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Jerry York on D&H: ‘We really were tenacious’

04.12.10 at 3:31 pm ET
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NCAA Championship Hockey

Jerry York celebrates another national championship for BC. (AP)

Jerry York and his BC Eagles hockey team took home another national championship over the weekend in dominating fashion. In the Frozen Four the Eagles outscored their opponents — Miami (Ohio) and Wisconsin — 12-1 en route to the championship.

But if you ask York, he wasn’t comfortable until the games were official.

“If you were there at the games like the Miami game, it was 3-1 with 13 minutes left to go in the third. So it was still in doubt,” York said on Dale & Holley on Monday. “All of a sudden we broke it open in the third. The Wisconsin game was a very tenuous 1-0 game going into the third, so both games came down to the third period and our compete level was really good for 60 minutes that I think we just wore teams down. They were close games despite what the scores would indicate. I never felt, at least through three-quarters that this was a safe game.”

The Eagles were led by a good mix of young players and veteran players, but nobody stood out more than Ben Smith. The senior was named the most outstanding player of the tournament and York said that every championship team needs a leader like Smith to keep a team focused and prepared.

“They all had a Ben Smith type player,” York said in reference to championship hockey teams. “A senior or terrific leader and someone that could keep you poise as a team and your ability to play on a big stage … The difference is we had those Ben Smiths.”

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Ben Smith had good reason for celebration, as he was named the most outstanding player in the tournament. (AP)

The Eagles have now won their fourth title in school history but it came with some bumps and bruises along the way. The Eagles went on a three-game losing streak in January, highlighted by a loss to rival Boston University at Fenway Park. But after that rough stretch, York could see his guys coming together and playing much more competitive hockey.

“Sure enough that Beanpot and that February stretch and in March we became a much more effective team,” said York, whose team went 20-4-1 after that loss to BU at Fenway. “I think it was really our compete level. We really were tenacious on the puck. If we had it we were going to try and score a goal and if you had it we were trying to get it back as quick as we could. That’s just that competitive nature of some kids and it became an epidemic. … We became a difficult team to play against.”

The mix of young and veteran players was just right for York and with solid freshman like Brian Dumoulin and Phillip Samuelsson being contributors this year, there is some thought that the Eagles could be perched right where they are a year from now. York explained how he liked recruiting high school seniors rather than guys who have played in junior hockey for a few season.

“That’s one of the great things at BC is our ability to take young players, not out of two years of juniors but right out of high school and make them so much better,” said York. “I think if you got the elite player that’s 18 he’s just going to improve so much. If you take the older, more mature [player] you are going to get a more physical player, probably a better freshman, but his upside will be reached much earlier in his career. I think Brian Dumoulin and Phillip Samuelsson are just going to get better and better as they go through.”

In his 16 years with the Eagles, York has won three titles and has a record 33 wins in the NCAA tournament, and he hinted that he will be around for a long time.

He said, “I have a great relationship with Gene [DeFilippo] and we are going to come to an agreement over the next couple of months that will be very beneficial to the Yorks and to BC in general.”

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