Q&A: Terrier greats Mike Eruzione, Matt Gilroy and Colby Cohen

Originally written for the Daily Free Press “Hockey Edition” in September 2021. Excerpts have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Image courtesy of the NCAA

In anticipation of the 100th season of Boston University Men’s Hockey, we sat down with Terrier legends Mike Eruzione (Wheelock ‘77), Matt Gilroy (CAS ‘09), and Colby Cohen (CAS ‘10) to hear about what it really means to wear a Terrier on your chest and play for one of the most renowned programs in college hockey. 

Gilroy remains one of the top four-year players at BU, earning every trophy and award college hockey has to offer. In his senior year, he was named captain of the Terriers and helped lead the Terriers to a 35-6-4 record in 2008-09, winning the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular-season trophy, the Hockey East tournament, the National Championship, and ultimately, the award for best player in college hockey, the Hobey Baker Award.  

Cohen joined the Terriers in 2007 where he played in 39 of the 40 contests as a freshman, where he finished third in points among Hockey East rookie defensemen. In his sophomore year, he carried the Terriers to their fifth national championship, scoring the overtime game-winning goal against the Miami Redhawks in 2009, completing the Terriers 3-1 deficit heading from the start of the third period. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Frozen Four and was named to the All-Tournament team before returning for his third and final year at BU.

Can you describe your years as a player?

Mike Eruzione (ME): “It was unbelievable. We played in Walter Brown, basically sold out every game we played and you’ve been to Walter Brown, and it was so deafening and loud in there with that tin ceiling. I think in my four years at BU, I think we only lost maybe three games at home. It was such an advantage playing at home and I played with great players, clearly, when I was here… You came here with the expectation of winning Beanpots and winning Eastern ECAC championships and tournament games and things like that.”

Matt Gilroy (MG): “My career view is pretty unique, starting as a walk-on, and then finishing the way I finished but I think I’ve always fell in love with the BU’s hockey tradition and the history of it and the excellence of the program and then once you get there and you become a part of it, you just become obsessed with it and all you want to do is win there. And my senior year we were able to. I think we won everything, and the way to go out, to be winners like we were, and… all my teammates, we’re still close friends, we get to see each other, we get to talk about that year of winning and our history of BU and it’s just pretty special.”

Colby Cohen (CC): “It was the best three years of my entire life… Being at BU was incredible. The social aspect was incredible. We had so much fun… You’re living with your best friends, and you get to play hockey every single day and you don’t have to worry about the real world because we’re college kids so it’s not like we’re having to get jobs and worry about paying rent on our apartments. You just, you get to go there and focus on being a hockey player, and you get treated so well… Our equipment staff with Mike DiMella and our training staff with Larry Venis, and our strength and conditioning staff with Mike Boyle, like those guys treated us as good as any players in the NHL get treated, and our coaching staff was great. I had an unbelievably good relationship with all three coaches, and I still have good relationships with all three coaches.”

If you could pick one moment to really define your BU experience, what would it be?

ME: “Against Vermont, I became the all time leading scorer at Boston University. And I knew it was going to be passed by someone at some point, and it turned out to be my roommate Rick Meagher [who] was probably, arguably, the best hockey player ever to play with me- three time All American. But I remember that being a special moment, because I had the record for a little while, almost, almost a whole year actually. Then Ricky broke at the end, the next the last game of our last year, we were both tied going into the last game, it was a consolation game against UNH in the national championship and Rick got two points in the game and I didn’t get any. And he beat me by two points.”

MG: “My first game ever at BU, we played the USA team, and I had sat, I don’t know how many games, I can’t remember how many games that I sat, I think I sat three or four, and then coach [Jack] Parker put me in the lineup, and after that I never came out of the lineup. I think I started a lot of games, almost every game, after that. And I played with some great players Dan Spang, Sean Sullivan, Brian Strait. And, you know, if I never went to BU and I never got that opportunity, I don’t think I would ever played in the Pros or had such a great success in hockey and I thank the coaching staff at BU for everything they’ve done for me as a hockey player and then as a person, it’s, I’ve definitely have a special connection to those coaches Parker, [David] Quinn, and [Mike] Bavis. What they did for me changed my life.”

CC: “Winning the championship was incredible. I was the lucky one who scored. But winning that game. I’ll never forget when [Nick] Bonino scored to tie the game, what that was like, I was on the bench for that goal because Matt Gilroy and [David] Warsofsky were on the ice. And that moment was so unbelievable- I remember that moment so vividly. I don’t remember when I scored as well, but I remember when Bonino scored and the bench just erupted… It was something that certainly will be hard to ever replicate a moment like that in my life ever.”

