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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Jerry York sets hockey wins record

By Brion O'Connor

Boston College coach Jerry York earned his 925th career victory Saturday to claim sole possession of the NCAA's all-time wins record.

BC fans had to wait a little longer than expected, but the Eagles hockey team came through on Saturday, tagging a 5-2 loss on Alabama-Huntsville in Minneapolis.

In a 41-year career spanning three schools -- Clarkson, Bowling Green and Boston College -- the 67-year-old York needed an extra five seasons to eclipse Ron Mason, who won 924 in 36 seasons at Lake Superior State, Bowling Green and Michigan State, for a .696 winning percentage. But most hockey observers acknowledge the parity in today's game makes York's record equally remarkable.

"He deserves all the accolades," said Boston University coach Jack Parker in early December. "He's a very good coach who's run great programs at three different places, and has done an unbelievable job making this program the best it's ever been.

"This is a place where they've had two other coaches who've won 500 games," said Parker, referring to BC legends John "Snooks" Kelley and Len Ceglarski. "It's had a lot of good hockey for a long, long time. And he's the best they've ever had."

The Eagles got York a share of the record on Dec. 1 at home with a 5-2 win over archrival Boston University, but they couldn't deliver the record a week later, settling for a last-second tie against Hockey East rival Providence, 3-3.

On Saturday, No. 1 BC (12-2-1) left little doubt. The Eagles showcased their depth, getting scoring from five different players -- Cam Spiro, Bill Arnold, Danny Linell, Brendan Silk, and Steven Whitney -- to dispatch Alabama-Huntsville (3-15-0) in the opening leg of the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis. Senior goaltender Parker Milner had 26 saves to preserve the win.

The Eagles will shoot for win No. 13 on the season, and 926 for York, on Sunday against No. 4 Minnesota.

York won 125 games in seven years at Clarkson (1972-79), earned 342 victories in 15 years at Bowling Green (1979-94), and has won 458 games in 19 seasons behind the bench at his alma mater.

He is 32-9 in NCAA tournament games as the head coach at Boston College, and his 37 wins in the NCAA tournament are the highest in Division I history. He has led five teams to 30 or more wins, including the 2000-01 and 2011-12 Eagles squads, which each collected a school-record 33 wins. He is also only one of three coaches in NCAA history to lead two different schools -- Bowling Green (1984) and Boston College (2001, 2008, 2010 and 2012) -- to NCAA titles.