Measures Up: Ben Eaves
Preseason First-Team All-American Ben Eaves leads a Boston
College team seeking a return to the NCAA Tournament following
last year’s disappointing season. For Ben, the 2002-03
season will truly be a family affair – brother Patrick
joins him on the Boston College team, and father Mike takes
over as head coach at Wisconsin. Oct. 25 the Eaves brothers
face off against their father and the Badgers at Conte Forum.
Ben Eaves captains the
2002-03 BC Eagles.
College Hockey: How did you spend your summer vacation?
Eaves: I spent the first part here at school. A
lot of the guys stick around and take classes, work out,
and get jobs. I worked for (teammate) Billy Cass’s
father as a seal coater – sealing driveways and parking
lots at night.
Then I split
time between our house in Fairbault, Minn., and Madison,
Wisc. We were just moving in to Madison. So I was bouncing
back and forth, working out, and skating every day.
What were your impressions of Madison?
It’s an unbelievable place. I’ve spent time
there before, but I never realized how fun it was. There’s
a lot of energy around campus and in the city.
When you got together as a family, did you, Patrick, and
your dad talk about the season much?
We didn’t, but we got a few laughs because other people
kept bringing it up. It’s going to be a fun night
for everyone when we play Wisconsin – the Eaves family
in one place, which hasn’t happened too often with
my dad’s schedule and Patrick and I always playing
games. We’ll have people from all over flying in for
Who plays more like your father, you or Patrick?
I’d say I do. Patrick has a different build –
he’s taller and lankier, so he can play more of a
physical game. I’m more like my dad – think
pass first, and try to survive as a little guy in a big
Do you and Patrick expect to play together?
I hope so. Coach has talked about it a little bit. We’ve
grown up playing together, and I think with our styles,
we complement each other.
What should people expect from your dad’s team this
People are going to see his commitment to winning. Wherever
he goes, he puts everything into his job. When he comes
home, 12 or 14 hours later, you can see that he’s
completely exhausted. As for his team, he’s been really
excited about the way his team has been working, and he’s
looking forward to getting on the ice.
Say you’ve got a recruit staying with you at BC who’s
headed to Wisconsin the next weekend. What do you tell him?
I’d probably get a shot or two in there about my dad.
I’d have to. But there’s not really any competition
– I think he’s got a great situation there,
and Patrick and I have a great situation here.
more like my dad – think pass first, and try
to survive as a little guy in a big man’s game.
– Ben Eaves
Talk about Boston a little bit – what’s your
favorite spot in the city?
There’s a place called The Stockyard – a great
steakhouse, and it’s as Irish as they come. We were
there for St. Patrick’s Day, and they had bagpipes
and the works. We take my mom there every time she’s
We hear you’re quite a musician.
I wouldn’t say that – I play around on the guitar
a bit. I used to play with Brian Gionta and Mike Lephart
a bit, and some of the guys now are getting into it. Taylor
Leahy can play a bit, and Ryan Shannon and Ryan Murphy are
looking to buy guitars. We may have to get a little band
What’s in your CD player now?
A friend just gave me a Stevie Ray Vaughn CD, Blues at Sunrise.
It’s classic blues – relaxing, fun to listen
Back to hockey – favorite team to play against?
BU. There’s so much energy between the two schools,
it makes for an unbelievable atmosphere.
Favorite player to play against?
There’s a couple of kids on Denver I’m really
looking forward to playing against (Oct. 18 in Chestnut
Hill). Ryan Caldwell and Max Bull were teammates of mine
in high school at Shattuck St. Mary’s. If I can keep
a straight face when I’m on the ice with those two
guys, I’m pretty focused.
Who’s the best practical joker in the BC locker room?
We’ve got a bunch of guys – but Anthony
D’Arpino’s the best. You’ve got to keep
an eye out when he’s around.
Who can do the best Coach York impression?
Ben McManama’s a good impressionist. I’d recommend
So you’ve got BU, Wisconsin and Denver circled on
your schedule – anything else?
I’m really excited to go to Minnesota for
the Mariucci Classic. I’ll be back closer to home,
and I know about three-fourths of the guys on the Gophers.
It would be fun to go out and spoil their party. And we
play our old assistant coach, Scott Paluch, in the first
game against Bowling Green.
Between BC and Team USA, you’ve had a lot of highlights
in your hockey career – can you single one out?
It would have to be winning the national championship (as
a freshman in 2001). That’s what everyone’s
going for, and not too many people get to experience it.
Everything has to come together – all the mottos,
and all the hard work. Coming in as a freshman and playing
on a team like that – with so many NHL caliber players
– was an amazing experience.
Are you guys ready to get back to that level?
I think so. We took a lot of bumps last year, and hopefully
we learned a lot of lessons. There’s a lot of excitement
around here, and we can’t wait to get going.