It was a rematch of the nail-biting 2006 national championship game won by Wisconsin, 2-1, that ended with Boston College's Peter Harrold hitting the crossbar with one second remaining.
In Detroit last Saturday night, the 2010 title game rematch had all the makings of a comparable score when BC took a 1-0 lead into the third period at Ford Field.
Four unanswered third-period goals and 20 minutes later, however, it was lights out in many a Badger borough from Detroit to Madison as Boston College rolled to a decisive 5-0 final.
For Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves, it was a lost opportunity to win a second national championship.
For Boston College's Jerry York, it was his fourth overall, third at BC, and second in the past three years. In 2008, BC defeated Notre Dame, 4-1.
At the postgame press conference, each coach offered commentary and insights about the game. Here's a look at some of those comments.
Mike Eaves on the game overall -- They played a very good game today and they deserved to win. First period I thought we did the things we wanted to do with the puck, both at our blue line and their blue line, and the second period we picked it up. Started getting momentum going. And in the third period we never got that next goal.
Eaves on what BC did best -- They did a tremendous job of getting in our shooting lanes. We couldn't get pucks to the net; they blocked a ton of shots. They ended up winning the special-teams contest. Scored a couple goals. We couldn't score on our's.
Eaves on what Wisconsin needed to do better -- In the first period, it was our inability to get the pucks out at our blue line and get them in deep below the dots. And we got better in the second period and we created more shots because of that. As far as getting more pucks to the net, we thought if we could get the puck and release it and drop a shoulder and get a step and get it to the net quicker that might have helped us but they made good adjustments.
Eaves on the ice conditions at Ford Field -- I'll make one comment about the ice, and I don't think we need to address it anymore. The fact is both teams had to play on it. Was it the best ice? It was slow and soft, but both teams had to play on it. You deal with it.
Eaves on the BC program -- They're one of the elite programs in all of college hockey. They have the ability to attract the top-end kids because of the type of school they are. They have the reputation when you go there you believe that you have a chance to win. It's something that we all strive for, and they've got it going right now. They've got a little bit of a roll.
Eaves summarizing the 2009-10 season -- We talked about this thing as being a journey. And we got near the top of the mountain, but we weren't quite able to stick the flag in the top. But we accomplished some great things. We did some wonderful things this year. Didn't lose back-to-back games all year, won the Western Regional. In a couple of days we'll take a look at the journey we had and know we did some wonderful things.
Jerry York on winning the national championship -- Unbelievably excited. Just an amazing feeling. And I think that at first I'd like to give credit to Mike Eaves and the Wisconsin Badgers. Clearly the best team we've played this year. So I know they're disappointed with not putting their name on the trophy, but they've had an outstanding year.
York on the Hockey East streak at three years and counting -- I was talking to Jack Parker, my counterpart from Boston University, and we're old war horses in this game. We were talking about at least let's keep the trophy right there on Common(wealth) Ave. We've done that. (Commissioner) Joe Bertagna has now had three championships in a row bringing back to Hockey East.
York on the key to winning it all -- I've learned an awful lot through my career. And first and foremost is that when you're recruiting a player you better make sure he's going to be a good team guy. You have to sometimes pass on a highly skilled player that you don't feel fit into the way I coach. But it's always fun to coach good teams and good players. And I've had a whole bunch of those guys during my career.
York on the third-period strategy -- We weren't thinking of breaking the game open. We were thinking of trying to continue to play what we call 'Eagle hockey'; not be affected by the score, not, 'Hey, let's protect the 1-0 lead.' We want to attack and be aggressive. Probably if it was a basketball team, full-court press. We don't like to sit back and change our style depending on the score. That was my message to our players: 'Win the next period, win the national title.'
York on his team matching up with Wisconsin's size and skill -- Everybody talks about quickness, but our players are strong on the skates. Some have great size, like Jimmy Hayes and Chris Kreider. We also balance that with some very quick players that are short in stature but Gibbons, Atkinson, they're strong in the skates. So they can play a physical game also. And I think to be good you have to win battles. It's not always a flow game up and down the ice. We have strong, competitive kids. I liked how we played physically.
York on his young players -- I think if you're going to play young players, you're going to have some mistakes made. But we wanted to be creative. We want to be a really good, solid team. You learn from your mistakes. Sometimes people say, 'I wish I didn't do that.' I think you're better off having mistakes, then correcting your mistakes and moving forward.
York on goalie John Muse's best qualities -- I think his personality. He doesn't get flustered. He's a very poised young man. Came right out of [prep shool] 18-years-old, came into BC and won a national championship. Wasn't one of those where he learned his craft in junior hockey. That's what struck me. His patience, his poise, and just good work habits. He doesn't get any All-American awards or First or Second Team in our league, but if you're picking a goaltender to win a money game, you have to go with John Muse.
York on this win and BC's history -- I thought our players, to win two national championships for the juniors and seniors has never been done in Boston College history. We have a long and very storied history in all of sports, but you look at football, basketball, baseball, hockey, these guys bring two trophies back to Boston College, what a career they've had. It's been a remarkable career for the juniors and seniors. I think BC's been one of the really bright lights in college hockey since 1920, 1925. There're probably six schools that could say that through the long history of college hockey and we're proud to be in that top six. We're a fairly small school, but we're a special school, and I think we attract a lot of really good student-athletes.
East and West All-America Teams -- The 2010 First-Team All-America squads from the East and West were announced at the Frozen Four in Detroit.
East Team: Senior forward Bobby Butler from New Hampshire, Maine sophomore forward Gustav Nyquist, junior forward Chase Polacek from Rensselaer, senior defenseman Brendan Nash from Cornell, Boston Univeristy junior defenseman Colby Cohen, and senior goaltender Ben Scrivens at Cornell.
West Team: Junior forward Mark Olver from Northern Michigan, senior forward and Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion from Wisconsin, senior forward Rhett Rakhshani from Denver, Wisconsin junior Brendan Smith from Wisconsin on defense and Denver sophomore Patrick Weircioch, and in goal, Denver's Marc Cheverie.
The Frozen Four All-Tournament Team was dominated by Boston College with five Eagles named. Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith was named, along with BC forwards Cam Atkinson Joe Whitey and Ben Smith, defenseman Brian Dumoulin, and goaltender John Muse. Smith was named the Most Outstanding Player.
On Campus Clips -- Merrimack's Stephane Da Costa, a native of France, was named National College Hockey Rookie of the Year by the Hockey Commissioners Association. He amassed 45 points, a rookie record at Merrimack, in leading the Warriors to their first postseason play since 2004. … The HCA also named Brown senior forward Jordan Pietrus recipient of the fourth annual Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, established by the HCA in honor of former West Point player Derek Hines. A four-year letter winner from 1999-2003 and co-captain his senior season, Hines was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in September 2006. Pietrus, a 24-year old native of Winnipeg, owns a 3.50 overall GPA and was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team for the fourth-consecutive year. … Frozen Four rumor mill has the Rules committee discussing the elimination of icing by the penalized team as a means to increase scoring, and reduce tie games. … The front-runners to host the 2013 and 2014 Frozen Four are rumored to be Boston and Pittsburgh, respectively. The NCAA will make the announcement in the upcoming months. The 2012 site is Tampa, Fla. The 2011 Frozen Four will be played at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.