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BC coach York's loyalties tested in East finals

By Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

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BC coach York's loyalties tested in East finals
Four players in the Eastern Conference Final have ties to Boston College and that conflicts Eagles head coach Jerry York. Rangers rookie Chris Kreider, who led BC to another Frozen Four title just over a month ago and teammate Brian Boyle join Stephen Gionta and Peter Harrold of the Devils in vying for the Stanley Cup.

In the locker room of the Boston College Eagles, winner of three of the last five NCAA hockey championships, there's a wall featuring photos of all the Eagles who have hoisted the Stanley Cup, starting with Joe Mullen and on through Brian Leetch, Doug Brown, and Brooks Orpik.

With four teams remaining in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's very possible that at a few more players could be added to that wall.

"It's inspiring for all of us, coaches and players. To get to the National League but also to get a Cup," BC coach Jerry York told NHL.com. "We have a goal here. You leave with a diploma in one hand and a [NCAA championship] ring in the other hand. These guys all worked really hard at their degrees. We're very proud, but I don't know who to root for."

Finding a team to root for in the conference finals may have never been more difficult for York, who has coached the Eagles since 1994. While BC alum Rob Scuderi is patrolling the Kings blue line in the Western Conference Finals, there are four former Eagles participating in the East series between the Rangers and Devils, including New York rookie Chris Kreider, who led BC to another Frozen Four title just over a month ago. With Brian Boyle of the Rangers and Stephen Gionta and Peter Harrold of the Devils also competing for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, it's been an impossible task for York to pick a favorite.

"Hopefully at least one will get a chance to put their name on the Cup," York said.

Because Scuderi won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, he already has his name on the legendary wall. BC alums can't have their photo on the wall more than once, so that locker room will stay the same should a Western Conference team hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. But with four players, two for each team, still competing in the East in a Hudson River battle just hours from Boston College's campus, York has been watching especially closely.

"I have to get down there for a game," York said. "They owe me tickets."

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres