Retaking the Ice: The Unsung Heroes of the Boston University Terriers

We’ve hit five Retaking the Ice stories! Thanks to everyone for checking out this series up to this point. Let’s celebrate this milestone by celebrating some Boston University Terrier skaters who deserve being celebrated more.

Let’s look at twelve players who became unsung heroes for their teams. This time, I’ll be looking at the 2000’s and 2010’s, and this time I will be making starting lineups (one goaltender, two defenders and three forwards, not full rosters) for both the men’s and women’s teams comprised of some of the most underrated, but crucial, players to take the ice over the twenty years. Let’s dive in with the full lineup of unsung heroes of the men’s team and then check out the women’s starters.

Unsung Goaltender: Sean Maguire (2012-16)

Maguire never started full-time for BU, splitting time either with Matt O’Connor or Connor LaCouvee, but Maguire’s story has both of their’s easily beat. After going 13-8-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average in his freshman season, Maguire and the whole Terrier team struggled in 2013-14, and in March of that season came the crushing blow for him.

Maguire collided with teammate Mike Moran during a practice and got severely concussed. He decided to forgo his junior season, a year in which the Terriers fell in the National Championship, in order to fully recover. His return in 2015-16 was triumphant: a 13-9-1 record with a 2.41 GAA and .920 save percentage. Maguire is the unsung hero of net-minding for this team.

Unsung Defenders: Colby Cohen (2007-10), Eric Gryba (2006-10)

Although he only played for three seasons at BU, Cohen’s career is defined by clutch moments. His first career goal on November 16, 2007, was a game-winner, and he went on to put up a solid sixteen-point freshman season from the blueline. Once his sophomore year began, he took off.

With nine multi-point games, 20 power-play points, and three game-winning goals, including the shot that won BU its fifth NCAA Championship, Cohen’s sophomore season only went overlooked because of the Terrier’s stout defense. After adding 14 goals and 30 points in 2009-10, Cohen cemented himself as a great Terrier, but one who deserved more love for what he brought to the rink each night.

Eric Gryba defined physicality in a defenseman. He is tied with Brandon Yip as BU’s all-time leader in penalty minutes in a single season with 118 in 2009-10 and stands alone atop the career penalty minutes category with 354!

While the Terriers ended up shorthanded rather often when he suited up, his dominance on the forecheck allowed for a balance with the many offensive-minded blueliners he played with, including Matt Gilroy, Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk. He did get increasingly better at scoring over the course of his career, but how he was able to dive head-first into the trenches and allow for BU’s offense to do its work can never be appreciated enough.

Unsung Forwards: Matt Lane (2013-17) , Brandon Yip (2005-09), Cason Hohmann (2011-15)

Matt Lane was a solid depth forward who went overlooked on the Terrier’s line sheet because of the many high-scoring forwards he played with, including, but not limited to,  Danny O’Regan, Jack Eichel and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson. Do not let this take away from Lane’s many accomplishments at BU.

With 69 career points, including scores in four different playoff and tournament series, an increase in scoring after each successive season, and his development into a leader on the team by his senior season in 2015-16, Lane was a dependable, serviceable player who had the talent to get the job done.

After winning Hockey East Rookie of the Year for 2005-06, Yip missed more than half of his sophomore season with a separated shoulder and then a high-ankle sprain. After a solid 23-point season as a junior, Yip exploded in his senior season in 2008-09

Yip scored 43 points (which thanks to the team’s three lethal centers in Colin Wilson [55], Nick Bonino [50] and Chris Higgins [48], ranked 4th on the team). He broke the fifteen-year single-season penalty minutes record with 118, a level of physicality Yip had never come close to showing before. He also entered the 100-point club on March 6, 2009, and scored the lone goal in the 2009 Hockey East Title game.

Hohmann’s career was up-and-down. But despite that, he spent his time at BU developing into a strong leader while also finishing on a high note with a strong senior season. Hohmann scored only eight points as a freshman and followed that up with 34 as a sophomore – a season in which he also earned four Player of the Week nods.

