March 30, 2008 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Eagles Continue Spectacular Overtime Run

by Matthew Conyers/CHN Reporter

WORCESTER, Mass. — At first glance, Boston College's overtime record is nothing too shocking.

The Eagles are a modest 4-3-8 in sudden death this season.

But given a closer look, the record yields some interesting truth.

York's group was a dismal 0-2-6 in overtime as of Jan. 25th after tying Maine 3-3 in overtime. When it came to the extra frame, the Eagles were anything but super.

However, after the game York made a simple if not ultimately true assessment of the season.

"I told them I was going to have to go to Denver on my own," York said. "I explained to them that they were really going to miss something. I said 'I've heard Denver is really beautiful in the spring time. It would be a shame to miss out on that.'"

Talk about turning a switch.

After the disappointing trip to Orono and York's little speech, the Eagles have since rattled off a 4-1-2 mark in overtime. Yet, the real tale of the tape comes when those wins are inspected, and the sheer magnitude of each of those four.

Boston College won both its Beanpot games in overtime — Boston University 4-3 and Harvard 6-5 — and then conquered New Hampshire 5-4 in triple overtime in the Hockey East semifinals.

Then came Sunday.

With the Eagles' 4-3 overtime victory over Miami Sunday, Boston College earned its third straight Frozen Four berth and eight in last11 years. Needless to say, the overtime Eagles are back.

"Going into overtime we get shoulder to shoulder before going out and just try and tell each other that we're going to try as hard as we can to come out with a win," Boston College forward and regional hero Joe Whitney said.

On Sunday, Whitney was king with his dramatic diving goal with 7:48 left in overtime. But throughout the past two months, the Eagles have been able to get help from every avenue in sudden death.

"We've won some games on some pretty big stages and that helps in these games," Boston College head coach Jerry York said. "When you win games on the big stage it helps your club."

Boston College captain Mike Brennan has a simpler evaulation of the Eagle's success in overtime.

"We never doubt ourselves," Brennan said. "The key in overtime is to bend but not break and that's what we did."

Whitney, a freshman, believes it also comes down to the seniors influence in those big games.

"We all look to the upperclassmen and the captains — they know how to win," Whitney said. "The tradition here is unbelievable. The seniors pass that down."

In many respects, winning in overtime is a remarkable feat in itself. But the Eagles have managed to do it in all of their big games. Actually, check that. They've managed to do it in the most important games. The achievement goes a long way in showing
how the Eagles refuse to lose when on the brightest stages.

"We all know the tradition, we wear that sweater and we know it means something," Brennan said. "We always want to win a national championship."

After the game, York spoke about his team's confidence when playing in crucial games where everything is on the line.

"I haven't told the press this, but this is the best team I've had in terms of being a team," York said. "They have a karma about them and confidence — we just seem to get things done. We've built up a pedigree."

That pedigree paid off on Sunday. The Eagles never questioned themselves after trailing 2-0 in the second period. With three goals in the span of less than three minutes, the Eagles snagged a 3-2 lead headed into the third period. Miami eventually tied it up in the third period, yet the Eagles stuck to their game plan and it paid off.

"We just kept trying to get pucks to the net and looked for rebounds," Whitney said.

On the game-winning play, Whitney went hard to the far post and smacked home the puck knowing the rebound would be there. It is confidence and knowledge like this that Boston College now enters every overtime with. For those teams in this year's
Frozen Four, that is unquestionably one scary fact of life.

"We want to win it this time," York said when asked about his team's return to the Frozen Four after back-to-back title game losses. "We've given ourselves a chance to win it and hopefully we get some puck luck this time."

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