Boston College 2012-13 Year in Review, Part III: Men’s Hockey

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Regular Season and Playoffs

Following a blowout exhibition win over New Brunswick, Boston College hockey opened its regular season and title defense on the road at Northeastern. They promptly snapped their 19-game winning streak after a 3-1 loss down the road in Boston, but it did not take them long to start a new one: following that loss to the Huskies, the Eagles won ten games in a row, including a big comeback win at UMass in mid-October, consecutive shutouts by Parker Milner, and a win against Notre Dame prior to the football contest. BC was 10-1 by then, having won 29 of their last thirty games in what could only be described as one of a memorable program’s most memorable stretches.

But was that their peak? Perhaps not, but things never quite got as good for the Eagles as they were at the start of the season.

With the NHL lockout in full effect when the 2012-13 season began, college hockey got a great deal more attention. In fact, sports networks devoted more time and resources to their broadcasts. Doc Emrick of NBC Sports and Jack Edwards of NESN even called some Boston College games prior to the resumption of the pro hockey season. It brought additional good exposure to the program, and the game in general, though at one of those NBC Sports games against Boston University, the unpleasantness began.

The Eagles had a chance on November 30 to seal Jerry York’s record-tying 924th win at Agganis Arena against the Terriers, but they fell by a score of 4-2 and so ended their ten-game win streak. BC got back on the saddle the following night at home and tied the record for York against BU, but then, on December 7, they had a chance to lock up his 925th career victory with a road game against the Providence Friars.

It seemed within grasp that evening, with Boston College nursing a 3-2 lead inside of one minute to go. Thing is, Parker Milner let the game-tying goal slip past him with eleven seconds remaining, and the game ended in an overtime tie. We knew that the “mid-season slump” had begun, but what we did not know was that it wasn’t going to end.

York got his 925th win after Christmas break against Alabama-Huntsville in the Mariucci Classic. Fans might have hoped that he’d get the record at home, or at least in nearby Providence, but we had to settle for Minneapolis. Unfortunately, the celebration was short-lived as the host university, Minnesota, annihilated the Eagles the following night in an 8-1 drubbing, the likes of which Boston College hockey has not seen in quite some time. Johnny Gaudreau was off to Ufa winning the World Juniors for America at the time, but he would not have made the difference in that game.

From then on, BC hockey was a rollercoaster ride. They snapped out of their malaise in time to win the 2013 Beanpot and defend their title once again, but once it was over, the Eagles got right back to their win-one-lose-one type of hockey. In fact, the Eagles went from mid-November until early February without winning consecutive games. Following the ten-game win streak early in the year, the longest one they were able to put together was three games, one of which was in February and the other was in March.

Jerry York Night — the night to celebrate the coach’s 925th win — got cancelled twice, once by his eye surgery and the other time by Winter Storm Nemo. Perhaps it was a bad omen.

Boston College typically comes out of their slumps by Beanpot time, which is what the Eagles appeared to do as they hoisted the trophy once more, but this time, the slump reinitialized. BC did not win the Hockey East regular season title — UMass-Lowell did — but the Eagles still had a good draw in the Hockey East Tournament by facing Vermont. The senior class continued their perfect record in that competition with a quarterfinals sweep of the Catamounts, but all good things must come to an end.

The following weekend, the Eagles lost their final match against Jack Parker and Boston University in the Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden, giving the graduates their first and only loss at the venue or in the tournament. As it turns out, their series-clincher against Vermont would be their final win of the season.

Boston College made the NCAA Tournament as a #2 seed in the Providence region, drawing the Union Dutchmen in the regional semifinals. In a game that reminded a few fans of the futile disaster that was Colorado College two years earlier, the Eagles went down to a bitter 5-1 defeat in the first round and sealed an early exit from their national title defense.

From the day their ten-game win streak ended, Boston College hockey went a very average 12-11-4. They had their highs and lows, with the peak perhaps coming with their Beanpot win in February, but “trophy season” was very quiet this year. Even Johnny Gaudreau, considered a leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, fell just short despite another stellar season.