Eagles Realize Their Special Spot In Tampa

April 4, 2012

(Graham Beck / Heights Editor)

By Greg Joyce, Sports Editor

TAMPA Ten days after it clinched its ticket to the Frozen Four, Boston College has arrived in Tampa and today practiced at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. At 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night, the puck will drop in the semifinal matchup between the Eagles and Minnesota, with a spot in the national championship on the line.

“Anticipation of the Frozen Four is something that’s special,” said head coach Jerry York. “You’ve got to earn it, and our team did that, as well as Ferris [St], Union, and Minnesota. Who knows if these are the four best teams in the country, but we’ve earned the right to come here, and now determine from these four, who is going to be the national champion.”

BC took the ice for an hour-long practice this afternoon, and will now head back to the hotel to finish off its pregame preparations. While the Eagles head into the showdown with a 17-game win streak, York was able to put the game in perspective.

“It’s something we dream about as young guys and even old coaches dream about it,” York said. “It’s a unique experience to participate in national championships. To win one is certainly the stuff of dreams. I’m very, very excited to be here. I understand how difficult the process is to get here, and I also understand how difficult it is to bring a trophy home when you return to Boston. Having said that, we’re prepared to really play well, and we anticipate some excellent hockey from all four teams here.”

York’s veteran captains have played in a national championship in 2010, and they realize what they need to do to accomplish the task at hand.

We just take it one game at a time,” said senior forward Paul Carey. “Prepare, focus on that game, what’s at hand. We’re not really concerned with the next game coming up.”

“I would agree,” added senior defenseman Tommy Cross. “I think in the regular season, I think win streaks—it may be tough to focus on one game at a time. If one win streak ends in the regular season, then you can start another. But in the playoffs, it’s you lose you go home. So win streaks don’t really matter. It’s all about the game you’re dealing with, and for us right now it’s Minnesota.”

Knowing they are one of only four teams left playing college hockey at this point of the season, Carey and Cross said the Eagles are hungry after the way things ended last season, but excited to get a chance to extend their season to the national championship game.

“Last year wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the season,” Carey said. “This year we’ve had some success. But the Final trophy is what we want, and we’re hungry for that.”

“[We’re] excited to be at the Frozen Four,” Cross said. “Excited to still have our sticks and still be playing, and excited to go out and have a chance to compete against another good team and try and win a trophy.”

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