Northeast Regional | Final
Fans BC's Frozen Four Flames
Whitney, long-time Eagle fan, nets game-winner
Miami 3 OT
Martinez, K. Roeder
Gannon, M. Price
John Muse, 72:10, 34 saves, 3 GA
Jeff Zatkoff, 72:12, 38 saves, 4 GA
BC 6/12; MIA 5/10
Plays: BC 0-4; MIA 0-5
Andrew Volkening, Air Force
D: Alec Martinez, Miami
D: Nick Petrecki, Boston College
F: Nathan Gerbe, Boston College
F: Ryan Jones, Miami
F: Joe Whitney, Boston College
Most Outstanding Player: Whitney
WORCESTER, Mass. – This night had been
a long time coming for Joe Whitney.
Until Sunday, the Boston College freshman
had only dreamed of lifting the Eagles to an NCAA tournament
victory. And then he got his chance.
Whitney said a prayer, took a swipe at a dangling
puck, and sent it to the back of the net to give the Eagles
a 4-3 overtime victory against Miami in the Northeast Regional
championship. BC will head to the Frozen Four for the third
straight year and the fourth time in five years.
“I didn’t even know it went in
until somebody jumped on me,” Whitney said. “I
think I saw the puck. I had no clue what was going on. It’s
just unbelievable to give the seniors a chance to live another
day and try to capture something they haven’t done
Dan Bertram led the break down the right side
and took a hard shot that rebounded to the slot where Whitney
fought off a defenseman, dove, and took a flailing swing
at the puck before landing on his back.
Bobby Orr would be proud.
“I saw it kick out,” said Whitney,
who played Bertram’s shot to rebound wide based on
what he’s seen from Bertram’s bids in practice.
“I tried to get to the net, and I think the defenseman
overplayed me. He thought I was going to go wide, and I
cut in front of him, got a backhander off it. I took a slap
at it and didn’t know really where it was going to
It was twice as sweet for Whitney, who grew
up in nearby Reading, Mass., as a Boston College fan. He
was sitting in a luxury box – shirt off and chest
painted – at the FleetCenter in 1998 when BC fell
in overtime to Michigan in the national championship. Two
years ago, he was at UMass with a friend and watched the
Eagles fall short against Wisconsin in the title game. And
last year, Whitney was in a buddy’s basement when
Michigan State pulled off a giant upset to knock off BC
in St. Louis.
He had committed to coach Jerry York after
his sophomore year at Lawrence Academy, and Whitney said
he felt like he was part of the team each of the last two
“I had my head in my hands; I was pretty
much in shock,” Whitney said of watching those two
But there were no grungy couches, leather
recliners, or luxury suites this time around. Instead, Whitney
was right there on the ice, wearing No. 15 for the Maroon
and Gold and doing his best to make the program proud.
He was smart enough to put himself in the
right place at the right time, gutsy enough to sell out
and take a flying stab at a loose puck, and modest enough
to credit his game-winning bid to something of dumb luck.
“I had no clue,” Whitney quipped,
“what the hell I was doing out there.”
While Joe Whitney was the hero, Jerry York
deserves much of the credit. His Eagles looked stiff and
played like they were scared to lose through the first 9:23
of overtime, so York called a timeout to settle his crew.
|Boston College freshman forward
Joe Whitney scored the game-winning goal in the Eagles'
4-3 win over Miami in Sunday's Northeast Regional final.
It was the call of the night. Miami was outshooting
BC 9-1 at that point in OT – after the Eagles outshot
the RedHawks 38-27 in regulation and 25-17 over the final
two periods – and goalie John Muse was forced to make
a few solid saves to keep his team alive.
“We just seemed to be too tentative,”
York said. “We were sitting back too much. We were
hoping to win the game. You can’t play that way. You’ve
got to go after them.”
“I think it was really good,”
Nathan Gerbe said of the timeout. “Coach tried calming
us down. We were playing not to lose, and that’s how
you can’t play in overtime. You have to go out and
try to take it, and that’s what we did.
“I think some guys on the team sat back
a bit, not playing their game and kind of hoped that we’d
win. You can’t do that. That’s when you lose.”
The Eagles outshot Miami 3-1 in the three
minutes after the timeout, including Whitney’s winner
at 12:12 of the extra session.
“We wanted to win real bad. It’s
OT. Everybody in the rink was a little nervous," Whitney
said. "I’m sure [Miami] was a little nervous.
Coach took a timeout to settle us down, told us to clear
our heads of everything we were thinking, just play hockey
and all it takes is one rush.
“In the back of their head, everyone
is thinking what it’s going to be like. You’re
just anticipating what’s going to happen. You don’t
know what’s going to happen. After the timeout, I
just said, ‘You know what? Just play, and whatever
happens, happens.’ If we play our game, we should
come out to win.”
AND HEARD AT THE DCU CENTER
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Nathan Gerbe, Boston College
Gerbe knotted the score by capitalizing on a hard
rush to the net in the second period and changed the
flow of the game.
It seemed like every single time the RedHawks had
something going in the BC zone Jones was responsible.
He was everywhere once again and also scored the equalizer
in the third period.
1. Joe Whitney, Boston
His game-winning goal might start stealing YouTube
hits away from Gerbe’s penalty shot against
Providence in the Hockey East playoffs.
• Boston College was seen stretching
before the game in the hallway outside the locker rooms
while Miami used the main concourse. Not sure how the RedHawks
kept their focus because the food down there smells awesome.
• Miami’s Nathan Davis didn’t
play due to an “upper body injury,” which was
disclosed by coach Rico Blasi during Saturday’s postgame
press conference. The injury was believed to again be his
shoulder, which kept him on the shelf for about half of
his senior season.
