Here are Jerry York's comments from his postgame press conference on Saturday night after Boston College downed Minnesota Duluth 3-2 to advance to the Frozen Four. Transcript courtesy of BCEagles.com. My comments on occasion added in italics.
YORK: "I used to be a student-athlete once. It went by quickly I guess. We are so excited. But before I talk about the game and stuff, and I have said this before because we have been in Worcester a number of times, I think the combination of the facility, Holy Cross and how they just take over the tournament and really add something to it. With the details, they have done so well. I think Sandy and the crew at the DCU center has made this a first class operation. We have been here several times and it is always the same feeling that we are going to come to Worcester and we are going to be treated very well and it is going to be a popular spot for people to come. The Crusaders have treated us very, very well. And like I said, I have been to a lot of regionals over the years and this certainly is what I would consider one of the top venues and places to go so, hats off the city of Worcester, the DCU center and all the people from Holy Cross."
[ED: If this isn't the Jerry Yorkiest opening statement of all time, I don't know what is. Of course he knows the name of someone from the crew at the DCU Center. Of course he's full of praise for Holy Cross. And of course he loves the DCU Center even though it's pretty clearly a crummy venue from a bad era in arena design. Who cares? BC wins in it.]
"Our team, we are so excited. The Frozen Four is an objective for us, every year when I have been at BC I have always thought, let's get to that Frozen Four. And the more you get there, the more opportunities you have to collect some hardware and it's hard to go once and win it once. It is hard to go twice and win it twice, but when you start going a number of times, you are going to win a lot of trophies."
[ED: #HotTakes, but important to remember... BC has won a number of these because they've put themselves in position year after year. You can't win every year, but the biggest accomplishment is just being in the running so often. That's the hallmark of a successful program.]
"We have always had excellent teams and excellent players to bring with us to the regionals to get us to the Frozen Four and this year is just the same, I think we have a whole locker room full of guys that have played hockey the right way and they are very talented, they are very skilled and a hard working club. You don't have to win every game, but you have to win the right games as you go through here and this certainly was the right game for us tonight.
I thought Duluth was outstanding, Scotty Sandelin has done a terrific job with the program. I remember I went there about over 10 years ago and they were a shell of what they are now and I went to pizza afterwards with Scott, he was telling me about his plans with Duluth and it seemed so hard then but he's had a national championship with Duluth and he's had teams like tonight that have been some of the best in college hockey. So for us to get to Tampa, we had to go through a very well coached team with a lot of good players on that team, so I am very proud of what has happened."
On the forecheck in the game:
YORK: "Well I thought their forecheck gave us a lot of problems, we didn't give up a lot of chances off their forecheck but possession time and that is very difficult to stay in your end for a long time. I thought on the other end that our forecheck was better tonight than it was last night so these types of games, two good teams, there are going to be ebbs and flows and there were parts of the game where we were better and there were parts of the game in which Duluth was better. But the forechecks for both teams were pretty effective, I thought."
On getting back to the Frozen Four:
YORK: "I think it was one of our objectives and we measure our team by the number of trophies we win, not necessarily how many games we win we are successful in those trophy games and now we have a chance to win another one. I have always liked the regional games because you get a hat and a t-shirt and I think that is important. I picked that up from Bill Belichick who is always talking about these things as a hat t-shirt game so we started using that about ten years ago. And we kind of look forward to those types of hats. It was an interesting game because all of a sudden we were 3-0 and not coasting but we could see the end and with an eye bat it changes and it's 3-2 and now to make it even more interesting there's six on five, then we take a penalty so it is six on four. So we had to win this one."
[ED: Can I just reiterate that Jerry York is the best?]
On Duluth being a chippy team:
YORK: "I don't think they were chippy at all. I think they were physical but I would not classify them as chippy."
"Well I think they have to be [physical ]in big games, you know we have taken a lot of penalties this year during the course of the season. We have always tried to stress the fact that, less penalties, the more of a chance you have winning the game. Good goaltending and special teams are important and I think we had about four penalties and that is pretty good."
On the bench being very vocal in their encouragement:
YORK: "Well I think small things win hockey games. Like we can talk about winning face-offs as one thing but blocking shots is very very important. You know, it hurts, the puck is hard and I think you need encouragement when you block the shot. The whole bench gets excited like a good hard back check. So things that might not be noticed as much by stat sheets, like you know it's not a goal, it's not an assist, it's not a highlight reel goal. But it is important to us. And we did block an awful lot of shots tonight and that is important to us. And no broken ankles, which is even more important to us."
On forwards having big defensive plays in the last two games:
YORK: "That is how you win games, you have to play crunch time and have some clutch plays and I think we did throw up the line tonight. We only played nine forwards a majority of the game. We got a fourth line up a few different times but that is a lot of ice time. With the two-minute time outs, three different times in the period though that really helps us. We have a lot of good players, I like this team. Talent wise, and I have grown to really like them and how they've become part of a team. The idea to get the egos out of the locker room is very very important in my perspective and I think we have a lot of good players that leave that ego behind and just become Eagles. That is the thing that I think helps win games."
On starting off strong and but letting other teams creep back:
YORK: "They would never come back if [we were playing] Watertown High School, but we schedule good teams and we play in tournaments and they are going to make plays and they are going to be good. Not all good players are at BC, there are a lot of other good players and good coaches."
On Teddy Doherty stepping up this year:
YORK: "He has been a really pleasant surprise because he hasn't played a ton for us over his career, at least not in key situations and this year as a captain he took it upon himself to improve his game in all different parts and he has helped us on defense, he has helped us as a forward. He is a fiery guy. He is small in stature, but he really is a dynamite leader for us."
[ED: Doherty wins the Tim Wakefield Award for teamwork and flexibility over the course of his BC career. He's been a trooper for the Eagles.]
On playing a somewhat familiar team in the Frozen Four:
YORK: "I just like to be playing. We will play where we play but we have a lot of pride in Hockey East. So far we have one team from Hockey East in the frozen four now, so it would certainly be a great boost in our league if we can get one more in the Frozen Four but Lowell has got a very difficult opponent in Quinnipiac."
[ED: I have a little bit of Fear of the Unknown with Quinnipiac. Lowell is a great team, but I've seen how BC matches up with them and give the Eagles a 50/50 shot. I don't really know what to expect with QU - they might be a juggernaut, or they might be overrated. We'll get a better sense tomorrow.]
On having success in Worcester for regionals in the past:
YORK: "I told Rose (Shea) a little bit earlier, we are 14 and 1 here now so I think I'll keep on coming back here."
On having some members on the team that have been to the Frozen Four before:
YORK: "Yeah one of the real benefits of going to the Frozen Four, and we have had the chance to go to a lot of them, is that there is a carry over. You get better. You go to big games and you just get better. You get more practices and more games under big lights and a big stage, so I think that'll help us for sure."
[ED: Thanks again to BCEagles.com for the transcript. Congratulations to Coach York for once again taking BC to the Frozen Four. It really is unbelievable how frequently he's been able to do it. And it never gets old.]