2013-14 Men's Hockey Season Preview
Sept. 19, 2013
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College enters the 2013-14 season in search of returning to national glory with a strong nucleus of veteran Eagles coupled with a highly-touted freshmen crop. "As always, we have to replace some key players," head coach Jerry York said. "That's always our charge. We're replacing graduated seniors with incoming freshmen."
The Eagles qualified for their 14th NCAA Tournament berth in 16 seasons, 32nd overall, at the conclusion of the regular season. Last year's senior class left The Heights with an overall mark of 114-40-9, two NCAA Division I Championships, three Hockey East tournament titles, two Hockey East regular-season championships and became the first class in BC history to capture four Beanpot titles.
With the departure of seasoned veterans amongst the likes of Pat Mullane, Patrick Wey, Patch Alber, Steven Whitney and Parker Milner, BC enters a new era. York, associate head coach Greg Brown and assistant coaches Mike Ayers and Marty McInnis, usher in 10 new faces to compliment Boston College's four seniors, six sophomores and eight juniors. "The mix, the dynamic is very different this year. It's very exciting. There is a general feeling of optimism throughout our program."
"I think Patrick has made himself a better player through hard work and effort," York said. "He is developing offense skills, but he is a shutdown, hard-nosed center with great leadership qualities as evidenced by earning the captain's spot on our team. Bill and Isaac will be key contributors, both on the ice and beyond."
Seventeen letterwinners from last year's 22-win club also return, including four 25-point scorers, and the nation's leading point scorer per game (1.46) in junior Johnny Gaudreau. Defensively, lone senior blueliner MacLeod will lead a younger flock of Eagles. With the departure of Milner, retuning junior netminders Brian Billett and Brad Barone will compete with newcomer Thatcher Demko for the starting role at the goaltender position. Billett and Barone are somewhat untested, having combined for 11 career appearances.
York welcomes two new additions to his staff this fall, including Ayers and McInnis. Ayers completed his second season as goaltending coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in 2012-13 before serving as the goaltending coach at St. Cloud State from 2009 to 2011. Ayers played college hockey at the University of New Hampshire and earned USA Hockey College Player of the Year honors in 2003. McInnis returns to his alma mater in an assistant coaching role following a 12-year professional career in the NHL. McInnis is tied for 29th all-time in the BC career scoring annals with a scoring line of 58-84-142 in 118 games played as an Eagle. He was also inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. Mike Cavanaugh left the program to take the reins at the University of Connecticut and Jim Logue retired. Associate head coach Greg Brown enters his 10th season on York's staff.
York enters his 20th season at Boston College after recently becoming the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history on Dec. 29, 2012. His all-time collegiate record rests at 935-567-98 (.615) and his mark at Boston College is 468-231-64 (.655). The Eagles initiate the 2013-14 season on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Michigan.
York on Boston College's goaltenders:
• Parker Milner graduated from Boston College having amassed an overall total of 64-20-5 (.747), tying Scott Gordon (1982-86) for fifth-most victories in Eagle history. Milner's 2.23 career goals against average mark stacks up fourth-best in the BC annals while his six career shutouts tied Joe Carroll's (1951-54) mark for sixth-best all-time.
• Juniors Brian Billett and Brad Barone each saw action in one contest in 2012-13. Billett earned one start and surrendered three goals against Maine on Jan. 26, 2013. Barone staffed the pipes in the third period in a 5-1 setback against Providence on March 2, 2013.
• Thatcher Demko arrives in Chestnut Hill by way of the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP) where he posted a 30-9-4 mark with the U.S. National Under-18 Team last season. The imposing 6-3 backstopper recorded a .910 save percentage along with six shutouts. The San Diego, Calif., native was 3-0-0 in the Four Nations Under-18 tournament and racked up an impressive 8-2-3 mark against college programs including BC's first opponent, Michigan, and league foe, Merrimack. Prior to his time with the NTDP, Demko played goalie for the Omaha Lancers and accrued a 9-3-0 win-loss total.
York on Boston College's defense:
"We're experimenting with Danny Linell in that we think he has a chance to play defense for us. That is where we are going to start him this year just because of his skating ability and his savviness with the puck. Then you throw in our three newcomers, Steve Santini, Ian McCoshen and Scott Savage and they are all highly regarded by our staff. Their future is very bright."
• Fourth-year vet and assistant captain Isaac MacLeod will lead returning sophomores Michael Matheson, Teddy Doherty, Colin Sullivan and Travis Jeke to help BC's goaltending unit out front. The Eagles' five returning defensemen have totaled 230 games of service.
• Matheson adds some offensive flair to BC's defense, notching 25 points (8-17-25) in a first-year campaign that resulted in All-Hockey East Rookie Team honors, New England Division I all-star recognition and the program's Bernie Burke Outstanding Freshman Award.
• Rookies Ian McCoshen, Steve Santini and Scott Savage augment Boston College's size defensively, all clocking in at 6-foot-1 or taller. Scott Savage rounds out Boston College's defensive corps following a strong career with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
• McCoshen and Santini come to BC highly touted, both getting drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. McCoshen (Florida - second round - 31st overall - 2013 and Santini (New Jersey - second round - 42nd overall - 2013) hope to make an impact right away.
• Junior Danny Linell has the opportunity to play both ways this season. The Great Neck, N.Y., native logged 12 points (3-9-12) in 38 games played in 2012-13.
• The Eagles ranked 34th, nationally, in scoring defense last season, surrendering 2.82 goals per game.
York on Boston College's offense:
"Johnny Gaudreau is as good a player as anyone in the country. He has had a fabulous career at Boston College at this juncture. Johnny is getting better and better. He is getting stronger he is getting more comfortable at this level. We expect him to be a real difference maker every time he is on the ice. He is a special, unique player."
"I think this freshmen class is a deep group. They all have a chance to make an immediate impact on our program. There are spots available. We have watched them a lot throughout their careers up to this point and we expect all six to be contributing players for us. We still have to read the book and see what happens, but we are really excited about what they bring to our program."
• Boston College's forward looks to continue its offensive prowess despite losing All-American Steven Whitney and last year's captain Pat Mullane to graduation. BC's power duo combined for 313 career games, including 97 goals, 180 assists and 267 points (0.85 ppg) at Boston College.
• The Eagles return 67 percent of college hockey's second-ranked offense from last season along with 63.2 percent of their goal production. Eleven letterwinners return for 2013-14 that combined for 72 goals, 107 assists and 179 points last season.
• Boston College's leading scorer from last year, junior Johnny Gaudreau, also led the nation in points per game last season (21-30-51 • 1.46 ppg), yielding Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist merit, Hockey East Association Player of the Year and an All-American accolade. The Carneys Point, N.J., native was fifth in the NCAA in both goals per game (0.60), assists per game (0.86) and tied for third in all the land with six game-winning goals.
• Senior alternate captain Bill Arnold looks to creep into the BC career record books as the local product out of Needham, Mass., is just nine points away from the 100-point plateau. The Calgary draft pick finished fourth on the club last season in scoring with 35 points (17-18-35) and will be a key contributor in the offensive zone. Kevin Hayes and captain Patrick Brown are BC's other two veterans on offense. Hayes was sixth in scoring (6-19-25) during an injury-plagued junior season while strong two-way forward Brown hopes to up his figures as a key contributor this season.
• Juniors Destry Straight, Quinn Smith, Michael Sit, and Cam Spiro offer much needed depth at the forward position as the rigors of a long season takes its toll down the stretch. This group of gritty forwards chipped in 36 points last year.
• Chris Calnan, Adam Gilmour, Ryan Fitzgerald, Matthew Gaudreau, Evan Richardson and Austin Cangelosi comprise one of Boston College's largest group of incoming forwards in years. This highly-touted group possesses three NHL draft picks, including Calnan (Chicago - third round - 79th overall - 2012), Fitzgerald (Boston - fourth round - 120th overall - 2013) and Gilmour (Minnesota - fourth round - 98th overall - 2012).