Saturday, December 18, 2010

Q&A with Dave Tomlinson

Q. Dave, since this is the 20th anniversary of the 90-91 team that came ¼-inch from a national title, let’s start with that team and the championship game vs. Northern Michigan. That was a team that many BU fans feel was among the best squads not to win a national title and certainly among the most talented. Have you watched the entire game on tape?
A. I’ve seen parts of the game but not the full game in its entirety. It is pretty painful to think about how close we came to winning it all. After being up after the first period there were thoughts of closing in on a National Championship, and after battling back after being down late in the game, it was almost like it was meant to be…but the puck never made its way across the line and we came up short. It was an emotional roller-coaster for sure, and a game I’ll never forget being a part of.

Q. Once BU tied the score late in the third period, how confident were you that BU would win in overtime?
A. Well, with all the talent on that team, and such a great, tight group of seniors, it was almost like someone was certainly going to be the hero on our side. I remember Tony Amonte being almost unstoppable in that game. David Sacco was the guy that tallied the equalizer with the goalie pulled, and, in between the third period and overtime, there was talk of getting it over early. Obviously that wasn’t the case as the game went into the third overtime, and I remember the goal against like it was yesterday! It would have been a fantastic way to cap off my college hockey career, but it did remind me of how hard it is to win championships, which is something I carried through my pro career…not wanting to experience that losing feeling again in a final.

Q. How do you think the 90-91 team stacks up against the teams that won national titles in 1995 and 2009?
A. I wish I could have seen those other teams in person to make a fair comparison, but I will say our team in 1991 had young speed and skill with Shawn McEachern, Tony Amonte, David Sacco and Keith Tkachuk, some quality defence with Scott LaChance, Phil Von Steffenelli and Peter Ahola, and some hard workers like Ed Ronan and myself. Add in characters like Mark Krys and goalie John Bradley, and I will say our group might have been the closest group of any teams I’ve played on. Although the two other teams mentioned won National Championships and our team didn’t, I’ll take my squad against the others in quadruple overtime, this time with us finally connecting in O.T.!

Q. The change between the BU teams of your sophomore (88-89) and junior (89-90; Final Four) seasons was dramatic. Aside from the addition of new players (Amonte, Cashman, etc.) what factors led to the drastic improvement in performance?
A. I’d say we just came together as a class group from freshman year on up, and by Junior year, any new players felt like they were entering into a supportive dressing room. We had a large freshman class that experienced a very trying first year; missing the playoffs almost stuck out in a such a bad way that we felt we had to make up for it every year since then. Terrier fans don’t take too kindly to teams that miss the playoffs, and with the character guys we had…it was like we were on a mission.

Q. You had a lot of memorable goals at BU but one that stands out for many fans is the goal scored against Harvard in the 1990 Beanpot when BU was down two men. Can you tell us a little more about how that goal happened?
A. Oh yeah, loved that moment of my college hockey career. I recollect that we were up 3-0 on Harvard in the Beanpot Final, and then we had to kill a 5 on 3. The thought was that if Harvard got one early, they could get back into the game. Coach Parker put me out with 2 defenceman and I knew that Harvard would try and go “through the triangle” for a one-timer shot. I intercepted the pass and flipped the puck over the man on the point. For some reason I decided to give chase because the guy at the blue-line was slow to react, and after chasing him and the puck down the ice, the goalie decided to come out and play it. I hedged that he’d go to his forehand side to move it up, and I popped out from behind his defenceman and knocked it out of the air and put it into the empty cage. After it was in I stopped just before our bench, with my arms outstretched leaning against the boards, and soaked in the whole atmosphere. Awesome feeling! We went on to win the game 8-2.

Q. Who gave you the nickname “Sniper” and how did that come about?
A. Conflicting reports out there, I’d say in good fun. It was very early during freshman year, before we had even skated in our first practice, and all the freshman were sitting around the cafeteria talking about where they played and in what league and so on. Being from Vancouver, and playing in an offensive league like the BCHL, I said…”I like to score goals, I like to snipe”. From that moment on the other guys called me Sniper. At least that’s my side. My classmates would say I stood up and said…”My name’s Dave Tomlinson, but you can call me Sniper”! They seem to like telling it that way, so it’s a fun little story that changes depending on who you talk to. Either way, my former teammates from BU still call me that…it brings back cool memories.

