Once upon a time, the year 1918 was
a very significant one in the Boston area. The mere
mentioning of any date in 1918 could make a Bay Stater’s
face contort in ways never imaginable – and
that was usually after they clutched their stomach,
dropped straight to the ground and let off a horrific
scream. Fear not, though, as everything has returned
to normalcy since the Red Sox won their first World
Series in 86 years all the way back in 2004.
But 1918 was also an important year
for a different reason in the city that held the most
famous tea party the country has ever seen. It marked
the first time that Boston University and Boston College
played each other in hockey, and look where that has
come since. The two schools, which are located just
a few miles away from each other, have played 217
times now, with the Terriers holding a 115-97-15 advantage.
Over the weekend, this rivalry was renewed
during a home-and-home series. BC took Friday night’s
game 2-1, and BU took Saturday’s after scoring
four unanswered third-period goals for a 6-2 victory;
both squads won their games in their home building.
“Home ice was certainly a factor
for us winning at home and BU winning at Agganis,”
BC coach Jerry York said. “The enthusiasm of
the fans gave the edge to the Eagles on Friday and
the Terriers on Saturday. I thought they were two
pretty well-played, close games. That is what our
rivalry has. Both teams are capable of winning the
league championship this year. I was impressed with
the skill level and the grit of both teams.
“If you weren’t a college
hockey fan and you watched both of those games, you’re
a diehard fan now.”
Friday’s contest was a defensive
chess match, and Saturday’s game appeared to
be heading in the same direction. BC rallied to tie
the score at 2-2 in the third period after facing
a two-goal deficit, but BU goalie John Curry held
strong in net while the Eagles stepped up their offensive
attack. Eventually, Boston University rattled off
four goals in a stretch of 7:07 to close out the hated
“The game was a lot closer and
a lot much more competitive than 6-2,” York
said. “When we tied it 2-2, I thought we played
the best five minutes we played the whole series.
John Curry was immense in net for that stretch, and
the save he made on Chris Collins was just fabulous.”
BU senior captain Brad Zancanaro provided
the game-winning tally with just under eight minutes
remaining in the final period and also added a pair
of assists in the team’s dogged triumph.
“It could definitely jumpstart
us, and that is what we’re hoping for,”
Zancanaro said. “We want to get these next two
games [at Providence Thursday and at Dartmouth on
Saturday] so we’re up above .500 going into
And this series screams rivalry in every
sense of the word. In an age when teams take it “one
game at a time” and “every game is equally
important”, those in the Eagle and Terrier locker
rooms have no qualms with admitting how much they
want to beat each other.
“It definitely means a lot more
when you win or lose to Boston College,” Zancanaro
said. “They’re our rivals, and everyone
around campus and around the rink is more excited
for those games. There is more meaning in those games.”
“There was certainly a different
atmosphere and a different feeling, and it’s
because of the longtime rivalry,” said York,
who has been at BC since 1994 and is 19-34-5 against
the Terriers. “Both teams have had a lot of
success over the years, and that adds to it. Generally,
these games are important for the league standings
as well. A lot of stuff goes on when BC and BU play.
Certainly, that is a very important series for us
this year, next year and last year.”
Zancanaro said the entire campus is
a lot livelier during a BC week, and he often hears
words of encouragement from fellow students who he
has never even met before.
“It’s happened a bunch of times over the
last four years,” he said. “It’s
nice to see that there are people in your classes
who support you.
“Everyone knows when we play BC.
When tickets went on sale for [Saturday’s home]
game, there were people waiting outside at 6 a.m.,
and there was a line all the way around the building
to get tickets. People come up to you and say, ‘You
better beat those guys’ and stuff like that.
It’s something that everyone looks forward to
The next installment of the heated rivalry
takes place on Jan. 27 at Kelley Rink, where the Eagles
will try to win the regular season series for the
fourth year in a row. This could also serve as a tune-up
for the Beanpot championship game on Feb. 13.
SEEN AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
Re-Entering Amherst –
Perhaps the period of closure for first-year
Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy has finally passed. The
former UMass assistant, who left the Minutemen in
the offseason to take the big job on the Warrior bench,
finally sold his South Hadley house – a few
minutes down the road from Amherst – last week,
and he squared off with the Maroon and White on Tuesday
for the first time since donning his new digs.
But Dennehy’s reunion with his
former recruits and the Mullins Center crowd didn’t
exactly go as planned, as Dennehy’s former boss
Don Cahoon and the Minutemen disposed of Merrimack
by a 4-1 score. It was a close contest until UMass
added a pair of goals in the final five minutes.
Dennehy, who was noticeably excited
to see some former friends in the post-game press
conference, decided to pull his chair from behind
the designated table and move it a little closer to
the group of people he had worked so closely with
during his stint in the Pioneer Valley.
