York, Eaves meet for 2006 rematch

first_imgWhen Wisconsin’s hockey team took the ice for the 2006 Frozen Four title game against Boston College, one of the players responsible for getting them there was nowhere to be found. A right-ankle injury sidelined junior defenseman Joe Piskula for the final game of the regular season and all of the playoffs. Piskula was able to join his teammates on the Bradley Center ice after their title run was complete — but something will always be missing for him. “It was definitely hard not being on the ice for [the National Championship game], but the guys still made feel like I was a part of it,” Piskula said. “Just playing all season and missing the playoffs, it was so hard to be in the stands for that game.”When Boston College (2-1-0) faces off against Wisconsin (3-1-2, 2-1-1 WCHA), it will be a match-up of preseason No. 1-ranked squads, as well as a rematch of last year’s National Championship game. But for Piskula, it will be an opportunity to show the Golden Eagles something they didn’t see in last year’s title game.”It’s a totally different situation, but hopefully I can bring what I have to the table and help my team do well,” Piskula said. “We got a little rematch going, and I didn’t get to play against them so it will be nice for me to give [Boston College] a little something — it’s not the championship, but it is still the same guys over there.”Piskula and the rest of the experienced-rich blue liners will surely be tested this weekend against BC’s potent offensive attack. In four of their five games this season, the Golden Eagles have scored five goals, the only exception being a 7-1 rout at the hands of Notre Dame. Nevertheless, the Badgers will be up to the challenging task.”We know what they’re going to do, but we got to come out hitting, taking the body and show them we are not going to back down, and that we’re going to set the tempo,” UW assistant captain Jeff Likens said. “We just got to play our style on defense, we have our systems and we know what they are going to do inside the zone and out, and we just got to shut them down.”Another matchup to keep an eye on this weekend will be the head coaches — Wisconsin’s Mike Eaves and Boston College’s Jerry York.Although Eaves was victorious in the 2006 Frozen Four championship game, it is York who is a 35-year veteran behind the bench. In his illustrious coaching career, York has won 751 games and two national championships, including his first with Boston College in 2001. Eaves, on the other hand, has emerged as the premiere young coach in collegiate hockey after the Badgers’ championship run a season ago. Eaves is no stranger to York, or his coaching style, as two of his sons played for the legendary coach. Eaves admitted to sharing a nice moment with York following last year’s championship game.”That speaks to the relationship we have through our boys, and it speaks to the kind of person he is,” Eaves said. “It really made it a more enjoyable evening, [as] we can talk openly about the [championship game] and be rivals on the ice but share a moment about how our teams handled themselves after the game.”When the puck drops Friday, Wisconsin’s lineup will feature a number of underclassmen who did not participate in last year’s championship game. Regardless of their inexperience, this young Badger squad will have to compete with the emotions of the Golden Eagles that will no doubt be flying high, hoping to exact revenge for last year’s Frozen Four loss.”They are a great team, and they didn’t lose too many guys from last year, and nobody likes to lose in the national championship,” freshman defenseman Jamie McBain said. “They’re going to come with a little something extra, but we got to match it and overcome it.” Despite Eaves’ attempts to keep his team focused in treating this weekend just like any other series, players and coaches alike sense the added energy that goes along with a championship game rematch.”They’re excited to play Boston College, I mean they know they are a top team and when you play a top team you get excited, and the fact that we have a recent history with them only heightens the excitement,” Eaves said. “You know you have to defend your title against everyone,” Piskula added. “And maybe a little bit more against the runner-up from last season.”Injury ReportKyle Klubertanz practiced Thursday, and Eaves is confident the veteran defenseman will be in the lineup this weekend. …Forward Jack Skille participated in skating drills, but will be inactive for at least the next four weeks. …Ross Carlson, who was also injured against North Dakota, will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks.last_img

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