COLUMN: BC Earns Dynasty Label
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 03:02
One could argue that the term “dynasty” is used far too loosely in sports. Sustained success is always at a premium, particularly at the collegiate level in which a core group of talent can play for four years together, at most. Time waits for no one in sports, and a championship squad can find itself forced to rebuild overnight.
Yet if Monday night’s win in the Beanpot Championship game is any indication, the Boston College men’s hockey team has found a way to cheat the hourglass and achieve a sort of hockey immortality. Dynasty may be an overused label, but it might be the only word appropriate to describe York’s Eagles.
At a packed TD Garden, BC trounced Northeastern to tally its 18th Beanpot title in program history and its seventh during the York Era. The Eagles outscored their two tournament opponents by a 10-4 margin en route to clutching another silver trophy and watching another banner bearing the University’s name ascend to the rafters. Seem like deja vu? Considering it’s the team’s fourth consecutive Beanpot Championship, I’d say yes.
In the usual flurry of impressive stats and accolades that follows the Eagles everywhere they go, however, there’s one number that stands out the most: four.
Four seasons ago, veterans Pat Mullane, Steven Whitney, Patrick Wey, Parker Milner, Patch Alber, and Brooks Dyroff won their first Beanpot as freshmen on a 2009-10 team that went on to win a national championship. Two more Beanpots later, the Eagles lost a senior class that boasted the likes of captain Tommy Cross and New York Ranger Chris Kreider.
Despite it all, the fab-six stayed together, and in a year feared to be a time of transition for the defending national champions, they won a fourth Beanpot trophy together.
Six players, four years, four Beanpot titles. I’m no math major, but it’s easy to see that those numbers speak louder than words.
“For our seniors, we are all so excited,” Whitney said after the game. “This is awesome for us, and it’s awesome that we did it all together.”
Amidst the excitement and adulation of winning the city’s most coveted prize, the calm and collected York summarized the accomplishment of BC’s seniors in his usual wise conciseness: “They are model citizens of BC hockey.”
York couldn’t have put it any better. Since arriving to the Heights, this core group has won three conference tournament championships, three conference regular-season championships, and two national titles in addition to their Beanpot glory. Even for arguably the country’s most prolific college hockey program, this year’s senior class has set the bar incredibly high.
Yet just like the class before them, Mullane, Milner, Whitney, Wey, Alber, and Dyroff face a fact as certain as the long-term success BC has enjoyed: their four-year window is approaching its end.
Sure, that’s not the most upbeat thing to bring up while the Eagles enter trophy season for a chance to defend their national championship. But it harkens back to my original question—will the end of these four years mean the end of a BC dynasty?
Here’s my answer for you: no.
Credit it to either York’s greatness at the helm or the raw talent BC has boasted out on the ice, and you’d probably be correct either way. Together, however, they’ve created an environment in which a winner can always be bred and a torch can always be passed down.
When goalie John Muse and the seniors of 2010’s national title winner left BC’s tradition in the hands of Mullane and company, the current Eagle seniors made the most of it. An impressive win on Monday night was fittingly backed by goals from the team captain and his classmate Whitney, serving as a testament to their accomplishments. Yet a goal from sophomore Johnny Gaudreau was a reminder that there is a future for the Eagle dynasty just as bright as the present.
But there’s something you have to remember about a dynasty: in order to be maintained, complacency cannot be a part of its vocabulary. Knowing this current bunch of BC vets, the only way to go out is with a national championship trophy clutched in their hands.