PHILADELPHIA — At 1:50 p.m., Boston College coach Jerry York walked into Wednesday’s Frozen Four news conference along with three of his players, all fresh from practice. When asked for his thoughts, he replied with a sentiment often heard at that time of day.
“I’m starved right now,” he said. With a smile, he added, “I haven’t had lunch yet, so we’ll be very brief today.”
As the news conference developed, however, it became clear that York’s appetite, and that of his team, is focused less on a Philly cheesesteak and far more on a fourth national championship in seven years.
“Every year is different, every year is unique, and nobody’s guaranteed this,” he said. “[In] September, we sat down with our captains and tried to outline our team and some long-term goals. Of course, at Boston College we’re looking at the Beanpot, the regular season trophy and our playoff championship, but in the back of our minds, it’s always, ‘Hey, can we get back to the Frozen Four and compete for a national championship?'”
This season marks Boston College’s 11th Frozen Four appearance in the last 17 years, a stunning achievement in this era of college hockey parity. Four times those appearances have translated into national championships: 2001, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Yet the hunger pangs for another remain just as sharp.
“We’re not just here to look at the Liberty Bell and enjoy Philadelphia,” York said. “We want to compete for that really shiny trophy that they have down the hallway.”
Frozen Fours and national championships have become BC’s measuring stick for success.
“This is our goal every year at BC,” senior Bill Arnold said. “It’s a national championship or you can’t really consider your season a success.”
Arnold earned his first championship ring two years ago and is hoping to add a second this week as his collegiate career comes to a close.
“The one thing coach always says he wants his players to do is leave BC with a ring in one hand and degree in the other,” Arnold said. “At BC, that’s what we’re all about, getting the opportunity to do that and [for me] hopefully leave with two rings.”