Coaches Fondly Recall Boston Garden
Jack Parker, Jerry York, and Ted Donato all
know a thing or two about the Beanpot. All three coaches
have played in the nation’s most premier in-season
tournament, and they all have a varying degree of coaching
experience in it.
of Boston Garden were on the minds of Beanpot coaches
at a pre-tournament press conference on Thursday.
But since 1996, the Beanpot has been missing
something. While the tourney doesn’t lack any luster,
the venue does. The TD BankNorth Garden — also the
artist formally known as the FleetCenter, among other things
— is a nice, fairly new building.
But it’s not the Boston Garden.
“It was just such an electric atmosphere,
coming out of the runway,” Donato said. “I’m
fortunate enough to have memories from there dating back
to high school, the Beanpot, and then the Bruins. It was
a special place for me. The FleetCenter is still an incredible
venue but to me, there is still only one Garden. That atmosphere
and that proximity of the crowd is something that is very
difficult to replicate. I’m one of those people that
loves Fenway Park and the history of the older buildings.”
“I really enjoyed playing in it,”
York said. "That was a lot of fun, and there was a
lot of excitement. That was the old Garden. That was fun.
I liked the old Garden.”
Donato was the only member of the three coaches
who played in the Garden professionally, so his sentiments
were stronger than the other two. The new building has grown
a bit on York and Parker.
“This place has become a pretty good
venue,” York said. “It’s growing on me
a little bit. Initially, it was kind of bland. Now, we’re
all getting used to it.”
“In some ways, I miss the old Garden
with the crowd right on top of you,” Parker said.
“You can feel the emotion in the building. But, the
ice is much better here. The skating is much better here.
The lighting is much better here. There’s no smoking,
but you wouldn’t have a smoking problem in here now,
anyway. And you can actually walk around here without your
shoes sticking to the floor. You were walking out of your
But wasn’t that what made the Garden
The first Beanpot was played at Boston Arena
before it shifted to the Garden. It switched to the FleetCenter
SEEN AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
Coach Speak: Great quotes
weren’t hard to come across during the Beanpot luncheon
at the TD BankNorth Garden Thursday. After the free-for-all,
each coach took the podium for a few minutes. Per the norm,
Jack Parker began, drawing the crowd into a roar with every
one-liner, and each coach tried to trump him. Here are some
Parker on Harvard’s brutal exam schedule:
“I think they’re the only school that takes
Parker on BU’s heavy contingent in attendance:
“When there’s a free meal, the Terriers will
Greg Cronin on Joe Santilli’s gift of
gab: “Joe could talk a dog off a meat wagon.”
Cronin after a series of one-liners: “Jack,
I’m just trying to trump you on the comedy part of
Jerry York on last week’s two-game series
with BU: “We just had two great games, no fog involved.”
York on Mike Brennan: “He’s from
Long Island. He’s not a local guy, but we’re
trying to make him a local guy. He still speaks with, well,
not a great accent.”
Harvard defenseman Dylan Reese — standing
at the podium in front of the Beanpot trophy — on
his lack of success in the Beanpot: “We’d really
like to get our hands on the Beanpot because this is about
as close as I’ve ever gotten to it.”
And the best line of the afternoon. York was
praising Ted Donato on the job he has done since taking
over the Harvard bench. He recalled a time when he told
Cronin that getting used to coaching was like trying to
cross Boston’s Zakim Bridge. Due to Wednesday’s
fake terrorism scare in Boston that involved packages being
found on bridges across the city, Donato had a message back
for York: “Talking about bridges, Jerry, with all
the ‘Light Bright’ stuff going on, keep that
quiet. I might be a suspect.”
Great Weekend Getaway
vs. Maine (Fri./Manchester) Maine at UNH (Sat.)
