In fact, seven Hockey East clubs have gone on to win national championships. Maine was the first team to do so in 1993 and Boston College was the most recent in 2010. When you look back over the course of the conference’s history, it’s understandably tough to pinpoint the best team in the conference history.
The first national champion, the ’93 Maine Black Bears was a special team. Led by the Hobey Baker award winner for that season, Paul Kariya, UMaine posted an incredible 42-1-2 record on its way to a Hockey East title and eventually, a national championship.
Two years later, it was Jack Parker‘s Boston University bunch that had reached the college hockey summit, toppling Maine in the process. The Terriers were 31-6-2 over their season of dominance, capped with an equally impressive 6-2 win over the Black Bears to give BU its fourth title.
Maine was back in 1999, as Shawn Walsh was able to lead the Black Bears back to national championship. They won the title in a 5-4 thriller over Lake Superior State after finishing second in the Hockey East regular season standings and getting bounced in the postseason tournament’s second round.
Boston College officially returned to the ranks of the best programs in the country in 2001 when Jerry York’s bunch won the school’s first title since 1949. Conference player of the year Brian Gionta led the way for the Eagles who also won the Hockey East tournament. BC didn’t make it easy, though, as they had to work overtime before winning a 3-2 thriller over North Dakota in the national championship.
Recently, both BU and BC have continued to contend for not only the Hockey East crown, but the national title every year. It was Parker and the Terriers in 2009 who came away victorious, thanks to an absolutely thrilling comeback in the national title game. A year later, though, it was York and the Eagles blanking a dominant Wisconsin team in the title game to give BC its fourth title in school history, and the third national championship in 10 years.