December 10, 2003
The Scoring Life: BC's Reality T.V.

By Nate Ewell

 Hockey East Notebook

Tony Voce shares the Hockey East lead with 12 goals this season entering Wednesday's game against Harvard.

This week's schedule
National TV Schedule

Atlantic Hockey/CHA Notebook
WCHA Notebook

Tony Voce and Ben Eaves have had virtually identical statistics over the first three years of their Boston College careers, and they are tied atop the team’s scoring chart today. But it’s Eaves, a first-team All-American and Hobey finalist last year, who collects the bulk of the accolades.

If that bothers Voce, it doesn’t show. And to hear his description of his game, you’d think he doesn’t deserve attention.

“People kind of joke about it, but I’m kind of the trash-goal guy,” he said.

In fact, he’s much more than that, as his 12 goals (tied for third in the nation) attest. He excels in front of the net, and the 5-foot-8 high school football player can be described as a power forward in a little package.

“I don’t know if I’m a power forward,” he laughs, “but I like to muck it up. Coaches always talk about getting in front of the net. That’s where I like to be, because that’s where you score goals.”

In addition to his willingness to play in traffic, Voce has a great shot, one he hopes to unleash at least five times per game. That shoot-first, pass-second mentality meshes perfectly with Eaves, who’s the mirror image. Combined, they are the closest thing college hockey has to a modern-day St. Louis and Perrin, although Eaves and Voce didn’t grow up together.

The diminutive pair – they both stand at 5-foot-8 – has made up for lost time. In addition to being linemates, they are close friends and roommates off the ice. They may not finish each other’s sentences, but they do finish their thoughts: last month, when Eaves told Voce that he would score a hat trick the next day, Voce proved him right with three goals against Providence.

Their on-ice chemistry is so good, in fact, that they are head coach Jerry York’s first option in four-on-four and short-handed situations – particularly telling since it would seem natural to pair Eaves with his brother, Patrick. Patrick joins the pair at even strength, adding size and a physical element on the conference’s most feared forward line.

“I think we can be the best line in the nation,” said Voce. “Not too many teams can stop us. Even if you can slow down one or two of us, that third guy can still hurt you.”

The trio certainly was unstoppable Friday night against Boston University, accounting for all five goals as Voce had a hat trick to give him 7-3—10 in the last four games. Saturday’s game against Providence was snowed out – giving Voce, perhaps, a little extra time to work on a 20-page paper he handed in on Tuesday about African-American women in television.

Wednesday, the Eagles put their nine-game unbeaten streak up against Harvard, then take a holiday break before the Great Lakes Invitational. By the time they return to Hockey East play in January, they’ll still be unbeaten in the conference at 6-0-2.

And chances are, Tony Voce will still be picking up bundles of garbage goals.


Packed House – The excitement in Amherst over Thursday night’s meeting of two top 10 teams in New Hampshire and Massachusetts could produce close to a sellout in the 8,389-seat Mullins Center.

This fall has already produced three of the top 10 crowds in UMass history, and head coach Don Cahoon said that a distinct home-ice advantage is beginning to take shape.

“We’ve got a great student section that’s right behind our bench,” he said. “We’re trying to calm down their language a bit, like a lot of places, but they’ve been great. The Mullins Center could be a fabulous place to play college hockey.”

That crowd will see two teams coming off games that weren’t as disappointing as the results might indicate. UNH lost to St. Lawrence but didn’t play particularly poorly – Kevin Ackley made some clutch saves for the Saints. And the Minutemen, after a disastrous Friday game at Nebraska-Omaha (“the first night was a complete waste,” Cahoon said) responded with a good all-around effort in Saturday’s 1-1 tie.

While the Minutemen were disappointed not to play Sunday’s scheduled game at Boston University because of the snowstorm, it might have been for the best. Nine players missed practice time at one point or another last week. Now those players are healthy, and eager to wrap up a strong first half of the year in two tests this week against UNH and Harvard (Saturday).

“We need to get something out of this weekend,” said Cahoon, whose team has lost eight straight to New Hampshire, including last year’s Hockey East semifinals. “In terms of the NCAA Tournament, Hockey East, and just keeping things going, this is a big weekend for us.”

Terrier Trouble – Head coach Jack Parker was none too pleased with his team’s effort against Boston College. “I have never been involved in a BC game in which we were so totally dominated,” he said after the game. “We were beaten in every phase of the game. We were embarrassed on the power play and in penalty killing.”

No Terrier has hit double-digits in points yet this season, and last year’s leading scorer, Frantisek Skladany, is still seeking his first goal.

“They (BC) have talent, and they played hard tonight," Parker added. "Our talent did not exist, and we did not play hard. We didn't have a guy out there that battled tonight. They beat us to every puck. It was great for them tonight and sad for us.”

If We Took a Holiday – There are still several shopping days before Christmas – unless, of course, you are a member of the New Hampshire hockey team.

The Wildcats have a game Thursday at Massachusetts, a game Saturday vs. Merrimack, and a trip to Minnesota for the Dodge Holiday Classic scheduled before Santa and his reindeer take flight. Maybe they can hit the Mall of America while they are out there.

