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Boston College Hockey: 5 Things We Learned In The Sweep of Maine

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Observations as BC picks up two more wins

Boston College Athletics

1. Thatcher Demko isn't taking anyone's crap. Demko got himself involved in the roughhousing in both games this weekend. He took a roughing penalty in the scrum on Friday night (though unlike Maine's goalie, didn't have to actually sit in the penalty box). On Sunday, he took some swings when a dogpile ensued in front of his net on Sunday. When the big tussle broke out in the third period, Jerry York signaled over to Demko to not skate down the ice and get involved. Clearly he's brimming with confidence after his surgery ,not only in his ability to stop shots but also in his ability to deliver beatdowns.

2. He's also in the midst of something possibly historic. There are two big caveats when it comes to Thatcher Demko and the BC defense this season. One is obviously the schedule, which has indeed been weak, and the other is that with a .974 save percentage, there is bound to be regression at some point. Nobody is that good. But even with those two caveats acknowledged, Demko is in the middle of a crazy-good start to the season. How crazy-good? With 6 shutouts to his name this season, he is two shy of BC's single-season record (8, by Cory Schneider in 2005-06). He's also one shutout away from being tied for 12th on the all-time NCAA single-season list. It's barely mid-November.

3. BC can't really afford any more injuries or suspensions. I certainly don't mean to complain about BC finishing off a weekend sweep, but the Eagles didn't exactly dominate the lowly Black Bears this weekend - the games were fairly even on the balance of play, but BC had enough of an edge in talent at forward and at goalie to win fairly comfortably anyway. Part of BC's less electric play can probably be chalked up to the fact that on Friday they were really only rolling three regular lines, then sparsely using a thrown together fourth line; and on Sunday, BC was rolling 5 defensemen. Jerry York in recent years has tended to carry a smaller roster than most teams, so the Eagles' margin for error when losing players is pretty low. With Jeremy Bracco gone and with Brendan Silk out with a fairly significant injury, just one player being out means BC has to dip in to the walk-on pool with either McMullen or Shero. If a defenseman goes out long term you're looking at either consistently rolling 5 D, or moving a forward back and messing with line chemistry.

4. Travis Jeke is a solid fourth line forward. We saw flashes of this against Denver and UMass, but Jeke put in another solid weekend of work against Maine and seems to be firming himself up at fourth line wing. He had two shot attempts on Friday and another three on Sunday; his line also did a pretty good job of playing with energy and keeping the puck in the opposing end. Jeke has a big frame and a sneaky shot; he also seems to have good hockey sense and plays well positionally, even though he's playing an unfamiliar position. It would be hard to remove him from the lineup at this point even if BC returned to full health.

5. Maine is probably the worst team in Hockey East, at least when it comes to offense. As I stated earlier, Maine actually played pretty decently against BC and the games were fairly even, and yet you could see why they are struggling mightily to score. Even when they generate chances or possession they have no real finishers or quality playmakers in the attacking zone. With 1.11 goals scored per game, Maine is dead last - #60 in the country - and a decent margin behind Army, Niagara and Colorado College in their quest to pull out of the basement. Their leading scorer has four points in nine games. Yikes. You have to wonder if Gendron is going to start feeling the heat this year if this continues.