Q. Which of your BU teammates do you remain close to these days?
A. I see Phil von Stefenelli quite often here in Vancouver. Our kids occasionally play together and were in German classes together as well. Phil’s a great guy, and we were roommates sophmore season. Now that I am the radio colour commentator for the Vancouver Canucks, I get to see Joe Sacco when his Colorado Avalanche team plays the Canucks. I think our senior class is overdue for a get-together…so maybe that will have to be organized.

Q. What are the most lasting memories of your BU Hockey career?
A. Personally, leaving home and eventually finding new friends on the team from other places was a great experience. I have fond memories of the fun times we had along the way. I also credit Coach Parker and Mike Boyle for turning me into a complete hockey player, one that played pro for 15 years after being passed up in the regular NHL Draft (I was drafted in the Supplemental Draft which is no longer held). Coach challenged me hard at times along the way and taught me about defence as well. Mike Boyle turned me into a strong, fit player, as I grew a few inches and gained over 20 pounds while at BU; d he showed me the benefit of proper workouts.

Q. Dave, what were the greatest challenges in attempting to transfer your skills from D1 to the NHL?
A. Learning to play at a higher tempo more frequently and getting revved up for each and every game at the pro level was difficult at first. In college, when playing almost only on the weekends…it was easy to harness the energy and go all out for two games and then practice until the next two games the following week. At the pro level, you have to be at your best every night over a long season of 80 plus games. Also, making plays quickly and instinctively rather than assessing every option…as there’s no time for thinking in the NHL as everything has to be reaction with your feet moving.

Q. Many Terrier fans were thrilled to see you achieve your dream of playing in the NHL. What was the highlight of your time in the NHL?
A. It would have to be my first (and only) NHL goal. It was in St.Louis against Curtis Joseph, a deflection in front. I also had an assist on a Keith Tkachuk goal for my first (and only) multi-point NHL game that night as well. A close second was playing for the Winnipeg Jets against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver with lots of family and friends in attendance.

Q. After NHL stops, you spent many years in Germany, where, as your sister Karin pointed out in her blog, you gained celebrity status. What were those years like?
A. They were great. I was in a smaller city (Mannheim) that took their hockey seriously and we won four championships in my first five years there. It was a big fish in a small pond kind of thing, and I enjoyed all the ice time and being an important part of the team’s success. Also, a fully furnished apartment, a Porsche, and incidentals being paid for certainly helped as well. Being single at the time was a bonus.

Q. When did you decide that you wanted to get into broadcasting?
A. I always had in the back of my mind, even when deciding on what courses to take at BU, to get into broadcasting after whatever hockey career I would have. My Dad steered me in the direction of business, so I went the SMG route, but I’d always pay attention to the broadcasters from each team I was on and ask questions along the way. When the all-sports radio station I am currently working for gained the broadcasting rights to the Canucks’ games, I went knocking on their door, talked my way onto the airways and retired from hockey at 38 years old.

Q. How daunting is the challenge of replacing the legendary Tommy Larscheid as a broadcaster?
A. Oh, it’s not easy. He was well liked by everyone not just on-air but off as well. Just a real classy guy. He had his own way of calling games, which was heavy on the entertainment and light on the x’s and o’s. He was the only colour commentator the Canucks had for 27 years so he had quite the history in the city and province. My challenge is to be myself and not try to copy anyone. I like the little things in the games that turn out to be difference makers in the outcome, and try and bring that to light. I’ll throw in some humour along the way as well and hope the listener feels like they’re right in the middle of the action.

Q. What is the biggest difference that you have noticed between the players today and when you played?
A. They are all in better shape and can skate faster. They are not all necessarily smarter with the puck or have more hockey sense, but they can play at a higher tempo for longer. I often wonder and wrestle with the idea that players respect each other less and less compared to when I played. Some of the hits seem too nasty and with no regard for injury. Being that the players are all bigger, faster and in better shape to go harder and hit harder, it’s not surprising that injuries are more frequent as well. But it just seems there is less respect to players in a compromised position on the ice and with hits from behind and to the head. I don’t like that part at all.

