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Dropping the Puck at Fenway

BU vs BC, in the shadow of the Green Monster

| From BU Today | By Edward A. Brown

The BU Terrier and the BC Eagle will be strapping on skates, rather than chasing foul balls, at Fenway this January.

After the BU men’s hockey team’s jaw-dropping NCAA comeback victory in last April’s championship, it seemed impossible that things could get better.

But that was in Washington, D.C. This winter, the national hockey champs will have their chance to break new ice, and add to local sports lore. They’ll be stickhandling in Fenway Park, storied home of the Boston Red Sox.

Next January, the Terriers will face off against archrival and 2008 NCAA champion Boston College on a rink set in the shadow of the Green Monster, within the confines of New England’s legendary sports mecca. Slap shots and kick saves will replace line drives and booted grounders.

Part of a Hockey East doubleheader set for January 8, the game will be played on the same ice as the NHL’s Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers a week later. The other collegiate game pits the women’s teams of the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University.

At a hot and humid press conference on August 20, Terrier coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) looked ahead to cooler weather, emphasizing the thrill of playing hockey at Fenway. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the players,” he said, and a special moment for him as well as for Boston College coach Jerry York, two of the three winningest coaches in college hockey history.

“This will be one of the highlights of our lives, to be coaching on opposite benches at Fenway Park,” he said, standing next to his longtime friend and rival. “We’re very excited to play in this place we all know and love so much.”

The average ticket price is $50; organizers point out that 35 percent of the ballparks seats are $25 or less, the cheapest going for $5 (the most expensive for $90). No seating will be added on the field itself, although the rink will take up only about a third of the surface. All regular seating will be available; the best hockey vantages will have some elevation, to better see the puck. Seats right beside the dugout on the same level as the players, best for baseball, might well be among the cheapest tickets. If the game sells out (at roughly 35,000), new hockey attendance records will be set for each university.

Fenway Park started hosting nonbaseball events in 2003, shortly after new owners acquired the Red Sox. Most have been concerts, most recently Paul McCartney.

Other sports have not been played at Fenway since the 1930s, when football and soccer teams used the field. Over the decades college hockey has been played outdoors, at both Spy and Hammond Ponds.

Tickets for hockey at Fenway go on sale to the general public on Thursday, September 17, at noon. The first game, the University of New Hampshire vs. Northeastern University women’s teams, begins at 4:30 p.m., January 8. The men’s game between BU and BC starts at 7:30 p.m. More information about the event and details on ticket availability can be found here.

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On 17 September 2009 at 1:14 PM, Beans (CAS'08) wrote:

Par for the course, BC got preference for tickets and were told 2 days earlier than BU alum. As a result there were hardly any tickets available on pre-sale day. Not BU's fault, apparently they were given wrong information by the organization responsible for the ticket sales (I would not be surprised if a BC alum was responsible for that move).

I hope BU Hockey and BU fans show BC that for all their unfair advantages, BU is still better! GO TERRIERS!

On 12 September 2009 at 1:16 PM, Clark Broden (CAS'64) wrote:

This game reminds me of the last scheduled BU/BC game at Fenway in Nov. 1963. It was the last time that BU and BC were to play football since BC was going to stay big-time and alas the powers to be at BU decided to in their words "deemphasize football" which resulted in dropping the sport in 1997. The football game unfortunately was cancelled in the wake of President Kennedy's assassination. Maybe 47 years later, we can really play that game, however in a different sport. And...maybe think about football again at BU.

On 11 September 2009 at 5:10 PM, Clark Broden (CAS'64) wrote:

It may be cold but the on ice action will be hot. Great idea for promoting BU sports and college hockey around here in general. I've already ordered my tickets. GO BU!

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