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Q&A: Terrier greats Mike Eruzione, Matt Gilroy and Colby Cohen

In anticipation of the 100th season of Boston University men’s hockey, we sat down with Terrier legends Mike Eruzione (Wheelock ’77), Matt Gilroy (MET ’09), and Colby Cohen (CAS ’10) to hear about what it really means to play for one of the most renowned programs in college hockey. 

Eruzione captained the 1976-77 Terriers and finished as the third-leading scorer in BU history. He went on to captain the USA Olympic team in 1980, where he scored the game-winning goal in the “Miracle on Ice” game against the Soviet Union. 

Mike Eruzione was the captain of the Boston University men’s hockey team before going on to captain Team USA when they won gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Eruzione was one of three Terriers interviewed. /DFP FILE PHOTO

Gilroy was named co-captain of the Terriers in his senior year and helped lead the Terriers to a 36-6-4 record in 2008-09, winning the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular-season trophy, the Hockey East tournament, the National Championship and the prestigious Hobey Baker Award.  

Cohen joined the Terriers in 2007 and carried the Terriers to their fifth national championship in 2009, scoring the overtime game-winning goal against the Miami Redhawks. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Frozen Four and was named to the All-Tournament team.

Read the transcripts of our interviews below. Excerpts have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Can you describe your years as a player?

Mike Eruzione (ME): It was unbelievable. We played in Walter Brown [Arena], basically sold out every game we played … and it was so deafening and loud in there with that tin ceiling. I think in my four years at BU, I think we only lost maybe three games at home. It was such an advantage playing at home and I played with great players, clearly. 

Matt Gilroy (MG): My career view is pretty unique, starting as a walk-on and then finishing the way I finished, but I think I’ve always fallen in love with BU’s hockey tradition and the history of it, and the excellence of the program. Then once you get there and you become a part of it, you just become obsessed with it, and all you want to do is win there.

Colby Cohen (CC): It was the best three years of my entire life. … You’re living with your best friends, and you get to play hockey every single day. … Our equipment staff with Mike DiMella, and our training staff with Larry Venis, and our strength and conditioning staff with Mike Boyle, those guys treated us as good as any players in the NHL get treated.

If you could pick one moment to really define your BU experience, what would it be?

ME: I became the all-time leading scorer at Boston University. I knew it was going to be passed by someone at some point, and it turned out to be my roommate Rick Meagher. … I had the record for a little while, almost a whole year actually. Then Ricky broke it in the next-to-last game of our last year. We were both tied going into the last game. It was a consolation game against [The University of New Hampshire] UNH in the national championship, and Rick got two points in the game, and I didn’t get any. And he beat me by two points.

MG: My first game ever at BU, we played the USA team, and I think I sat three or four [games], and then coach [Jack] Parker put me in the lineup, and after that, I never came out of the lineup. … If I never went to BU and I never got that opportunity, I don’t think I would have ever played in the pros or had such a great success in hockey, and I thank the coaching staff at BU for everything they’ve done for me as a hockey player and then as a person.

CC: Winning the championship was incredible. I was the lucky one who scored. I’ll never forget when [Nick] Bonino scored to tie the game. I was on the bench for that goal because Matt Gilroy and [David] Warsofsky were on the ice. … I don’t remember when I scored as well, but I remember when Bonino scored and the bench just erupting. … It was something that certainly will be hard to ever replicate a moment like that in my life ever again.

Out of your years in a BU jersey, which team or year was your favorite?

ME: Jack [Parker] always said the best teams are the ones that won the national championship, so I have to say those teams that won national championships. But I thought my junior year, we were loaded.

MG: My senior year, my classmates and I, we won every championship. The individual awards, we won them all. To be a part of that elite group that says you get to win your last college hockey game as a national champion is pretty special. Playing BU hockey is amazing, but winning at BU is even better.

CC: That [2008-09] team was so fun because we were so good, and there were a lot of really great players on that team. Gilroy wins the Hobey Baker, Colin [Wilson] could have won the Hobey Baker. … We just had so much fun on the ice, we had so much fun off the ice. 

What do you want the rest of the community to know about this program?

ME: How important the program is to players, and how important Boston University is to our program. We’re an extension of the university. … I represent the university, and I feel very proud about it because it’s done so many things for me, and I think our players feel the same way, clearly about our hockey program but about the school itself.

MG: It’s the big sport on campus. Everyone comes to the games. You have a big responsibility to represent yourself, your university, the people who came before you. When you get to skate every Friday or Saturday night at Agganis, and then you get to play in Beanpots and national championships, it’s just so special.

CC: It’s not even just about wins and losses. I think BU is supposed to set the standard for college hockey or be one of the few schools that sets the bar. … I hope other players get to have the experience that I had because it was awesome. It really was.

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