Light the Lamp #1 – A Historic Start
By: Scott Geyman
Welcome to the first installment of Light the Lamp, a brand new weekly column featuring updates, analysis, and observations of Boston College ice hockey. It is my hope to provide you with unique and exciting content on the program I cherish most here at Boston College. As always, your feedback is welcome, and I encourage your support.
Seven games into the season is a rather small sample size, but the Eagles have made their presence known early on, coming into this weekend with a 6-1-0 record. Currently sitting in third place in the USCHO.com and USA Today polls, BC has been an offensive juggernaut thus far, outscoring opponents 31-6 in that span. Sure, the competition has not been particularly strong aside from playing the then-fifth ranked University of Denver, but a win is a win.
Dominant Defense (and Demko)
0.86 goals against average. Statistics do not tell everything, but giving up less than one goal per game on average is quite telling. Thatcher Demko has played nearly perfect in net, posting four shutouts in his past five starts. It is hard to complain about anything when you see a blank score sheet from your opponents. Part of Demko’s success can be attributed to the talent in front of him. I have never set foot into the crease, but I can assure you that having trust in your skaters to put pucks in the net provides some peace of mind. The defensive core, led by alternate captains Steve Santini and Ian McCoshen, has been strong and physical, allowing Demko some extra visibility. Who knows if this “brick wall defense” will sustain throughout the season, but it is undoubtedly the backbone of this team.
Bye Bye Bracco
You can scratch Jeremy Bracco off of your rosters. Bracco, a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015 and one of the highly touted members of BC’s freshman class, informed the program last week that he was packing his bags and heading to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. This story might sound familiar to those involved with Boston College hockey, as last year’s top recruit Sonny Milano fled to the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. One major difference between Bracco’s and Milano’s departures: Bracco left mid-season, Milano did not. A commitment is a commitment, Jeremy. Playing just five games for BC and then fleeing to Canada is not the most professional of moves, but hey, he’s just a kid, right? He’s 18, but there’s no excuse to leave the program shorthanded (pun intended) with such little notice. May your playing skills develop in the OHL, Jeremy, in addition to your sense of professionalism.
What the Tuch?
Who would have thought that sophomore forward Alex Tuch would have zero goals seven games in? I doubt many people predicted that. Is this concerning? Perhaps. There’s no reason to get overly concerned this early in the season, especially with the talent surrounding him. However, it is something to keep an eye on, given that Tuch led the team with 14-14-28 last season as a freshman.
Boston College begins a two game series against the University of Maine tonight at 7pm, followed by a matinee on Sunday afternoon at 1pm. You can tune in here tonight, and here on Sunday. Maine has gotten off to a rocky start, winless in their first seven games (0-4-3). BC should be able to come away with a sweep this weekend, but do not be alarmed if Demko gives up a goal or two.
Thank you for your support in the launch of this column. Please do not hesitate to comment below or tweet us at @WZBCSports with your thoughts!