• Miami had a pair of coaches sitting
nearby in the press box, and to say they were mildly disappointed
with their team’s inability to put shots on net in
the first period would be like saying Simon Cowell would
be indifferent to listening to Roseanne Barr sing the national
anthem. Miami ended up putting 10 shots on net in the first
period, its most in any period of the game (except the 10
• We in the media are all about the
free food, but when you can’t figure out what the
meal is, it’s just safer to stay away. The desserts,
however, were awesome.
• Can’t say we didn’t warn
you. In yesterday’s regional semifinal notebook, we
spotlighted a potential heavyweight throwdown between Miami’s
Ryan Jones and BC’s Nick Petrecki, both of whom wear
No. 26. Well, 40 seconds into the game, they got into a
scrum near in the BC zone and were sent off for roughing.
• After BC defenseman Mike Brennan was
questionably called for hooking at 13:58 of the second period,
teammate Kyle Kucharski skated into the Miami zone and flipped
the puck into the stands.
• A quiet crowd went bananas after Nathan
Gerbe scored the equalizer in the second period –
14 seconds after Petrecki cut the deficit to 2-1 –
and began chanting “Hobey Baker.”
• John Muse set Boston College’s
single-season total saves record. He made 34 in the game,
including 10 in overtime, to bring his season total to 1,122.
Cory Schneider held the old record with 1,111 saves in 2006-07.
• Everyone in Denver for the Frozen
Four should expect to see at least one game go to overtime
with my recent track record for bonus hockey (five total
overtimes in the last six games).
|Miami senior forward
Ryan Jones scored his 31st goal of the season in the
third period of the RedHawks' 4-3 overtime loss to Boston
College in Sunday's Northeast Regional final.
• Jones was very emotional sitting at
the podium at the postgame press conference and reflected
on his last season at Miami: “I’m sitting here
in my jersey for a reason. It’s kind of scary thinking
about taking it off for the last time. I came back to play
with a bunch of guys that I love, and that’s what
I did this year. It’s sad. I can’t even put
it into words what it meant to come back this year. Even
though we lost, I think these guys are champions, and I
think we took the program a long way. I’ll be the
first alum to call when they go to the Frozen Four, and
hopefully I’ll be watching them on TV some day.”
• Jones on the difference – or
lack thereof – between BC and Miami: “I give
BC credit for winning the game, but I wouldn’t say
BC’s hockey team is that much better than Miami’s
hockey team. They buried one more chance than we did tonight.
I heard a comment that Miami strives to be BC, but Miami
just strives to be Miami. Love and honor to Miami, and this
team is going to be there some day.”
• Blasi on Miami’s season: “Anytime
you win 33 games, you’re doing something right. I’m
as proud of this team as if we won a national championship.
These guys gave it everything they had every day. The way
they conducted themselves in the community for Miami University,
the way they represented our league, these guys are champions
in my book.”
• Joe Whitney on being named the regional’s
Most Outstanding Player: “They’re cool to throw
up on the mantel, but the team goal is to win a national
championship. That’s going to mean the most to me.”
• BC’s freshmen led the charge
against Miami. Whitney scored the game-winner. Muse stood
on his head between the pipes. Brian Gibbons made a great
pass to set up Gerbe for the second-period equalizer. And
Petrecki got the Eagles off the shnide with their first
goal of the game.
“I think we’ve got a great class,”
Whitney said. “BC does a great job of recruiting guys,
and I’m fortunate enough to be a part of those five
guys. It’s comfortable in the locker room and on the
ice when the seniors are not giving you a hard time. You
hear of teams where there’s hazing and giving a hard
time. We don’t have any of that. Everyone is an equal,
and I think we’re a good team.”
• Petrecki and Gerbe connected on a
pair of goals 14 seconds apart in the second period, the
third fastest consecutive goals in regional history and
the fastest in Northeast Regional history.
• Gerbe on what the Eagles need to do
differently to change their fate in the Frozen Four: “Don’t
lose it in the last minute. The last two years have been
tough losses, 18 seconds last year. You just have to be
smart, not take too many risks and I think that’s
what we tried to do last year.”
sophomore forward Gary Steffes was the recipient of a cheap
shot after a whistle with 15:31 remaining in the second
period while he was backed up into the BC net, but Steffes
did everything in his power to make sure he didn’t
fall back and step on goalie John Muse’s leg.
junior goaltender Jeff Zatkoff gets the plus for a great
pad save on a point-blank bid by Boston College's Dan Bertram
with 5:22 to play in the third period, but ...
the goal judge gets the minus for turning on the red light,
expecting Bertram to convert.
Nathan Gerbe and Ryan Jones create opportunity after opportunity
for their respective teams was something no one in attendance
should ever take for granted. These are two special hockey
Boston College advances to its third straight
Frozen Four – the Eagles have been to eight of the
last 11 – and will take on North Dakota for the third
straight season in the national semifinals. BC has fallen
in two straight title games and will head to Denver with
the purpose of erasing those demons.
“We know the tradition,” BC senior
captain Mike Brennan said. “We understand the tradition.
Ten years in the making. Guys like Marty Reasoner, [Brian]
Gionta, Brooks Orpik, they wore the sweater. And you want
to win championships when you put that sweater on. I think
that’s what we’re trying to achieve here, and
I think we have the team to do it.”
Jerry York improved to 21-8 with Boston College
in the NCAA tournament. This will be BC’s 21st trip
to the Frozen Four, and it is 8-12 in the national semifinals.