York Ready for Return to BC Bench
by Joe Meloni/Senior Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I. Boston College coach Jerry York will be back behind the bench on Saturday night, when his Eagles play Union at 9 p.m. in the NCAA tournament's East Regional semifinal.
A second surgery on his right eye in a two-month spance forced York to miss last Friday's Hockey East semifinal game against Boston University. Earlier this year, he missed two games against New Hampshire and one each against Massachusetts and Northeastern after his first surgery.
York underwent his surgery on March 18 to repair a detached retina in his right eye. Due to the short recovery time, York cannot go onto the ice and will wear a patch over his right eye this weekend.
Without York leading them this season, the defending national champion Eagles is 2-3-0. Associate head coaches Mike Cavanugh and Greg Brown assumed York's duties during these games. However, the struggles the club experienced without their leader have been difficult to ignore.
As BC captain Pat Mullane said, York's influence on his players extends beyond any directive or mid-game adjustment he can make.
"It's great what he brings to our team — his enthusiam and his optimism" Mullane said. "Obviously, we had to win without him (against BU last Friday), which we didn't. But now that he's here, it's great to have him back. We're excited going forward with him on our bench."
Earlier this year, York became college hockey's all-time coaching wins leader, surpassing Ron Mason with 925 wins. BC's 10 wins since York broke the record against Alabama-Huntsville on Dec. 29 give him 935 for his career.
His five national championships are tied for second most all time with Denver's Murray Armstrong. Four of York's title came with BC (2001, 2008, 2010 and 2012). His first was in 1984 as coach at Bowling Green.
Boston College's draw for this year's NCAA tournament presents an interesting challenge for York and his staff. The Eagles have never played any of the three teams joining them in Providence.
"Generally, when you get here, you're playing teams you have a lot of history and tradition with, but Boston College has never played the other teams comprimsing this field," York said. "It's a completely different feer for us. ... We've done some prep work on Union and watched them on film, but we have no history with any of the teams in the field, which is a first in my career."