Boston College hockey heads to Colorado this weekend to open up their season at the IceBreaker invitational. In the opener, they’ll take on a Colorado team in Air Force; the winner plays the winner of Denver vs. Ohio State.
Given that the tournament is being played at the University of Denver, and given that DU is the favorite to take home the IceBreaker crown, we decided to chat with Friend of BCI LetsGoDU to talk about the tournament and, uh, other things.
1. Denver was one of the top teams in the nation last year, and as tends to be the case with top teams, they lost some weapons. Who does Denver have to replace this year?
1. Danton Heinen and Trevor Moore are absolutely at the top of that list. They led the Pacific Rim Line, one of the country's best lines last year, with 92 combined points. Realistically, you don't just "replace" someone like Danton Heinen, who is making his best case for earning a spot on the Bruins' roster. The same goes for Trevor Moore. Their play on the top line was definitely one of the biggest reasons the Pioneers made a run to the Frozen Four for the first time in more than a decade last year.
Another player who graduated last year that no one has talked about replacing is captain Grant Arnold. He may not have lit up the scoreboard night in, night out, but if DU needed an emotional lift, his fourth line was always the one Coach Montgomery put on the ice. Replacing an emotional leader like that might prove to be even harder than replacing Heinen and Moore. It's not difficult for a top-tier program to go out and find scorers. It's not always easy finding someone like Arnold who will devote his entire life's purpose to making the program the best it can be.
2. Who will be looked at to to fill in those holes?
2. As disappointing as it was for DU fans to watch Heinen and Moore leave, it appears that DU won't have any issues replacing their scoring. This year's freshman class is as talented as any in recent memory. With the likes of Florida Panthers' first-round pick Henrik Borgström and other players like Liam Finlay and Kevin Conley, there should be a pretty seamless transition from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Beyond the talented freshmen on this roster, the departures of Heinen and Moore are going to allow players like Troy Terry, Emil Romig, and Jarid Lukosevicius to break out and have an excellent season.
3. Remember that time we talked all year about how great it would be if both our teams made the Frozen Four and we could hang out in Tampa? Then they both made it, and you bailed on hanging out with us? What was up with that?
3. I didn't bail on you!! I got sick!!!! I was so sad that I couldn't make it :(
4. What are your overall expectations for Denver this year?
4. Anything less than a Frozen Four berth would be a "failure" this year. Montgomery and his staff have given us the same "process before results" line, but each and every player on this roster expects to be in Chicago in early April. I'll stop short of predicting a national title, because who does that, but I do expect to be making a trip to Chicago next spring to watch Pioneer hockey.
5. I hear y'all had a s**tshow of an exhibition game against a CIS team. Tell us about it.
5. Look at Twitter. That should tell you all you need to know. Within the first 35 seconds of the game, Mount Royal took a five minute major for boarding as defenseman Adam Plant was hit from behind into the boards and was slow to get up. Things just escalated from there. It wasn't nearly as bad as the Merrimack-New Brunswick game, but in fairness, that wasn't really a hockey game. By the middle of the third period, when Mount Royal realized they were going to lose, they started to head-hunt and it came to a head as the buzzer sounded when MRU's Maddison Smiley launched himself into Kevin Conley's back along the boards in the corner. Both teams were taking cheap shots by the end, and to be completely honest, both teams were lucky to get out of the game without sustaining any injuries.
6. Remember the 2007 World Series? Man, that was great.
6. can u not...the emotional scars are still real
7. Ya'll are from Colorado. Massachusetts voters are going to be voting on whether to legalize marijuana. Good idea?
7. What's marijuana? I've never heard of it!! In all seriousness, it depends on a number of things. The questions that need to be asked, and I'm sure they're definitely going to be asked are: where will the tax money go? Is there a way to ensure that the funds get to where they need to go? Does the state have a plan to truly regulate it and make sure that it stays out of the hands of children? The thing that I would say voters need to realize is, if it does indeed get legalized, the regulation is going to be a process. It's not easy, people are going to complain about it, and not everyone is going to be happy. I think legalizing it was a good thing here, but it's still a long way from being perfect.
8. What should we know about Air Force going in to this season? (I expect you know all about all the Colorado schools.)
8. Don't worry. I know all the things about all the Colorado teams. Air Force always seems to be sneaky good. They're athletic, smart, and head coach Frank Serratore plays a unique brand of hockey, especially on defense. They have a knack for clogging the middle and keeping everything to the outside. They're not always the most talented team, but they're well-conditioned (yay military training!) and they work their asses off on the ice. They upset DU in overtime to open the season last year. Basically what I'm trying to say is, don't rule out an upset on Friday afternoon.
9. Why is Colorado College so terrible?
9. How much time you got? I could write a book about how CC got so bad...related, I just got a sure-to-fail idea! Scott Owens, Mike Haviland's mostly successful predecessor at CC, dropped the ball in recruiting toward the end of his tenure. In Mike Haviland's first year, CC's freshman class was the lowest scoring freshman class in the country, and it's not like they only had one or two freshmen that year...Haviland's hole was extremely deep and it appears that he's starting to lift CC out of it. It's a long process, but I think the Tigers will take a step forward this year. They'll still be bad, but not as bad as you east coast elites may think they'll be. If it sounds a bit like I'm sympathizing with CC, that's because I am. A bad CC just isn't funny anymore.
10. Predictions for the Icebreaker?
10. I have DU winning the IceBreaker. Ohio State isn't anything special and, assuming BC beats Air Force, which to be honest is a rather large assumption, I see DU beating a freshman-ridden BC. When you have that many freshmen who need to contribute, the early season is likely going to be a bit rough. That plays into DU's hands almost perfectly. DU has a number of freshmen that will need to contribute, but it's still a mostly veteran-filled roster. I think that'll give DU the advantage on Saturday night.
Thank you to www.letsgoDU.com for always chatting with us when our programs get together. Follow ‘em and the Pios on Twitter at @LetsGoDU.