Tonight marks the last Boston University hockey game that will be played at Agganis Arena while I am a student here. It is Senior Night at Agganis as well as Jack Parker night where we will all have the chance to honor our coach of 40 years one last time and retire his old number 6 forever. It’s going to be an emotional night for sure.
I still have over two and a half months before putting on my cap and gown and dealing with that emotional roller coaster, but hearing my name announced throughout Agganis Arena as a senior in the band tonight will be very emotional. BU hockey and BU bands have defined my time at Boston University. I’ve spent the majority of my time running back and forth from band and games. I have met my best friends who I will carry with me for the rest of my life through BU hockey and pep band. So thank you to all who have made this an amazing past four years and don’t worry, I will definitely be back in October cheering on both the team and the band from the alumni section.
Going into tonight there are a few people I would definitely like to thank for an unforgettable last four years that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
1. My Family
My family is the reason that I fell in love with sports and the city of Boston. My grandparents grew up in Wellesley and made sure that I was raised a Red Sox and Bruins fan through and through. Growing up in this environment led me back to this great city when it was time to start looking at colleges. However, I would have never even made it to BU without their support, both financially and emotionally. Moving from middle-of-nowhere Northern New York to a major city where you know no one is not an easy transition, but my family was always there for me when I needed someone to talk to or just a bus ticket home for the weekend.
2. Boston University Bands
I owe a lot to the BU Bands. My decision to join pep band ended up being hands down the best decision I ever made at BU. It brought me to hockey and to my friends and to four years full of traveling across the country to various hockey and basketball arenas. I’ve spent enough money traveling to away games these past couple of years, it’s been nice to be in band and get to go to all the home games for free and get to play and jam out with my friends week after week. Band has also forced me to get into basketball. So many of the things I now value began with the decision to join band. All fun aside, I’ve definitely grown as a musician as well. Aaron Goldberg and the entire BU Bands organization have made not only my musical experience but also my college experience what it is.
3. The Dog Pound
Oh, the Dog Pound. A crazy group of college kids who are willing to drop about a thousand dollars on tickets and transportation to BU hockey games throughout the school year. A weekend trip to Michigan back in October literally changed my life. I set out for the 12 hour drive in a car full of people I didn’t know to meet up in Michigan with 20 other people who I had only briefly met in passing. Needless to say, I was petrified. And it ended up being one of the best weekends of my senior year. It’s amazing how close you can come to a group of people just because you’re all crazy enough to embark on that adventure. Without the Dog Pound arranging these crazy trips I never would’ve have strayed from Agganis Arena and gone to my first away game in Durham, New Hampshire and I certainly wouldn’t have flown off to Notre Dame this past weekend.
Even with the team not performing the best, the hockey season is what you make of it and this crazy group of people have made it a truly amazing one for me. They pulled me out of my bubble and somehow convinced me it would be a good idea to hop in a car with complete strangers and drive across the Northeast. And for that I am forever grateful to them for their part in making this a truly special senior year.
4. The BU Hockey Team
Lastly, I owe a huge thank you to the Boston University hockey team, especially the seniors. It hasn’t been the best year to go out on for the Class of 2014, but it’s been an exciting four years. This team has proven to me time and time again that they can play with heart and leave everything they’ve got out on the ice. Even when playing the number 1 team in the country on the road, the Terriers still put up a fight and managed four goals against the Boston College Eagles for the 50+ students who traveled out to see them.
As I’ve said, some of my best memories from college center around BU hockey, including the 2012 Hockey East Quarterfinals that went into Game 3 of the series and two overtimes before Alex Chiasson of the Terriers knocked in the game winner. Or going down to Madison Square Garden for Red Hot Hockey and watching the Terriers hold on to a stressful 3-2 victory over the Cornell Big Red. It would end up being one of the last wins we saw in the season, but who’s counting?
So here’s to Garrett Noonan, Jake Moscatel, Patrick MacGregor, Matt Ronan and Anthony Moccia. Good luck with whatever your future brings you and thank you for giving your all to BU hockey for the past four years. And to the rest of the team, we’ll see you in October for our best season yet!