The most underappreciated rivalry in Hockey East shifts
to a neutral site in Manchester Friday before heading
to Durham Saturday. Maine has been reeling lately
and could use a couple big wins to get itself back
in the national picture. A couple losses for the Black
Bears, and they might find themselves on the outside
of NCAA Tournament picture. UNH is getting healthy
at the right time. Mike Radja could return this weekend,
and Jacob Micflikier’s shoulder concerns were
less severe than originally anticipated. The Wildcats
will be nice and refreshed for a final push down the
While You’re There: Manch-Vegas
has a great airport with very cheap prices, which
is great because a lot of people don’t like
staying in town any longer than they have to. (Sorry,
I couldn’t resist.) The Wild Rover Pub on Kosciuszko
Street is a hot spot for hockey crowds, and sounds
like it may be worth checking out.
handed out free paper goalie masks during its home
weekend series against Boston College a couple weeks
ago. The best part about the helmets
is the note on the back. “WARNING: THIS MASK
IS NOT TO BE WORN AS A PROTECTIVE DEVICE.”
winning on the road in conference is tough, but the
Catamounts’ two ties at Merrimack last weekend
are inexcusable if they want to make serious
headway in Hockey East. Vermont currently has the
second longest unbeaten streak (3-0-3) in the country,
but it lost some serious steam following up its weekend
sweep of Boston College.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• UNH is close to returning to full
strength after a couple injury setbacks. Jacob Micflikier
skated in last Saturday’s win over Providence. He
missed both games against UMass the weekend before, and
wasn’t expected to return against the Friars. Mike
Radja, who has been battling a knee injury for much of the
year, may see the ice in this weekend’s two-game set
with Maine. With guys like Josh Ciocco, Peter LeBlanc and
Bobby Butler seeing increased time on higher lines due to
the injuries, the Wildcats’ depth will be as scary
as any team’s in the nation.
• BU sophomore Brandon Yip won't be
back on the ice for a while after suffering a high right
ankle sprain in last Friday’s loss to Boston College
at Agganis Arena. Yip collided with teammate Pete MacArthur
in the first period and did not return. Yip's ankle has
not responded well since then. Jack Parker said Yip definitely
will not return in time to play in the Beanpot. Yip, played
in the first two games of the season, missed the next 16
games with a shoulder injury and returned for six more.
Yip is not eligible to medically redshirt. To qualify, one
must play in less than 20 percent of a team’s games
and get injured during the first half of the team's schedule.
• The friendship between Terrier coach
Jack Parker and UMass bench boss Don Cahoon is as storied
as any front men in Hockey East. After the Minutemen blew
a 3-0 lead and wound up tying BU 3-3 last Saturday night
at the Mullins Center, Parker was overheard razzing his
former player and assistant coach outside the media room.
“That game obviously should have been in the bag for
UMass if they had any kind of coaching at all,” he
quipped. Of course, Cahoon took it all in stride.
• This just in: Jerry York and Jack
Parker are good. When BC and BU played twice last week,
it marked the first two times in college hockey history
that coaches with 750 wins squared off.
• Maine’s Mike Lundin got whistled
for tripping in the third period of last Saturday’s
overtime win over Northeastern. It was the first penalty
called on the defenseman in 49 games (Dec. 2, 2005).
• UNH is ranked No. 1 in both national
polls for the first time since Oct. 28, 2002. With one more
victory, the Wildcats will have reached the 20-win plateau
for the 11th consecutive year.
• Before last Friday’s 5-2 loss
to the Eagles, BU hadn’t dropped a game by more than
a goal all season.
• Former Boston College defenseman and
current blue liner for the Boston Bruins Andrew Alberts
was on hand for a short while at the Beanpot luncheon Thursday.
He showed up after Bruins practice to say hi to some former
friends, including former coach Jerry York.
• Northeastern used Boston University’s
ice to practice earlier in the week since the Huskies’
hoops team needed Matthews Arena. Jack Parker was on hand
for some of the practice, and saw some hockey Huskies get
into a fight on the team bench.
• Five Huskies scored in their 6-1 win
over Maine last Friday. It was the fifth time this season
at least four Northeastern players have scored.
• Providence has killed 19 straight
penalties, and 58 of 62 power-play opportunities overall.
• Here’s an interesting Boston
University stat: The Terriers are 12-2-3 when they have
less than 30 shots in a game this season, but 2-3-4 when
recording more than 30 shots.
• A dish network in Canada has picked
up the Beanpot rights and will broadcast the tournament
throughout the country. It will also be shown on delay in
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Jeff Howe can be reached