MacArthur Unquestioned Leader of Team
Pete MacArthur has quietly been the most dominant
offensive player in Hockey East over the last four years.
The Boston University senior forward has recorded 147 points
throughout his career, 30 more than anyone else in the league
in that span. MacArthur has also won three Beanpots, a Hockey
East championship and advanced to three NCAA tournaments.
And his Terriers have gone 88-50-21 during his tenure on
Second-seeded Boston University will take
on Vermont in the second semifinal game at the TD Banknorth
Garden in Boston on Friday night. The first game features
regular-season champion New Hampshire and the reawakened
University senior forward Pete MacArthur has been the
Terriers' leader on and off the ice, and no player in
Hockey East has more points in the last four seasons.
The Terriers have battled through plenty just
to reach this point, and MacArthur has been the leader through
it all. After BU coach Jack Parker suspended four players
earlier this season, including captain Brian McGuirk, MacArthur
was appointed the new captain and helped right a sinking
ship. Now, the co-captain – he asked Parker to reinstate
McGuirk's captaincy before the Beanpot – MacArthur
knows there's still work to be done if BU plans to reach
the NCAA tournament.
MacArthur talked with INCH earlier this week
and addressed the state of the Terriers, Parker's superstitions
and this weekend's showdown with the Catamounts.
Inside College Hockey: Take me
through the Lowell series from your perspective.
Pete MacArthur: The first
game, we fell behind, obviously, then took a 2-1 lead. We
didn't look back from there as far as the score was concerned,
but we didn't play our best game. Lowell did a good job
fighting back, and they outplayed us. Brett Bennett, our
goalie, kept us in that one. That was probably our worst
effort of the series. The next night, we got down. We didn't
play the first 10 minutes of the game at all. We just sat
back and watched. And from that point on, we really outplayed
them pretty much the entire game, but they played a smart
road game, didn't let us get any rebound chances and did
a good job in the defensive zone. Even though we got 42
shots, a lot of them were from the outside. Even though
we lost, we actually played better in that second game.
And somehow, we ended up going down 2-0 the next night,
and right as soon as we went down 2-0, we started playing
our best hockey of the weekend. As soon as we got that first
goal, the game was pretty much over in our mind.
INCH: What was different between
Game 2 and Game 3? It seemed like you could crack through
in the second game, but Carter Hutton stopped a few chances
to cut it to one goal. Was he the difference?
PM: I think you just hit
the nail on the head. Their goalie played absolutely unbelievable.
He probably had the best game he played in his career. He
played great, had 42 saves. We probably attempted like 60
shots, but they blocked a lot of shots. We didn't seem to
get enough bodies to the net and creating a lot traffic
in front of him. I think he was seeing a lot of shots. On
Sunday night, we got the puck to the net, made a couple
nice plays to beat the goalie and we just did a better job
of finishing our opportunities. That was pretty much the
only difference between the two games. The Saturday game,
we were all over them. Same thing Sunday. We just found
a way to get it past him.
INCH: How do you feel about your
NCAA tournament chances?
PM: Well, we know we have
to win our tournament. Right now, we're focused on Vermont.
We're 1-1-1 with them this year, and we were pretty much
even with them all last year, so it's turning into a nice
rivalry. It's going to be a really hard-fought game Friday.
Hopefully, we can get by that one and give ourselves a chance
to win another Hockey East title, second in the last three
years, and get a chance in the national tournament. But
in the position we're in right now, we know we're out of
the PairWise. We have to win our tournament, so we can't
look by Friday's game.
No. 1 New Hampshire Record: 25-8-3 (19-5-3 HEA) Wildcat
Note: They are playing in their league-best
seventh straight Hockey East semifinal. And senior goalie
Kevin Regan finished his career 6-0-0 in the HEA quarterfinals
with a 0.66 goals-against average and .981 save percentage. How UNH Wins: Do what’s worked.
