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January 1, 2010

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- 7 !J Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 1,2010 U CORNER ILK by Reinaldo Oliveira, Jr. HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss Battlers Battalion: Mike "Little Rock" Cappiello, Iron Mike Pusateri, Missy Fiorentino, Joe Angelo, Tony Petronelli, Vito Antuofermo and Tony DeMarco. Happy New Year's in 2010, from all Boxers' Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year's! "What happens, needs to happen, in order to get you to where you're going!" Words all so true. I heard these words at St. Patrick's Church, from Father Medeiros, I believe it was in March of 2004. Great words that I will never forget. Many things, you learn in life. Some of the most impor- tant things in life, are loyalty to God, and to others. Remembering where you came from, and knowing where you are going. Important things in life, to never forget. Enhanced by Boxing, other sports, and tribulations. A question to Fighters. Did you learn to fight back, by what you learned in Boxing, or did you Pight, because it's in you to fight? Maybe you're just genetically, as you are? Remember Darwin? Survival of the Fittest! wnateu r tn0 r0no0n "go pm l' saying goes. "You can never tell a great fighter, till he has got knocked down." Get back up, and fight back harder. Persevere through the difficult times. The tough Ist, 2ha, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9m, 10*h, 11th OI: 12~ round. Never quit. You get dazed. Don't quifl You get cut. Don't turn your back, and wait for the referee to stop the fight. You get knocked down. Get back up. Don't ask for a "Time out[" Just get teed off. Dig down deep, fight back harder, to WIN. After the fight hug your opponent, and be Brothers forever. "Merry Christmas!" I am very proud, as I know many others are in this brotherhood of Boxers. Difficult times arise. Dig down deep, fight back harder. How many of you Pugs remember these moments?_ How many of you have had a shaky round or two, fought back, and won. Your hands raised in victory. I'm sure you remember these special times for World Champions: Tony DeMarco, Lou Bogash, Paul Pender, Sal Bartolo, Rocky Marciano, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Jaime Clampitt. Top Fighters Joe DeNucci, Tommy Collins, Hambone Kelley, Tommy Martini, Bill McCluskey, Dan O'Malley, Tony Petronelli, Tinker Picot, Iron Mike Pusateri. Freddie Roach. Robbie Simms. Jnakia flmith, Ill,haul Mlekr Ward. That's part of what being the rough, tough fighter these fighters listed are. Happy Birthdays: January 2nd Doug I'ndarvis, 7" Danny Long, and to Frank Calabro, I Ia John O'Brien, Jerry Huston, and Ryan Long Happy New Year, and let's make it great! World Champions Sugar Ray Leonard and Jaime "The Hurricane" Clampitt battles Micky Ward Missy "The Fury" Fiorentino. Rocky Marciano Dan O'Malley Left, Goody Petronelli "The Mad Scientist of Boxing" with the "Creation" World Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler ............ Joe DeNucci Happy Birthday Danny ,.Long ~ It was way back when 2009 had more months remain- ing than months expired, when the Red Sox season was brand new, when both the Bruins and the Celtics were looking forward to their re- spective play-offs. It was back when spring was in the air and the dark, dreary days of winter were in the rear view mirror. It was then that it occurred -- on the night before Easter -- as some were partaking in vigil services while others were making plans for the festive day that lay ahead. It was then that the col- lege hockey season ended -- make that exploded -- into an historic grand finale worthy of any Fourth of July fireworks display in this great land. It was a game that reso- nated across this nation, not only because it was played in the capital of it -- Washing- ton, D.C. -- but because of the meaning attached to it. You see, this wasn't just any contest. It was the NCAA Division I men's hockey championship game, the one for the trophy, the title and the right to talk the talk be- cause you walked the walk. It was all on the line in one scheduled 60-minute contest that would determine which team would get its name forever etched on the list of all-time NCAA hockey cham- pions. But it would extend be~rond its allotted minutes and seconds into a thrilling overtime, delivering a cham- pionship to the Hub and one of its most storied collegiate programs. Because of all of the forego- hag, it is our pick as the 2009 Game of the Year involving a Boston hoops or hockey team, one worthy of recalling as we enter a new year, the second decade of thest century and look forward to the historic night of college hockey at Fenway Park on January 8. And maybe, just maybe, the headline that graced the front page of the Boston Herald Sunday sports section said it all: "It had to BU." But that memorable line could only have been written in the af- termath of the contest -- and literally not a moment before its thrilling conclusion. The Terriers had arrived for the championship game against Miami of Ohio via a 5-4 national semifinal victory over Vermont. Along the way there had been other tri- ond. As the third period be- gan, it was I-I, a fan's delight to be sure with the promise of it all being decided in the final period. Offensively, the Red Hawks would play the Terriers even -- each team wound up with 32 shots on goal. But in that third period Miami jumped out to a 3-1 lead. The first score in the stanza came about 12 and a half minutes in on a rebound shot while the second came a little over three minutes later. Now with just 4:08 left in regulation, Miami had nailed the insur- ance tally, the one beyond the game-winner, the just- in-case-we-need-it-score. They played at even strength for two more min- utes. That's when, with about 120 ticks left on the clock, veteran BU coach Jack Parker pulled Terrier goalie Kieran Millan off the ice in favor of a sixth skater. An- other minute passed. As the game was about to enter its final minute of regulation, things definitely looked dim for those who make their home in the Hub of Hockey. Suddenly, Zack Cohen found the range and it was 3-2. But still Miami had scored that now all-important insurance tally three min- utes earlier, a score now looming large as the seconds continued to tick away. Cer- tainly, the Miami players had visions of a national title and a tremendous u~t dancin~ in their heads. But this would be the night Miami would only dance with the stars -- and would not go on to capture one. With just 17.4 seconds remaining in the game BU's Nick Bonino, who had assisted on Cohen's tally a little over 40 seconds earlier, scored the tying tally and what had eemed the improb- able four minutes earlier now became the possible. The game was tied and going into overtime -- a session where hockey fans know anything can happen. But nothing did -- at least score wise -- for nearly 12 minutes. BU did dominate on shots 9-4 -- and it was that ninth -- a slap shot by Zack Cohen that hit a Miami player and popped past the Miami goaltender into the net that brought the Terriers to the summit of the college hockey world via a 4-3 over- time win. They had scored the final umphs as well -- the Beanp0t three goals of the game -- and and the Hockey East Tourna- now stood atop the NCAA ment Championship game hockey ranks. Fittingly, it victory against UMa~s-Lowcll was Cohen, who had scored among them. All that meant that BU car- ried history, prestige and an enviable 26-2-3 record int0 the building to face the Red Hawks of Miami as the Ter- riers sought their fifth na- tional title and their first championship since 1995. Miami, new to the national scene, played with the bra- vado of a newcomer. Sure, BU would hold a 1-0 lead after the first period but Miami would come back to tie it in the sec- two of those three markers, that was pictured in the Herald holding the trophy. It was the game of the year, quite probably the greatest comeback in a championship game in NCAA history. But at its heart it was a team tri- umph and a coaching victory. It was also a Boston victory, much more city-centered than a professional, regional one. It was for Boston be- cause at its heart it simply was destined to be BU.