Q. Did you get a chance to see BU freshmen Sahir Gill and Garrett Noonan play for RBC Cup champ Vernon last season? If so, what can BU fans expect from them?
A. I haven’t personally seen them play, but just knowing they’ve come out of the BCHL and from such a respected organization as the Vernon Vipers tells me that BU has a couple of real good hockey players. The BCHL is the best Tier 2 Junior league in North America. Add the fact that they won the Canadian Championship last year and that’s all everyone needs to know. Just as long as they don’t knock me out of the Top Ten in all-time Terrier scoring and I’ll be behind them and the team one hundred percent! I wish the team and Jack Parker another successful season and a well-deserved trip to the Frozen Four, for some more Terrier magic and another National Championship.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010-11 Game Highlights

Oct. 8 -- BU 4 Wisconsin 3 (Warrior Ice Breaker semifinal)
Oct. 10 -- BU 5 Notre Dame 4 (Warrior Ice Breaker championship game)
Oct. 16-- BU 2 UMass 2
Oct. 22-- BU 4 UMass 3
Oct. 30-- BU 2 Lowell 1
Nov. 6--BU 2 Maine 2
Nov. 12--BU 1 Merrimack 1
Nov.13--BU 3 Merrimack 3
Nov. 19--UNH 5 BU 2
Nov. 20--BU 4 UNH 2
Nov. 27--BU 4 Brown 4
Dec. 3-- BC 9 BU 5
Dec. 8--BU 5 NU 4
Jan. 9--BU 4 Vermont 2
Jan 15--BU 5 Harvard 2
Jan. 21--BC 3 BU 2
Jan. 28--BU 4 Maine 3
Jan. 29--BU 1 Maine 1 OT
Feb. 4--BU 3 Lowell 1
Feb.7--BC 3 BU 2 OT
Feb. 11--BU 4 UMass 3 OT
Feb. 18--BU 2 Providence 1
Feb. 25--BU 3 Vermon3 OT
Feb. 26--BU 3 Vermont 1
Mar. 4--BU 3 Northeastern 2
Mar. 5--Northeastern 4 BU 3
Mar. 10--Northeastern 4 BU 2
Mar. 11--BU 5 Northeastern 2
Mar. 13--Northeastern 5 BU 4

Friday, August 20, 2010

Q&A with Matt Gilroy

Second in a series of Q&A interviews with former Terriers who debuted in the NHL last season. Brandon Yip Q&A-8/3/10

The storybook path that took Matt Gilroy from a walk-on freshman in Sept. 2005 to three-time All-American, Hobey Baker Award winner in 2009 and captain of BU’s “miracle comeback” National Champions the same year has gained instant legend status with Terrier fans. Just days after the dramatics in D.C., Gilroy signed a multi-year contract with the New York Rangers, enabling him to begin his pro career in Madison Square Garden where his father, Frank, had played basketball for St. John’s.

Gilroy immediately earned a spot in the Blueshirts’ lineup and played 69 games, with a 4-11-5 scoring line. Currently preparing for Rangers’ training camp, Gilroy talked with us about his rookie season in the NHL.

Q If you had to give yourself a grade on your rookie pro season, what would it be?
A. It was a great experience. It was a good first year, but as for a grade, I don't think about hockey like that.

Q. What did you learn during the season that you'd wished you knew about while at BU?
A. Nothing. College and pro are very different learning experiences. While at BU I did not think about what the NHL was like; I concentrated on being at BU. I would not change anything [from my time] at BU.

Q. Was your brief demotion to Hartford a disappointment or a challenge-or both?
A. Being demoted to Hartford is part of playing professional hockey, so it was neither a disappointment nor a challenge rather part of the process.

Q. Obviously the Ranger's just falling short of the playoffs was disappointing, but can you think of a few personal highlights? Perhaps the goal scored against Martin Brodeur?
A. Let's see.....for me, the first game in Madison Square Garden, first game back in Boston, and playing against Yipper and Colin.

