The men’s hockey season is over for Boston College, and what a weird season it has been. The Eagles skated to a losing record for the first time in years, but ended the season with some of the best hockey they had played all year. Our hockey writers share their thoughts on the season below...
How would you rate this season and why?
Laura: I would give this season a C-. A 14-22-3 record is not great, and this team as a whole was more talented than what we saw on the ice. However, the Eagles ended the year with a comeback series victory against Providence and a very well-played upset over UMass that resulted in BC making it to the Hockey East Championship game.
Steve: I badly want to give them an F, but winning three straight in the Hockey East tourney and making the finals bumps it up to a D. Actually is a D- a grade? Let’s say it is. D-. As for why, because they were boring and bad and this season felt like it should have ended in mid January
Peter: On a sliding scale, I would rank it as a solid 4. There was nothing about this particular season that was really awe inspiring or made me really drawn to this team. Not to mention each game was so variable in that you really never knew what was going to be the outcome. With BC being such a prolific program, I expect to get wins against teams like Merrimack, Maine and UNH .. clearly my expectations were too high this year...
Grant: This season was a C-. Getting to the Hockey East championship game was a pretty big deal. No matter how bad the regular season is, the whole point is to try and win trophies... and we almost did! So, yay. But on the whole, the season itself was pretty freaking miserable. So.
What is the biggest positive takeaway from this season?
Laura: Probably that the team is resilient. It is tough to feel like you’re always losing, and it is tough to be the underdog when you aren’t used to that. But this team kept fighting, and they players earned their way all the way to the HEA Tournament Championship, despite the fact that everyone seemed to be betting against them.
Steve: A couple of the freshmen look like they can have some nice careers at BC I guess, not a ton of reasons for long term positivity are jumping off the page.
Peter: The perseverance of this team in the final few weeks of the season. After having an overall crappy year, they managed to lace up their skates and give it their all in the Hockey East tournament and make it to the finals. It gave us a true glimpse of what the this team was truly capable of while also making me question what the hell took them all season to play like that.
Grant: Given the late season run, I guess the takeaway is that we at least were able to beat some good teams sometimes? And maybe we can use that belief to springboard into next season? Maybe?
What concerns you the most for next season / what do you think this team needs to work on the most?
Laura: Scoring. David Cotton can’t carry the entire team on his back offensively, no matter how hard he tries. Whether or not he returns next year, we need to see more players taking smart scoring chances if this team wants to start winning games. Especially because there is more offensive talent on this team than we saw this year - plenty of BC players should absolutely be scoring more goals than they did.
Steve: Lots of good options here, but I’ll say the defense. BC is losing arguably it’s two best defensemen in Casey Fitzgerald and Michael Kim and even with them, this defense was...let’s say problematic for long stretches of the 18-19 season.
Peter: For the love of all things good and holy, win another non-conference game......
Grant: What concerns me the most is that we were largely terrible all over the place this year. It seems like EVERYTHING needs work, because we didn’t feel all that close to being competitive until the very end of the season. Also what’s concerning is that it doesn’t seem likely that one great recruiting class can fix this. It seems like we need a full rebuild. But who knows I guess.
What is your favorite memory from this season?
Laura: Winning at BU is always fun. Julius Mattila scoring a hat trick at UConn on Finnish Independence Day was also great. I went to every home and away game this season so I have a lot of memories for better or for worse.
Steve: Probably the quarterfinals win over Providence. I was pretty sure BC’s season was done when they lost Game 1 of that series in overtime, but they fought back and won two straight games to stay alive.
Peter: I know it might seem redundant, but the Hockey East tournament was surely a memorable thing to witness. Especially defying all odds and taking down a Goliath of a team like UMass.
Grant: Beating Providence to advance to the garden was pretty great. Shutting out UMass was awesome. But weirdly I think I was the most excited about winning the Beanpot semifinal. Obviously the MHEA tournament stuff was a way bigger deal, but I think with the Beanpot it was “the ENTIRE season has been a miserable slog, and at this point a regular season win is almost meaningless, so we have a tournament to play where the games actually mean something.” And then we won! And then we lost. So it was exciting for a little while anyway.
Who is your MVP for 2017-18?
Laura: David Cotton. Woll was also great this season, but Cotton was consistent and was one of the top scorers in the league, not just on the team. With 23 goals, he had his first 20 goal season in his post-high school career, and he led BC with 4 game winning goals. I really hope the rumors that he might be sticking around for his senior season are true.
Steve: Joe Woll. Cotton was excellent, but Woll stole more than a few games for BC. His numbers and his record took a hit because of the team he played behind, but Woll was nothing short of fantastic this season.
Peter: David Cotton. I think the statistics speak for themselves.
Grant: The nation of Finland
Who was the most improved between last season and this season?
Laura: Also David Cotton, to be honest. He went from scoring 9 goals last season to scoring 23 goals this season. That’s a pretty huge improvement. His skating has also improved every season he has been with the Eagles, and he’s really gone from being a strong player to being an elite player.
Steve: David Cotton both because he legitimately took a huge jump forward in terms of his development and by default because I’m not sure any of the skaters took even a small one.
Peter: Christopher Grando
Grant: Joe Woll. I always felt that Woll was a good goalie, even when he had his struggles, but he seemed to put us on his back there in the second half of the season. He deserves the pro contract.
Who improved the most over this season?
Laura: Maybe Marc McLaughlin? The freshman forward made a much bigger impact on the ice later in the season, and scored 3 of his 4 goals in the last month of play.
Steve: I found myself more and more impressed with Jack McBain’s game as the season went on. He took some time to get going, but there was a stretch in January and February where he was part of a second line that had a nice scoring streak going. Hopefully we see his game evolve even more in his sophomore campaign.
Peter: Julius Mattila
Grant: Joe and Laura’s resolve for attending every one of these terrible games even as things got more and more painful.
Please provide a link to a song or GIF that best describes this season