BC Ready To Defend Title In NCAA Hockey Tournament
BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston College hockey team is focused and ready as they head to the NCAA tournament.
They have the big-game experience and the talent to bring home their second straight national championship, and third in the last four years.
It all starts Friday night when the Eagles face Colorado College in the opening round out in St. Louis. The puck drops at 9 p.m., and when it does BC will be ready.
“It would be my dream,” senior captain Joe Whitney said of potentially winning his third championship. “That’s what we work for, that’s the goal. We’re looking forward to it.”
“At Boston College it’s something that we enjoy, going after big trophys,” sophomore defenseman Philip Samuelsson said. “We’re really gearing up for Colorado College.”
The big-game experience and leadership comes from the seniors, who have won a trio of Beanpot and Hockey East championships in addition to the two NCAA National Championships.
“We kind of just go by example,” Whitney said. “The way we prepare in practice, how hard we work, things like that are contagious. They just follow the lead.”
“We kind of don’t have that nervous feeling,” Samuelsson added. “We’ve been there, we know we can do that if we play as well as we can. It’s something we’re really looking forward to.”
All the experience and excitement the Bean Pot and Hockey East tournament bring will go a long way to how the Eagles react to the national spotlight that comes with the tournament.
“Those big games at the Garden, (the) championship games, they prepare you for the regionals in a way,” Whitney added. “The little bit of added pressure, media attention. That stuff can be hard to deal with when you’re not used to it. I think were used to it and we kind of put that stuff behind us.”
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“You don’t have to worry about the crowd because we’ve already played in front of 20 thousand,” junior forward Jimmy Hayes said.
Along with the experience, Boston College has a goaltender in John Muse who sports an 8-0 record in NCAA tournament play.
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“He’s the backbone of our team, it starts with him,” Whitney said of the Senior net minder. “We know he’s going to be rock solid every night. That calms everyone down and we just go out and play.
“We asked him questions how he did it,’ Hayes said. “He said take every day and go with it from there.”
“Just take it a day at a time,” Samuelsson said of Belichick’s advice. “Never really look too far ahead. Just look at the next game.”