Hockey East Preview: Boston College Eagles

By Ryan Fallon

Head Coach – Jerry York, 20th season

Projected finish – Coaches Poll: t-1st Media Poll: 2nd

Last season – 22-12-4 (17-10-3 in Hockey East, 2nd); lost in conference semifinals to Boston University; lost in first round of NCAA tournament to Union

Losses – F Steven Whitney, F Pat Mullane, D Patrick Wey, F Brooks Dyroff, D Patch Alber, G Parker Milner

Newcomers: D Ian McCoshen, D Steve Santini, F Chris Calnan, F Adam Gilmour, F Ryan Fitzgerald, F Matthew Gaudreau, F Evan Richardson, F Austin Cangelosi, D Scott Savage, G Thatcher Demko

Although it didn’t go as the Eagles wanted – with losses in the early rounds of the Hockey East and NCAA tournaments – last year was another successful year for Jerry York and company on Chestnut Hill. The Eagles won their fourth straight Beanpot and finished second only to the UMass-Lowell River Hawks in the Hockey East regular season. All of this was accomplished despite losing Brian Dumoulin, Chris Kreider, and a highly talented senior class after the previous, national championship, season. The offense was impressive once more, finishing first in Hockey East (3.37 g/gm), with Johnny Gaudreau, Patt Mullane, and Steven Whitney leading the way (40, 35, and 34 points respectively).The losses of blueliners Dumoulin and Tommy Cross, though, were tough for the Eagles, as they saw their first ranked defense (2.02 g/gm in 2011-2012) drop to sixth in Hockey East (2.82 g/gm last season).

This season, the Eagles have graduated two of their top three scorers as well as starting goaltender Parker Milner. The freshman class they are bringing in, however, is loaded with talent. Look for the highly touted pair of McCoshen (FLA draft pick) and Santini (NJD draft pick) to solve the Eagles’ problems at the blue line. The continued development of sophomore Michael Matheson will help as well. On the offensive end, Hobey Baker finalist Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes, and Bill Arnold will lead the way. Talented forwards like Calnan (CHI draft pick), Fitzgerald (BOS draft pick), and Gilmour (MIN draft pick) will be expected to contribute as well. In goal, junior Brian Billet has drawn three starts in six games thus far, but watch for blue-chip recruit Thatcher Demko to challenge for the job at some point. He has the potential to be one of the best in the nation.

Bottom line: The Eagles are always loaded with talent, but this particular freshmen class is stacked. Any potential drop in goal-scoring will likely be made up for on the defensive end, especially if Demko lives up to the hype. Look for Boston College to finish in the top three in Hockey East and play into late March.