Tonight was supposed to be a special occasion.
After Jerry York won his record-setting 925th game in Minnesota in December, Boston College announced that the hockey team would hold Jerry York Night at Conte Forum on January 18 to celebrate the Eagle legend.
Unfortunately, for the second-straight weekend, York will not be in the house as he recovers from a second retina surgery. He will miss both tonight’s game against UMass and tomorrow night’s game at Northeastern. There is no established timetable for his return.
On the-night-formerly-known-as-Jerry York Night, the Minutemen will ride into Chestnut Hill after having been swept in a weekend home-and-home against Providence. Overall play has not been great for UMass, as BC’s opponents are 7-11-2 (4-8-1). Two of those losses came against the Eagles much earlier in the season; this will be the final regular season meeting between the two. On the other side, BC split a home-and-home with Top 5 team New Hampshire last weekend.
On October 19, in the first of those Boston College victories over UMass, the Eagles erased a three-goal deficit in the third period. Trailing 3-0 at the second intermission, captain Pat Mullane scored the two tying goals in the final four minutes. Johnny Gaudreau notched the game-winner over three and a half minutes into overtime. On November 4, BC crushed UMass’s spirit again, overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the third period to eventually tie the game and win it on a Patrick Brown goal with less than four minutes left in regulation.
UMass has had two very realistic chances to tie or beat Boston College already this season but were unable to cash in on either one. One would think the visiting team would remember this and try to exact some revenge, but at Conte Forum, that has not been going well for them. The last time UMass beat BC in the Eagles’ own building was on November 17, 2007.
The Minutemen simply aren’t that good of a team, and even though the Eagles might not be playing as well as they did in those very early stages of the 2012-13 campaign, they’re still in a much stronger position. With the directions in which both teams seem to be going, it will be an uphill battle for UMass to try to get their first win at Boston College in over five years.
The puck drops at 7pm; coverage can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub.