Friday, February 20, 2015

Celebrating the 1995 National Champions

Tonight, BU will honor its 1995 championship squad, the fourth of its five NCAA title teams and the second to achieve a trifecta of Beanpot, conference title and the national crown.  The third-highest scoring Terrier squad of all time (224 goals) was captained by Jacques Joubert, who played three seasons (66G, 65A)—reaching the Final Four each year—after transferring from Princeton.  As a senior, he co-led the team in goals with 29, including the game-winner in BU’s 6-2 win over Maine in the NCAA title game in Providence (video).

Joubert, who will be joined by 18 of his former teammates during tonight's game against Notre Dame, talked with THFB about that championship season.

Note: Look for a new Terrier Tales' feature from blog contributor mh82, which will chronicle BU's 31-6-3 season that culminated in the program's fourth NCAA title. We'll post it in early March.

Q—How much of a motivator was losing to Lake Superior in the 1994 national championship game to the ‘94-‘95 team?
A—The ‘94 loss was a huge motivator for the returning players.  Frankly, we were embarrassed by our performance and we vowed to get back that very night.  We worked so hard that off season and everyone had just one goal.

Q—BU went into the season as the favorite for both Hockey East and the NCAA. Was that designation viewed as a burden or a challenge by the team? As captain, what challenges did you face?
A— To be honest, we knew we had an even better team coming into the ‘95 season so we put the expectations on ourselves and didn’t feel any outside influence or expectations.  As captain, the biggest issue was making sure we stay focused on every game throughout the season and not get too caught up in the end result or end of the season when it was still November or December. 

Q--Both Mike Grier and you scored 29 goals while Chris O’Sullivan led the team with 56 points. Yet center Steve Thornton was voted Team MVP. What made him a special player who earned that award?
A— We were such a deep team, but Steve was Mr. Consistency.  He played great all year and in every situation, whether it was short-handed, power play or even strength.  He also scored the first goal of the championship game, which to me was still the most important goal. 

Q—BU had 14 players with 20 or more points that season. Was scoring depth the factor that set this team apart from the rest?
A— We were solid all around and the depth made it hard for any opponent to focus on shutting us down.  They could not just pick a player or single line to shut down because we would beat them with the other two or three lines.

Q--Of the nine non-wins that season (6L, 3T), four were against Maine (2L, 2T). Was there any doubt in your mind about who would win the final against the Black Bears?
A— Maine, at the time, was our biggest rival, but that year we believed we were a better team despite the record.  Every game against them was a battle but there was no doubt we were going to win that game.  We were on a mission all year and were not going to let another chance at a national title slip past us.  In hindsight, we were much more focused and prepared for the 1995 tournament than the 1994 tournament.