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Dog Pound’s new leadership ready for Beanpot Championship – The Boston Hockey Blog

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

When the Dog Pound began planning for this year’s season of BU Hockey, its new president, Aaron Fox, had a decision to make about what kind of a fan section he wanted to create.

“I literally sent a text, I was like, ‘Aaron Fox’s Dog Pound is not cute,’ let’s wipe away that notion right now,” Fox said. “Like this is a student section, we’re here to be mean, we’re here to be loud.”

BU’s Dog Pound is a student-run club which organizes the fan section for Boston University’s men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. 

The group has gained a reputation for not being as aggressive in the stands as other area schools’ fan sections.​​ That’s something Fox is actively trying to improve. 

“I mean, yeah, we have been soft in the past,” Fox said. 

Paco Moguel, who is vice president for the Dog Pound and also in charge of social media, says that the group took Fox’s directive and ran with it. 

“We’re obviously getting the message to the students that this year we’re not just going to be cute and wholesome, we’ve got to make Agganis a place where players say ‘oh sh–t, we’ve got to go play at Agganis, I don’t want to go there, I have a bad time there,’” Moguel said. 

Moguel says that he’s already seen an impact of the group’s new approach this year, especially in the series against Boston College where the Eagles made a point of celebrating their sweep in front of the fan section at Agganis.

“Even though we lost, I got the message of we did a good job, we got them rattled, because if they’re coming to celebrate in our faces that means we got into their heads,” Moguel said. “That’s what Aaron wanted to do and I think we’re doing a pretty good job.”

Fox, a native of Plymouth, is a second-generation BU hockey fan. His parents, who graduated from BU in 1994 and 1995, met each other in the pep band. 

“I was born in July 2002, I was probably swaddled and brought to a game in October of 2002,” he said. 

Some of his greatest childhood memories, Fox says, were from Friday and Saturday nights spent in Section 113 at Walter Brown Arena surrounded by his parents’ college friends from the band fraternity. 

“We would go to T Anthony’s before every single game, sometimes it was T’s pub,” he said. 

At an early age, Fox was taught the chants that he’d later be leading as president of the Dog Pound, some twenty years later. 

“I can picture looking over to my left to see the Dog Pound and the flag and the band,” he said. 

Fox attends BU hockey game as a kid. Photo courtesy of Aaron Fox.

When Fox came to campus in the Fall of 2020 he knew he wanted to become involved with the Dog Pound, despite the Covid-era limitations on assembling a fan section. 

“It was literally just a group chat with 20 kids in it, [we] talked about hockey, and talked about the BU hockey team. And that’s what we were for like a year,” he said. 

Fox described how the group’s recent seasons have been somewhat of a transitional period, or a “rebuild.” Much of the early leadership had graduated and passing on the group’s traditions became difficult because of the social distancing regulations.

“Covid shut the whole thing down and killed any chance for more kids…to join up and learn the ropes,” he said. 

In his sophomore year, Fox became more involved with the group at the request of the leadership at the time. 

“They were like, ‘Aaron, you were active in the group chat, let’s go, we’re getting you involved,’” he said. 

Fox then pulled in more members, one of which included Moguel, who joined the group in the Fall of 2021. 

Moguel, who grew up in Mexico, began following hockey in 9th grade when his English teacher, a fan of the San Jose Sharks, pulled him into an NHL Fantasy League. 

“The Sharks were really good back then so we would watch replays of their plays from the prior years,” Moguel said. 

When Moguel arrived at BU, he began learning about the team and attending games, usually sitting in Section 108 across from the Dog Pound. 

“One day a lot of my friends couldn’t go to the game, so I went alone, [and] I decided to try sitting in 118,” he said. 

After the game he sent a DM to the Dog Pound’s Instagram asking to become involved with the group, and he’s stayed involved ever since. 

“My role right now is basically running the social media, all the posts you see and all the stories, that’s totally me,” he said. 

Photo courtesy of Aaron Fox.

Another tradition that Moguel has added to the Dog Pound is the use of Tifo banners, seen recently at the Women’s Beanpot at TD Garden and for the Jan. 27 game against Boston College at Agganis. These banners, which originated in Latin American soccer culture, can sometimes be as big as a hundred feet and are held up by the club’s supporters. 

“I was talking to the guys last year and I was like, we should start doing something like this…seeing a Tifo before the game, even if it’s just a short message, obviously gets the crowd going,” he said. 

Despite the efforts that Fox, Moguel, and the Dog Pound have made to revamp the Dog Pound’s image as a meaner and edgier fan section, the group still has faced setbacks from Agganis Arena who want BU’s fan section to be ‘classier’ than other area schools.

“I think the line is drawn in terms of, obviously, a little bit of the swearing because Agganis obviously doesn’t like that look,” Moguel said. “They text Aaron like, don’t start these chants specifically because someone’s gonna get in trouble.”

Ahead of January’s much hyped Battle of Comm Ave series, Fox was approached by BU Athletics and told specifically not to start a “F–k BC” chant, even though his power to do so was limited. 

“As the President of Dog Pound I can be like not the guy to start it but I can’t shut it down, [at] the end of the day, if like 10 people over in Section 119 start a ‘F–k BC’ chant and it catches on like, what am I going to do?” he said. 

Despite the warnings that may come from Agganis Arena or other groups on campus, Fox says he’s less worried about repercussions than the group has been in previous years.

“I think we were a little more scared of them last year, not gonna lie,” he said. “But to their credit, they haven’t done that this year…I think we’ve had zero issues with Agganis staff.”

Away from all the rabble rousing that the group has gotten up to recently, the end goal still remains to increase student participation at BU’s hockey games, something that Fox and the Dog Pound believe still needs to be improved. 

“I wish it could be more,” Fox said. “I don’t know if there’s anything that I can do in my power to make it more.” 

Fox believes that the university needs to do a better job marketing its programs and this year’s men’s team in particular, which is loaded with future NHL talent. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

“There needs to be something on this campus anywhere that would indicate that we have a hockey team with the kid who is going to go number one overall this year in the draft playing on it, for one year and one year only,” Fox said. 

In preparation for Monday’s Beanpot Championship matchup at TD Garden, Fox along with the president of Northeastern’s Dog House, has been collaborating with the leaders of a fan group at Boston College to get student tickets for both schools. 

“I’ve been flipping tickets from BC students to BU students, just trying desperately to get us to bigger numbers than we were last Monday, which we will be for sure. But I do think Northeastern is probably going to be bigger than us…this is their Natty,” he said. 

Support from the fan section is something that the team will be riding on in Monday’s championship game. 

“We play on their back, when they’re lively and they’re loud for us, it makes us that much better and we feed off their energy and I think it’s gonna be no different tomorrow,” freshman Terrier forward Shane Lachance said Sunday. 

The Dog Pound, along with the rest of the BU fans in attendance for Monday’s game, will be in full effect supporting the Terriers on the ice. 

“Nothing compares to the Beanpot just because of what it means to the city and to the school,” Moguel said, “I mean we’re Beanpot University…I expect them to win every year.”

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