MEN'S HOCKEY: Young Players Step Up To Push BC To Beanpot Finals
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 22:02
Over the past six decades, the Beanpot has become a staple of hockey tradition in the city of Boston. Bringing together the four premier Division I programs from around the city annually, the Beanpot has become an intrinsic part of the winter for each of the teams, as well as their respective schools and fan bases.
Since the turn of the century, the Beanpot’s tradition of excellent hockey and sportsmanship has also coincided with Boston College’s increasing tradition of excellence within its own hockey program. The Eagles have won six of the 13 Beanpot Championships since 2000, and this year the Eagles have the chance to win their fourth tournament championship in a row. With the team’s 4-1 victory over Harvard on Monday night, the Eagles were able to keep that dream alive, and will now face Northeastern in the championship game next Monday night
After Northeastern, the team currently sitting in last place in Hockey East, upset No. 13 Boston University earlier in the evening, there was certainly no guarantee that the Eagles would be able to take down the Crimson, who sit at the bottom of the ECAC. Thanks to a combination of strong preparation, however, as well as strong performances on the ice by the younger players, the Eagles earned themselves the opportunity to play for this year’s championship.
“We weren’t thinking we were going to play anyone else. Harvard was on our schedule,” said head coach Jerry York, following the game, “We knew [Harvard] had beat BU, and we have a lot of respect for [Ted Donato] and his team.”
While this year’s seniors have now improved to 7-0 in Beanpot play, it was the goal scoring of two underclassmen on the team that would prove pivotal in getting them to that point. Quinn Smith, a sophomore who entered the night having scored two goals all season, doubled that total when he scored the first two goals of the game.
When Michael Matheson, a freshman, scored a power-play goal at the end of the second period, Parker Milner only needed to maintain the lead in the third period to secure the victory.
Steven Whitney’s goal with five minutes left in the game not only provided security for the Eagles, who were winning 3-1 at the time, but also demonstrated that while the underclassmen shined during the game, the upperclassmen were determined to do their part, as well.
Following the game, Whitney, Smith, and coach York were all smiles. Though he acknowledged that he never felt safe during the game, York was happy with Smith’s play, as well as the play of the power-play and penalty-killing units. Smith, who scored two goals in a game for the first time since he played in the USHL, was simply happy he was able to make such a valuable contribution to the team.
“It means a lot,” Smith said. “You always want to try and help your team win games. We have a lot of kids on this team that can score goals and it just so happened that tonight was my night to get a few and help the team get a victory.”
Whitney also praised Smith’s performance following the game, as well as the spark that it provided the rest of the team.
“Everyone’s happy for him, everyone’s proud of him,” Whitney said. “Part of Quinn’s role is to bring energy to this team, and he does it every night and when he scored two goals tonight it just brought even more energy and was awesome to see.“
Before the game started, York was inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame. As a player for the Eagles, York competed in the tournament three times and won it once in 1965. As a coach, he has won six more Beanpot championships with the Eagles and has become a standout part of Beanpot history.
Furthermore, assistant coach Jim Logue has also made his mark on the Beanpot history books. Logue played in three Beanpots with the Eagles from 1959-61, and won two of them. He was named the tournament’s MVP in 1959, and has now coached with the Eagles for 19 seasons, winning seven more Beanpot titles during his tenure. Logue is also a member of the Beanpot Hall of Fame
If the last few years are any indication, York and Logue have successfully passed the torch of Beanpot success to their players.