By now you're probably pretty aware that our Boston College Eagles took home the hardware from Detroit for the second time in three years, and the third time this decade.
I can say that by all accounts, the Frozen Four is absolutely the best sporting event I've ever been to. Even when we come up short (St. Louis in '07), it's still a blast. If you haven't made it to one yet, you're really missing out. Make it a point to go next year...hopefully our Eagles will be back in it again.
The week starts Thursday so instead of going over the game points, we're going to address the Frozen Four experience and games as a whole...best points from everything!
1W) Winning the national title / becoming team of new millennium
I have to come out of the gate stating the obvious. Winning the national championship is a GREAT accomplishment. Early on in the year Boston College didn’t look like it would be where it is today- National Champs that is. They looked solid, but a couple of early losses made many question the possibility of how far – guess they showed us.
2M) Being matched up with Miami on Thursday
Make no mistake about it, much like a big bowl game, the Frozen Four is a pretty substantial financial committment...plus if you like to eat and drink like I do, it doesn't take an accountant to tell you that you need to weigh your options here.
While Miami was the overall #1 seed and the top rated hockey club through most of the year, I was still confident. Vegas said Miami was a -120 favorite. I was still confident. All of the ESPN pundits said Miami would win. I was still confident. Why?
I'll give you three reasons why: 2006, 2007, and 2008. Yes, those are different teams--I understand that...however, the coaches are the same, and for the most part, the style of play is the same. Miami is big, physical, athletic and can grind you into submission. BC just matches up well with these teams after they've played games like that. The Eagles are just a fast, quick team that won't let the big guys push them around--they make them skate their butts off trying to catch them. That's why you usually see big third period out of our guys, they wear down the bigger teams trying to catch up and by the third their legs are shot....but I'm rambling here.
The point is that when I saw we were playing Miami, I really felt like we had a great shot of getting to the final. I have a TON of respect for Miami, I just felt like we would match up well with them...and thankfully I was right.
3W) Sticking it to the man in the third period.
Wow, while leading 1-0, BC wanted to make certain that Wisconsin wasn’t going to hang around and make it interesting. Cam Atkinson had a lot to do with that as he scored 2. But you also have to give some credit to the whole team another in particular has to be John Muse for being able to preserve a shutout against a great Wisconsin team.
4M) Wisconsin fans…before and after
On a whole I did enjoy the vast majority of the Wiscy fans I met. However, I did enjoy the over exuberant confidence most displayed. Yes, again Vegas had BC as the underdog; but after we had the type of game that we did on Thursday dominating the RedHawks from Miami, you would think that they might be a little trepidatious. Not so much. Here's the conversation I had with no fewer than five Badger fans:
Badger fan: So, eh...how you think your boys match up? I t[h]ink our boys might be a little faster, little better skaters. Definitely think we have the size over you guys and for sure I think we might be a bit more physical. Our defense has five NHL draft picks, most of 'em first rounders so I got to say I think we certainly got that defensive advantage...but it should be a close game, what do you t[h]ink?"
That's what cracked me up. They honestly felt like they were better than BC in every facet--including in net--despite what Muse's track record was. I asked a couple of them why we are even playing the game if they're faster, stronger, bigger, more physical, and more skilled.
My take going in was that they had the size and strength, we had the speed. I think I overestimated their strength, but other than that I'd say it played out pretty close to that.
5W) BCMike, reversing the curse in a serious way.
As we all know. Mike has had quite a curse. I want to say he was up to 11 games? I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong. But I pleading for him to wait until the Weber State game in the fall to attend any Boston College Sporting events… well he didn’t listen. And it seems like the curse may have flipped, he attends, and the Eagles win the National Championship. What effect will this have on the rest of the teams? I am not sure, but I am eager to find out.
6M) Meeting Andrew
Ha! I do have to say a good amount of my friends weren't too happy with me when I told them I was going to the Frozen Four given my attendance curse track record. Nick from The ACC Report specifically gave me shit ten stories tall. I do have to say it was a great pleasure watching BC win a National Championship, a memory I will not soon forget.
On to my #6. For those who went to Bookies, the designated BC bar on Saturday, you likely met Andrew. Andrew is everything that is right about BC. Andrew's family is all Michigan grads, and living in Michigan, Andrew has had zero contact with BC outside of just liking Boston College. In addition to having previously met Doug Flutie and Matt Ryan, he had now convinced his family to take him to the Frozen Four so he could cheer on the Eagles on the Ice.
Andrew was a great kid and a shining example of what is right with BC. He's a super student and his dream is going to BC when he's old enough. He's in sixth grade now (I know, call Spaz now) and his Mom told me that he's constantly worried about his GPA because he found out what he'll need to get into Boston College. Andrew was nice enough to come and find us in the waning seconds of the game in section 100 and he was able to enjoy his first national championship. We hope he does in fact one day come to BC and continues to be the die-hard fan (and good luck charm) he is. Thanks, Andrew--you made our day.
7W) BC getting into the elite in the hockey category
There have been a bunch of College hockey programs that have 3 National Championships, although it is a HUGE accomplishment, to really stick out, more than 3 is needed. With Boston College winning its fourth it will be mentioned with others such as Michigan, Denver, Minnesota to name a few. Winning its fourth really put BC into an elite group
8M) The Frozen Four Fans
It sounds cheesy, but it’s what makes the event so great. Jerseys from just about every school were there. I saw Navy, Ferris State, everyone from the tourney...just great stuff. It really is the vibe of the event that makes it so fantastic, everyone is just chill and happy to knock back a beer with you and talk hockey, football--whatever. It's the commonality of enjoying and being passionate about college hockey that brings us all together and it's a very mutual respect / fun environment. Think the absolute opposite of playing football vs. West Va in Morgantown. It's Shangri-La for sports fans.
9W) Having back to back blowouts
I must admit, even the most maroon glasses I own , the last thing I envisioned was back to back blowouts. With a combined 12-1 between the games , it was nothing short of beat downs that were handed out. And once again, only allowing 1 goal alone out of these games is great work by Muse, and moreover great work by Jerry York, who has given every BC fan something to be proud of.
10M) Reliving the 2004 Red Sox moment
I was one of the few fortunate souls who genuinely was at Busch Stadium in 2004 when the Red Sox won their first title in 86 years in St. Louis. Aside from the sheer joy I felt, it was also one of those times where you just embrace everyone who is wearing your colors. Much like in St. Louis I found myself being hugged by random strangers who were BC fans and were just enjoying the moment with me and everyone else there. As a fan, it's really pretty darn neat I have to say.
Wesley drafted: Winning title, 3rd period, reversing BCMike curse, BC now elite, blowouts
BCMike drafted: Miami matchup, Wiscy fans, Andrew, fellow fans, reliving Red Sox moment