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2019-2020 Men’s Hockey End of Season Roundtable

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Thoughts on a too-short season

Yale v Boston College Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

How would you rate this season and why?

Laura: I would give this season an A-. Not making the Beanpot finals was rough, but this team had a really good shot at bringing home the Hockey East Tournament trophy and making the Frozen Four.

Grant: If this was on a report card it would have a grade of “Withdrawn.”

Steve: I want to give it an A, but I still think about the Beanpot loss to BU from time to time so make it an A-. This was a really, really fun season and BC was awesome for pretty much all of it. They won a pretty strong Hockey East, they beat BU in both the conference games, they embarrassed Notre Dame a few times. This team was all kinds of fun and good and they get high marks for the way they played.

Maithri: 9.5/10! There were some hiccups along the way, but overall SUCH a fun and enjoyable season.

Arthur: I would rate this season a 7. Getting the regular season championship was good. But I feel like there could have been so much more if not for the coronavirus. It sucks, I wish it weren’t the case, and it 100% makes sense why it’s the case. But it doesn’t get less painful.

What is the biggest positive takeaway from this season?

Laura: The freshmen. This freshman class started making an impact immediately, and it is very clear that every single freshman is going to keep improving and that this is going to be a memorable class.

Grant: Hey we were good again! That was nice. I missed that.

Steve: This is an awesome freshman class and even if a few of the bigger names leave for the NHL early, there’s a bunch of guys from this group that are going to be impactful four year college players. Alex Newhook, Matt Boldy, and Knight are probably the only true gamebreakers of the bunch, but Mike Hardman had a much bigger impact than I was expecting while Marshall Warren and Drew Helleson had major impacts on the blue line.

Maithri: How well off-ice closeness translated to on-ice chemistry this season. As someone just watching the game, it was evident that this was an extremely close team, and some players have said that it was the closest locker room that they’d been a part of. That clearly translated extremely well on the ice. Everything just *looked* better this year. Obviously a lot of that chemistry can be attributed to the influx of talent from the freshman class mixed with the experience and talent of the rest of the team, but things just function better when everyone also gets along and genuinely cares about the people around them.

Arthur: The boys are back. I think a lot of us were concerned about the program’s ability to compete at a high level after a few years of disappointment. Happy to be wrong.

What concerns you the most for next season / what do you think this team needs to work on the most?

Laura: As I’ve probably said every year for the past few years - defense. Even in good games, the defense made too many sloppy mistakes. And with a chunk of the defensemen graduating, everybody else is really going to have to step up.

Grant: We need depth. We lose a lot of good players both up front and on defense. It’s going to take a lot to fill those minutes. If nobody leaves early, though, I think we’ll be okay.

Steve: I’m most concerned that we have a repeat of last season where too many guys are asked to play too far up the lineup for this to be a successful team. Guys like Jack McBain and Marc McLauhghlin are perfect for a third line role but unless they find an offensive side to their games that we haven’t seen yet, playing them much higher up than that can be a problem. With David Cotton and Julius Mattila gone for sure and a few other big names certainly not locks to come back, there will be some openings on the top two lines. It’s going to be interesting to see if BC has the right pieces to play those big minutes.

Maithri: I’d say consistency on special teams and not losing in overtime. There were moments where the power play just *clicked* for a long period of time, but then would just go flat for another long period of time. Same with the penalty kill - they’d be flawless for a stretch, but then let up a power play goal many games in a row.

For overtime, BC lost every single game that went into overtime except for their last one against UNH, but only because the refs called off the goal that UNH scored because of goalie interference (which was a correct call, but STILL). Also I know the Beanpot loss was technically a tie, but we all know that’s false. So it’s a bit concerning that they haven’t 1) been able to hold onto a tie, or 2) score in overtime to win.

Arthur: Departures. We’re losing a lot to graduation, plus who knows if Spencer Knight comes back? Replacing is key.

What is your favorite memory from this season?

Laura: I mean... beating Northeastern 10-1 was very fun.

Grant: Lots of good choices this year... Pantsing Notre Dame was great. But I think I’ll go with beating BU at Agganis. That really never gets old.

Steve: Every second from the 10-1 game against Northeastern.

Maithri: There are SO many! I think it’d have to be the 10-1 win against Northeastern. Just so... good.

Arthur: The Harvard comeback. That was when I really started to buy in to this team.

What was the funniest moment from this season of...many funny moments?

Laura: Going off my last answer, definitely Graham McPhee pointing at the scoreboard and waving goodbye to a Northeastern player. I appreciate that level of petty.

