Sunday, December 19, 2010

Looking back: Q&A with Dave Tomlinson

The 1990-91 Terriers, now marking their 20th anniversary, thrilled BU fans with an explosive offense that produced 234 goals, second most in program history. Thirty of those goals came off the stick of Dave Tomlinson, better known to teammates and fans as “Sniper.”

Once February arrived, the '90-'91 squad pushed its game into high gear. They thumped BC, 8-4, to win the Beanpot, then beat Maine, 4-3 in overtime on Shawn McEachern’s breakaway goal (video) to win the Hockey Championship. The post-season push took them past Michigan and Clarkson to the National Championship game against Northern Michigan, which the Terriers lost, 8-7 in 3 OTs, just moments after a McEachern shot hit both posts.

Following a four-year career at BU that produced 77 goals and 179 points (7th best on the all-time BU list), Tomlinson played 42 games for three NHL teams before going on to become a high-scoring standout in Europe, including six season with the Mannheim Eagles. This year the North Vancouver, B.C., native became the radio analyst for Canucks broadcasts. You can hear him on Canucks games, which are live streamed.

Dave recently participated in our latest Q&A discussing his career at BU and as a professional:

Q. Dave, since this is the 20th anniversary of the 90-91 team that came ¼-inch from a national title, let’s start with that team and the championship game vs. Northern Michigan. That was a team that many BU fans feel was among the best squads not to win a national title and certainly among the most talented. Have you watched the entire game on tape?
A. I’ve seen parts of the game but not the full game in its entirety. It is pretty painful to think about how close we came to winning it all. After being up after the first period there were thoughts of closing in on a National Championship, and after battling back after being down late in the game, it was almost like it was meant to be…but the puck never made its way across the line and we came up short. It was an emotional roller-coaster for sure, and a game I’ll never forget being a part of.

Q. Once BU tied the score late in the third period, how confident were you that BU would win in overtime?
A. Well, with all the talent on that team, and such a great, tight group of seniors, it was almost like someone was certainly going to be the hero on our side. I remember Tony Amonte being almost unstoppable in that game. David Sacco was the guy that tallied the equalizer with the goalie pulled, and, in between the third period and overtime, there was talk of getting it over early. Obviously that wasn’t the case as the game went into the third overtime, and I remember the goal against like it was yesterday! It would have been a fantastic way to cap off my college hockey career, but it did remind me of how hard it is to win championships, which is something I carried through my pro career…not wanting to experience that losing feeling again in a final.

Q. How do you think the 90-91 team stacks up against the teams that won national titles in 1995 and 2009?
A. I wish I could have seen those other teams in person to make a fair comparison, but I will say our team in 1991 had young speed and skill with Shawn McEachern, Tony Amonte, David Sacco and Keith Tkachuk, some quality defence with Scott LaChance, Phil Von Steffenelli and Peter Ahola, and some hard workers like Ed Ronan and myself. Add in characters like Mark Krys and goalie John Bradley, and I will say our group might have been the closest group of any teams I’ve played on. Although the two other teams mentioned won National Championships and our team didn’t, I’ll take my squad against the others in quadruple overtime, this time with us finally connecting in O.T.! MORE Q&A

Looking ahead
Cason Hohmann’s hattrick, his second of the season, led Cedar Rapids to a 5-0 win over Cedar Rapids. The 2011 recruit now has 11 goals in 18 games

2012 recruit Robert Polesello got the fireworks going a minute into the Vaughan-Dixie OJHL game with his 12th goal of the season. He added a pair of assists in the Vipers 9-2 win.

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