The holidays are great and all but there is something to be said for getting back into your usual routine and enjoying each regular day. After three weeks off – for final exams and winter break – our four local college hockey teams were back in action this past weekend. Boston College and Boston University played in special tournaments or games in the Midwest and West respectively while Northeastern and Harvard competed against each other. The big takeaway as we head into 2013 was Eagles head coach Jerry York. Thanks to a 5-2 victory against Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday, he reached 925 career wins. That made him the new NCAA wins leader, passing Ron Mason (who retired in 2002 from Michigan State). York is only 67, so 1000 wins are certainly within reach, it is just a question of how much longer he wants to coach. At least at this point, he is showing no signs of slowing down at Chestnut Hill.
1) Boston College (12-3-1, 9-2-1 in Hockey East; No. 2 in USCHO.com poll, 5 of 50 1st place votes)
Last week: Beat Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 on Saturday then lost 8-1 to No. 1 Minnesota on Sunday, both games were at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis.
Next games: Host No. 17 Yale on Friday
The win over Alabama-Huntsville was a foregone conclusion, York could have used the equipment managers and student assistants and they still would have won. Getting embarrassed like that by the Gophers, however, is perplexing. Yes, it was basically on Minnesota’s home ice and there was the obvious emotional letdown from the night before (getting the record for York) but we’ll have to see if it was just a blip or perhaps the start of something negative. There is no shame in losing to the No. 1 team in the country but being on the wrong side of 8-1 is something which never happens to BC.
2) Boston University (10-6-0, 8-4-0 in Hockey East; No. 9 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 6-0 at No. 11 Denver in the Hall of Fame Game
Next game: Host Rensselaer on Friday
Photos from BU hockey’s twitter account last weekend showed them having fun, enjoying the sights and sounds of Denver. That all ended quickly as they were humbled by the Pioneers. The Terriers gave up three goals in the first period and one in the second so they were never really in it. That must have been a pretty long and quiet flight back to Boston. The good news for BU was that the loss was a non-conference game and they have two more remaining before they ease back into Hockey East action.
3) Harvard (4-5-1, 3-3-0 in ECAC; received 10 votes in the USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 5-1 to Northeastern on Friday
Next game: At Princeton on Friday; at No. 5 Quinnipiac on Saturday
They have only played four games in that time (0-3-1) but the Crimson last won a game on Nov. 16 (4-1 at Cornell). They suffered their second straight lopsided loss to a Hockey East foe and ECAC play couldn’t come at a worse time for Harvard. Getting any points at Quinnipiac is a tall order, especially in the second night of a back-to-back. The game Friday in New Jersey is basically a must-win.
4) Northeastern (6-9-1, 3-8-1 in Hockey East)
Last week: Won 5-1 at Harvard on Saturday
Next game: Host Bentley on Saturday
What a difference a win can make. After losing two consecutive games and five of its last six heading into the break, Northeastern must have used its ample downtime to refocus. It might have come against a depleted-Harvard squad but the Huskies’ four-goal victory was their largest margin of the season – certainly something to build on. They should feast on Bentley before getting back to Hockey East action next weekend.
Star of the week
Boston College sophomore forward Johnny Gaudreau
The Eagles star spent his break with the U.S. National Junior Team at the Under-20 World Championship in Ufa, Russia. After a slow start (1 assist in 3 games), he has really picked it up with two goals and an assist in a 9-3 win vs. Slovakia on Monday and a hat trick in a 7-0 win vs. Czech Republic this morning in the quarterfinals. Team USA faces archrival Canada (4 a.m., NHL Network) on Thursday morning in the semifinals. Set your DVR, you have to savor every time the U.S. faces Canada at any level or at any venue.
Quote of the week
From ESPNBoston.com’s Brion O’Connor:
“He deserves all the accolades,” said BU head coach Jack Parker about Jerry York. “He’s a very good coach who’s run great programs at three different places and has done an unbelievable job making this program the best it’s ever been.”
‘This is a place where they’ve had two other coaches who’ve won 500 games,” referring to John Kelley and Len Ceglarski. “It’s had a lot of good hockey for a long, long time. And he’s the best they’ve ever hard.”