I remember coming across his college stats when I was looking through ND’s goal scoring over the last number of years. I was reminded of his impact when I saw the number of assists he had. Jackson has always been one to mix and match his lines except where Vinny and Mario were concerned. IIRC, sometime during the early part of Vinny’s freshman year he was paired with Mario and they were rarely separated thereafter. He had an unbelievable ability to put the puck right where Lucia liked it and Mario did a great job converting. Those guys just really worked well together. Oglevie, Bjork and Malmquist are others that seemed to play really well together.
Vinny’s early departure was painful, but the team stepped up in his absence. Bjork’s departure, however, was the difference in winning or losing thr National Championship against UMD as far as I am concerned. I think we win that game if he’s on the ice.
I was very disappointed in his lack of impact on the game the previous year. Granted, I had pretty high standards; I had watched ND's series at Merrimack and Bjork was pretty clearly the best player on the ice, so I was expecting him to be an impact player in the Frozen Four.
in the type of tight game that turned out to be. I think the team the year before was just outclassed by Denver. However, his performance in the regionals that year showed that he was a big time player. At the very least, he would have been someone that UMD would have had to pay attention to, potentially opening up a scoring opportunity for someone else. Also, Jackson had the habit of using him on special teams much like Rust is used by the Pens.
All speculation, I know.....but I often think about it as I wonder if we will get that kind of season and opportunity again.