight."
BC has been getting outshot, often heavily, in many of their games down the stretch. It's going to be up to Demko to take BC as far as he and speed on the counter attack can take them.
York on making big plays in big moments
YORK: "You get a lot of good players that are going to make good plays. We play a lot of teams that also have a lot of good players and it's just a compete level and our players really responded. I didn't think we were playing great hockey last maybe four weeks of the season and it was good to see us bounce back and play one of our better games all year. We were in a little bit of a lull - we played Vermont, we played Northeastern and we just weren't on the level I expected us to be, but tonight we got excited about playing a cross-town rival, excited about being at Regionals. So, a lot of good, positive vibes in the locker room."
After Alex Tuch scored BC's third goal, I turned to my friend and said, "I know this is a hot take, but this is what BC has to do- they're just pretty much out-talenting them." York didn't really touch on this here, but BC won in large part because Alex Tuch and Miles Wood elevated their games and played like they're bigger, stronger and faster (and better) than everyone else on the ice. They came up big in a big moment and will have to do so again tonight.
York on how Thatcher Demko's game has changed and improved in the last three years:
YORK: "I think he's just getting more mature. He's handling different situations better. I think he's reading plays better. He's always had terrific skills and size and a good understanding of angles but now he's kind of reading three-on-twos, two-on-ones. He's moving - almost anticipating where the shot's coming from. He's getting better and better every year. He's still a young player for us."
On the difference between the amount of turnovers last week and this week:
YORK: "I just think we were sharper. We were more in sync and that led to less turnovers. Just like a basketball team - if you're not careful with the ball, you turn over the basketball too many times and it effects the outcome of the game. I thought, similar to that, I said Northeastern, we turned the puck over an awful lot. But tonight, we were just crisper and more in sync than five guys on the ice."
This was obviously the key to the game. BC had a few scrambly moments with turnovers - the last shift of the first period comes immediately to mind, when Harvard very nearly scored - but for the most part they really played a good, solid, careful game.
York on defending a six-on-four situation:
YORK: "That was interesting. It was a good move by Ted [Donato] because, with four minutes left in the game, they scored five-on-four, but the chance to score with one extra player on the ice is worth the gamble. We got fortunate in saving the goal there but I would have done the same thing. I thought that our team did a nice job defending it."
York on why the team played better tonight than in previous games:
YORK: "I didn't think we played particularly well there for one series either to being us to the Garden for the Hockey East tournament there and we didn't play that well against Northeastern. Now both teams pushed us and they deserve credit, but I just think we played better tonight. Like I said, we were in sync and we were sharper and we made better decisions with the puck."
York on Harvard
YORK: "I think it's Ted's best group. Best team - the record indicates that. We've been watching them play. They got a lot of good players that work really hard and they missed a big defenseman tonight - certainly would have played a factor in the game if he had dressed. They got a good club. There's not a lot different between us going down to the finals of the Regional and them not - it's really close. Thatcher was outstanding in goal. They got some really good players. Well coached team."
Jerry York seemed very satisfied with his team's effort, as they played a very good defensive game to keep Harvard to just one goal. Now they'll have to be stout again against a Duluth team that puts up a lot of shots.