Hockey, Ice Hockey, Sports

Icedogs continue despite tragedy

By Scott Lauber

While Boston University freshman Travis Roy battles paralysis and fights pneumonia this weekend, his teammates have a different battle in their hands.

The Terriers have a hockey game to play tomorrow night at the University of Vermont. Their bodies may be on the ice at Gutterson Field House in Burlington, Vt., but their thoughts will be with Roy at Boston University Medical Center Hospital.

“He’s going to be on our minds during the game and before the game,” Terrier forward Chris O’Sullivan said. “His initials are going to be on our shirt, so everywhere we look, we’ll see something that reminds us of Travis.”

The Terriers know they have a job to do on the ice, and the Catamounts are the latest team gunning to upset the defending national champions. After Wednesday night’s prayer service at Marsh Chapel, Roy’s mother, Brenda, encouraged her son’s teammates to win another title. The quest resumes tomorrow night.

After a trying week, the Terriers will bring great emotion into the game with the Catamounts, who are ranked sixth in the nation in this week’s Troy Record hockey poll.

Vermont opened its season last weekend with a 7-4 victory over the University of New Hampshire. The Catamounts are looking to avenge an 11-1 shellacking at the hands of the Terriers last season, so emotions will run high on both sides.

“I can’t see any worse situation than last season at BU,” Vermont head coach Mike Gilligan said. “We were outplayed, outscored and less prepared than we’ve ever been for any game.”

While the Catamounts stew with the memory of last season’s embarrassing debacle at Walter Brown Arena still fresh in their minds, the Terriers are looking forward to leaving Boston and getting on the road after one of the most difficult weeks in the program’s history.

“I think it’s good that we get on the road, and get our minds off this atmosphere,” O’Sullivan said. “Every paper you open, every TV you turn on— it’s been an issue, so maybe it’s good to get away for a while.”

Vermont presents a challenge for the slim depth on the BU defense. Pre-season Hobey Baker candidates Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin, a pair of diminutive but dynamic junior forwards, lead the Vermont offense. The 5-foot-9, 163-pound St. Louis led the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference in points last season with 23 goals and 48 assists. Perrin only stands 5-foot-9, 158-pounds, but he still netted 28 goals last year.

What Perrin and St. Louis lack in size, they make up for with speed. The Terrier defense must play a tough, physical game and use its strength to knock the Catamount offense off the puck. When BU gets its offensive opportunities, it will have to slip the puck consistent goaltenders in the ECAC. A preseason All-America selection, Thomas posted the lowest goals-against average and highest save percentage in the conference last season.

But BU’s biggest battle won’t be fighting off St. Louis, Perrin and Thomas. The Terriers’ toughest fight will be to overcome the emotions they feel for Travis Roy and concentrate on winning a hockey game.

“Coach [Jack Parker] is trying to keep us prepared and focused to play this weekend,” Terrier forward Jay Pandolfo said.

“You have to just sort of put it in the back of your mind what’s happened [to Roy] when you’re on the ice,” Terrier forward Scott King said. “When you come off the ice, you can think about him as much as you want until it drives you crazy. The main thing is you have to play hockey, and you have to win. That’s why you’re here. That’s the toughest part— trying to focus on hockey.”

Website | More Articles

This is an account occasionally used by the Daily Free Press editors to post archived posts from previous iterations of the site or otherwise for special circumstance publications. See authorship info on the byline at the top of the page.

Comments are closed.