The Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s intramural hockey team – the “Jawbreakers” – overcame injuries and competing commitments to win the 2018 Boston University Intramural Championship, the team’s second championship in six years.
“It was an incredible experience to play alongside such great young men and women as we represented GSDM,” said Andy Burke, team captain and GSDM’s director of facilities and operations. “From day one, we played as a team, not as individuals, and that team spirit helped carry us through to the championship.”
The team started the season with 22 players, including students from all four DMD classes, a resident, two staff members, a faculty member, and a representative from the School of Public Health. Unfortunately, a number of players went down with injuries, and others were unable to play regularly due to schoolwork and other commitments.
This left the Jawbreakers with just 12 players on the bench and an average of six players who played each game. Despite this “short bench,” the Jawbreakers made it into the playoff round and then the championship game.
On Wednesday, October 31, 2018, nine members of the Jawbreakers showed up ready to skate and determined to win the Championship: Bart Knowles (DMD 20), Nelson Carpenier (DMD 21 ), Chris Treon (DMD 20), Matthew Kiernan (DMD 22), Sheldon Itzkowitz (faculty), Austin Burkett (DMD 22), Matthew Larson (SPH), and Andy Burke (staff). These players faced off against a young, fast BU undergraduate fraternity team, the Bantu Bandits, that came into the game as the top seed.
But the Bandits’ youth, speed, and ranking proved no match for the Jawbreakers’ determination and spirit, and the Jawbreakers triumphed, 6-3.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment, and one that each member of the team should be very proud in achieving,” Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said. “I know I speak for the entire GSDM community when I say how proud I am of the team, not only for winning the Championship, but also for demonstrating excellent sportsmanship throughout the season.”
Dean Hutter continued: ”I also want to recognize Andy Burke for the time and effort he put forth in coaching the team. As he does in his role as Director of GSDM Facilities, his leadership as coach emphasized improving upon the hockey skills of each player, the importance of playing together as a team and the important role that sportsmanship plays in team sports like hockey. Andy is and will continue to be a role model for the 2018 GSDM Champion Jaw Breakers for many years to come.”
The 2018 victory is the Jawbreakers’ second since GSDM first started fielding an intramural hockey team in 2009. The team also won the championship in 2012.