Q. Compare the coaching styles of John Tortorella and Jack Parker.
A. Both are intense, but very different. The pro game is much different than college.

Q. What role does former BU Capt. Mike Sullivan play as Ranger's assistant? Which Coach focuses on defense?
A. Mike Sullivan is the defensive coach for the Rangers

Q. What is the best part about playing with Chris Drury?
A. Chris is a quality guy on and off the ice. His work ethic is contagious.

Q. Were the physical demands of an 80 game season what you expected? Did 4 years with Mike Boyle prepare you physically for the NHL?
A. Mike Boyle does a great job! I expected the NHL to be different than college. The NHL season is very long and wears on you physically and mentally.

Q. Are there any NHL rules you d like to see the NCAA adopt and why?
A. None that I can think of right now.

Q. Any interesting experiences on the ice with former BU teammates?
A. Playing against Colin and Brandon was great. Colin and I went back and forth on the ice. When the Rangers played the Avalanche in Denver Steve Smolinsky and his Dad came out to watch Yip and I. It was alot of fun.

Q. Was your first vist to the Verizon Center in D.C. a special moment or just another game?
A. Going back to that building will always be special to me, to anyone who was on the team, and to anyone who attended those games.

Q. Finally have you watched the entire 2009 National Championship game on DVD since that weekend in D.C.? Do the events of the third period and overtime still seem "unreal," as you told the media after the game?
A. I have not watched the video. For me it was a once-in-a-lifetime game and experience. My family and friends have watched it. They all tell me that even though they know the outcome they still go through the same emotions as they did sitting there at the Championship game in D.C. When I think about that game ...yes, it was unreal!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Q&A with Brandon Yip

First in a series of Q&A interviews with former Terriers who debuted in the NHL last season.

After winning an NCAA championship, former Terrier wing Brandon Yip didn’t head for DisneyWorld, but set sights on the NHL. And he got there in just a few months, following recovery from a hand injury suffered at Avalanche training camp injury and a six-game AHL pit stop. Once in a Colorado sweater, Yip did the same thing he did as a Terrier: play physical hockey and find the back of the net. Limited to 32 regular season games, he put up an 11-8-19 line and led all NHL rookies in goals per game. Following the season, he signed a new two-year contract with Colorado.

Yip is the only player to score the game-winning goal in two Hockey East Championship games (2006, 2009), tallied 108 points during his Terrier career, which concluded with BU’s comeback win in the 2009 NCAA championship game win against Miami, 4-3, OT.

Q. Where have you been spending the offseason?
A. I have been spending my offseason in Boston for the most part. I am still training with Mike Boyle in Winchester. I also go back to Vancouver for a few weeks at a time to visit my family and friends.

Q. What did you learn at BU, on or off the ice, that has benefitted you in having a successful first season with Colorado?
A. I think the most beneficial attribute that I learned from BU and took to Colorado was “work ethic.” Coach Parker really stressed a good work ethic during practice and in summer training. Working hard really does pay off and I have learned that thus far.

Q. Besides those bookend game-winners in the 2006 and 2009 Hockey East title games and the NCAA win, are there a few other games in your BU career that stand out?
A. Well the obvious one, the NCAA championship, is definitely the highlight of my career. I can’t remember every goal clearly I have scored, but I always remember the ones against BC--haha.

Q. Do you feel that staying the full 4 years helped you get ready for the NHL and allowed you to spend minimal time in the minors?
A. Absolutely, staying four years at BU was tp my advantage for sure. It gave me four years to get physically stronger and it helped shape my game to what it is now. I learned a lot on and off the ice.

Q. All three members of your senior year line have already seen NHL action. That’s not a common occurrence. Can you tell us a little about what made Bonino, McCarthy and you work so well together?
A. I think we all just brought our best attributes to the line and it seemed to jell pretty well. We complemented each other in different ways, but working hard for each other was our common denominator. Both Johnny and Nicky are great players and are going to continue to have great success wherever they play.

Q. Do you wear your NCAA championship ring or have it locked away?
A. I actually gave it to my dad to hold on for me. He has always been there for me and I thought it would be pretty cool if he kept it for me.

