Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BC Hockey Pics (1998-2001)

My name is Dave and I love hockey. I never played in an organized game as a kid, but got in plenty of street and pond hockey. As a member of the McGrath household, my NHL allegiance was unquestionable. We watched the Bruins, went to the “Gahden”, and suffered together each year they fell short of winning The Cup. College hockey wasn’t a big part of my life growing up, but that all changed in the summer of 1991…

One afternoon while I was working at Mini Farms in downtown Westboro, my aunt called me to see if I wanted to go with her and my cousin Katie on a tour of Boston College. Growing up I had rooted against BC when we went to see the Eagles play Holy Cross (my dad’s alma mater), but I liked the idea of going to a Catholic school near Boston.

As we walked around Upper Campus, I was impressed. When the tour took us into Conte Forum, everything changed. I pictured myself watching hockey games there, and I knew BC was the school for me. The following year I applied early, and got into my #1 pick.

Although the Eagles didn’t have their most successful years while I was there, they did win the Beanpot my sophomore year. After I graduated in 1996, the program really started to take off.

When I moved to Waltham in 1997, one of my roommates was in the Pike’s Peak Club, and we followed the Eagles religiously that season. Even before the season started, he managed to score the prior season’s team picture and we proudly hung it up in our “bar room” (I loved it when people came over and asked me where I was in the picture). We were chaperones (no joke) for the Pike’s Peak sponsored trip to a BC game up at UNH, where the yellow Superfan t-shirts were unveiled. We watched the Eagles rise through the national rankings, and went to the Championship game against Michigan that year. To this date, it is the most heartbreaking sporting event I’ve attended.

Still, I kept following the BC boys and watched them fall short in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, BC Hockey did something I’m guessing no other team in any other sport has ever done. They had lost in the NCAA tournament to Michigan in 1998, Maine in 1999, and North Dakota in 2000. In 2001, they beat these three teams in their way to BC’s first hockey championship since 1949. Two really great things about this: 1. It was the first time one of “my” teams (Bruins, Sox, Pats, BC) won a championship. 2. Those freakin’ BU fans couldn’t chant “1949!” anymore (I actually started chanting “1995!” whenever I went to a BC-BU game after 2001).

The Eagles have since won titles in 2008 and 2010, and (even with this year’s first round upset) don’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. My name is Dave, and I love BC hockey.

I love BC hockey, and it was really a no-brainer that as soon as I had booked the rink for Skating for Hope, I started trying to get some Eagles there. Three former BC hockey players (Jamie O’Leary, Blake Bellefeuille, and Bobby Allen) responded immediately that they wanted to participate, and I have been looking forward to skating with them ever since. Now, Paul Stewart is going to ref this game and it looks like we’re going to have some former BU Terriers to play against (I predict I will be in the penalty box about 10 seconds in). Skating for Hope was a dream of mine 2 years ago, and these BCers are making part of it a BC Hockey fantasy for me. Thanks again, guys.

Here are some of the BC pictures taken by my dad and me:

Bobby Allen from 1998 championship game against Michigan.

Blake Bellefeuille from 1998 championship game against Michigan.

My friends Patrick, Scott, Father Monan (then BC president) and me at the 1998 championship game.

Me by the team photo before going to 1997-1998 BC Hockey postseason dinner.

BC skating out at a game in 2000 (senior night?).

Blake Bellefeuille at warm-ups.

2000 BC Lineup, a roster with 9 (I think – Farkas, Gionta, Bellefeuille, Mottau, Kolanos, Allen, Scuderi, Orpik, Clemmensen) players who would play in the NHL.

The sign on the Mass Pike (it was fun pulling over to take this one!).

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