Boston College senior defenseman Patch Alber will be out for three months after suffering a displaced lateral meniscus. Alber suffered the injury during warm-ups for the Eagles' opening round Mariucci Classic game against UAH. The surgery was performed on New Year's Day at St. Elizabeth's Media Center.
Alber has 3 assists in 14 games this season. The Clifton Park, New York native, who started his BC career as a walk-on before becoming earning a scholarship last season, has four goals and 25 assists in 109 career games and has been part of BC's last two National Championship teams.
More than the scoring hit, this is a significant blow to the Eagles blueline. With a three month recovery timeline, Alber wouldn't return to the ice until the April 11-13 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, should the Eagles get there.
The team was also without junior defenseman Isaac MacLeod for the Mariucci Classic. MacLeod missed the holiday tournament after suffering a shoulder injury in the Providence game. BC was forced to roll with five freshmen, including the collegiate debuts of both Travis Jeke and Peter McMullen. While MacLeod is expected to return sooner, the combined loss of 2/3 of the Eagles defenseman upperclassmen hurts BC's young blue line.
Fortunately the Eagles second half schedule lightens considerably during the second half of the season, with games against Vermont (all 3), Maine (2), Providence (2), the UMasses (2) and Northeastern (2). Boston College's schedule currently ranks as the second toughest in the nation behind only Boston University. Unfortunately, BC has two enormous games with significant PWR and Hockey East title implications next weekend in a home-and-home with New Hampshire.
Regardless, it's growing-up time -- and fast -- for BC's freshman blueliners for the rest of the 2012-13 season.