Q. At what point in your hockey career did you begin to believe that the NHL was an attainable goal for you?
A. I think it was when I got drafted back while playing juniors. I never thought I was going to be drafted, but when I did, it made me really think that maybe I could make it one day.

Q. You are a bit older than some of the other rookies in last year’s Avs “youth corps”(Matt Duchene, T.J. Galiardi and Ryan O'Reilly). How do you explain so many first-year and second-year players performing so well ? Was it Joe Sacco’s system?
A. Joe did a very good job in working with everyone, but really gave the rookies a lot of responsibility and held us just as accountable as the older veterans. So I think that helped us out a lot, maturing wise. I also think the veterans did a good job in leading us in the right
direction and giving some great advice as the season went on.

Q. Your top NHL thrill thus far?
A. My first goal. I will never forget it.

Q. What aspects of your game are you looking to improve on next season? What are your personal goals for the coming year?
A. I’m looking to improve all parts of my game, but focusing on getting faster and keeping up a fast pace throughout the entire game. Training during this offseason is going to be key.

Q. Just as you were at BU, you’ve become a fan favorite in Denver. How do you explain that?
A. I have no idea. I just like to play the game and I enjoy meeting new people along the way. Maybe the last name catches people's attention… who knows?

Q. Bernie Corbett pointed out during a BU broadcast that you were especially productive in games when your parents were at the game –whether in Boston or at the Denver Cup. Can you explain that? Did the pattern continue when they attended your NHL games?
A. Yeah I love it when my parents can make it to the games. Being in Boston, it was pretty far away from Vancouver, so my parents were limited in seeing most of my games. They would always listen or watch on the Internet, but when they were physically there, its always special. They are the biggest reasons for my success thus far, so I always try and give them a thrill when they come.

Q. You’re not the first NHL player to emerge from Maple Ridge? Who are some of the others?
A. Yeah, we have a lot of athletes come from our town: Cam Neely, Brenden Morrison, Andrew Ladd, Greg Moore, Larry Walker, and many others. Maple Ridge is a great community and we take a lot of pride in our sports.

Q. As training camp approaches, have you been thinking about the prospect of having a couple of former BU teammates—Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, Zach Cohen, Dave VanderGulik—join you as an Av?
A. Yeah I think it is pretty cool that we have a strong BU connection in Colorado. I think that says a lot about the program at BU. Can’t wait to see all the boys soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Q&A wth Brad Zancanaro

Former BU co-captain Brad Zancanaro answered our questions about participating in the REPLAY THE SERIES restaging of a suspended 1999 game between his Trenton High School team and rival Catholic Central.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard about the possibility of replaying the game?
A. The kid who put the application in emailed me to see if i would be interested. At first I wasn't too excited about it because I thought it might be kind of cheesy...but he had me go to the Web site and watch the previous year's show. The first season turned out really well, so I figure it could be fun, and all the guys from the team that year were pretty excited about it.

Q. You had retired from pro hockey due to an injury a few years ago. Were you still playing hockey in an adult league?
A. I quit hockey because I had a few concussions and it took me a while to feel better. But I had been playing men’s league around Boston the past couple years. BU Hockey Alumni also have skates on Sunday mornings every once in a while during the winter.

Q. How big a challenge was getting back into game shape?
A. I have stayed in pretty good shape but wasn't used to getting hit or doing drills. I had to go back to Michigan for a "combine" weekend where our high school coach ran practices. It had been two years since I had participated in an actual practice, but it didn’t take long to get back into it. It was different for the other guys though. Most of them haven't practiced or been hit since high school. A couple guys lost a lot of weight. Both teams took it pretty seriously and the game was pretty intense, so it was important that everyone got into the best shape possible.

Q. How does the Trenton--CC rivalry compare with BU-BC?
A. There aren't a lot of the rivalries that compare to the BU-BC rivalry. But, for high school hockey in Michigan, nothing compares to Trenton-CC. Both teams are powerhouses and it seems like we used to switch off winning the state championships every year. We would play CC twice during the regular season each year. The games were always packed and just as intense as BU-BC was the same type of feeling. CC is a Catholic school and recruits kids from all over the state come to play, and we are a public school that doesn't allow kids from other cities attend school there.. I think that added to the rivalry because there was a lot of pride involved for us because we were playing for our town.