As a junior in 2013-14, Hohmann suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for five games, and then just like the whole team in 2014-15, Hohmann experienced a revival. As BU marched to the NCAA Tournament, Hohmann scored 31 points and became one of the team’s assistant captains. He was never the highest scorer or the flashiest player, but he was darn good, and deserved more recognition for everything he brought to BU.

Now let’s head to the women’s team for their six unsung starters!

Unsung Goaltender: Alissa Fromkin (2009-13)

Fromkin served as a backup in each of her four seasons at BU, but she was very successful at her job whenever head coach Brian Durocher penciled her into the net. With a 13-5-5 career record and a 2.45 GAA, Fromkin was a steady presence in the Terriers’ clubhouse during a time when many players came for just two years or left after two.

Unsung Defenders: Abbey Stanley (2017-20), Sarah Appleton (2006-10)

Stanley came to BU from North Dakota and made an immediate impact on the defense. Even if Connor Galway, Reagan Rust and Abby Cook got more of the spotlight, Stanley was one helluva scorer too. With 23 points in her first season at BU and 22 points over the final two, she was another strong offensive defender who could also get the job done on the back-check and with blocking shots. While she was never a face of the Terrier defense, she was a vital piece to the puzzle.

While Stanley might not have been one of the faces of BU, Sarah Appleton was the first face of the blueliners. With 49 points over her four seasons at BU, the team’s 2009-10 co-captain helped this team get off the ground as a Division I program. From assisting on the team’s first overtime-winner, to leading Terrier defenders in points, goals or both in different seasons, to playing in nearly every contest during her time here, Appleton was one of the first key pieces to helping BU Women’s Hockey get on the college hockey map.

Unsung Forwards: Natalie Flynn (2013-17), Mary Parker (2016-17), Natasza Tarnowski (2016-20)

Let’s set one thing straight off the bat about Natalie Flynn: Yes, she is the Natalie Flynn whose goal against Minnesota on December 10th, 2016 led to one of the greatest calls in WTBU Sports history by the one and only Max Wolpoff.

While that call and that moment might be what WTBU fans and Terrier fans alike remember Natalie Flynn by, her BU career brought so much more to the team. BU’s 2016-17 captain missed one single game in her four seasons at BU, while providing strong depth and leadership to the team. Both the call and her value to the team land her in this lineup.

She may have only played at BU for one season, but in that stretch Mary Parker took Hockey East and the Terriers by storm. As Victoria Bach, Rebecca Leslie and Maddie Elia were well along in their development with the team, in came Parker to rank second on the team with 45 points in 2016-17. She led Hockey East with 24 goals, had a nine-game goal streak (best in the NCAA), and had a hat trick in a five-point effort against Penn State on October 16, 2016. As the only graduate student on the team, her experience and skill had a major impact on the 2016-17 Terriers squad.

Natasza Tarnowski lived and breathed hockey in her time at BU. While she was never the highest scoring player, her leadership in the locker room is what had her dawning the “C” for two seasons as BU put up two of its best years yet. Tarnowski missed zero games over her final three seasons, scored a solid 49 points as a Terrier, and had many clutch moments throughout her career.

As a freshman, she assisted on Flynn’s game-winner against Minnesota and scored the game-winner against UNH on October 7, 2016 for her first career goal.  As a sophomore she scored her first career playoff goal against Maine in Game 3 of the 2017 Hockey East Quarterfinals. As a junior, she set career highs with a three-point and a two-goal game, and scored a goal in the 2019 Beanpot Championship win over Harvard. As a senior, BU went 9-0-1 when she scored a point. All told, Tarnowski was a strong center who more than made her mark on BU.

Without these 12 players, you simply cannot tell the full stories of these Terrier teams. Who are some other unsung heroes of the Terrier hockey teams? Who else deserves more love for helping the Terriers thrive over the last decade? Be sure to drop a comment below!

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