Friday, December 26, 2014

We've Got The Jack; USA vs. Finland as WJCs begin

Celebrating BU’s resurgence led by its freshman phenom, blog contributor defkit tags his USCHO message board posts with “BU Hockey: We’ve Got the Jack.” True, Jack Eichel has been the catalyst for BU’s first-semester success, but, in fact, for more than 65 years, BU Hockey has had “the Jack.” The names can be found all over the BU record books and in the BU Athletics Hall of Fame: Jack Parker, Jack Garrity, Jack Ferriera, Jack O’Callahan and Jacques Joubert, among others. 

Last month, another pivotal “BU Jack” received a long-overdue honor when former standout Terriers skater and ten-year head coach Jack Kelley was inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.  Kelley had previously been named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (1993), the BU Athletics Hall of Fame (1973) and the Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame (video).
● New England Hockey Journal report

“The Mentor” recently was interviewed by BU play-by-play radio announcer Bernie Corbett for Inside BU Hockey and reflected on the induction as well as the current BU squad, which he saw in action against Maine last month. Audio begins at the 34:00 minute mark. 

THFB augmented the interview with some additional questions:
Q—In your 10 seasons as BU’s head coach, besides the two NCAA titles games (1971 & 1972), is there another game that is most memorable to you?
A—In my second year, we won two games that I felt made a statement that we were on the verge of being competitive with the rest of the top teams. The first game was a 1-0 victory over Boston College at McHugh Forum. Bruce Fennie scored the lone goal, and Jack Ferriera stopped everything BC shot at him. The second game that year was a double overtime victory vs. Harvard in the Beanpot. Lyman Carter, a transfer that year, scored the winning goal. To me, those were two important wins that indicated we were headed in the right direction. The start of the third year, I believe we won our first ten games of the year and we ended up winning twenty-five games.
Q—In that same decade, who are a few players that would make your All-Opponent team?
A—Those players most memorable to me are Ken Dryden of Cornell, Joe Cavanaugh of Harvard, John Cunniff of Boston College, and Tim Sheehy of Boston College.
Q— And a personal highlight from your playing days?
A—One of the more satisfying wins from my playing days was beating Boston College 8-1; believe it or not, I scored 4 goals in that game! Which goes to show, even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally!

WJCs Begin

Team USA, led by Captain Jack Eichel, takes on defending champion Finland in a preliminary round game today that will air on the NHL Network and on Puck drop at Montreal's Bell Centre is at 3:00 p.m. ET.
● USA Hockey Game Day with preview, game notes, line charts, schedule, TV/streaming.
● SB Nation: game preview; Team USA line-up
● Team USA arrives in Montreal (video)
● USCHO: WJC preview  
WEEI College PuckCast: Scott McLaughlin and Chris Peters preview the WJCs. 
Yahoo! Sports: Top draft prospects at WJCs ; Eichel and USA hope to crash Canada’s party

This week’s Sports Illustrated’s print edition features an article by Brian Caveneuve on Eichel, who had the opportunity to wear the Kelley/Garrity era scarlet uniform that his Terrier teammates wore in last Friday’s game against the U.S. Junior National Team. 

 As the most anticipated U.S. prospect since Bobby Carpenter in 1981, 18-year-old Jack Eichel – one of 10 freshmen on Boston University’s hockey team – is a lock to become just the 7th American taken in the top spot since the draft started in 1963. His agility, reach, and explosive strides have landed his team number 2 in the nation. Without a doubt, the hockey world can already see the sport’s future. He may become the face of an NHL franchise, but first, he would like to complete his freshman year.

    “I never wanted to leave the ice. Nobody pushed me. I just never wanted to do anything else.” – Jack Eichel

    “I haven’t seen a player move that well since, I don’t want to say Mario Lemieux but he is like Mario, with his long reach and control, he has a unique ability to put the puck where you can’t get it.” – Craig Button, TSN hockey analyst

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