Saturday, April 12, 2008

End of a Fun Ride

The thrilling run for the Irish Icers came to a disappointing conclusion on Saturday night, as the Irish lost the national championship game 4-1 to the Boston College Eagles. BC's super-junior Nathan Gerbe was a terror throughout the tournament and saved his best for the Frozen Four, racking up 8 points with a hat trick in the semis and a pair of goals and assists during tonight's championship. His last point summed things up - an absolutely blind shove backwards between his legs that found the stick of a BC player and then deflected off the chest of Brock Sheahan into the net, giving BC an insurmountable three-goal lead in the final period. When it's your time, it's your time.

Just 35 seconds prior to the back-breaker, the Irish appeared to have closed to within a goal when Kyle Lawson deflected in a slapshot by Ian Cole. After a lengthy consult with the replay booth, the officials ruled no goal by virtue of some hazy interpretation over specifically what role "a distinct kicking motion" played in the score. The fact that Lawson's 'distinct kicking motion' made as much contact with the puck as Charlie Brown's made with Lucy's football seemed lost on the official.

While it would've been fun to see how the final 15 minutes would've played out had the goal stood, there's no denying BC was the superior team (cashing in on 2 of 4 power plays, in contrast to the Irish's 0-for-8 on the man-advantage) and deserves to be congratulated. The Irish say goodbye to a gritty senior class which includes Sheahan, Mark Van Guilder, Dan VeNard, & Evan Rankin, four guys who endured a humiliating freshman campaign and then fought all the way from the absolute brink five weeks ago into the national championship game. This was a great reminder for all Irish sports teams, including the one which dominates the Gug, that anything's possible. Here's to Jeff Jackson and the 2007-08 Irish hockey team:

Oh, and Angelo? This Gerbe kid was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. A blessing for the franchise, or a curse?


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