60 Minutes to Glory
Well, here it is folks. The day we've been waiting for since October, and in many ways even since that heartbreaking night in Milwaukee a year ago. As I've been predicting all season, BC will take the ice tonight in our second consecutive national championship game, hoping to win the second national championship of Jerry York's tenure at the Heights.
(photo from Grand Forks Herald)
While this team isn't as star-studded as that 2001 team, the Eagles will still be the heavy favorites tonight. Michigan State is a tough team that will have a good amount of insight into BC's play, having defeated BC's two biggest rivals as well as a Notre Dame team that demolished BC back in November en route to the title game.
Hell, I'll be perfectly honest here--facing an overwhelming underdog team that happens to be named the Spartans just a few weeks after "300" came out can't possibly be good karma. I'm very superstitious when it comes to these things, as regular FHMAM readers know, and I'd be lying if I said that this didn't worry me considerably.
Although they're not red-hot to the extent that BC is and North Dakota was, Michigan State is playing very good hockey right now. They play a gritty, defensive style somewhat similar to BU (without the thuggery). Jeff Lerg is a very good goaltender, and he'll need to have a great game if the Spartans want to have a chance in this one. Michigan State's blue line is somewhat questionable, but they have a number of good forwards, most notably Bryan Lerg (who led the team with 23 goals this season) and Tim Kennedy (17 goals, 41 points).
However, the Spartans need to come out firing in this one. They can't go down 2-0 early as they did against Maine; BC is too good to let them get away with that.
From BC's perspective, the key is to just keep doing what we've been doing. Play our game. BC is too talented to lose this game as long as we play physical, play smart, and do what we do best. Like MSU, BC also needs to come out firing; we've played poorly in the first period of each of our 3 NCAA tournament games, and against North Dakota it nearly cost us. The Sioux are better than Michigan State, but we've come too far and overcome too much adversity this year to start taking things for granted now.
This is the last game in a BC jersey for Brian Boyle and Joe Rooney (and, unfortunately, probably Cory Schneider as well). These kids have sweated and bled too much for this program, invested too much, to fall short now. They are not going to allow BC to lose tonight.
Prediction: BC 2, Michigan State 0
Enlightened Spartan - MSU Blog
Excellent Game Preview from the MSU Rivals board
BC Set to Play Michigan State in Final (Herald)
For Boston, York a Perfect Fit (GREAT article on Jerry from the Herald - I had the privilege of meeting him on Tuesday and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met; BC is truly blessed to have both a coach and a person of his caliber on campus)
Champagne on Ice for BC: One Win Away from 3rd Title (Herald)
Matchup Full of Memories (Herald)
Brothers Never Babied BC's Gerbe (Globe)
BC's Smith Turns On the Switch (Globe)
Lerg is a Breath of Fresh Air for Spartans (Globe)
MSU Underdogs are Ready (Lansing State Journal)
Frozen Four Notebook: Veteran Coaches Share Unique Bond (LSJ)
Title In Sight for Spartans (LSJ)