“I saw the ‘Entering Amherst’
sign, and I realized I had a lot of good memories
here; that is the first time I’ve ever actually
been on the [away team’s] bench,” Dennehy
He also noted that one of the hardest
things in coaching against his former players was
post-game handshake because of how close he got with
the people he recruited.
“That is the thing I am going
to miss the most about being an assistant coach,”
he said. “You are so involved in getting to
know each individual player, their parents, their
likes and dislikes. In the recruiting process, you
invest a little bit of yourself into each and every
one of them. You want them to succeed, just not when
you’re playing against them.”
During the game, however, the bond both
sides had with one another obviously subsided.
“We’re immersed in our own
teams in the game,” Cahoon said. “I’m
not sitting across the ice, and I don’t think
Mark was sitting across the ice thinking, ‘How
am I going to beat Toot [Cahoon],’ and I’m
not thinking how I am going to beat him. We’re
just trying to pay attention on how to execute, pay
attention to detail and compete. It doesn’t
make a difference if it’s the Red Army across
the ice or Merrimack College.”
Great Weekend Getaway
(Thurs.) and UMass Lowell (Sat.) at New Hampshire UNH will welcome some city kids
to its rural atmosphere this weekend, as Teddy
Donato’s Harvard Skating Smaht Kids roll
into Durham Thursday night before the UMass
Lowell River Hawks fly into Lake Whitt on Saturday.
Thursday’s meeting between the Crimson
and Wildcats will mark the first time the two
teams have squared off since UNH ended Harvard’s
season with a 3-2 thriller in the first round
of last year’s NCAA Tournament on March
26, while Saturday’s game will serve as
the rubber match and final regular season contest
between UNH and Lowell.
There: Take a trip Manchester, the closest thing
to Las Vegas you’ll ever find in New Hampshire.
On Friday night, you can quench your hockey
fix by taking in an AHL game at the Verizon
Wireless Arena between the Manchester Monarchs
and Portland Pirates.
wasn’t satisfied by just ending its 20-game
conference losing streak with a 1-0 win over
UNH last Tuesday. The Warriors went on to record
a hat trick of non-losses by tying up Northeastern
twice over the weekend, giving them four Hockey
East points in five days when they had a total
of three all of last season.
minutes of hockey? That’s just
not enough, and the good folks at Northeastern
are starting to take a stand. The Huskies have
skated to three straight ties and have gone
to overtime in four of their last five games,
plus in five of their 10 Hockey East contests.
We at INCH have been asking the hockey gods
for more than 60 minutes a game for years now,
and it appears that these hockey gods are taking
the form of Northeastern Huskies.
The two coaches have known each other
since they met for a cup of coffee prior to Cahoon
hiring Dennehy as an assistant coach at Princeton
in 1996. When Cahoon took the head coaching position
at UMass in 2000, he brought Dennehy, who coached
at Fairfield for one year, with him.
Now, Dennehy is in the beginning stages
of building a program at Merrimack the same way Cahoon
was when he took the UMass job, and the understudy
echoed some of his old boss’ comments.
“There is a lot going on to try
to change the culture of the Merrimack program,”
Dennehy said. “I tried to take some of the things
that I learned from Coach Cahoon at both Princeton
Cahoon laughed when hearing of his former
assistant’s comments and didn’t pass up
the opportunity to roast the former Boston College
“Mark didn’t spend a lot
of time listening to me when I was here, so I don’t
know why he is going to start now.”
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Maine has lost three straight
league games for the first time since February of
2003, and have dropped four of five conference contests
overall. After their early-season explosion into first
place, the Black Bears have fallen to sixth place
in the Hockey East standings.
• UMass Lowell goalie Peter
Vetri hasn’t gotten off to the stellar start
he did last season, but his 40 saves in the team’s
4-2 loss at St. Lawrence broke his previous career
high of 39, which was set back on Feb. 19, 2004, in
Lowell’s 4-1 win over BC.
• UNH finished deadlocked at
Vermont on Friday, 3-3, but was victorious in a 4-3
affair with St. Lawrence on Saturday. Hockey East
Player of the Week Jacob Micflikier scored a goal
each night for the Wildcats and assisted on all five
of the rest of his team’s weekend scores.
• Merrimack’s Matt Johnson
scored the team’s only goal in a 4-1 loss to
UMass on Tuesday night. It was Johnson’s sixth
power-play goal of the season, which equals the amount
of man-advantage goals the Minutemen have as an entire
team this year. Vermont’s Peter Lenes and New
Hampshire’s Brett Hemingway also have six power-play
goals this season.
• On the other side of special
teams, Boston College’s Chris Collins has scored
all three of the Eagles’ short-handed goals
through the season’s first two months, which
is more than any team in the conference with the exception
of Providence’s four man-down tallies.
• Providence has been on top
of the Hockey East world for a few weeks now, and
the Friars have finally cracked the national rankings
after beating Maine 4-2 on Friday, their first win
over a ranked opponent this season. This is Providence’s
first national ranking since November of 2003.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation
of this report.