"He's got a skill set as good as anybody I've ever played with. There's no
way he won't play in the NHL." (Gerbe was drafted in the fifth round by the
Buffalo Sabres in 2005.)
Gerbe jokes that
his greatest gift is his singing voice—he often serenades teammates with
country ballads—but York and others cite his hands. "Sometimes Gerbs does
something with the puck, and we just laugh because it's so ridiculous,"
says Eagles forward Andy Orpik.
One such moment
came in the second period against Notre Dame. Gerbe twice threaded passes to
teammates cycling down low, and then he slid forward and, from the left slot,
one-timed a shot to the far corner of the net. Three minutes later he all but
willed his second goal into the net: When a wide shot by Eagles forward Ben
Smith bounced off the boards, Gerbe dived headfirst and, as he slid on the ice,
swung his stick and knocked the puck inside the near post.
"I think that
second goal epitomizes him," says senior captain Mike Brennan. "He is
small, but he plays big."
heartbreakers to Michigan State last year and Wisconsin in 2006 in the national
finals, the Eagles finally "have a season that will never end," says
Brennan. Early on, however, it looked as if it would be a season of lost
promise. Goaltender Cory Schneider signed with the Canucks and turned pro
before his senior year. Then junior defensemen Brett Motherwell and Brian
O'Hanley were suspended for breaking team rules. Forward Brock Bradford twice
broke his left arm and played in only five games. But freshman goalie John Muse
played better than expected (he had a 2.26 goals-against average during the
regular season, then had 20 saves against Notre Dame), as did freshman forward
Joe Whitney and sophomore attacker Smith. Still, Boston College would have been
nowhere without its mightiest mite, who tied an NCAA record with seven goals in
the tournament and finished as the nation's leader in points (68) and goals
tremendous on the biggest stage," says Irish coach Jeff Jackson. "God
bless the small guy, because he is fearless."