Let’s be clear: nobody should be planning out a parade route just yet, and nobody should be booking their flights to Chicago either. There’s a lot of hockey to be played, and Boston College has largely cleaned up against a weak schedule.
But you can’t take away this simple fact: this team, written off by some going in to the season, became the first in the nation to reach 10 wins with their 3-1 victory over Arizona State on Sunday.
Sunday’s victory wasn’t the prettiest game. Despite heavily outshooting Arizona State, BC often looked like they were stuck in second gear, trudging their way through.
The Sun Devils proved to be adept at winning puck battles, especially along the boards, so they were able to keep their few forays in to the offensive zone going long enough for it to start to get perilous. In particular, ASU had two or three high-quality chances to tie the game in the third period, a frame in which they outshot BC 13-9.
At the end of the day, David Cotton’s goal off a lucky bounce off the end boards in the second period stood up as the game winner. BC was not able to add insurance until Chris Calnan scored at 17:07 of the third period, scoring on a rebound after a shot by Connor Moore.
The pessimist would point out that BC struggled to bury two weak opponents at home in their last two games. But be that as it may, the Eagles extended the nation’s longest unbeaten run (10 games) and hit the 10-win milestone.
Denver, Wisconsin, CC, Holy Cross, Providence, UMass, Maine, Maine, UNH, Arizona State. These are the ten teams BC has dispatched this season. It’s not a murderer’s row, but:
-Denver is obviously going to be one of the nation’s best teams, and they’re already #2 in the RPI.
-Wisconsin is looking much improved over last season, posting a 5-3-0 mark through eight games.
-Providence was expected to be roughly in the same category of teams as BC midseason, mid-pack in Hockey East
-UMass, UNH and Maine are bad, but they are essentially representative of what the bottom of Hockey East looks like. The league is not very deep this year, and there are a lot of teams that just aren’t very good. Being able to clean up against the bottom of the league, as BC has done without much problem so far, should give BC enough wins to be in the tournament mix.
With balanced scoring, two freshman goaltenders off the mark and playing well, and building confidence going in to a tougher portion of the schedule, feel free to feel good about BC hockey’s start to the season.
BC gets back on the ice Friday night at Harvard, which could prove to be one of the season’s most important nonconference tilts. The Crimson are off to a 4-1-1 start and undoubtedly will bring their A game to face their crosstown rivals.
We’ll see you in Allston on Friday night.