With all of the skilled offensive players that Boston College has, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all. Opposing coaches may try to focus on Chris Kreider or Johnny Gaudreau, only to get burned by Pat Mullane or Steven Whitney.
Or Paul Carey… with as many weapons as the Eagles have, it’s easy to lose sight of Carey, a native of Weymouth, Mass., who is one of just six seniors for Boston College. Carey has been ever-present for BC this season, collecting 27 points on 15 goals and 12 assists, including four power play tallies and a pair of game-winners. A draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, Carey has 83 points in his four-year career, having appeared in 145 games entering the Frozen Four.
Carey and his fellow seniors will be trying to add to the national title that they claimed as sophomores in 2010, while at the same time attempting to erase the memories of last season’s surprising loss in the NCAA West Regional. INCH caught up with Carey as the Eagles prepare for next weekend’s semifinal matchup with Minnesota.
Kevin Zeise: You guys have won everything you’ve set out to win this season—the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular season and tournament championships, the Northeast Region—so do you feel any pressure to finish the job with two more wins next weekend in Tampa?
Paul Carey: I don’t think there’s any pressure, I just think that’s what we set out to do. We don’t feel there’s pressure to win; we want to win, that’s what we strive for, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
INCH: What’s it going to mean for this year’s group of seniors to close out your career with another national title?
Carey: That’d be incredible. There’s no better way to end your college career than on top, and that’s what we hope to do. It just makes a special bond between you and your team that will last forever.
INCH: Facing Minnesota in the semifinals next weekend, what does it mean to face a program that has as strong of a reputation as the what Boston College has in order to get to the championship game?
Carey: We’re very excited. Just talking to the seniors, and we talked about how it’s kind of special to play different teams and as many teams as you can in school. Duluth was a team we’d never played, and we’re excited to play Minnesota because we’ve never skated with them. They’re such a great program with a great history, so I think it’s going to be a good matchup. It should be a high-skilled, high-speed, energetic, entertaining game.
INCH: What was the feeling like in the closing moments against Duluth, knowing you were going back to the Frozen Four?
Carey: It was a real special feeling. It’s such a great group of guys we have here, and being a senior, I didn’t want my career to end like that. We’re all very excited that we get to play more games with this group of guys and head down to Tampa and soak up all the fun and great things that come along with going to the Frozen Four.
INCH: How big of a role has the memory of last season’s loss to Colorado College been in your team’s setting out to accomplish your goals this year?
Carey: That game, we put it in the past, but at the same time, you can’t help but think you could have been here the year before. I think we learned from last year, we had such a great team and for whatever reason, we couldn’t get past Colorado. We had a bitter taste in our mouths after last year’s tournament, so we really came out a lot hungerier this year.
INCH: What do you expect to see out of yourself on the ice next weekend?
Carey: Being a senior leader, I expect to bring a lot of energy to the game. Skating, forechecking, backchecking, get pucks to the net, do all the little things that in turn will add up, and some of the younger guys will try to mimic what some of the older guys do. Don’t cheat the game at all, and play right, and I think we’ll come out on top.
INCH: How important is it for the older guys on the team to make sure the younger players know what is expected of a player at Boston College?
Carey: It’s pretty easy to be a leader at BC because Coach York does such a great job of recruiting great young guys. The younger guys don’t need too much advice, they just go about their day and they try to mimic the upperclassmen because we have been there and we have been very successful. I think that being great kids and having good character, it’s really easy to lead these guys.
INCH: So it’s more leading by example than anything that you might say or do in the locker room?
Carey: Absolutely. Whether it’s in the weight room, on the ice, how we conduct ourselves on campus, we try to set the bar high for the younger guys to imitate.