Thursday, April 9, 2015

2015 NCAA Frozen Four - Boston University Terriers

The semifinals of the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four will take place at the home of the NHL's Boston Bruins, the TD Garden.

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The tournament kicks off with a game at 5:00 PM Eastern, pitting the #15 ranked Providence College Friars of Hockey East facing off against the #8 University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The second game scheduled for 8:30 PM will feature the #3 Boston University Terriers, also of Hockey East taking on #2 ranked University of North Dakota also of the powerful NCHC, which sent six teams into the 16 team NCAA playoffs.

Rather than a single school hosting the tournament, the Hockey East conference is the host this year and sees two of it's members, Providence from 50 miles to the southwest in Rhode Island, and Boston University, whose home, Agganis Arena, is located a mere four miles up the Charles River to the west.

The Boston University hockey program dates back to the 1917-18 season when they played a whopping total of just one game, but even then it was against their fierce rivals Boston College.

In their early days, the Terriers played against various amateur athletic clubs and a growing number of other college teams. They joined the NEIHL in 1936-37 and were members until the 1953-54 season. After playing as an independent from 1954-55 to 1960-61, Boston University joined the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 1961-62 as a charter member.

The NCAA would organize the first national championship in 1948 and the Terriers to win their first title in 1971 with a 28-2-1 record.

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Boston University's first championship squad from 1971

They would go back-to-back by taking the title again in 1972 with a 26-4-1 record under the guidance of head coach Jack Kelley.

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The 1971-72 Terriers team celebrates their second consecutive championship

They would win six regular season ECAC titles and six conference tournament championships, including five in a row from 1974 to 1977. They remained in the ECAC until concerns that the Ivy League members of the ECAC were going to leave the league led to the formation of Hockey East in 1984-85.

They have won nine league titles, including a run of five straight from 1994 to 1998. More would follow in 2000, 2006, 2009 and again this year, 2015.

In addition, Boston University has won Hockey East conference playoff titles in 1986, 1991, 1994 and 1995, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2009 and again this year, 2015.

Stability has been a feature of the program, with head coach Wayland Vaughn behind the bench from 1928 to 1943, save for 1941 before he returned for his final two seasons. Harry Cleverly took over from 1945-46 to 1961-62 followed by Kelley from 1962-63 to 1971-72, winning two national titles.

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Jack Kelley

Jack Parker, a former player for the Terriers from 1965 to 1968, took over seven games into the 1973-74 season and remained as head coach for 40 years until 2012-13, amassing 876 wins during his time at BU. He is only the third coach to ever top 800 wins and the only one to do it with one team. He was a five time coach of the year and would guide the Terriers to 3 ECAC regular season titles and 4 playoff championships, 8 Hockey East regular season titles and 7 playoff championships and 3 national championships in 1978, 1995 and 2009. Additionally, BU would win the annual Beanpot Tournament a record 21 times during his tenure.

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Jack Parker

61 Boston University players have gone on to play in the NHL, with notable Terriers alumni including Chris Drury, Tony Amonte and Keith Tkachuk.

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Keith Tkachuk

Additionally, members of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team to have played for Boston University include Jim Craig, Jack O'Callahan, Dave Silk and captain Mike Eruzione.

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Jim Craig

Former NHLer John Cullen holds the school record with 241 career points while Drury leads the Terriers in career goals scored with 113. Others to have topped 200 career points include David Sacco (216), Drury (214), Rick Meagher (210) and Eruzione (208).

Boston University has won the famous Beanpot 30 times in the 63 year history of the event, including this year's edition, far ahead of Boston College's 19 and nearly half of every one ever held.

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Boston University celebrates their 30th Beanpot victory

One player to watch today is top NHL prospect and Hobey Baker finalist Jack Eichel, who is expected to be one of the top two picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Eichel led the NCAA in scoring this season with 24 goals and 67 points in 38 games, six points ahead of teammate Evan Rodrigues, the only two players with over 60 points this season.

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Jack Eichel

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Boston University Terriers Tony Amonte jersey as worn during Amonte's first season with BU.

Amonte played two seasons with the Terriers, totaling 56 goals and 126 points in 79 games. His NHL career lasted 17 seasons, including breaking into the NHL with the Rangers, nine seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, and time spent with the Coyotes, Flyers and Flames.

Boston University 1989-90 jersey photo Boston University 1989-90 F jersey.jpg
Boston University 1989-90 jersey photo Boston University 1989-90 B jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of GVJerseys.com

Today's video segment begins with the Terriers winning their 30th Beanpot championship from earlier this year in dramatic fashion.


Up next is Boston University's most recent NCAA national championship from 2009, with a finish not to be missed. If this doesn't get you looking forward to the Frozen Four, nothing will.

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