March 21, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Boston College's Run Ends in a Flash

by Jake Seiner/CHN Reporter

BOSTON — Coach Jerry York and his squad were looking like the team of destiny. Just nine minutes of scoreless hockey, and Boston College would have been headed to the Hockey East finals, where a shot at an automatic NCAA tournament bid could have kept the Eagles’ national title-defense alive.

And then, in the blink of an eye, the defense was done, and the season was over.

Trailing, 1-0, at 11:01 of the third period, Boston University forward Zach Cohen netted an even strength goal, the first of three in a 44-second span for the Terriers.

BC, after a time out called by York, rallied from the potentially devastating turn of events, and at 14:18 of the third, sophomore Joe Whitney brought the Eagles within one goal of the lead. Unfortunately for the defending national champions, a miracle comeback wasn’t to be, and BU came away with a 3-2 victory.

“We rallied pretty hard,” York said when asked about responding to the three-goal eruption. “[The 44-second outburst] was a pretty good shock to us that all of a sudden, you're one-nothing game, and then you're down 3-1”

BC knew heading into Friday’s game that it was playing win-or-go-home hockey the rest of the way. The loss marks the end of the squad’s season, and more notably, the end of the collegiate careers of the team’s seven seniors.

“It’s hard for a coach to let a team go because we know that we’ve finished our season,” York said. “I like this particular group very, very much. For the players, it’s their goal, their aspirations to get back to the national tournament.

“They invest so much time and energy into the pursuit of something, but part of life and part of being involved on teams is sometimes you don’t reach that goal.”

The 2008-09 campaign was a series of ups and downs for Boston College. The Eagles began the season ranked No. 1 in the country, but in early December, the team began to struggle, especially on the defensive end. The squad went 5-9-4 from Dec. 5 through Feb. 21, including a 0-2-1 record against the Terriers.

The midseason lull took the Eagles out of contention for an at-large NCAA bid, but a late-season charge had the squad staring down a potential automatic bid with a Hockey East Tournament championship. Those hopes were squashed at the hands of the school’s bitter rival Friday night.

“The particular club I thought played its best hockey very, very early in the season and then in the very last waning moments,” York said. “We were on a pretty good run here on the last month. It wasn’t a pipe dream to think we could move on to tomorrow night’s championship game based on how we played tonight. It was just that one minute of quick-quick bang-bang play.

“I’ve had three different teams that followed national championships, and it’s really been difficult to get back to the same level of play. . .it’s hard to win a national title, but it’s incredible to try to win it back-to-back.”

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