Q. So, how cool was the experience of rejoining your high school teammates for a serious-game rematch with CC ?
A. Hockey has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things other people don’t get to do in their lives, but the Replay experience was by far one of the coolest things hockey has allowed me to do. It was great to go back and play high school hockey again! Not many people get a chance to do that. For our practices, our coach was running the same drills that we did 11 years ago and we even did the same traditions from 11 years ago. When given a second chance like that, people wanted to make the most of it. Both teams took it very seriously. No one was expecting the level of play to be what it was for the game, including myself. A lot of people have told me that it was one of the most exciting games that have seen in awhile and that the level of play was great to watch. We had a sold out crowd and we had our whole town behind us. The game had the same rivalry feeling that the games 11 years ago had. We were down 2-1 going into the third and we were able to pull out a 4-2 win. We had a big celebration with old friends and family that rivaled the ones we had at the Dugout after Beanpot victories!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Terrier Ice Hockey Olympians

All on Team USA unless otherwise noted.

Chris Drury
Ryan Whitney

Rick DiPietro
Chris Drury
Keith Tkachuk

Tony Amonte, Silver
Chris Drury, Silver
Tom Poti, Silver
Keith Tkachuk, Silver
Scott Young, Silver

Tony Amonte
Keith Tkachuk

Adrian Aucoin (Canada), Silver
John Lilley
David Sacco

Clark Donatelli
Scott Lachance
Shawn McEachern
Joe Sacco
Keith Tkachuk
Scott Young
* David Quinn

Clark Donatelli
Scott Young

Grant Goegan (Italy)

Mike Eruzione, Gold
Jim Craig, Gold
Jack O’Callahan, Gold
Dave Silk, Gold
Herb Wakabayashi (Japan)
Dick Decloe (Netherlands)

Dick Lamby
Herb Wakabayashi (Japan)

Tim Regan, Silver
Herb Wakabayashi (Japan)

Olivier Prechac (France)

Dick Rodenhiser, Gold

Dick Rodenhiser, Silver

Joseph “Red” Czarnota Silver

Jack Garrity

John Lax, Bronze
Paul Rowe, Bronze

*– Played for Team USA during exhibition schedule, but was cut
before the team went to France.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Beanpot’s identical twin

Four decades younger, the Beanpot trophy’s replica shines as bright as the original

By Jon Brodkin, BU 2000

On Monday night, a famous, sparkling trophy called the Beanpot will be awarded to the best college hockey team in Boston.

The trophy will be instantly recognizable to fans of Boston University or Boston College, but it is not the same one skated around the ice by the heroic likes of Mike Eruzione, Jack O’Callahan, John Cunniff, Wayne Turner and Chris Drury.

Although the tournament began in 1952, the actual trophy presented to modern day winners was made less than five years ago. After decades of wear and tear, and the occasional incident involving a winning team misplacing the trophy, Beanpot tournament officials decided the original pot was too precious to risk any further.

The original is in good shape, says Steve Nazro, tournament director and vice president of events at the TD Garden, but “it’s too valuable” to actually give to the winners for a full year. “To have any chance of having it stolen, or held hostage would be a big deal,” he says.

The Beanpot’s history features stories of players using the trophy as an ashtray, players throwing it out a dorm window during a celebration party, and at least one winning school simply having no idea where the trophy was when it came time to return it a week before the next year’s tournament.

The stories may be true and they may be false, but they add to the lore of the tournament and the silver pot, just as mishaps involving the Stanley Cup enrich that trophy’s history.

The Beanpot has also served as a touchstone in emotionally charged circumstances, such as when the victorious Northeastern Huskies presented the trophy in 1984 to Terry Flaman, the cancer-stricken son of their coach who, sitting in a wheelchair, had given the team a pre-game pep talk. Then in the late 1990s the BU Terriers celebrated several Beanpot wins with Travis Roy, who had been paralyzed in October 1995 in his first game as a freshman.

