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March 08, 2009 :: 11:47 PM

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vs. umass-amherst :: agganis arena, boston ma :: feb 28, 2009

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Thanks to a BC win last night, and a BU shut out tonight, we are the Hockey East regular season champs.  We’ve also been # 1 in the nation for about 5 weeks now.  It’s a pretty good run for any team.  It’s a great run for this one.

I said, in the beginning, that whatever this team had done during the off-season worked.  Holy crap, did it work.  A few people are thinking we could go all the way and I’m inclined to believe them. I’ve always thought we could go all the way this season.  Hell, at tonight’s game, TONY AMONTE (!!!!! Yes, the Tony Amonte) said we’re going all the way.  I’m afraid to get my hopes up and I don’t want to jinx the team or anything… but I do believe that we have a very good chance of winning it all.  Why not? We’ve won every other tourney we’ve been in… Beanpot, Wells Fargo and the Icebreaker.

Rollheiser, my least favorite goalie this season, got his first collegiate shutout tonight.  Nice.  Very happy for him.  That’s a) the way to redeem yourself and b) an awesome way to end the regular season.

And, of course, tonight was senior night.  I hate the end of the season with a passion.  After watching these kids for 4 years, I get attached.  I can’t help it. It’s what I do. I’m going to miss Jason (J-lo) Lawrence, Brandon (Yip!Yip!Yip!) Yip, Johnny McCarthy, Matty Gilroy, Steve (Smoke) Smolinski, and Chris (Higgy) Higgins.  It’s been a joy watching these boys develop their game over the past 4 years.  I don’t have the words to describe what J-lo, Matty, Johnny and Higgy mean to me.  They are my favorites from this year’s class. Matty especially.

It’s been covered non-stop lately by the national media and I’m a little tired of hearing it over, and over, and over, and over, but, I can’t assume all my readers care enough to google Matt Gilroy and read all the press, so here you go…

Out of all the kids on the Hobey nominee list, Matt Gilroy is the most deserving of being named the Hobey Baker winner.  This kid is a hell of a sportsman and a person.  He was a walk-on.  The only way he made it on the team is because he lied to Parker and said he could play D even though he was a forward. Check his stats; you’d never know he couldn’t play D.  He’s got the character thing down pat, too.  He wears 97 in honor of his little brother Timmy.  Timmy was killed in an accident when they were really young and he had worn 97 when they played youth hockey together.  (Gretzky was #99 so every kid that played around that time wanted to wear 99. Of course, there was only one 99, so the kids/teams improvised.)  Matty promised his mom that he would always wear 97.  When he couldn’t get 97, he’d wear 9 or 7 and his mom would sew the missing number into his uniform. 

I’ve been in, and around, hockey for a long time.  I’ve seen lots of good guys.  I’ve seen lots of bad guys.  I’ve only ever seen something close to this before and that was when PeteyMac’s foster family from Iowa came to a game.  (The trip to Boston was a Make-A-Wish trip for the daughter.  I wish I could remember the rest of the details.  *sigh*)  I think that this team’s success owes a lot to Johnny’s grinding and Matty’s humility.  They were/are the perfect personalities for captains.  (At least as far as I can see.)

I don’t know - we play Maine next week in the quarterfinals.  We beat them twice and tied, I think.  (Too lazy to look up the stats now.)  I’m hoping we can beat them twice now.  After that, I don’t know.  I’m not looking any farther into the future. 

“Hey, hey baby! (ooh-ah!) I wanna know, oh, oh, oh-oh, if you’ll be my girl!”

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