With the 2011-12 college hockey season a little over two weeks away, it's time for websites and prognosticators to start publishing preseason polls. Here's College Hockey News' Preseason Top 10, where the Eagles find themselves ranked fifth in the country.
"For any other team in the country, the loss of Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons, Joe Whitney and John Muse could be too much to overcome - not for the Eagles, who reload instead rebuild.
Juniors Chris Kreider and Pat Mullane will be the cornerstone of an offense that will go four lines deep with the additions of freshmen John Gaudreau and Destry Straight - the BCHL's Coastal Rookie of the Year. Brian Dumoulin and Tommy Cross are seniors at the forefront of what might be the best set of defensemen in the country.
That will play a big role with the loss of Muse; junior Parker Milner played sparingly as a sophomore, but has shown himself to be capable going 13-4-1 in 22 career games. Though incoming freshman Brian Billet - the EJHL's top goalie in 2009-10 - is sure to challenge him for the top spot."
Can't argue with the above. For the record, I believe BC will be fine with Parker Milner replacing John Muse between the pipes. I think the defense will be much improved this season and this team has just enough firepower to repeat in Hockey East this season.
The only thing that may possibly trip up this team is a brutal schedule during the first half of the season. Of the CHN top 10, the Eagles play the #2 team three times (Boston University), #3 team (Notre Dame), possibly the #6 team (North Dakota) in the Ice Breaker, the #7 team (Denver), the #9 program (Michigan) and the #10 program (Yale) -- all before New Years.
The season begins on October 7 out in Grand Forks, North Dakota as the Eagles face the Michigan State Spartans in the opening round of the Ice Breaker.