Boston College hockey coach Jerry York is not the type of person to celebrate individual milestones. York and his players are all about achievement as a team, so he downplayed his role as he approached Ron Mason’s Division 1 record of 924 victories.
However, on Saturday night, in addition to avenging Friday’s loss to rival Boston University at Agganis Arena, the Eagles celebrated both their 5-2 win at Conte Forum in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,884, and York earning his 924th triumph.
York will have the opportunity to break the mark Friday, when the Eagles travel to Providence College.
“The record means nothing to him,’’ said BC captain Pat Mullane. “As a group [Friday] night, we were obviously disappointed with the loss, more importantly disappointed we didn’t give us a chance to break the record for him at home. He’s given me a great opportunity to play here and represent Boston College and wear maroon and gold. I think a lot of the guys feel the exact same way. I’m definitely happy for him.’’
Bill Arnold, who had a pair of goals Saturday, said it was an honor to be a part of the experience and play for BC.
“As Pat said, [York] won’t talk about it, and he’s obviously changed all the guys on the team’s lives, and to be able to give something back to him and get this record for him is something we all really wanted to do,’’ said Arnold.
York said when he thinks of the wins and losses over his 41 years behind the bench, he thinks of the players.
“We got Rob Blake to join us at Bowling Green, and Brian Gionta here and Nathan Gerbe, some really top-end guys, so I really reflect more on them,’’ York said. “It’s all about good players who want to get better and play as part of a team.’’
BC took the lead at 10:40 of the first period on the first of four power-play goals, with freshman defenseman Teddy Doherty popping in his first collegiate goal during a scramble in front.
BU tied it on the first of their two power-play goals, Cason Hohmann potting his fourth of the season from just outside the left post at 12:52.
BC went back on top at 1:59 of the middle period. With only one second remaining on the man advantage, Arnold cashed in on a rebound from just outside the right post for his fifth of the season.
BC, which didn’t score on its first two-man advantage, didn’t miss on its second chance.
At 15:48, Michael Matheson took a pass from Whitney and rifled a shot past freshman goalie Matt O’Connor (31 saves) for a 3-1 lead.
The Eagles scored their fourth power-play goal at 16:38. Patrick Wey sent the puck toward the net from high between the circles. It caromed off the end boards and bounced out near the right post. Arnold pounced on it and put it by O’Connor.
The Eagles made it 5-1 at 4:16 of the third on their first even-strength goal, freshman Brendan Silk tallying the first of his career.
The Terriers closed to within three with a power-play goal at 13:02 when Evan Rodrigues beat Parker Milner (21 saves).
BC’s Johnny Gaudreau, who had tallied at least one point in the team’s first 12 games, had his scoring streak snapped. BU coach Jack Parker tipped his cap to York, a longtime friend.
“He deserves all the accolades,’’ said Parker. “It’s hard for people to believe this because he’s been around so long and he’s been so successful, but I still don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He’s done an unbelieveable job making this program the best it’s ever been.’’