April 6, 2007 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Boston College: Championship Preview

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

ST. LOUIS — Boston College has won 13 straight games after losing the Beanpot final to drop to 16-11-3. That was a time when its captains, Brian Boyle and Joe Rooney, had been stripped of that honor, temporarily, for off-ice issues.

Whether BC had this kind of run in it was very much an open question.

It's one that has been answered.

"There's such a fine line between winning and losing," said BC coach Jerry York. "It wasn't like we were getting blown out of games and weren't playing very well. We just weren't consistently good for 60 minutes. So whether we won a game by one goal or lost by one goal, it wasn't that dramatic.

"I don't take great stake in the fact that we're winning a lot of games now and we weren't winning a lot of games in November and December. We had a pretty good club throughout the course of the year and we just kind of fine-tuned some things."

Of course, all this has accomplished is to get BC back to the final game, where it was last year, losing to Wisconsin. The age-old buzzword "experience" therefore comes into play.

"It's something you can't teach, you can't practice," York said. "Hey, we are going to play in front of 18,000 fans in the Frozen Four final and you have to go through it. I think Boyle is better because of it, (goalie Cory) Schneider is better because of it, all of those guys."

No BC player has been through more than Boyle. A 20-goal scorer last year, he spurned big offers from the L.A. Kings to go pro, hoping for another chance at a national title. But he had an up-and-down season on the ice, had his captaincy stripped, then was moved back to defense.

"It's been a little bit of a roller coaster," Boyle said. "It's helped us in realizing that different things happen, and you just have to take them in stride. You can't let the highs get too high or the lows get too low. It's helped us to be mature and know that tomorrow is another day. Just like we've been trying to do with this win streak, we need to put the past behind us and move on from there."

Said Rooney, "When that was going on, we tried not to let it affect our game, because that would've put the team down even more. We just kept trying to play, and we forgot about it. It was something that we did and was a lesson that we learned. The guys still looked up to us even though we didn't have it on our sweaters. We got through it and kept moving on."

Meanwhile, the teams has flourished with the new line combinations and roles. The consensus has BC as the favorite here, but then again, it looked pretty good for Maine early in Thursday's semifinal.

"Both Lergs (Bryan and Jeff) are instrumental to their success," York said. "The forward (Bryan), we tried very unsuccessfully to recruit him. It was one of our ventures in the Michigan area. He is a dynamic, creative player. I think their goaltender is a very good competitor. ... I like their size and strength. I like Justin Abdelkader."

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