Van der Gulik leads upstart BU into semifinals
University entered this season knowing its offense would
rely on scoring by committee. It took a bit longer than
Terrier fans might have liked, but by the end of the regular
season, that committee had found its chairman: David Van
der Gulik scored three goals in the final weekend of the
regular season against UNH, including the overtime winner
that vaulted the Terriers into the playoffs. The sophomore
from Abbottsford, British Columbia, leads the team with
13 goals heading into Friday night’s Hockey East semifinals.
der Gulik took some time this week to talk to Inside College
Hockey about the upstart Terriers and how they’ve
turned a disastrous season around.
College Hockey: You guys had the big upset of the weekend,
and against BC no less. Can you describe the mood in the
locker room right now?
Van der Gulik: It’s great, especially after
the year we’ve had. It’s a new season in the
playoffs, and going in that’s what we emphasized.
Every game against BC is a big one, and it’s not hard
to get up for them. The feeling in the dressing room was
that we had nothing to lose, and that’s how we played.
Do you guys feel like you’ve turned around a disappointing
season at this point?
I know personally it was a tough year for me, as it was
for our whole team. I feel like we were really close to
being a good team all year. We had a lot of ties, and if
we could have put away some more chances, we could have
finished much higher in the league than we did.
into the playoffs we knew we had a better team than our
record, and we wanted to show that. Our goal is definitely
to win the Hockey East championship.
Record: 28-7-3 (17-5-2)
Black Bear Fact: For a team defined by its
nation-leading defense and goaltending, the Black
Bears have two players averaging a point per game
(Colin Shields and Michel Leveille) and a third with
20 goals (Todd Jackson).
How Maine Wins: If the Black Bears have a
flaw, it’s their power play, which is 26th in
the nation and went 0-for-10 last weekend. Get a power
play goal or two and continue doing everything else
they are doing – great goaltending, physical
play, and timely scoring – and they will be
very, very tough to beat.
Record: 18-11-6 (12-9-3)
Minuteman Fact: UMass and UNH split
the season series evenly, 1-1-1. The Minutemen’s
win over the Wildcats on Feb. 6 is their only victory
in the series’ last 11 meetings, including last
year’s Hockey East semifinals.
How UMass Wins: Talk about getting
contributions from throughout your lineup: UMass’s
hero last week was backup goaltender Tim Warner, and
its first two goal scorers in the series clincher
were Josh Hanson and Dusty Demianiuk. They’ll
need to keep getting support for the likes of Greg
Mauldin, Stephen Werner and Thomas Pöck to take
two games this weekend.
4 New Hampshire
Record: 20-13-6 (10-8-6)
Wildcat Fact: UNH didn’t win
a Hockey East title in their first 17 years in the
league, but the Wildcats are two-time defending champions
in the tournament entering this weekend.
How UNH Wins: Consistency has plagued
the Wildcats, who haven’t won back-to-back games
since mid-January (and haven’t won on back-to-back
nights since November). The key is defensive intensity,
starting from senior leaders Mike Lubesnick and Mick
Mounsey. If the Wildcats are blocking shots and pursuing
the puck all over the ice, they could capture their
third straight playoff title.
8 Boston University
Record: 12-16-9 (6-13-5)
Terrier Fact: If BU wins two games
this weekend, the Terriers would enter the NCAA Tournament
with the fewest victories of any team since the 1982
Harvard Crimson, who went into that tourney with a
How BU Wins: Maintain the emotional
high from last week. That may be easier said than
done, since they aren’t facing their archrival,
but the Terriers truly can play like there is no tomorrow
– and they've put forth their best efforts in
that situation. They can also follow the lead of goaltender
Sean Fields, who has been the MVP of the last three
tournaments he’s played at the FleetCenter,
although two of those have been in losing causes.
It seems like you guys had a lot of confidence going into
Saturday’s game, even though they beat you 4-0 on
Friday. What’s been the difference?
We played a pretty solid game in the first game,
then had a letdown. They played well in all three games,
but they were really good in the second game. Going into
the third game, it was just one game, do or die. When we
have had our backs against the wall, there’s been
a real good feeling in the locker room that we were going
to win. A lot of times this year we’ve had problems
with our confidence, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
It wasn’t the case when we were playing New Hampshire
and we knew we had to win to make the playoffs, either.
You got banged up Friday – was there any chance you’d
I hit a guy with about 10 minutes left in the game
Friday and got a pretty bad charley horse. I missed the
rest of the game, and I guess after the game coach told
the media that I wasn’t going to be able to play Saturday.
I hadn't even talked to him yet. But I got some treatment
and the next day I skated a little and felt all right.
Feeling better now?
My legs are still a little beat up, but I’m feeling
better. Once the adrenaline gets going you’re fine.
It’s the playoffs, you have to play.
Looking back a couple of weeks, it was really your three
goals against New Hampshire that got you guys into this
situation. What memories stick with you from that weekend?
We knew we had to win because we couldn’t put it in
the hands of Northeastern and UMass. I scored that first
goal – our first against Ayers in a long, long time
– and it was really a load off our backs.
Hampshire, going into overtime, we knew we had to win. Coach
was telling us that he was going to pull the goalie, which
would have been wild. I just put the puck to the net and
got a chance to get to my rebound. Everybody was jumping
around in the locker room. It was the best feeling we had
this year – until we beat BC.
Do you guys have a feeling at all that you guys are finally
getting some good karma in the last few games after the
season you’ve had?
Definitely the bounces are going our way. We’ve
had some good luck, plus [Sean] Fields behind us has been
making big saves. But we’ve been playing real well
and making some of that good luck happen.
Tell us about your first impressions of the city of Boston.
I came for my visit in the summer after my junior year of
high school, so I didn’t see a game. The first time
I saw a BU game, I was playing in it.
What were your first impressions of playing in the FleetCenter?
That was the Beanpot last year, so I have great memories
of it. It was the biggest crowd I’d ever played in
front of, so I was pretty nervous. That’s a great
tournament, the best one in college hockey, I think.
You’re heading back to the Fleet this weekend. Do
you still get nervous for those games?
Sometimes I almost over-psych myself out. You try to take
it as just another game, but every time we play there, there’s
a lot on the line. BU teams always seem to play well in
games like that, and hopefully that’s something we
can keep going.
Do you have guys on this team who have helped you along
the way, guys you have looked up to?
All the seniors last year really helped me make
the adjustment from juniors to college hockey. Our captain,
Freddy Meyer, and the two seniors I played with last year,
John Sabo and Brian Collins, definitely helped with that
year, it’s not so much that I look up to guys, but
I work to get better. Going up against guys like Ryan Whitney
in practice is amazing. I try to set an example and hopefully
I can be a leader.
Who’s the entertainer in the dressing room for you
We have our share of guys like that, but definitely the
storyteller who stands out is Steve Greeley. Through all
the frustration, you need guys to help ease the tension.
Coach Parker can be a character himself. How’s he
been this year?
The way things have gone, he could have been really down
on us this year. He’s let us know how he’s felt
sometimes, but for such a tough year, he’s done an
excellent job keeping things relaxed. He’s kept practices
loose and changed things up when they haven’t gone