From its beginnings in 1827 as the first institution of higher education in the city of Boston, Boston College has a rich history filled with moments of triumph and defeat on the hockey rink. As one of the top college hockey programs in the country, it is no surprise that there are some unforgettable upsets and wins that still hold significance today. From David vs. Goliath victories to championship wins, let’s take a look at the most memorable moments in Boston College hockey history.
The Early Years: Building a Foundation (1917-1958)
In 1917, Boston College formed its first official hockey team and competed against other local schools such as Boston University and Northeastern University. However, it wasn’t until the arrival of legendary coach John Snooks Kelley in 1932 that the Eagles began to take flight. Under Kelley’s guidance, the Eagles won their first of many Beanpot championships in 1949. But it was their upset victory over heavily favored Dartmouth College in the 1949 NCAA Tournament that truly put Boston College hockey on the map.
The Player-Coach: Fred Fredi Harris (1958-1968)
Harris, who was a player for Boston College from 1958-1961, returned to his alma mater in 1966 as head coach. He not only led the Eagles to their first ECAC tournament win in 1965, but also to their first NCAA title in 1949. However, it was in 1962 when Harris, as a player-coach, led Boston College to one of the most unforgettable upsets in college hockey history. The Eagles beat heavily favored Michigan Tech in the NCAA tournament semifinals, and then clinched their second NCAA title with a win over heavily favored Michigan State. This upset was the beginning of a new era for Boston College hockey and solidified the Eagles’ place as a top contender in college hockey.
The Ice-T Era: Jerry York and the 2000 Championship Team
In 1994, after coaching stints at Clarkson University and Bowling Green State University, Jerry York took over as head coach at Boston College. Under his leadership, the Eagles had their most successful run in program history. From 1997 to 2012, York led the Eagles to four Beanpot championships, five Hockey East titles, and three NCAA championships. While all of these achievements were significant, it was the 2000 NCAA championship win that stands out the most. After losing in the championship game in 1998 and 1999, the Eagles were determined to bring home the trophy. They did just that, and in dramatic fashion. Trailing 2-1 with less than a minute to go in the third period, Boston College tied the game and then won on a goal in overtime. This championship win solidified Boston College as a powerhouse in college hockey and put Jerry York on the map as one of the top coaches in the sport.
The Miracle at Madison Square Garden (2007)
In 2007, Boston College faced Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Hockey East tournament at Madison Square Garden. It seemed like it was going to be just another game, until the Eagles found themselves down 6-1 in the third period. It was an almost impossible deficit to come back from, but that’s exactly what Boston College did. In an extraordinary comeback, the Eagles scored seven unanswered goals to win the game 8-6. This victory was not only a memorable moment in Boston College hockey history, but also a testament to the determination and resilience of the team. The win also propelled them to the Hockey East Championship, where they ultimately defeated New Hampshire to claim the title.
From Tragedy to Triumph: The 2011 Championship Team
The 2010-2011 season was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Boston College hockey team. On January 23rd, 2011, BC player and team captain Mark Rosetti was killed in a car accident. The loss of Rosetti was devastating for the team and the entire Boston College community. However, the Eagles rallied together and used their grief as motivation to win the NCAA championship in honor of their fallen teammate. In a fitting tribute to Rosetti, defenseman Tommy Cross, who was Rosetti’s best friend, scored the game-winning goal in the national championship game. This win not only brought home another NCAA title, but it also served as a reminder of how sports can unite a community in times of tragedy.
As one of the top college hockey programs in the country, Boston College has a rich history filled with unforgettable moments. From its early years of establishing itself on the hockey rink to dramatic comebacks and championship wins, there is no shortage of memorable moments in Boston College hockey history. From the player-coach era of Fredi Harris to the Ice-T era of Jerry York, and the resilience of the 2011 championship team, these historic upsets and wins serve as a reminder of the rich tradition and legacy of Boston College hockey.