While the Sharks are still in the very early stages of their championship hunt, one member of the Sharks family has already secured a ring. Prospect Nick Petrecki
, the second of two Sharks first round picks in 2007, played a strong role in Boston College’s recent run to the top of the NCAA’s Frozen Four. It capped a dream season for the freshman who was also part of Boston College’s Bean Pot championship.
The Beanpot victory, the 14th for B.C. is a huge midseason marker for the big four Boston-area hockey schools (B.C., Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern) and it was there that Petrecki put his name on the national scene. He scored twice, including the overtime game-winner in the championship game against Harvard.
Things slipped a bit for the Eagles after that though.
“We didn’t know we would go 1-6 in the next seven,” said Petrecki.
However, Petrecki and Boston College got their momentum going in the Hockey East tournament and that provided some confidence for the Eagles.
“After the slump, we got hot in the Hockey East tournament and waited for the NCAA seedings,” said Petrecki. “We had a great group of seniors and our goaltending was playing really well.”
Petrecki was not at B.C. for a couple of recent NCAA tournament losses, but the Sharks prospect said those losses provided the necessary motivation for the senior class.
“They had lost to Wisconsin and Michigan State, but they reassured us we had the team to do it,” said Petrecki. “I can’t tell you how much help the seniors were.”
Petrecki said the atmosphere at the Frozen Four was outstanding, but there were few B.C. fans who found tickets in Denver.
“It was a lot like the Beanpot, but not as many fans for us,” said Petrecki. “The whole place was all green for North Dakota and there weren’t a lot of people out west who wanted a Hockey East team to win.”
Boston College first toppled North Dakota in a 6-1 rout.
“I don’t think we looked back after the first period,” said Petrecki. “We wanted to keep ourselves going for the next game. We won 6-1 over a well respected program.”
When they finished off Notre Dame in the title game, it was the perfect wrap to Petrecki’s freshman year.
“Everybody went nuts,” said Petrecki. “We put on the championship hats and it was chaos. It was great seeing the guys who came so close the past year.”
The champions returned home to a well-deserved hero’s welcome.
“That night (when we returned), we threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox-Yankees game,” said Petrecki. “We went to the Bruins game on Tuesday and got a standing ovation.”
There is likely no way Petrecki can have a better sophomore season, but it might be possible to duplicate 2008.
“Everyone is saying after this freshman year, I can’t match it, but we have some talent left and a great coach,” said Petrecki.
Down the line, Sharks fans can hope to see Petrecki follow in the footsteps of current Sharks who won NCAA titles. Both Matt Carle, twice with the University of Denver, and Joe Pavelski
, with the University of Wisconsin, won championships in college and are playing significant roles in Team Teal’s current playoff series.
“I like knowing the guys (Carle and Pavelski) and seeing what they did in college and where they are now,” said Petrecki. “It says a lot about the college game. Five or six years ago, it was not like it is now (with as many players going to the NHL).”
That is in future. For now, Petrecki is simply living the life of a college freshman, albeit a very fortunate college freshman.RATINGS HIGH
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s telecast of Game 5 of the San Jose Sharks Western Conference Quarterfinal Series against Calgary delivered an average local rating of 2.9 (over 70,000 households). The game drew a peak audience of over 116,000 households (4.8 rating). To date, the Sharks/Flames game five telecast is the highest-rated Sharks game of the season on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Sharks ratings have increased 167% when compared to the regular season ratings (2.4 playoffs vs. 0.9 regular season). Through five playoff games, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Sharks-Flames ratings have averaged more than 58,000 households watching per game. The Sharks 2007-08 playoff average to date rating of 2.4 represents a 20% increase over 2006-07 first round average of 2.0 in four telecasts (Sharks/Nashville Predators).
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will present game six of Sharks/Flames on Sunday, April 20 at 5:00 PM from the Pengrowth Saddledome.
1 rating point = 24,194 TV Households in SF DMA
Ratings information provided by Nielsen Media ResearchSEASON WRAP
Petrecki posted four goals and 11 assists during 38 regular season games at Chestnut Hill. He added one goal in the Eagles four game march to the NCAA title.GAME 7
If necessary, Game 7 of the Sharks and Flames series will start at 7 PM (Pacific) on Tuesday.