Warsofsky, Gibbons find Fenway friendly
His 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame wasn’t easy to spot from a distance through the flurries falling from the night sky. With the bright lights beaming on the hockey rink, and snow swirling through the stadium’s open air, it would be hard to imagine a more picturesque scene.
Moving from the far half wall toward center point, David Warsofsky wound and fired a slap shot through the snowy mist, glancing off a post and off Boston College goalie John Muse before settling into the back of the net to give Boston University a 1-0 lead in the Frozen Fenway game last Friday night.
Warsofsky, a sophomore defenseman from Marshfield, and his Terrier teammates eventually prevailed, 3-2, in front of 38,472 fans, the highest-attended college hockey game in eastern US history.
“You grow up watching the Red Sox playing, and then you see the Bruins playing; to have the opportunity to play in that venue is definitely a special opportunity,’’ said Warsofsky.
BU stretched its lead to 3-0 before Brian Gibbons, a junior forward from Braintree, ignited a BC rally, scoring the Eagles’ first goal in the second period and then assisting on Cam Atkinson’s tally at 7:43 of the third.
For both Warsofsky and Gibbons, the opportunity to lace up their skates at America’s most beloved ballpark was a unique experience.
“It’s definitely special,’’ Gibbons said. “I’ve been coming to games since I was 4 or 5 years old with my family. My dad used to take me and my brother to games. It’s obviously a lot different being down where all the attention’s on you, but it’s definitely special.’’
Gibbons said the pregame introductions were memorable. As players made the walk from their respective dugouts onto the ice, they were showered with chants from each squad’s student section.
“The crowd was awesome,’’ Gibbons said. “Coming out of the dugout was something I’ll never forget. Then starting lineups - you’ve got both crowds, BC and BU, going at it. It’s a battle in the stands; it’s a battle on the ice. It’s fun.’’
Warsofsky celebrated his Fenway goal in fitting fashion. After netting that opening tally, Warsofsky flipped an imaginary baseball into the air and whacked it toward Pesky Pole with an uppercut hack.
“We were coming up with stuff before the game,’’ Warsofsky said of the celebration. “I actually have to give [BU goaltender Adam] Kraus some credit for that - he came up with that one. I decided to give it a shot.’’
The Fenway game capped off an eventful winter break for Warsofsky. Earlier in the week, he was a member of the US Under-20 national team that topped Canada, 6-5, in overtime to capture the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Saskatoon. Warsofsky tallied two assists and registered a plus-5 rating in the tournament while serving as an assistant captain.
“It was an experience I’ve never had before,’’ Warsofsky said.
“Going to the national championship’’ - BU topped Miami University for the Division I crown last April - “that’s all colleges, but to go to that stage with the rest of the world is definitely something I’ve never experienced, and hopefully I’ll experience that again someday.’’
Jake Seiner can be reached at email@example.com.