The good news for the Wildcats is that they’ll be able to enjoy Christmas – while other teams have to get ready for post-holiday tournaments, UNH will be off until a Jan. 3 home game against Yale.


• If you were out and about last Saturday, trying to clear the roads so that the games could go on, you might be a good candidate for Hockey East’s “Top Fan” contest. Take a look at the conference web site for details, and get your nominations in by Dec. 31.

Boston College forward Tony Voce’s hat trick against Boston University was his second on CSTV’s Friday Night Hockey. The Philadelphia-area native gets particularly excited for televised games. “My family doesn’t get to watch me play very much,” he said. “(TV) is as close as I get to a home game.”

Great Weekend Getaway
120x60 - Brand Red

Dartmouth at Maine (Sat.)
There are two very attractive ECAC-Hockey East games to choose from on Saturday (the other is UMass at Harvard, with apologies to Northeastern-Princeton). Expect a goaltenders’ battle, as Dan Yacey has been terrific for the Big Green and Jimmy Howard and Frank Doyle have been – well, they’ve been Jimmy Howard and Frank Doyle. Yacey should be all right in front of a hostile Hockey East crowd as well – he didn’t play much last year, but one of his appearances was a 34-save effort in a 1-1 tie vs. New Hampshire in Manchester.

Stick Salute

I’m not always a fan of projectiles on the ice, but you’ve got to appreciate the creativity shown by whoever tossed the lobster after Boston College’s first goal against BU. It’s a salute that’s every bit as fitting as the octopus in Detroit, and it’s the first seafood I’ve seen at a hockey game that gave me a craving for Legal’s.

Bench Minor

The snow certainly spoiled what looked like a great slate of games last weekend, although I suppose we were lucky to get Friday’s games in. Even the teams that escaped to New York’s North Country were affected: UMass Lowell spent more than eight hours in the bus on its way home, a good part of it traveling at a snail’s pace behind a salt truck.

• Don’t think the Northeastern Huskies didn’t appreciate picking up their first win of the season with Keni Gibson’s 1-0 shutout of Vermont. "I think I saw Curious George jump off my back and go running," said Gibson. "It felt pretty good. I lost about 10 pounds off the shoulders." Northeastern shoots for a winning streak Saturday as it hosts Princeton.

• Rescheduling two of last weekend’s three snowed-out games has been complicated, with each coach proposing alternative dates that work within academic calendars and existing game schedules. Wednesday the conference office announced that Boston College at Providence will be played Tuesday, Jan. 20. Expect an announcement on Massachusetts at Boston University in the next couple of days. Maine at Merrimack was immediately postponed until Tuesday, Jan. 6, a relatively easy selection since spring term classes at Maine don’t start up until Jan. 12.

Merrimack’s difficulties can be tied directly to a lack of offense. The Warriors have been held to fewer than four goals in all but one Hockey East game – their lone conference win, 4-2 over Northeastern. Heading into Saturday’s game at New Hampshire, Merrimack didn’t have a player among the top 23 in Hockey East scoring, despite playing the most games in the league.

Boston University and UMass Lowell welcome a dangerous Niagara team to wrap up the first half of their seasons. The Purple Eagles – Blaise MacDonald’s old team – are 5-1-1 in their last seven and 6-0-0 in College Hockey America. And be warned: despite winning nearly 65 percent of their non-conference games, Hockey East teams are only 3-2-0 against the CHA this year.

• Sean Fields could put some BU goaltending records out of reach. He’s got more than half of his senior season yet to play, and Fields has passed Scott Cashman for the career games played (100) and career saves (2,479) records.

Providence, which will host the Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Pot after Christmas, is the lone Hockey East team already done with its first-half schedule. That tournament – which we’ll preview more extensively leading up to it – offers the most intriguing field of all the holiday get-togethers, with Clarkson, Harvard and St. Cloud State visiting.

• Four the fourth year in a row, Hockey East and the WCHA will swap referees for a weekend, giving teams exposure to officials from other parts of the country. Tim Benedetto will head west to handle two Bowling Green at Minnesota Duluth games, while the WCHA’s Jon Campion will officiate Yale at New Hampshire and Vermont at Maine (in Portland). Sorry for the extra travel, Jon – out here we don’t always play in the same rink on back-to-back nights.

• A couple of former Hockey East opponents now in the AHL got swapped Tuesday, as the Phoenix Coyotes traded Michael Schutte (Maine) to Minnesota for Chris Dyment (BU).

• Congrats to another AHLer, Garrett Stafford, who signed a professional deal with the San Jose Sharks after a tryout with the Cleveland Barons. Hard to believe the L.A. Kings and Dallas Stars, both of whom gave Stafford a look, couldn’t find room in their organizations for the talented New Hampshire alum.

• Tickets for Hockey East's championship weekend at the FleetCenter went on sale last week. Championship tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at the FleetCenter box office. Ticketmaster can be reached online at or by calling (617) 931-2000.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.

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