Boston University: BC rides roller coaster to TD Banknorth Garden

It’s been a tumultuous season thus far for the Boston College Eagles, but head coach Jerry York doesn’t seem to mind. In his eyes the season is just getting started.

“The Beanpot really starts the college hockey season,” he said.

The Eagles (14-10-1, 11-8-1 Hockey East) come into the Beanpot having lost three of their last five games, and find themselves six points behind first place New Hampshire in the Hockey East standings as of Friday.

“We’re coming along,” York said. “It’s been an up-and-down season. Our best hockey is in front of us; good things are down the road.”

The Eagles could find themselves back on track if they win this year’s Beanpot. They last won in 2004 in a thrilling 2-1 overtime affair against BU. The Eagles reached the finals last year, but bowed out to Boston University 3-2.

The Eagles have all the elements necessary to succeed, starting from the inside with junior goalie Cory Schneider (14-10-1). Up front, the offense is anchored by senior assistant captain Joe Rooney (10-16-26), senior captain Brian Boyle (12-15-27), and sophomore Benn Ferriero (12-13-25). Boyle was selected 26th overall in the NHL entry draft by the Los Angeles Kings in 2003.

On defense, senior assistant captain Mike Brennan has chipped in five assists on the year and has done an excellent job on the blueline.

“[He is] one of the most competitive kids I’ve had a chance to coach,” York said. “He’s a great credit to our program.”

BC also buckled down on special teams this year, holding opposing teams scoreless 129 out of 150 (86 percent) times on the power play. On the flip side, the Eagles have scored 20 power play goals in 25 games this season. Boyle and sophomore forward Nathan Gerbe each have a team-high four power play goals.

Don’t count them out when they are shorthanded either. BC has eight shorthanded goals this year (first in the league). Gerbe leads the team with three shorthanded goals, including one on a 3-on-5 scenario against Wisconsin Oct. 27.

The Eagles will play the second game opening night against Harvard. The Crimson come into the Beanpot with a 9-12-1 (7-9-1 ECAC Hockey League), which gives them the fewest overall wins of the four competitors in this year’s Beanpot.

But York, who owns an overall record of 14-10 coaching in the Beanpot and played in the tournament three times for BC, isn’t taking the Crimson lightly. He said this year’s tournament could go to anyone.

“[There’s] balance in the field,” York said.

Despite the inconsistent season, Brennan said the team is comfortable relying on the seniors.

“Our team has found confidence in front of an All-American goal tender in Cory Schneider,” he said.

Brennan and BC can only hope to fare better than in their previous meeting with Harvard this season, when they were washed away 4-0 by a Crimson tide.

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