March 18, 2006
Hockey East Championship
Yip, Yip, Hooray!
BU claimed the Hockey East title, and a freshman provided the difference

By Jeff Howe

Boston University 2,
Boston College 1 OT
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BC Mike Brennan (1) EV
3:24 J. Rooney

Second Period

1-BU John McCarthy (2) EV
14:30 B. McGuirk, R. Weston
Third Period
No Scoring
2-BU Brandon Yip (9) EV
14:22 C. Higgins, J. Lawrence
BC: Cory Schneider, 74:22, 37 saves, 2 GA
BU: John Curry, 74:22, 29 saves, 1 GA
Penalties: BC 6/12; BU 4/8
Power Plays: BC 0-4; BU 0-6
Attendance: 16,433
All-Tournament Team
G: Cory Schneider, Boston College
D: Peter Harrold, Boston College
D: Dan Spang, Boston University
F: David Van der Gulik, Boston University (MVP)
F: Brian Boyle, Boston College
F: Jacob Micflikier, New Hampshire

BOSTON – David Van der Gulik may have been the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, but freshman Brandon Yip was the hero.

The Hockey East Rookie of the Year had been mired in an 11-game goal-scoring drought, having not lit the lamp since Feb. 3, but he beat Cory Schneider – who looked invincible during both nights at the Garden – 14:22 into overtime to crown Boston University as 2-1 winners over Boston College and the 2006 Hockey East Champions.

“It’s nice to savor this,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “We haven’t won this tournament since 1997. We’ve been in the finals a couple times and the semifinals a lot, but we haven’t been able to get the championship trophy. That has been a goal of ours all year long. Last year was a good year, but we got beat in the semifinals. This year, we’ve got to win a championship at the end of the season, and we finally got one.”

Jason Lawrence carried the puck into the zone on the left side and fired a pass across the ice to Chris Higgins at the right point. Higgins then found Yip at the back door, and Yip was able to knock the puck past the left post and Schneider’s right skate to cause a wild celebration at the TD Banknorth Garden.

“Jay [Lawrence] made a great play coming across the blue line going wide, and he gave it to Higgins,” Yip said. “I just went to the net hard, and he was able to find my stick. Fortunately, it went in.”

Yip, Higgins and Lawrence – BU’s Orange Line – capped off yet another stellar performance at the Garden, as the freshman trio was also instrumental in the Terriers’ Beanpot championship in early February.

“If you can’t get excited in front of 18,000 people, there is something wrong with you,” Yip said. “Just coming to the Garden and seeing all the jerseys up top is just amazing.”

“They have stepped up all year long,” BU goalie John Curry said. “They play with so much confidence. That third line is unbelievable . They have been getting it done for us, and we’re going to need them to continue to do that. The winning goal was pretty fitting for the Hockey East championship.”


With the way that John Curry and Cory Schneider had been playing in net throughout the night, it appeared that it may have taken a Herculean effort to end the game before sunrise on Sunday morning.

Schneider stopped 37 Terrier shots on the evening and four in overtime while Curry made 10 huge saves in the extra frame and 29 total. The BC netminder stole the show in regulation, but it was Curry’s backstopping efforts in the 14-plus minutes of bonus hockey that caused a majority of the championship highlights.

“John contributed a lot in this game,” Brandon Yip said. “He made some big saves in overtime. He basically got it done for us.”

With 15:44 to play in overtime, Curry was able to get his right leg in the way of a tough wrister off the stick of Benn Ferriero from the left point, and he used his glove to bat away a high wrister from Brett Motherwell three minutes later.

“At that point, it was pure adrenaline reactions,” Curry said. “You’re not thinking about much. You’re just trying to remain as high in the crease as you can and just react. You’re just going on pure instinct. I made some plays, but my defense really helped me out as well.”

Boston College kept pushing the envelope, and after the Eagles ripped off three quick shots around the eight-minute mark of OT, Jack Parker was forced to call a timeout to settle his troops down. Two minutes later, Curry got some extra help from his two best friends – the left and right posts.

“John Curry made some big saves,” BC coach Jerry York said. “He got a little lucky on some of them.”

