The Scoring Life: BC's Reality T.V.
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.
bothers Voce, it doesn’t show. And to hear his description
of his game, you’d think he doesn’t deserve
kind of joke about it, but I’m kind of the trash-goal
guy,” he said.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
chances are, Tony Voce will still be picking up bundles
of garbage goals.
AND HEARD IN HOCKEY EAST
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.
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.
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.”
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
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
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.”
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.”
has hit double-digits in points yet this season, and last
year’s leading scorer, Frantisek Skladany, is still
seeking his first goal.
(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.”
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.
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
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.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
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
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
at Maine (Sat.)
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.
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.
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 www.ticketmaster.com/artist/852156
or by calling (617) 931-2000.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this