Scoping Out The National Championship
By Greg Joyce, Sports Editor
TAMPA — Before Boston College hit the ice for one final practice on Friday afternoon, head coach Jerry York and his players took some time to talk about the game they’ve been looking at from afar all year: the National Championship.
York trains his players to see the season using a microscope and a telescope. The microscope is zoomed in on each game of the regular season and each passing trophy the Eagles can win, while the telescope is always set on the national title. It’s all about the trophies for BC, and the team will have the chance to get the most important one Saturday night.
“The microscope and telescope idea has really been important for our team this year,” said senior captain Tommy Cross. “I think as you move along during the course of the year, the microscope and the telescope start to come together a little bit to the point where right now, essentially they’re the same thing. I think that work that you put in, every team puts that work in, and it gives you a sense of confidence going into a game. That work’s been done, but I think the most important work will be tomorrow night on the ice.”
(Graham Beck / Heights Editor)
BC’s backstop, Parker Milner, echoed Cross’ sentiment the morning after making 30 saves against Minnesota.
“Coach talks about the microscope and the telescope. And we’re right here, right now, and that’s incredibly exciting for us,” Milner said. “We know that we’ve put in the extra work, and if we continue to do that, it’s going to be really exciting to see that work go into action on Saturday night.”
Now, there is only one game left in the season and the Eagles will turn their full attention to a Ferris State squad that beat Union 3-1 on Thursday. In that game, the Bulldogs played a slow, defensive style of hockey. While BC won its game with a high-paced 60 minutes, Cross addressed the two different playing styles, and how his team would deal with Ferris St.
“Focusing on our game plan and our approach and what we do,” Cross said. “You’ll become familiar with the personnel of your opponent and their tendencies, in this case Ferris State and what they do. But, at the same time, a lot of our attention is geared towards our own performance, the way we’re playing and the way we’re handling certain situations. When you focus your own game you dictate how the game’s going to be played rather than letting it get dictated by someone else.”
Nobody has more respect for Ferris State than York, who saw plenty of the Bulldogs when we was a coach at Bowling Green, a fellow CCHA team.
“We’re playing an outstanding hockey team here, that’s ranked nationally No. 1 during the course of the year,” York said. “And Bob Daniels–the national coach of the year for the second time in the last seven or eight years—has done an unbelievable job at Ferris. There is a lot of respect from our staff toward Bob, and we have our hands full. But, we’re prepared to really focus on the Bulldogs and come out of the gate really, really strong tomorrow night.”
Caught up in the importance of this Frozen Four stage is the fact that the Eagles have now won 18 straight games, the streak dating back to Jan. 21. Yet BC has been able to look past that win streak, and instead focus on the bigger picture.
“I don’t think we talk about it much,” York said of the streak. “You know, here’s our next opponent. And like Tommy [Cross] said, we play so many different opponents in hockey that you can’t adjust to every team you play. So, you better keep your own ship ready, you know. So, we work on fundamentals. We work on ‘here’s what we do.’ And, we’ll tweak a little bit.
“Ferris is a little different that Minnesota. Minnesota is a little different than the University of New Hampshire. But I think our focus now is pretty easy. You have one game to win a trophy. We’re looking at that shiny trophy.”