Jack Parker and Scott Young named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced. Former head coach Jack Parker and current assistant coach Scott Young were honored alongside Kevin Collins, former BU assistant coach Ben Smith, and Ron Wilson.

Jack Parker

While Jack Parker stepped down as Boston University’s head coach after the 2012-13 season, he amassed a name that is still heard around Agganis Arena as well as etched into the ice as the Jack Parker rink.

Jack Parker has built a legacy with BU and in the world of USA hockey. PHOTO COURTESY OF BU TODAY
Jack Parker has built a legacy with BU and in the world of USA hockey. PHOTO COURTESY OF BU TODAY

In his 40 seasons of coaching BU men’s hockey, he won 897 games, the most wins at one school, which included three NCAA national championships, 11 Hockey East conference titles, and 21 Beanpot Tournament wins.

Parker also received the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Division I Coach of the Year three times (1975, 1978, 2009), a feat accomplished by only two other coaches.

During his time as head coach, the Somerville, Mass. native developed many United States hockey legends in the NHL and the Olympics such as Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione who participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Mike Sullivan, who recently won his second consecutive Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was also a notable player that learned under Parker’s leadership.

“I’m so pleased to be associated with everybody in the class, but obviously especially Ben,” Parker said in a live stream of a media conference today. “I have a great relationship with Scotty Young. He played for me and I’ve known him for such a long time and [he had] a fabulous NHL career. … [It’s] an unbelievable, humbling experience to go in with these guys and I think it will be a great night.”

Parker also cited that he would have never received the honor had it not been for Smith, who served as Parker’s assistant coach for nine years, because Smith kept him in “the good graces of USA hockey all these years.”

Aside from coaching the Terriers, Parker served as assistant coach of the U.S Men’s National Team in 1995, and head coach of the 1996 U.S. National Junior Team and 2013 U.S. Men’s Select Team.

Parker also had a memorable run during his time at BU, collecting three Beanpot victories and leading the 1968 team as captain his senior year.

Scott Young

Young is currently an assistant coach at BU with David Quinn, however, he played for Parker during his two years with the Terriers and was named Hockey East Rookie of the Year after his first season.

Scott Young has been an assistant coach for BU since September 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Scott Young has been an assistant coach for BU since September 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

The 11th overall draft pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, went on to have 17 seasons and 1,181 regular-season games in the NHL.

He successfully played with teams such as the Penguins and the Colorado Avalanche where he won two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He remains one of three former Terriers (Nick Bonino and Jay Pandolfo) to secure the NHL championship twice.

The Clinton, Mass. native was known for his goal-scoring especially game-winners and shorthanded goals and ranks No. 12 in goals among all American players. Young in his career took up positions as a forward and defenseman, and was renowned for his effectiveness on the power-play and penalty kill.

Throughout his NHL career, Young also represented the U.S. on the National Junior Team, in three Olympics Winter Games, and during the IIHF Men’s World Championships.

“I feel really honored to be inducted with this class because of the relationships that I have with Jack Parker, obviously being my coach at Boston University along with Ben Smith and Ben was also the assistant on the ’88 Olympic Team, and obviously playing for Ron Wilson,” Young said in the same media conference. “I actually played with Ron Wilson as a player also in the ’88 World Championships. So I got to see Ron as a player … and play with him and then be coached by him and then the ’96 World Cup and that was such a special time for us with USA hockey.”

 

From walk-on to Terrier legend: John Curry reflects on BU Hall of Fame induction

By Conor Ryan/DFP Staff

When he first entered Walter Brown Arena in the Fall of 2003, Boston University goaltender John Curry was a virtual unknown – a recruited walk-on who was resigned to playing Division-III hockey just a few months earlier.

Fast-forwarding to the present day, even Curry found it hard to believe that just 11 years after his arrival in Boston, he would be receiving an honorary red jacket from legendary head coach Jack Parker, as the netminder was elected to the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday night.
“When I first found out, I was surprised,” Curry said. “It was nothing I ever expected. I really appreciate it, because I’ve actually gotten a chance to reflect heading up to this event and really think about my time here and all the people that helped me here. It’s just been a fun night and it just means more than I can describe.”
Curry, the seventh goalie to be named to the prestigious club, was elected in his first year of eligibility. While Curry left Commonwealth Avenue with the program’s all-time record in both goals-against average (2.07) and save percentage (.923), his road to BU hockey stardom was paved with both frustration and disappointment.
Growing up in the small town of Shorewood, Minn., Curry got his first taste of discouragement when his favorite team, the Minnesota North Stars, moved down to Dallas when he was just nine years old.
The young goaltender would soon turn his attention to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, where his dream of playing Division-I hockey was born.
After an impressive high-school career at the Breck School in Golden Valley, Minn., led to no real opportunities with D-I programs, Curry attended the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., for one season, compiling a 1.46 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
In the waning days of Taft’s season, Curry accepted the harsh reality that his goal of playing for a D-I hockey team was likely dead, and planned on signing with a D-III school in the coming weeks.
However, Curry’s luck would quickly turn around, as BU’s then-associate head coach Brian Durocher scouted the goaltender and offered him a spot on the team as a walk-on.
“I’m sure I would’ve had a great time [playing D-III hockey,], but what I wanted was to play Division-I hockey, so to get that call from  [Durocher] and to get the opportunity was one of the best moments of my life,” Curry said. “For things to go the way they did, and to have the teams we did, it was just a bonus. It was an amazing ride.”
Serving as the third-string goalie during the 2003-04 season, Curry only saw five minutes of ice time during his freshman campaign. With the departure of Sean Fields at the end of the season, the starting goaltender job was up for grabs.
Curry noted that while he obviously had his mind set on seizing the heralded position, his preparation did not change going into the new year. 
“Everything was still new for me. It was my second year, but you just take it day by day,” Curry said. “For me, I was just going in with the same mentality of just trying to be good in practice and be ready. I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity early in the year and the team played well in front of me and it went well for a while, which allowed me to gain some confidence and establish myself.
“A lot of stars had to align. I definitely worked hard for it but I had so much help along the way too.”
After getting a start early in the season, Curry would never relinquish his spot, protecting the crease for the next three seasons. By the time he played his final game for the Terriers, Curry had led his team to three Beanpot titles, the 2006 Hockey East Championship and was a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award during his senior year in 2007. 
Despite forging an incredible legacy at BU, Curry was not drafted by an NHL team – instead signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent on July 1, 2007.
Assuming the role of undrafted free agent would aid Curry in his career, giving him a chip on his shoulder that he first gained while struggling to impress D-I schools during his high-school years.
“It’s helped me. I’ve found a little bit of an identity that way by just trying to prove myself,” Curry said. “I don’t feel like I’m cheated. It’s just one of those things where everyone’s competitive, they want to be recognized, they want to get those opportunities, and for me, it’s just easier to use that type of attitude to be aggressive.”
After four years with the Penguins organization, Curry played one season in Germany with the Hamburg Freezers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga before returning to the United States to play for the Iowa Wild, the AHL affiliate of his hometown Minnesota Wild.
The BU Athletic Hall of Fame boasts an impressive class of former Terriers – including players and coaches such as Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Chris Drury and Jack Parker.
Joining them now is a former walk-on in Curry, who, after fighting for a chance his whole life, became a legend on the ice for the scarlet and white. 
“For me to be named to the BU Athletics Hall of Fame, believe me when I say that I could have never imagined this in my wildest dreams,” Curry said. “It’s the single greatest honor that I’ve ever received.”

Jack Parker named 2014 Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

The accolades keep coming for Jack Parker after his retirement, as he was named 2014 Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Tuesday.

This award comes less than a month after he was the first coach to receive the Hockey East Founders Medal and less than two months after BU retired his number. Those awards just add to his long list of accomplishments, including three Spencer Penrose Awards (NCAA Div. 1 Coach of the Year), five Hockey East Coach of the Year awards and the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award for outstanding contributions to hockey

Parker will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the Hobey Baker Banquet on May 29 in St. Paul, Minn.

Finally, a night to remember for the Terriers

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

Before Friday night’s game in Agganis Arena section 118, dozens of fans held up their own unique Garrett Noonan sign to honor the Boston University men’s hockey senior captain. Whether the signs said “State of the Noonan” or “A Noonan Hope,” they were all held high to support the Terriers’ leader on the night of celebration for him and his classmates.

After the first period, that celebration shifted to the other end of the arena where former BU coach Jack Parker’s number was being retired and hung from the rafters. His number six hung over section 108 as the fans, as well as some prominent BU hockey alumni, chanted their thanks to the longtime bench boss.

And finally, after the Terriers topped Northeastern University 4-1 to snap a nine-game winless streak, the celebration shifted to the BU locker room. It was the most eventful evening of the year for a team that has only won once since November.

It was finally a night that the Terriers will want to remember.

“Every guy that was playing tonight showed a lot of heart,” said BU captain Patrick MacGregor. “A lot of guys were fired up before the game… I’m so proud of the team and the way they responded to everything tonight against Northeastern – a good team in our league and a good team in the nation as well.”

It started with the seniors, as forward Matt Ronan joined Noonan and MacGregor at center ice for the pregame ceremony (senior forward Jake Moscatel was honored last season while senior goaltender Anthony Moccia will be returning for another season at BU). None of them scored in the game, but each of them played strong defensively in holding the second-best offense in Hockey East to a single goal on sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire.

The end of the game marked the final home game for a group of seniors that are a part of the transition period between BU coaches. It has been a tough final season for the trio, but winning on senior night had meaning for that crew.

“I think it means a lot to everybody,” said BU coach David Quinn. “These guys mean an awful lot to the program. It’s been a difficult year for everybody but our success moving forward — I hope they feel a part of it.”

The program is going through that transition period now thanks to the retirement of Parker, who coached the senior class for their first three seasons at BU. It was a class that started with eight members, but as Charlie Coyle, Adam Clendening, Yasin Cissé, Matt Nieto and Sahir Gill all left the program for other levels of hockey, MacGregor, Noonan and Ronan are now the only three that remain.

“It’s a special thing I’ll remember forever,” MacGregor said. “I’m pretty fortunate to be a part of both eras I think. The rest of the senior class, the junior class and the sophomore class feels the same way.”

The strong performance along with the two celebrations overshadowed what was set to be viewed as a bad night for the BU hockey program, as several players were suspended by the team for events that Quinn called a “college decision.” However, even that worked in BU’s favor, according to Quinn.

“Usually when you have to sit guys, it’s amazing what the guys that are playing can do,” Quinn said. “They all kind of rally around each other.”

Whether it is remembered as the night Parker’s number was retired, the last night at Agganis for the three seniors or even the night BU snapped a losing streak without four of its key players taking the ice, Friday night was a memorable one for the Terriers.

“We’re getting better, and like I said, during the course of this month, there’s some games we didn’t win that I thought we deserved to win,” Quinn said. “I think our guys are optimistic. I think we feel good about the win tonight, and hopefully we’ll regroup and get ready to go in tomorrow.”

Transcript: Jack Parker following number retirement ceremony

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

Following his number retirement ceremony during the first intermission of Boston University’s 4-1 win over Northeastern Friday night, former coach Jack Parker — never one short for words — met with the media to discuss the transition to retirement, the state of BU hockey and his relationship with David Quinn, among other topics.
Here is a transcript.
On having his number retiredObviously joining Travis Roy, I never thought that was a good idea, maybe a new coach would change it, but I never thought it was a good idea. I always wanted other people to wear the same number that somebody else who was a great player here [wore]. In our dressing room, in everybody’s locker we have whoever wore your number on the wall, so they know who wore their number before them.

It was awful nice to have that happen. As I mentioned, and I think we’re not retiring a great player’s number, we’re retiring a guy who played here but also was a coach here for 40 years. The reason I was the coach her for 40 years was because I had so many great players. It’s as simple as that.

On the transition to retirement and watching from a distance Actually, it’s a lot easier than I thought. I’ve turned the page pretty quickly, and I’m real close with David Quinn obviously, and I’m not around for him too much — I don’t want to be looking for his shoulder. We have a great relationship. We have lunch once a week but we don’t talk too much about hockey. We socialize.

But I’m trying to stay away from the hockey. I come to the games with my grandchildren and watch the games, but I haven’t seen all the games, I’ve seen probably about one-third at home.

And I’ve been away a lot. I did a few things for BU on road trips or functions. They wanted me out in L.A. and Dallas and San Fran and places like that. And I’ve also had the chance to take some winter vacations that I’ve never had a chance to do before. I’ve gotten into skiing a little bit. I just started taking lessons skiing, so I’m going to see if I like to do that if I can not kill myself.

But in general I thought it’s been pretty easy. I’m really happy that the program’s in good hands with David, I’m really happy that they have a great recruiting class coming next year — the next two years actually — and I think that the program will jump back from this year very quickly.

On the number retirement ceremony happening on senior night It was supposed to happen earlier and it got snowed out [Feb. 15], and I think it was even better that it was senior night, to see all these guys. Obviously I have a close relationship with all of them, especially the captains, so it was really nice.

On which alumni were in attendance Mike Grier’s here, Jay Pandolfo’s here, Travis Roy’s here, Danny Ronan’s here, Matty Gilroy’s here, Marc Hetnik’s here, Jack O’Callahan’s here, Eddie Walsh is here. There are a few of them around. And there are other guys not in the [luxury] box, that are in the seats.

On the significance of former players visiting as the program tries to rebuild I think it’s important for them to know what happened before, but that’s why they came here. I think it’s nice there was a big crowd here tonight. We haven’t drawn well lately. It was a real nice crowd here tonight, so I appreciate that, the fans showing up. It’s good for the players to see that and get the support they need.

On if he’s surprised this year’s team has struggled Eh, I guess I’m surprised a little bit. I’m not immensely surprised because we got surprised by guys leaving that we didn’t think were going to be leaving, and a couple of them were real late leaves. We’d have a pretty good team if Charlie Coyle and Adam Clendening and Sahir Gill and Matt Nieto were still here. There all supposed to be seniors — that’d be a pretty good club right now. So losing those guys really hurt. Losing Nieto and Gill as late as we did really hurt. And we also lost a couple of others guys that left the program, so it’s a real thin team this year that we haven’t had to face before. It looked like it was going to be a good team coming back because we made it to the Hockey East final last year, we were third place in the league, we had a pretty good second-half run and looked like a pretty good hockey team. And now all of a sudden, guys started leaving. So that really hurt the program. The guys that are leaving are gone, and the guys that are coming in are great, so we’re in pretty good shape right after that.

On the ovation for Travis Roy I always say, the worst that ever happened to me in 40 years of coaching the Boston University hockey team or my 49 years of being around the program was the injury to Travis Roy. And the best thing that ever happened to me was the way the BU community and the hockey community reacted to the injury to Travis Roy, how Travis and his family reacted to it.

It was a tale of two cities. The worst of times and the best of times. And amazing how it worked out, how proud he’s made us of him.

On whether David Quinn has asked him for advice Yeah, we talk a little bit. As I say, I’m not going down talking to him. My office is right down the hall from him, and if he wants to see me — if I’m there — if he wants to see me, he can come down and say hello. But we talk at least once or twice a week, but it’s not ‘You out to do this, David, or you out to do that.’ I kind of of let him vent about how he’s feeling and what’s going on. It’s been a hard year for him to go through.

On whether or not he misses his old office Yeah, it was pretty nice. I have a nice one now too, but not quite as big. My brother said we could rent it out for functions.

Snow postpones BU-UNH, Jack Parker ceremony

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

Due to the incoming snowstorm, Saturday’s Boston University-University of New Hampshire matchup will be played Monday at 4 p.m.

The Jack Parker number retirement ceremony, which had been scheduled for the first intermission of Saturday’s game, will take place when BU hosts Northeastern University Friday, Feb. 28. That is also the last regular-season home game for the Terriers.

Parker tabbed U.S. Men’s Select coach

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

Former Boston University men’s hockey coach Jack Parker has taken on a new title.

USA Hockey announced Friday morning that Parker, who retired after working as the Terriers bench boss for 40 years in March, will work as the head coach of the 2013 U.S. Men’s Select Team that will participate in the Deutschland Cup in Munich, Germany.

Ben Smith, who was an assistant coach at BU during the early 80s, and Mike Bavis, who spent 11 years as an assistant coach at BU before taking on the associate coach position from 2010-13, will serve as the associate coach and assistant coach of the team, respectively.

“We’re excited to have an outstanding coach staff, led by Jack Parker,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, in a press release. “Together they bring more than 80 years of coaching experience which will be a tremendous asset for our team.”

The team will kick off the Deutschland Cup on Friday, Nov. 8 when it takes on Slovakia before playing Switzerland on Nov. 9 and Germany on Nov. 10.

Read the entire press release here.

From the FreeP: Parker’s career ends with inconsistent 2012-13 season

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Jack Parker’s last season as the Boston University men’s hockey coach will be remembered for that reason alone. It will also be recalled as a hard season to figure: The Terriers, despite their youth, played a strong first half, a nearly perfect month of March wand a six-week stretch between those two that doomed their year.

“If you told me at the beginning of the year we would have gone to the Hockey East championship game, with as young a team as we had, I would have said that’s a pretty good year,” Parker said. “But not the way it unfolded. The bookends were pretty good. The six-week span in January was the ‘blah.’”

BU (21-16-2, 15-10-2 Hockey East) began the season dressing nine freshmen regularly. The team later lost center Wesley Myron to the ECHL, but nearly every other rookie made significant contributions in the end. With the amount of playing time they got, they had no other choice.

Freshman Danny O’Regan proved himself a top-six center and led the team with 38 points. Freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk finished with 23 points, third among all Hockey East defensemen. In net, both freshmen Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor played well enough to start alternating games all year, until O’Connor suffered a collapsed lung near the end of the season.

“I remember thinking that we had to have either [sophomore center Cason] Hohmann or [Yasin] Cissé make a big jump from the year before, and we had to have either Myron or Danny O’Regan play on the first two line centers,” Parker said. “As it turns out, Hohmann made a big jump and O’Regan played great.”

Between the freshmen jumping in and older players, including Hohmann and senior captain Wade Megan, starting off hot, BU went 10-5 in the first semester against the nation’s toughest schedule. It faced Boston College and the University of New Hampshire three times and the University of North Dakota twice, beating each once.

For more, including a look at why BU may have struggled so much in the middle of the season, go to dailyfreepress.com.

UPDATED: Parker’s career ends with 1-0 loss to UMass-Lowell in Hockey East finals

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Jack Parker sat quietly while his senior captain, Wade Megan, addressed the media after the 1-0 loss to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the Hockey East finals that ended Boston University’s season. When Megan said the Terriers had no regrets that night, though, Parker nodded, a gesture of gratitude to his team for the complete effort they gave in his final game.

For 51 minutes on Saturday, BU (21-16-2) and Lowell (26-10-2) were locked in a 0-0 tie at TD Garden. Junior Derek Arnold scored the game’s only goal 11:09 into the third period.

Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck and BU freshman goalie Sean Maguire matched each other save for save for over 50 minutes, and Hellebuyck stopped 36 shots in all. Maguire finished with 28 saves.

“I couldn’t ask for more of my team. I couldn’t ask for a better weekend for us,” Parker said. “It was unbelievable that it was a 1-0 game with all the chances going on. I was very, very pleased with our effort from start to finish. I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played all year, a real 60-minute effort.”

On the Lowell goal, Megan tripped and lost the puck near the Lowell blue line, springing the River Hawks on a 3-on-2. Senior defenseman Sean Escobedo drove Arnold away from the net on his initial chance, but Arnold came back around the net and flipped the puck over Maguire while he was down to make it 1-0.

The Terriers opened the game with energy, outshooting UML 8-6 in the first period and establishing possession in the offensive zone much more consistently than they did the last two times they saw Lowell. Hellebuyck, however, was ready for every shot he saw, and the River Hawks blocked 21 more in the game before they ever reached him.

“Everyone was on the same page,” senior forward Ben Rosen said. “Third- and fourth-line guys were doing their job, dumping the puck in, grinding in there, and first and second line guys were doing what they had to do on the power play, getting shots through. We outshot [UML] too, but they just collapsed in there, and they were blocking everything.”

Through two periods, BU led in shots, 26-21, but the momentum had begun shifting Lowell’s way.

The Terriers opened the third on a power play but failed to earn quality chances. When the River Hawk in the box, Colin Wright, got out, he picked up the puck in the neutral zone and took off on a breakaway. He fired into the crossbar, and the puck came back out onto the ice through Maguire’s legs, a narrow miss.

Lowell’s goal came about eight minutes later, and after it was 1-0, the River Hawks clamped down, limiting BU’s chances in the game’s final minutes. With Maguire pulled, the Terriers made one last push, but as Hellebuyck stopped a shot from sophomore center Cason Hohmann at the buzzer, they could not prolong Parker’s final postseason.

Including last night, the Terriers went 7-2 in their last nine games. But the stretch between Dec. 29 and Feb. 23 did them in, in no small part because they lost a combined four times to Harvard University and Northeastern University – both of whom finished well south of .500 – in that span.

“I think there are teams in the national tournament that aren’t as good as us right now,” Parker said. “But the reason why we aren’t [in the tournament] is because we had a dip in the middle of the year that we never recovered from.”

Parker maintained, as he did after his last game at Agganis Arena on March 16, that he’d forgotten about his career drawing to a close until someone reminded him. An avowed Celtics fan, he took a walk around the Garden before the game to look at the basketball memorabilia on the upper floors.

“I had somebody come up to me and say, hey, you took a walk around, you getting your last tour of duty here?” Parker said. “And it didn’t even dawn on me again. I forgot about that.”

Parker finishes his career with 897 wins, including six Hockey East championships, but the graduating senior class leaves BU without a conference tournament win, a Beanpot win, or a national championship in its four years.

“I’ve won games,” Parker said. “I’ve won tournaments. I’ve done that, so I wanted this for my seniors. But it wasn’t to be.”

Still, the 68-year-old found the bright side: he’s walking out on his own, with his health intact.

“I knew how I didn’t want it to end,” Parker said. “I wanted to get out alive. So they’re not carting me out. That’s a good thing at my age.”