As much as the Beanpot meant to players and coaches, at some point Boston Garden officials stopped letting the winners take the Beanpot home with them in case it was lost or damaged. I remember hearing about one team – I think it was the 2001 Boston College Eagles - whose players and coaches were boarding the bus expecting to take the trophy back to campus and were surprised to learn that was not allowed.

Nazro and his team solved the problem a few months before the 2006 tournament. Beanpot officials decided the best way to allow the winning team to keep the trophy was to create a replica that would look exactly like the original, down to the smallest detail. That replica, created by Marlborough Foundry Inc. in Marlborough, Mass, is the one that will be presented on the Garden ice Monday night and given to the winners to keep until next year’s tournament.

In late 2005, Garden officials brought the beanpot portion of the Beanpot trophy – the bottom part which has engravings of the yearly winners was removed - to Marlborough Foundry, where a mold of the original was created. Fittingly, the metal for a replica was poured into the mold by Steve Postizzi, a 33-year-old who played high school hockey and attended the Beanpot as a child.

“I wanted to make sure I was the guy who poured the metal into the mold, so I could say that,” Postizzi says.

While the original Beanpot was made of iron, the replica is aluminum, and is thus quite a bit lighter than the trophy skated around in decades gone by. While Nazro says there is nothing wrong with the original, Postizzi’s expert eye noticed the handles appear to have been snapped off in the past, and other repaired cracks were apparent when looking inside the Beanpot.

“It had been broken a couple times,” Postizzi says. “You can only weld and repair things so often before you start to diminish the integrity of the pot. … They wanted us to make a replica because the original was dropped too many times and they didn’t want to risk it any further.”

The original trophy’s exterior was buffed to keep it smooth, and overall Postizzi says “it was in good condition, but they didn’t want any more dings and dents in it.”

Creating the new Beanpot cost about $700 or $800, mostly for labor, and took a few days. Marlborough Foundry kept the original Beanpot for a couple of weeks in total, including time for planning, says Postizzi, who has worked in the family foundry business since the age of 18. Once Marlborough Foundry was done with the replica Beanpot it was passed on to Lubin’s trophy shop in Newton, where engraving and other final details were taken care of.

I’ve attended the Beanpot nearly every year since 1995 and never learned until this month that the iconic trophy had been replaced, because the story has largely remained untold.

Nazro says the replacement of the original pot hasn’t received much attention, other than a one-paragraph piece that appeared in Boston Magazine in February 2007. That article, titled “The Beanpot’s Trusty Body Double,” says the original trophy “is still the crowd pleaser, since that’s what the winning team hoists for its celebratory skate.” If the article is correct, then the only reason the replica was created was so the winning team would have a copy to keep in its trophy case while the original stayed at the garden and was presented to the winners on the ice.

Nazro says it’s possible that was true in 2007, but is certainly not true today – the replica is definitely the one handed out on the ice to the winning team.

“The replica is locked in a closet with the other awards, ready to be given out,” Nazro told me Friday.

Postizzi was told by Garden officials that the replica would replace the original for on-ice presentations once it was ready, so it may be that that the last time the original was presented was in February 2005, when Ray Bourque’s son Chris won the trophy for BU with an overtime goal against Northeastern.

You might think tournament participants would be upset about the original Beanpot being replaced, but Nazro says they “were thrilled … now they can display it in their trophy case.”

After winning the NCAA Division 1 ice hockey championship in April 2009, Boston University held several events, including a parade and banner-raising ceremony, showing off all six trophies the team won the previous season. Without the Beanpot replica, those celebrations might have been missing one very important trophy.

There is certainly precedent for famous trophies being replaced with replicas. The FA Cup, the oldest football (you know, soccer) competition in the world has awarded a replica trophy since 1992. And there are actually three Stanley Cups: the fragile original, first presented in 1893 and now encased in glass in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto; the “presentation cup” awarded to winners since the early 1960s; and a replica later created for display at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Marlborough Foundry was almost asked to make another replica Beanpot trophy, when the Hall of Fame called the Garden about getting a Beanpot for display. For reasons unclear to Nazro, the deal was never completed.

“We responded and offered to do whatever they wanted. … We got all excited about it but they [the Hall of Fame officials] never followed through,” Nazro said.