UNH went 8-1-0 against this weekend’s remaining
teams (the one loss was to Vermont) and outscored those
teams a combined 36-15. The Wildcats showed no signs
of slowing down last weekend, blitzing UMass, 4-1 and
7-2. There’s no need for UNH to change anything
2 Boston University Record:
19-16-4 (15-9-3 HEA) Terrier Note:
They have won their last best-of-three quarterfinal
series that have gone to a decisive third game, and
they have also won at least one Hockey East playoff
game for a league-record 16 straight years. How
BU Wins: The Terriers could easily win the
title this weekend, but they’ll have to earn it.
They’ve had bouts of inconsistency, due in part
to their admittance of just going through the motions.
They got better as the Lowell series went on last weekend,
and they’ll need to maintain that intensity.
No. 3 Vermont Record: 16-14-7 (13-9-5 HEA) Catamount
Note: Vermont is playing at the Boston Garden
for the first time since 1989 – when it was the
original Garden – in the ECAC championship game. How UVM Wins: Vermont’s offense
isn’t anywhere as capable as the other three remaining
teams, so UVM needs to jump on top early and sit on
the lead. Goalie Joe Fallon has been good for that lately,
going 11-4-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average, .937
save percentage and three shutouts in his last 16 starts.
And the Catamounts are 60-3-10 when leading after two
periods in their last 73 games.
4 Boston College Record:
19-11-8 (11-9-7 HEA) Eagle Note:
Boston College is 51-15 in the postseason since the
1997-98 season, and its .773 winning percentage is tops
in the nation in that stretch. How BC Wins:
Nathan Gerbe needs to pick up where he left off last
weekend, when the BC junior had three goals and an assist
in the sweep of Providence. Gerbe is the biggest game
changer in the league, but he only registered a combined
one goal and two assists in BC losses this season (compared
to 26 goals and 23 assists in wins and ties). Even more,
he never recorded a point in the two games he played
against UNH. If Gerbe gets on the scoring sheet, the
Eagles will have a shot.
INCH: You haven't played Vermont
for two months and not since you've turned the season around.
Is there anything you can learn from your previous three
PM: They're always going
to bring you an honest effort. Ever since I played against
them my freshman year, they just work really hard. They've
got a great coach who has a great system. They play strong
defensive hockey, and [Joe] Fallon has always been a good
goalie. Right now, he's playing the best hockey of his career.
It looks like he gave up three goals in three games last
weekend in the playoffs. That's pretty impressive. They've
got some big forwards that can move. They've got a good
defensive system, and they can put the puck in the net,
too. They present some serious challenges. It's really a
pretty even matchup between the two teams, especially early
in the year when neither one of us were playing our best
hockey. Now, it seems like we've both turned our seasons
around, and it should be a really, really good game.
INCH: You play the second game
on Friday night, which could start as early as 8 or as late
as midnight if the first goes into overtime. How does a
team prepare and stay sane for something like that?
PM: Well, the seniors, the
juniors and even the sophomores now have all had to deal
with that. Last year, UNH and UMass played a double-overtime
game. And the year before that, I forget who it was, but
we were waiting around for awhile to play. And last year
in the national tournament, Notre Dame and Alabama Huntsville
played for awhile. So a bunch of us have the experience
having to wait around, and we know that's definitely a possibility
with a couple good teams in BC and UNH going at it. The
thing is, like always, you've got to stay focused. Don't
let your mind wander if something like that happens. Keep
your mind on the job you have to do and the task at hand,
and understand that we've got business to take care of.
Whether it starts at 8, 9, 10 or 11, we've got a job to
do. And that's win that game and give ourselves a chance
to get a championship.
INCH: Will you pay any attention
to that first game?
PM: No, doesn't matter. Either
way, it's the playoffs, and you've got to play good teams
and you have to go through good teams to win something big
at the end. Whoever wins will win, but we have to focus
on what we have to do.
INCH: You were named a captain
earlier this season due to the suspensions and kept the
'C' afterwards. How have you grown as a person through that
PM: Definitely, it makes
you take a closer look into things. You choose your words
more carefully, and you really pay attention to how you
treat people. You really see in how you carry yourself and
how you act in and around the rink and outside the rink,
other people follow that. And they follow that more than
you even realize. It's just made me a stronger person inside
and out. I'm thankful that Coach gave me the opportunity.
