Two Teams Diverged
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. In the end, it was really a microcosm of all of Boston University's frustrations all season long.
Long-time coach Jack Parker tried hard to figure this team out, but it kept frustrating him, playing brilliant then poorly, not just from game to game, but period to period.
After losing last week's Hockey East semifinal to Boston College, Parker practiced the players instead of letting them watch the Selection Show, saying that it didn't matter who his team played, that it was its own worst enemy.
So there he was, after taking a 1-0 lead, watching his team fall apart halfway through the game — still trying to figure it out.
"It was kind of a weird game to watch us play, but I thought we played extremely well in the first period," Parker said. "We moved the puck well and had a goal and had some other opportunities. We played exactly the way we like to play until about halfway through the first period. To give up a goal to start the second, right off the bat was just a break down, giving up three goals was just individual break downs in that period."
Michigan State coach Rick Comley has had many of the same frustrations. But his team was ready for this game.
"I thought Boston University came out really strong, I though they came out very fast and crashed," Comley said. "The stuff we saw on film and their big moments we saw early — and then they got the goal. We got a fortunate bounce and Tim (Kennedy) did a great job, and we just got better from there.
Comley recently mentioned that he thought the Spartans would score more goals this season, and one player he expected more out of was Tim Crowder.
But with Crowder scoring the game winner Friday, that's all behind them now.
"All coach wanted us to do is keep getting shots on net," Crowder said. "Luckily, (Tim) Kennedy got my rebound and fed it to me when I was driving the net and it was a great play."
And then Michigan State's undersized goalie outplayed BU's Hobey Baker finalist, John Curry.
"I thought we contained them good when they were coming hard for the first couple of minutes there," MSU goalie Jeff Lerg said. "They kept throwing pucks at the net and most of them I could control but the one that hit off my pads and bounced back out to the middle they were always — you know if they had to dive in front of it or take a guy's stick out, they were always right on it and fired it back down the ice. It really helped me out. They did a real good job and were blocking shots, they were all over the puck tonight."
Just because Curry is now the Hobey finalist doesn't mean he didn't have to overcome a lot of obstacles too. He's not short, like Lerg, but he was a walk-on at BU, which is difficult enough. His story is by now legendary, and he went on to become a BU hero.
And that made it all the more tougher to walk away.
"When we were in the locker room it was tough, just going around shaking guys hands, I mean guys were upset because the way we work in the summer and in practice we felt we deserved better," Curry said. "But I wish these guys well and I'm going to miss them. I'm privileged I've gotten to play for the scarlet and white, it's been a dream of mine, and I've met some really great people here, and it has been the best four years of my life."