Surprisingly, it’s not even clear when the original Beanpot was created. The first rendition of the tournament took place in December 1952 at Boston Arena (now, Matthews Arena, Northeastern’s home stadium) and its official name was the New England Invitational Hockey Tournament. Even though there wasn’t a trophy that first year, the 1952 contest featuring BU, BC, Harvard and Northeastern was nicknamed the “Beanpot” in press stories, presumably as a reference to Boston’s love of baked beans.

At some point after the tournament moved to Boston Garden, which occurred in January 1954, a beanpot was acquired to serve as a trophy. Nazro says he doesn’t know which year the beanpot was purchased.

College hockey historian Bernard Corbett wrote the best history of the Beanpot in 2002, a book called “The Beanpot: 50 years of Thrills, Spills, and Chills.”

The book quotes Harvard official Carroll Getchell as saying “do you know we went for a few years without a trophy? Then finally, one, day, [Boston Garden owner] Walter [Brown] said, ‘Why the devil don’t we have a Beanpot Trophy?’ So now we have this large silver Beanpot.”

“The trophy problem was solved by legendary Garden troubleshooter Tony Nota, who managed to acquire one,” Corbett’s book continues.

The earliest picture of a Beanpot trophy featured in the book was of Red Martin, Boston College’s “58-minute man” who won the tournament in 1959 and 1961. He is pictured holding an actual ceramic beanpot.

“After using a humble ceramic jug for more than a decade, Beanpot officials finally switched to a proper silver version, cast from the original,” Boston Magazine’s February 2007 article states.
Photographs from various sources show that the silver-colored version fans know today has been in use since at least 1965, the year current BC coach Jerry York first suited up for the Eagles and one season before BU coach Jack Parker first skated for the Terriers.

1966 was the first year in which the winning team not only accepted the trophy, but also skated it around the ice to show off to fans in the student section. BU senior captain Dennis O’Connell is credited with starting the tradition.

The trophy was originally fitted with a single ring below the pot to engrave the names of winning schools, and a second ring was added in the mid-1980s, making the trophy noticeably larger.

The Beanpot wasn’t always handled with the same level of care it enjoys today. Postizzi says one of the Garden officials told him the Beanpot was lost in the 80s and eventually found in a bush outside a BC dorm. BC only won the Beanpot once in the 1980s, so if the story is true that would have occurred in 1983.

Postizzi was also told some players used the trophy as an ashtray. Nazro has heard the same story.

“That’s lore. It may be true. I can’t say it isn’t,” Nazro says.

Nazro confirms that one school did lose the trophy. Garden officials called the school a week before the tournament and it turned out no one knew where the trophy was. It was eventually found “in some obscure case,” he says.

Nazro says that occurred before his time as the tournament director, which started in the early 1970s. If Nazro knows which school actually lost the trophy, he’s not saying publicly.

The stories mirror some of those told about the Stanley Cup, which has allegedly been lost and stolen various times, used as an ashtray, thrown into multiple swimming pools and, disturbingly, used as both a receptacle for chewing gum and urine, though one would hope not at the same time.

Those indignities won’t be happening to the original Beanpot any time soon. Most of the year it sits in a glass case with other Beanpot memorabilia at the TD Garden, on display for anyone with club level tickets. Nazro says no one’s ever actually tried to steal it, and a combination of alarms and 24-hour security would make it quite difficult.

The original was taken out of its case for the pre-Beanpot luncheon and “it’s in my office right now because we often get people who want to shoot it between now and the tournament,” Nazro says. It’s no surprise so many people want a picture of the Beanpot. Winning the Beanpot isn’t as great an achievement as prevailing in the Hockey East or NCAA tournaments, but the trophy itself may be the most unique and aesthetically pleasing in all of college hockey.

On Monday night, the original Beanpot will be in safe-keeping while the Boston University Terriers and Boston College Eagles renew their fierce rivalry. The winner will be presented a trophy that looks exactly like the historic cup BU coach Jack Parker and BC coach Jerry York fought over when they skated for their alma maters more than 40 years ago. It is not, in fact, the same piece of silverware but the replica will forever be a part of the Beanpot tournament’s storied history.

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