Boston College vs Minnesota

No but really, why are the Gophers polled in at 2 and not 1?  A non-bulldog article here folks, only because I’ve seen angry Gopher fans and my brother and father are both Gophers, so why not explore it?

Boston College loses 48% of goals last year along with 42% of overall points.  It’s a pretty large number; it’s pretty hard to deny that.  With that being said, take a gander at what BC is bringing back to the table:
  • 6 skaters that recorded 20+ points last season
  • Johnny Gaudreau, who as a freshman posted 44 points
  • Parker Milner, who won 19 straight games, was scored on TWICE in the NCAA tourney, averaged 1.66 goals per game and had a save percentage of .937.
  • Coach Jerry York
Key losses include:
  • Tommy Cross:  5g - 19a - 24pts
  • Chris Kreider:  23g - 22a - 45pts
  • Brian Dumoulin:  7g - 21a - 28pts
  • Barry Almeida:  22g - 18a - 40pts

Minnesota loses 21% of goals last year along with 17% of overall points.  In comparison to BC it's basically nothing.  A couple seniors is all they really lost.  With that being said, lets go a little more in-depth here.  Who exactly are the Gophers bring back?
  • 7 skaters that recorded 20+ points last season
  • The first line of Haula (49pts), Rau (43pts) and Bjugstad (42pts)
  • All defenseman from last year including Nate Schmidt who recorded 41 points last year
Key Losses include:
  • Kent Patterson: 28-14-1 record, .907 save%, 2.32 GAA
  • Jake Hansen: 16g - 22a - 38pts
  • Taylor Matson: 8g - 15a - 23pts

Minnesota finished last year 28-14-1, losing to the Boston College Eagles 6 to 1 in the Frozen Four.  Boston College finished last year 33-10-1, winning the national championship and finishing with a 19 game win streak.

I figure USCHO's poll voters to look at it a couple ways.  First off, Minnesota was unable to play as consistant with senior goalie Kent Patterson last year in comparison to the Eagles.  When Kent was on his game, the Gophs seem to be unstoppable, but when he was off it showed obvious holes in the team.  Also, a goalie can make or break a team.  Parker Milner performed stellar last season as his first season as a starter, look for him to do the same this season.  Minnesota's goalie situation this year is iffy in that they will be starting a goalie with virtually no experience.

I would personally put BC in front of Minnesota just because of the goalie situation as that can make or break a team, as I stated earlier.  Also, watching BC tear apart the Gophers in the Frozen Four last year still sticks with me, and yes i know this is a new team, but I find it hard to believe the gophers can find that many more goals to play with BC until the 3rd period buzzer.

The teams will play this winter in the Mariucci Classic and it should be a great game.  I hope the Gophs can prove me wrong this season, but until that happens, I have BC on top of my preseason poll.