Grant: Unique perspective on this one for me. During the 10-1 NU game I was on a flight that didn’t have WiFi but had live TV. I waited for the ESPNU bottom line to scroll all the way around until they showed our score and I was certain it had to be a typo.

Steve: Every second from the 10-1 game against Northeastern.

Maithri: I don’t know if I can choose. Probably Logan Hutsko getting a shoutout from Justin Bieber, because I still can’t comprehend how that happened. But also 10-1.

Arthur: We stan Marshall Warren.

Who is your MVP for the season?

Laura: David Cotton might not have been the team’s offensive leader, but he still had a really strong offensive year and proved himself to be a great leader. I don’t know that this team would’ve been as good as they were without a really good captain.

Grant: A few good choices here. Boldy was a big reason why we flipped the switch in the second half. Knight was as advertised, which was basically impossible because of how hyped he was. But I’m going with Newhook. Dude was great pretty much from day one. Man, I hope he sticks around long enough to play while his sister is here. A man can dream, anyway.

Steve: Spencer Knight. I’ve had this answer ready to go since the middle of November. Knight is insanely good. I don’t remember a single goal he let in that I thought he should have stopped. He’s got everything you could want in a goalie - the size, the lateral movement, the rebound control, he’s even a pretty decent puck handler. He had a .931 save percentage! That’s better than five of the six years we got from Thatcher Demko and Joe Woll. He played every game that he was available to play in! The hype around Knight was very real

Maithri: Alex Newhook

Arthur: Either Cotts or Spencer Knight. Or Alex Newhook. God this team was so deep.

Who was the most improved between last season and this season?

Laura: I was impressed with Aapeli Räsänen this year. His stats improved a lot from last year, and he also adjusted really well to playing on different lines.

Grant: Gotta be Räsänen. He was hurt last year, but totally came on as a crucial piece to the puzzle this year. It was so great seeing him break out.

Steve: Marc McLaughlin was kind of just a guy to me last year, but I was awfully impressed by his play this year. His raw point totals didn’t go up a ton - just from 8 to 12 - but I thought he was a solid option on the third line and fantastic on the penalty kill. I’m looking forward to see him next year.

Maithri: Aapeli Räsänen

Arthur: Julius Mattila was already an outstanding player but he quietly was second on the team in points at the end of the year.

Who improved the most over this season?

Laura: Matt Boldy really started to find his stride as the regular season wound down.

Grant: Boldy! He started out good but not finding the scoresheet as much as you’d have hoped, but then he totally blew up on the second half. That was great.

Steve: Matt Boldy. I’m not done screaming about how he was still playing well when he wasn’t scoring, but yeah, he found a new gear in the second half of the season and the points skyrockets. If he and Newhook are back next year, look out.

Maithri: Matt Boldy

Arthur: I’m gonna pull a Principi here and say Matt Boldy. There were a lot of questions about his ability to score all season, and he played really good hockey down the stretch and started putting the puck in the net.

How sad are you that the season ended the way it did?

Laura: The most sad.

Grant: I think what dulls the pain a bit is that we all knew this was coming a few days before it did. So by the time it was official, we were all kind of resigned to it happening. I think more than anything, we just wanted to see us back in the NCAA tournament. That’s what kills me. We were good enough to win it all, sure, but you never know what’s going to happen in single elimination. I just really miss being able to go along for that ride.

Steve: Can we just skip ahead to October?

Maithri: SO SAD

Arthur: Unfathomably. It feels like a really bad missed opportunity.

What do you want to say to the seniors?

Laura: Thank you for sticking with BC and coming back for your senior year when many of you could have easily signed professional contracts or tried to transfer. I’m so sad that your loyalty to the team wasn’t rewarded with more trophies since the team was a real contender this year.

Grant: To the twins specifically — I really wish I could have even a basic understanding of your language. Why are there so many dots? Did you know “päämäärä” is another word for “goal”? That’s crazy! Look at all those dots! I wish you all the best of luck with those dots as you move on from BC. Maali, friends.

Steve: You guys all deserved a much better ending than this. Thanks for all the memories from the past four years and thanks for helping to get this program back to where they belong.

Maithri: UGH I am so sorry that your season ended the way it did, but thank you so much for the past four years.

Arthur: Thank you for staying. Thank you for bringing this program back from the dark ages. You deserved better than this.

Please link to a song that you feel represents this season:

Laura:

Grant:

Steve:

Maithri:

Arthur: