After Glory, Life
1995’s champions on what comes next| From Gallery | By Chris Berdik
After the victory, (from left) Terriers Tom Noble (COM'98), Mike Prendergast (MET'95), and Mike Sylvia (SMG'98), with the national championship trophy. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
Tom Noble, Mike Sylvia, and Mike Prendergast all came to BU counting on the ultimate prize in college hockey, and on April Fools’ Day 1995, they won it: a 6-2 national championship victory over Maine. It was a rare perfect moment that made it easy to believe in the other dream they all shared: to play in the National Hockey League.
Like this year’s team, the 1995 Terriers had only six losses, took home the Beanpot, and dominated Hockey East. Like most of his college teammates, Prendergast believed he would end up in the NHL. But the odds are long. Prendergast (MET’95), a forward on the Terrier team, played in Tallahassee for a few months before realizing that the NHL was not knocking. Sylvia (SMG’98), also a forward, skated in South Carolina and Providence before closing out his career with a season in the French professional league. Goalie Noble (COM’98) rode the bus with eight minor league teams in two years.
Dreams of NHL glory are easy when you’re winning championships, says Prendergast. They get easier to let go of every month that you ride the bus from small rink to small rink.
“Anybody from that team would be lying to you if they said they didn’t think they’d one day be in the NHL when we were at BU,” says Prendergast. “But reality hits real fast.”
All three say winning that national title in 1995 made giving up on the NHL easier to take. “It was a wonderful experience. I don’t look back thinking I should have done this or done that,” says Noble. “Being able to play with the guys I did at BU was something that I’ll cherish always.”
Their advice for this year’s Terriers? Enjoy the moment, because you never know if you’re going to get back.
“Winning is probably the number-one topic I get asked about,” says Prendergast. “Everyone always remembers who won.”