BOSTON — Boston College head coach Jerry York has three national championships with the Eagles, eight Hockey East Tournament titles and now six Beanpot wins. To say that he knows what's best for his team would be the epitome of an understatement.
But that didn't stop York from looking outside the university for a spark prior to Monday's Beanpot championship showdown with Boston University.
Enter Terry Francona.
York invited the former Red Sox manager to speak to the Eagles on Feb. 7, a day after BC dismantled Northeastern to reach the Beanpot final for the third straight year. Francona ended up dropping by, and York noted before Monday's game that he felt like the former Boston skipper's message really hit home for the players in the BC locker room.
"We had Terry Francona in last week to talk to our team and he was outstanding, just outstanding," York said before Monday's game against BU. "He talked about energy level and I think that is something we had been stressing.
"But all of a sudden Terry mentioned it and you could see it had [an impact]."
York said Francona also discussed the Red Sox locker room, and how second baseman Dustin Pedroia, in particular, would brighten it up and challenge everyone to become a better teammate. That's something York would like to see out of his players down the stretch, and it started on Monday night on the TD Garden ice.
The Eagles were able to prevail with 6.4 seconds remaining in overtime of a thrilling game that saw BC give up leads on two separate occasions, including one lead 7:12 into the third period.
Before the game, it was York's opinion that Francona's message was well-received by his players. After watching his players battle on Monday night, it was obvious.
For that reason, the BC coach was quick to once again bring up the importance of Francona's visit while addressing the media following the championship win.
"I thought Terry Francona was terrific, he came in and spoke with us. And he mentioned the fact that to win a game, you can't rely on superstitions and luck," York said. "You have to rely on our energy level and good players."
The Eagles showed on Monday night that they have a perfect combination of both, something both York and Francona can be proud of.