Out of your years in a BU jersey, which team or year was your favorite?

ME: “Jack [Parker] always said the best teams are the ones that won the national championship so I have to say those teams that won national championships, but I thought my junior year, we were loaded. We were really, really good and I think we set records for goals scored… I’m just gonna stick by Jack’s guide, the teams that were the best were the ones that won the national championship.”

MG: “My senior year, I mean, my classmates and I, we won every championship, the individual awards, we won them all, and then to be a part of that elite group that says you get to win your last college hockey game as a national champion is pretty special. You know playing BU hockey is amazing, but winning at BU is even better.”

CC: “That team (2008-09) was so fun because we were so good, and there were a lot of really great players on that team. Gilroy wins the Hobey Baker, Colin [Wilson] could have won the Hobey Baker. We just had so much fun on the ice, we had so much fun off the ice. That year was just the best because we had such a great team on team, great team. We had good captains that year… [Gilroy] was our captain, he led the way, him and Johnny Mack, John McCarthy, we kind of followed suit. Those guys brought it every night and the rest of the guys followed it.”

If you could define the whole BU hockey program in a few words or moments, which ones would they be?

ME: “Well I’d like to think it’s still family. I still think, to put a Terrier on your chest, that is something that’s special… The players realize how important– how special it is– to come here and play here. That’s the thing for me, is that the players understand how special it is to come here and play here, because our family’s important, our alumni care about BU hockey… This is what we pride ourselves on. That to me, the history of the school, the history of the type of players that played here, not just the, you know, the Eichels, the Amontes, or the Tkachuks, but the Travis Roys.”

MG: “If you go to Agganis, you walk around, and you see the Olympians, you see the NHLers, and you see the teams that have won there, how much success they’ve had over the years and I think BU hockey, when you think of it, you think of success, and when you look at all those guys that have come through that door and have worn the jersey, It’s a special place to be and I, I hope that every kid that puts on that jersey feels the same way I did about the tradition and excellence of the program.”

CC: “Winning a championship, that’s why you do it. So when you’re able to do it… We had some skill, we created a lot of luck, but overall, that year was [something special].

What do you want the rest of the community to know about this program?

ME: “How important the program is to players, and how important Boston University is to our program. We’re an extension of the university. You know we represent Boston University and Boston University hockey but when all things come into play, you’re recruited, you still have to get in, and you have to be a student athlete here…  I think the officials here realize how important Boston University Hockey is and… I represent the university and I feel very proud about it because it’s done so many things for me, and I think our players feel the same way, clearly about our hockey program but about the school itself.”

MG: “I mean it’s special. It’s the big sport on campus. Everyone comes to the games. You have a big responsibility to represent yourself, your university, the people who came before you and when you get to skate every Friday or Saturday night at Agganis, and then you get to play in Beanpots and national championships. It’s just so special and to do it for your school, the history of the program… It’s just every night you put that [Jersey] on, you feel it.”

CC: “It’s not even just about wins and losses. I think BU is supposed to set the standard for college hockey, or be one of the few schools that sets the bar… I’m so happy to see Jay Pandolfo back at BU and hopefully [see him] bring a culture back to BU… I hope other players get to have the experience that I had because it was just, it was awesome. It really was, it was, it was awesome.”


  1. Son of Caesar Carlaci

    Thanx Caroline. Great writing..
    We needed that BU Hockey history at this time.

    • Caroline Fernandez

      Thanks, SOCC! I figured we could all use some optimism right about now… just wish the team could look to the history of the program for some inspiration.

  2. The players on this team understand the history of bu hockey. They understand exactly the foot steps they are walking in. I could call into question the loyalty of one considering his comments about other programs but I will try to take the high road. The amount of effort and hard work these kids put in over the summer and season is proof of the commitment and loyalty to this program. Go bu 🐾

    • Son of Caesar Carlaci

      I have been following BU Hockey for more years than you have been alive.. Loyalty is not praising poor performance. With the talent we have and the poor record it has to be a lack of effort. Goals can come from hard work which has to be almost all the time for this team to score it would seem. The BC program has gone past us for over ten years as the record can attest. I remember when we won Championships all the time. Not many, if any, of late.

