The defending National Champion Boston College Eagles men's hockey team starts the season where they left off -- at number one, according to College Hockey News' Preseason Top 10 power rankings:
"Is there any reason the Eagles shouldn’t be tops in the country? Starting from the net out, they return one of the deepest teams in Division I. Last season, Parker Milner was a great foil to John Muse, and the two tag-teamed the crease en route to a National Championship. Their top three scorers all return, led by junior sniper Cam Atkinson, whose stock rose exponentially with big goals after the regular season, and he wound up the nation's leading goal scorer."
No complaints from me with this ranking, as the Eagles will likely enter the season as the hunted rather than the hunter.
It will be interesting to see how York handles the preseason expectations for this Eagles' team. In 2008, coming off their National Championship over Notre Dame, BC began the season as the #1 ranked team in the country, only to lose ground in the polls as the season went on, spending most of the season ranked in the teens (and eventually completely missing the 2009 NCAA Tournament). Last season, BC entered the year at number 12 in the polls, eventually climbing to 4 in the polls entering the NCAA tournament.
BC enters this season returning more talent than either the 2001-02 or 2008-09 squads that immediately followed an Eagles' National Championship.
The only other CHN preseason top 10 teams that the Eagles will face during the regular season are Maine (ranked 7th) and New Hampshire (ranked 10th). Both the Black Bears and Wildcats will likely pose the biggest obstacle to the Eagles repeating as Hockey East Champs in 2011.
The season begins one month from today -- October 9 at 7 PM -- as the Eagles visit the Northeastern Huskies (and ex-commit Cody Ferriero) at Matthews Arena.