It's bittersweet how it came about. But [co-captain] Brian
[McGuirk] and I were always really good friends before it
happened, and we're even better friends now. We've had a
great time growing together and being captains together
of this team. So far, it's been a pretty good story that
we've been able to turn it around. We'd like to add another
chapter to that book together.
INCH: Do you think about your
individual place in BU history?
PM: I haven't yet. A lot
of people have mentioned it to me. It's hard for me to answer.
I'm sure when I'm all done when the season is over, I'll
look back and think about all of the good things that we've
been able to accomplish as a senior class and that I've
been fortunate enough to be able to accomplish individually.
But right now, it's hard to answer. I don't mean to sidestep
your question. I've just got – Vermont's on my mind
right now. I don't want to lose yet. My season will be over,
and my career will be over. When it's all said and done,
though, there's been some pretty nice moments. I'll definitely
give you that.
INCH: How close-knit is the BU
alumni and your team now? Do you hear much from the older
PM: We hear from [Jack] O'Callahan
every now and then, and [Mike] Eruzione, and Scotty Young
has been here. Scotty Lachance has been around, so there's
been some guys here. It's not so much that they'll come
and speak to us as a whole, but they're really approachable.
You can go up to them with one or two guys or just by yourself
and ask them for tips or old stories. It's nice to hear
INCH: Can you tell me something
about Jack Parker that people wouldn't already know?
PM: Oh, man. He's the most
superstitious guy I've ever met. He takes a nap every day
before the games, and he wears these awful Saucony sneakers
for every game on the bench. He'll wear a nice suit with
these 1970-something Saucony sneakers. I don't know how
many people know about that.
INCH: Do you guys get on him for
that at all?
PM: No, we don't mess with
him about his superstitions.
INCH: Yeah, I can understand that.
If I had told you last September that BU would score more
goals than anyone in Hockey East and surrender more goals
than anyone in Hockey East, what would you have said?
PM: I would have believed
that we were going to score more goals than anybody else,
but I wouldn't have believed that we were going to surrender
as many as we did. We switched our defensive plan at the
beginning of the year because we thought it would give us
a little bit more offense, which it did. But it also made
us suffer on the defensive end just because we were leaving
our defensemen and our goalies out to dry. It wasn't really
a reflection of how they were playing. It was collective.
We weren't understanding the system we were trying to put
in. Once we switched it back to the man on man like we've
always been doing for the past – however long, 30
years that Parker has been here – it's been a lot
better. It's been a huge difference.
INCH: Did that switch have anything
to do with the departure of John Curry?
PM: No, I think it was more
so along the lines of we just couldn't score goals last
year, and Coach knew we had some great freshmen in the [Joe]
Pereiras and the [Colin] Wilsons and the [Nick] Boninos
coming in. He wanted to utilize that talent. And while that
worked, it also kind of maybe had a mental approach where
our psyche was like, “All right, we're just going
to try and score goals and outscore teams now.” That's
just not the way that we're going to win hockey games. That's
now how we're built. We scored more goals, and we gave up
a ton more, too. I don't think it had anything, maybe a
little bit to do with [Curry], but [Bennett] is playing
real well, Karson [Gillespie] is playing real well.
INCH: With that said, how much
credit does Brett Bennett deserve for your team's turnaround?
PM: He deserves a lot of
it. He's grown both as a person and as a player just from
the beginning of the year. He really took the rains when
[Gillespie] went down and got hurt. He played solid hockey.
He made the saves that he needed to make, and he also came
up with a lot of big saves and a lot of timely saves for
us when we really needed them. He handles the puck pretty
well, and he's a pretty confident kid back in goal. A lot
of credit needs to be shot his way for the turnaround.
INCH: I'm sure you won't give
me a score prediction for this weekend, but any predictions
or thoughts for what's going to happen on Friday night?
PM: I promise you it's going
to be a hard-hitting game between us. I'm not going to give
any predictions. I've already done that and gotten myself
in trouble, but I would like to say good luck to the Waterloo
boys on UNH.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Jeff Howe can be reached