  3. Son of Cesar I don’t know how old you are I can only speak to my experiences as a BU fan. I did not just become a BU fan in the past year I have decades of experience. I have met and gotten to know former terrier players who played in the NHL who are now playing in the NHL players who play in Europe or the AHL or east coast hockey league those that ended there hockey pursuits after college and became successful members of society and folks who worked with hockey team they all have understanding of what it means to be a terrier. I was never a terrier but if there ever was a fan who knows what it’s like to be a terrier it would be me. Age and years don’t mean everything it’s what you put into it. For me I know the game of hockey I have been a student of the game since I was 7 I know a lot about BU hockey from 1985 on up to the present, if your hockey predates that congrats being a hockey fan is a great thing. There is no one I have met that can challenge my level of devotion to this program that has never donned a sweater. As I have said before I eat sleep drink think BU hockey. As important as BU hockey is to me and how disappointed I am when they loose I try to never forget they are just kids. If you think the effort not there and that’s why they are not scoring your dead wrong. This team is trying they are down bad with injuries 5 of the top 6 forwards out some would call that bad luck I think it’s a positive statement to call it that. Everyone of those kids care about this team they do not take losses lightly. I know many of these kids personally I know there parents they are not raised to be like that. This team will win some hockey games I’m sure of it but if they lost every game I would keep showing up because they deserve that and I just like them don’t quit. I know what kind of BU fan I am I’m the one who sticks by the program in good times and the bad. Go BU 🐾

  4. Son of Cesar I forgot to touch on your bc comparison. I don’t like comparing programs and I hate bc they are my New York Yankees of college hockey but just like the Yankees I have a deep respect for them. In the short term they are not outperforming BU . In the past 10yrs they are very close BU had a championship in 2018 and a win shy of frozen four they also were runner up in 2015 they booth went just as far last year loosing to the same team they got the bye because of covid but essentially finished at the same time. Again I only point this out because not only yourself but others always state we are behind bc it’s simply not accurate to say that. Some years we are better some years they are that’s what makes it a rivalry.

    • Son of Caesar Carlaci

      Colin, check BC’s Championships in recent years.
      I am a die hard BU fan. In the past three years we are only about 50% in win/ loss ratio. We always win at home and it might have been Walter Brown and the noise that helped. Agganis is like watching a movie and there is something missing there. Jack , I think, tried to make it like Brown but it is not like it at all. Sure we have had some great teams there but from that first Minne game we win I felt different and so did my hockey friends. As with Parker’s later years when there were so many off ice problems I feel that there a lack of disciple somehow. You say you are friends with some of the players. If you followed the team in 5th 80’s you must be mid agged and I wonder how you could be friends with 18 year olds. And by the way they are not KIDS. They are young adults . people their age are fighting and dying as I knew many their age on the Army. And if you know these guys so well could you give us here the ACTUAL. INJURIES our players have and their projected time to get back? I WILL WAIT FOR YOUR ANSWER !

  5. Son of cezar sorry it’s taken me some time to get back with you. I do work two jobs first let me say what I agree with you on and that is Walter Brown great place to watch a hockey game back in the day. I think Agganis can be the same way it’s just constructed differently the ceiling is higher for one. Next I disagree with your assertion bc is head over heels ahead of us the successful results of booth schools says they are about dead even . You may have forgotten we won hockey East in 2018. I’m not talking about war on this blog I know the legal age of a adult but there are studies done that show the human brain is still developing at there age. I consider them kids and I think it’s wrong to go after them on the blog that’s my opinion obviously you disagree that’s your opinion. I have made friends over the years with many former terriers and have remained good friends to this day. As to the present group of terriers I see them often and talk hockey I’m not hanging out at bars with them. I know they are great kids because I know them personally that’s my point if folks come on this blog and attack there character I’m going to challenge them because I know how great these kids are as hockey players and kids. I stick up for my team. If I know a kids injured and what that injury is and it has not been made public I would never put it on this blog. If the kid or team wants it private it should be private. Understand bu has a trainor and doctors who would not let a kid play if it will hurt him in the long run safety first as it should be. Go bu 🐾

    • Son of Caesar Carlaci

      Why would a player want his injury private? As fans in the past we always knew what the injury was. We are kept in the dark these days even though one has to show a medical card to get into the arena.
      18 to 22 year olds are not “KIDS”

  6. i have never read any comments attacking a player’s character. there have been attacks/criticism of their on ice performance, but that is not character

  7. Vinnie they often refer to the culture of BU hockey and not caring. Players are called out all the time on this blog by folks who just want to trash the program. I’m constantly telling folks to remember they are just kids. I’m just looking forward to a nice flight and some wins go BU 🐾