April 9, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Semifinal Notebook

Past BU Greats Provide Motivation For Today's Team

by Mike Machnik/CHN Senior Editor

BU's Jack Parker, now in his 36th as head coach, with many others as an assistant and player, has called on the ghosts of Terriers past to push the team this season. (photo: Josh Gibney)

BU's Jack Parker, now in his 36th as head coach, with many others as an assistant and player, has called on the ghosts of Terriers past to push the team this season. (photo: Josh Gibney)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — All year, Boston University coach Jack Parker has been having past Terrier greats speak to the team in order to instill into the players what it means to be a winner and to be a BU player. It's something he feels was lacking last season.

Most of the year, that meant people like Mike Eruzione and Mike Grier. But on the eve of the Frozen Four, Parker reached back into the depths of BU history.

"We have had a theme all year of having BU hockey players talk to our team. And last night we had dinner in which I invited up a guy I played against who was the captain of the Harvard hockey team and a guy I played against in high school when I was at Catholic Memorial," Parker began.

"And his father is one of the greatest players in the history of BU hockey, if not the greatest player. He's 83 years old. We invited them up from Florida to come to our ... team meal last night. When he walked in, our team got up and gave him a standing ovation. It was really something to see Jack Garrity's reaction to that. Jack Garrity, Jr. and I are great friends. And Jack Garrity, Sr. is one of my favorite people in the world."

Parker went on to talk about the time he introduced Garrity Sr. to Chris Drury.

"I said, 'This is Jack Garrity.' You got 37 goals last year. You might get 45 this year. But I don't think you'll get 51 like this guy did one year.

"Jack looked at him and said, 'Yeah, that's because he won't have a chance to get eight against MIT like I did.'"

* * *

Miami is going for its first NCAA championship in hockey. But if the RedHawks win, it won't be their first national championship. There's a program at Miami that has won 11 titles overall:

Synchronized skating. Miami had the first ever varsity synchronized skating program in the United States.

A month ago in Portland, Maine, Miami beat out Illinois and 10 other schools in this year's competition to claim its fifth straight championship. Coming in eighth? BU.

* * *

Something will have to give in Saturday's title match.

Miami has now surrendered just four goals in three tournament games following wins over Denver (4-2), Minnesota-Duluth (2-1), and now Bemidji (4-1).

But BU is averaging 5.00 goals per game in the tournament after beating Ohio State (8-3), New Hampshire (2-1) and Vermont (5-4).

* * *

Entering the semifinals, Boston University had only given up four or more goals in two of the last 32 games. The Terriers lost both of those games — 4-2 to Providence on Jan. 13, and 6-3 to Maine on March 14 in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Besides the 5-4 win over Vermont in the NCAA semifinals, BU won only one other game this year when it allowed four or more — a 6-4 win at Mass.-Lowell on Nov. 7.

* * *

When Miami and BU meet on Saturday for the NCAA championship, it will be only the third time the schools have ever played each other. The all-time series is tied, 1-1.

The first meeting ever came in 1992 in the first round of the Badger Showdown, a 4-3 win for BU. The teams didn't play again for another 12 years, when Miami evened the series with a 5-1 victory in the Lefty McFadden Invitational in 2004.

* * *

If BU wins the title, Hockey East teams will have won back-to-back titles for the first time ever. Previously, the closest titles for leagues schools came in 1993 (Maine) and 1995 (BU), as well as 1999 (Maine) and 2001 (Boston College).

* * *

Terrier coach Jack Parker, when asked in the postgame press conference what he knew about Miami: "It's pretty warm down there."

Parker then got serious. "I watched this team on film and I watched them play again last night on film. They're as good a college hockey team that's around.

"The first thing I thought was, 'How did this team lose 12 games?' But they had some injuries, and everybody goes through a slump here and there. But of late they've been playing well. And I think they present a lot of problems."

* * *

Despite making it this far, Miami hadn't scored a power play goal before tonight. The RedHawks were 0-for-13 entering the game with Bemidji, but went 1-for-2 with Tommy Wingels scoring just his second man advantage goal of the year.

* * *

Miami remains unbeaten (22-0-1) this season when leading after two.

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