His teammates, particularly those on the freshman line who said they wanted to win this game for the veterans, were just happy they could come through for Curry after he was able to come through for them for 74 minutes.

“He kept us in the game,” Chris Higgins said. “They were really taking it to us in overtime. He is just a great goalie. He is unbelievable, and he can steal games like that for us when the pressure is totally on our side. He was a big backbone for us, and luckily we got that quick break and could get that goal for him.”

INCH's Three Stars of the Weekend

3. John Curry, Boston University
He didn’t have to be perfect on Friday night since his team put up a nine-spot against the Wildcats, but his 10 saves in the overtime period ranged from very difficult to Academy Award-winning.

2. Cory Schneider, Boston College
He, on the other hand, was – and had to be – phenomenal from the drop of the puck on Friday throughout the championship contest. The Eagles will need him to play like this if they hope to make any noise in hockey’s Big Dance.

1. Brandon Yip, Boston University
It doesn’t really matter if no one can recall what he did in the semifinal or even his performance for the first 74 minutes of the championship game (although he and his line were solid), but everyone will remember the freshman’s championship clinching score.


• The BC student section began a first period chant of “Let’s go Eagles,” which the BU faithful responded with, “We can’t hear you!” In retaliation, a BC student yelled, “BU basketball, can you hear that?” This was all going on while the Eagle hoops team was finishing up its disposal of Montana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament while the BU hoopsters were – well – probably at home watching.

• As per the usual game between the Terriers and Eagles, there was plenty of hitting to go around, but BC’s Mike Brennan apparently didn’t expect that to come from the goal post, too. Brennan was chasing BU forward Kenny Roche in the BC zone when he and the left post became acquainted. The post won.

• Rhett the Terrier and Baldy the Eagle have had plenty of opportunities to get to know each other with their respective schools meeting for the fifth time on the ice this season. But when Rhett and Baldy both dove headfirst into one of the nets during the second intermission and began spooning for a couple seconds, their familiarity turned into a painfully awkward feeling throughout the rest of the building.

• David Van der Gulik was on the wrong end of a great hit midway through the third period in the BC zone. Van der Gulik was hit low, causing him to do nearly a complete flip. He received a 5.2 on the takeoff, but got an 8.5 on the landing.

• Hobey Baker finalist Chris Collins was suffering from a hip pointer and was listed as a game-time decision after barely stepping on the ice in the semifinal round. Collins was able to play and almost put a big home goal in the second period.

• Brandon Yip said in the postgame press conference, “This was probably the biggest goal of my career.” A few seconds later Jack Parker questioned him, asking, “Probably the biggest goal of your career?” Yip – and everyone else in the room – laughed, re-thought it and responded with, “This was the biggest goal of my career.”


If you have seen the bonus features on the “Wedding Crashers” DVD, chances are you smiled each and every time the BC pep band played “99 Red Balloons.”

Former BU player and eternal local hockey hero Travis Roy was on hand in the press area each night.

A great hockey game was brutally interrupted during a second-intermission game for a lucky fan. His job was to shoot a series of pucks into a group of different nets, one of which had a voucher that allowed him to earn a free flight anywhere in the continental U.S. After the on-ice emcee told him which net to shoot for, he continually shot at the wrong ones. It was like telling your dog to go fetch a stick, but it would rather run after traffic. After awhile, though, he complied with the emcee – and the impatient crowd – and he won the airline tickets.

Rhett the Terrier was spotted out of costume before the championship game on Saturday night, but he was still acting in character as he had the attention span of a typical dog. Rhett came flying out of the media room with his head turned in the wrong direction and dumped his soda all over an esteemed member of the media.


The Terriers will be the top seed in the Worcester Regional and will make the short trip west for the second year in a row. Boston College will be in the tournament as well, but its location is still way up in the air. It’s tough to tell whether the committee will keep the Eagles close to home after their solid run in the conference tournament or if they will be sent somewhere out west after they stumbled so badly during the final leg of the regular season. Also up in the air is the fate of UNH and Maine, which both lost in the semifinals on Friday. At least one of the two should still get into the field of 16, and that appears to be Maine right now. But without any of the other automatic bids going to any Cinderella schools, UNH still has an outside chance to dance.