Hockey Fans Mourn Jim Prior, Legendary Voice of BU Hockey

'The teams are ready, soooo let's play hockey.'

If you have a favorite Beanpot memory, chances are good that if you close your eyes and really focus, you can probably still hear Jim Prior’s voice.

The longtime PA announcer, synonymous with Boston University ice hockey, died Saturday, leaving scores of college hockey fans mourning the man whose voice still lingers in the hallowed, concrete halls of Walter Brown Arena.

An Arlington native, Prior was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving in the Vietnam War. His professionalism and passion for the sport of hockey, as well as his ritualistic, puck-drop refrain seared into the brains of college hockey fans across Boston and beyond—”The teams are ready, soooooo let’s play hockey”—earned him a spot in the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.

“He’s an icon now, since he’s been around so long,” longtime BU coach Jack Parker said in a 2002 profile that’s resurfaced in the wake of Prior’s death. “He’s our guy. He’s been our announcer of record, so to speak, for a really long time, and all of the other announcing he does reflects on his professionalism and enthusiasm.”

While he famously refused to announce against the Terriers, Prior often lent his velvety pipes to the Beanpot and Hockey East tournaments.

Terriers both past and present mourned Prior’s death on Twitter.

Even Mayor Marty Walsh, a Boston College alum, expressed his condolences for the legendary voice of his alma mater’s crosstown college hockey rival.