11 months ago, the prospect of a home-and-home series between
archrivals Boston University and Boston College like the
one this weekend had the appeal of a game on ESPN Classic
– a bit nostalgic, perhaps, but the result’s
not really in doubt.
Eagles had just dismantled their archrivals in the Beanpot
final, 2-1 in overtime, a score that was much closer than
the game itself. BC dominated even though it may have never
generated an odd-man rush; it couldn’t, since the
puck never seemed to leave BU’s zone. The shots on
goal at the end were 52-13 in BC’s favor, and extending
the game to overtime was no consolation for BU.
hung over the Terrier program, which was suffering through
a woeful season. As much as fans and players insisted that
you could throw out the records in games against BC, something
was missing when both teams weren’t at the top of
was such a disparity in play in that game, the difference
between the two teams became glaring,” said Bernie
Corbett, who has been the Terrier radio voice for 20 years
and has been close to the program for even longer. “People
around the program, from the past and present, wondered,
‘What’s going on?’ This was just unacceptable.”
forward to this season, and the two teams could finish 1-2
in the Hockey East standings for the first time since 1997-98.
That year also marked a turning point in the constant ebb
and flow of the rivalry: BU, which had been to seven of
the previous eight Frozen Fours, was knocked out of the
NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals. BC began its stretch
of five Frozen Four appearances in the last seven years.
knows something about rivalries – he recently published
The Only Game that Matters, about the Harvard-Yale
football game – and he thinks this weekend’s
games could usher in a new era between BC and BU.
think we’re seeing a renaissance in the rivalry in
terms of the talent on both sides,” said Corbett.
“We may look back on the years to come as some of
the greatest years in this rivalry.”
the team with the upper hand will admit that a rivalry loses
something when one team is down. In 1993-94 BU beat BC six
times – three in the regular season, once in the Beanpot
and twice in the Hockey East playoffs.
remember guys who played in those games, by the end of the
season they were all saying, ‘I wish they were better,’”
Corbett said. “You can look at the color of the other
jerseys, see that maroon and gold and be ready to play,
but it gets tough when you just beat them like a drum each
time. That was the threat for us last year.”
resurgence in the rivalry could be considered a two-step
process, and it began with three games against the Eagles
at the end of the year. Goaltender Sean Fields led the Terriers
to a Hockey East quarterfinal series upset of BC after sneaking
into the playoffs on the regular season’s final night.
season began, however, Fields was gone and the Terriers
faced BC Dec. 3 having lost the previous six non-tournament
meetings – plus that humbling Beanpot game. Their
win in that game illustrated a number of their reasons for
success this season: strong goaltending from sophomore John
Curry, impact play from the freshman class and a junior
class that has enjoyed its best season yet.
rolling along with a fantastic defensive corps, two talented
goalies and an offense that features Patrick Eaves and Ryan
Shannon. The Eagles continue to attract top talent, like
freshman Dan Bertram and incoming freshman Brock Bradford;
recruiting has been similarly strong for BU, which should
lead to continued talent and balance in the rivalry for
years to come.
the opening of Agganis Arena two weeks ago, this weekend’s
series is another stop in an exciting stretch for the Terriers
– in not too long they’ll be preparing for that
February tournament that means so much on Comm. Ave. That
excitement is one reason for hope that this rivalry will
produce some very memorable games over the next several
you look at the whole perspective – where the program
is, where it’s going, the new building – there’s
a big sense of momentum,” Corbett said. “It’s
tangible, you can feel it.”
AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
Replay – Here were the quotes:
Bruce Crowder: “I thought it was our game the whole
way. Their kid played great. What are you going to do?"
coach: “They really took it to us the first half of
the game. Our goaltending kept us in it."
here’s your quiz: were those words spoken Friday night
have been either, after an excruciating weekend for the
Huskies. Both nights they came out flying, but BU’s
John Curry, then Lowell’s Peter Vetri, only allowed
Northeastern to build 1-0 leads. In both cases it was all
the offense they’d get, and it wasn’t enough,
as the Terriers and River Hawks stormed back to claim 3-1
and 2-1 wins, respectively.
been a frustrating stretch for the Huskies, who were 5-3-1
in mid-November but are just 2-8-1 since. Two themes stick
out in that time: they haven’t played all that poorly,
and goals have been hard to come by. They’ve scored
five goals in each of their two wins in that time, and scored
twice in the tie, but in their last six losses they’ve
been shutout or held to one goal.
reminiscent of the first half of last season, when the Huskies
played well but got little to nothing to show for it. Like
last season, they need to snap out of it, starting this
weekend against another struggling team in Providence.
if you're still curious, the quotes came after Saturday's
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
Boston College vs. Boston University (at BC Fri.,
at BU Sat.) Cory
Schneider, fresh off an 11-save shutout of Yale Tuesday
night, could get his first taste of the rivalry in
goal for Boston College if his partner, Matti Kaltiainen,
isn’t over an injury suffered Monday in practice.
At the other end, one-time third-stringer John Curry
has sparkled in the Terrier nets. He’s ranked
in the nation’s top six in goals-against average
(1.81), save percentage (.927) and winning percentage
You're There: Find a great spot to enjoy Sunday’s
Pats-Colts game, but you better get there early for
the 4:30 p.m. kickoff. Like an early brunch.
Don’t watch too many replays of a UMass Lowell
goal – they just might score again while
you’re turned away. In the River Hawks’
last three games they have scored two goals within
45 seconds, 17 seconds and 103 seconds.
It’s one thing to lose a lead. It’s another
to lose an 8-5 lead, with 10 minutes remaining, to
a team that’s struggled to score for most of
the season. In another era we’d call it downright
Red Sox-ian, but now, as one witness to New
Hampshire’s 9-8 loss to Dartmouth Wednesday
night said, all you can call it is a gong show.
What’s all the more remarkable about Bryan Schmidt
(24 points) and Jeff Caron (22) ranking 1-2 among the nation’s
defensemen in scoring is that they are doing it on a Merrimack
team that doesn’t generate a lot of offense without
them. Among the nation’s top 10 defensemen in scoring,
only Michigan Tech’s Lars Helminen plays for a team
that averages fewer goals than the Warriors (2.75, ranked
36th in the country).
UMass, 9-2-0 at home this season, plays its next four games
at the Mullins Center, beginning this weekend with two games
against Maine. The series is a rematch of last year’s
Hockey East championship game, although neither team has
enjoyed the same level of success this year.
Providence is 0-7-2 in its last nine Hockey East games.
The Friars last league victory was before Halloween, a 6-2
win against Massachusetts. Their only victories since then
have come against Wayne State, Holy Cross and Bowling Green.
UMass Lowell left wing Brad King makes his living using
his 6-foot-2 size to screen goalies and clear space for
the likes of Ben Walter. He’s got four goals this
season, mostly of the hard-fought variety, but he was the
beneficiary of an easy one Friday when Massachusetts was
victimized by the quick faceoff rule. That left King alone
in front for Lowell’s second goal.
The River Hawks will have an opportunity to finish the regular
season with a perfect 10-0-0 non-conference record when
they visit Brown on Tuesday night.
New Hampshire’s top line of Preston Callander, Sean
Collins and Brett Hemingway accounted for 10 of the team’s
12 points in Saturday night’s win over Providence.
They are the league’s top three scorers overall, and
only BU’s Peter MacArthur keeps them from standing
1-2-3 in scoring in conference games.
If you are a fan of the two-game series, enjoy this weekend.
It’s the last Friday-Saturday combo of the year in
which every Hockey East game is a two-game set.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this