“I think there’s a Jack Parker quote, somewhere, and it goes something like ‘If you took Ohio State and moved it to within two miles of University of Michigan, then you’d get an idea of what the BU/BC rivalry is like.” -Tom Caron
“My brain can’t really comprehend that. There WOULD be blood…and I’d probably have ended up in jail every football saturday.” -Michigan fan, in response
I never wanted to go to BU.
That probably seems like an odd way to start a post about a 3-2 win over Boston College at Fenway Park, but it’s the absolute truth. I wanted a campus, a school with green space and quads and not a school that stretched for literal miles, from Kenmore Square to Babcock Street, stretching the extent of 9 stops on the MBTA Green Line (beyond, if you count the no-mans-land of off-campus housing that extends into Brighton.) But BU had the best journalism program in the east, and that’s what I wanted, so off to the land of Commonwealth Ave I trekked, in 2004.
Fenway is an integral part of life when you go to BU, especially for kids who came in when I did. 2004 World Series our freshman year, 2007 World Series our senior year. Larry Lucchino as a commencement speaker (my sister, who now also goes to BU, has that speech taped above her bed in her room at home. It was GOOD.) You can actually see into Fenway from some of the dorms; Sweet Caroline in the 7th inning was audible from each of my places, all four years of college. Tessie, too.
I went to my first hockey game sophomore year. Even if you don’t go to games, hockey is invasive in BU student culture, especially where that other school down the green line is concerned. Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, BC SUCKS, and any stop past Harvard Ave on the Green ‘B’ Line is enemy territory. It’s been like this for 90 years, and will probably be like it for at least 90 more; I won’t go into the storied history. If you’re interested, you should check out the Battle of Comm Ave.
So we come to today, January 8, 2010. Frozen Fenway. BU vs. BC. Both teams are coming off something epic; BU is still on a high from our 2009 championship. BC came into this game near the top of the Hockey East rankings. The two boys who played in the World Juniors, Chris Kreider from BC and David Warsofsky, flew back from Saskatoon sporting USA gold yesterday, ready to go. While we’re on the subject, who WOULDN’T want to be Warsofsky right now? Kid’s like 19 and he’s already won a Beanpot, a Hockey East title, a NCAA title, a WJC gold medal, has played at Madison Square Garden, at the TD Garden, and now Fenway.
So, pregame ceremonies are fancy, the BU crowd yells “SUCKS!” after every BC player is announced (but not vice versa, oddly?), Mike Eruzione and Travis Roy and other various ex-NHLers from BU and BC are in attendance, the puck is dropped, and who gets the first men’s college hockey goal at Fenway Park?
Warsofsky. Seriously, the kid has an angel smiling on him or something. BU scores twice more unanswered and kills an epic 5-on-3, they interview Matt Gilroy between periods and I smile FOREVER, then suddenly at the end of the 2nd, BC scores with a minute or so left. Okay. 2-goal game.
They say the best games are heart-stoppers, and I have to agree; BC scores again 8 minutes into the 3rd, and BU’s looking sloppy, desperate to hang onto their now 1-goal lead. Kieran Millan stays strong, though, and BC takes a penalty with 2:14 left. Although the power play looks ugly, we manage to mostly keep it under some semblance of control at the end of the 3rd. Shattenkirk channels a little of David Krejci’s Matrix powers and slows things down, time runs out…..and BU wins it, 3-2. BU wins the inaugural Men’s College Hockey game at Fenway Park in front of a crowd of thousands, on national TV. The first half of the season may have been a little struggly, but I’m feeling like this might be a turning point. Bring on the Beanpot, kids!
So I didn’t want to go to BU, but I did. I did and I learned to love it. I got hooked on Scarlet and White, played broomball in old Walter Brown, watched Agganis Arena be built the summer before my freshman year, partied in Kenmore when the Sox won the World Series. BU students understand the connection between Boston University and Fenway; what better way to solidify that with a win at the storied park? Life is good for the Terrier Faithful tonight. And once you’re a Terrier, you’re never anything else.
Miscellanous awesome things:
- 38, 472 was the official attendance number for tonight’s game. By comparison, the Winter Classic drew a crowd of 38,112. That’s pretty telling of how intense this college hockey rivalry is. To be fair, tickets were cheaper…but still, pretty crazy considering that it’s NHL hockey versus college hockey.
- Kieran Millan’s pads. I hadn’t actually noticed these before. Badass.
- BU’s Jerseys. “BOSTON” on the front in Red Sox style letters, with stylized Red Sox skates on the sleeves. HOT. Less hot? BC’s puke-colored jerseys with the random green stripe. Guys, I know you were trying to integrate something from Fenway into the jersey, but….BU gets the win here, too.
- In the most recent draft, the Avalanche drafted Kieran Millan, bringing the total number of Colorado prospects from Boston University to 4: Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen in 2007 and Brandon Yip (currently playing for the Avs) in 2004. Seriously, the Avs are going to become BU West. First person to slap an Avs sticker on the BU West T-Stop and take a picture gets a beer from me.