After a year hiatus in 2018-19, Denver and Boston College are hitting the ice once again. Two years ago, DU and BC played in the latter half of the Pios’ trip to Beantown to play Boston University and Boston College. This time around, the Eagles are making the trip to Denver and are the Pioneers’ esteemed Homecoming weekend
As is tradition, with Boston College on the schedule, we did a Q&A with BC Interruption, the Boston College branch of the SB Nation conglomerate. This time, questions were posed to Laura Berestecki, Editor-in-Chief of BC Interruption. She offers great insight into a BC team that, at least on paper, figures to buck the Eagles’ recent three-year streak of missing the NCAA Tournament.
The full Q&A is below and, as soon as the reverse is posted, be sure to head over to bcinterruption.com to read the Q&A over there.. Questions below are in bold:
I think there have been a lot of factors playing into this. One overarching problem has been weak defense – lots of turnovers, too many sloppy mistakes. Even in years when the team can score, they have been giving their opponents way too many scoring chances. There also have been a few teams during that time span that really struggled with team chemistry. For example, last season the line of David Cotton, Logan Hutsko, and Julius Mattila clicked, but across the board the team seemed fairly disconnected on the ice. Finally, I hate to question Jerry York at all, but he is getting old…
The Eagles have two Colorado Avalanche draftees in Alex Newhook and Drew Helleson. What is the outlook for these two players during their time as Eagles?
Alex Newhook is very, very fun to watch and is going to be an impact player for BC. I’d guess he’ll leave the team early to join the Avs which is sad for me, but good for you, Newhook is a fast skater and creates some terrific scoring chances. I don’t know that I have seen enough of Helleson to give a detailed report on him yet. He hasn’t stuck out to me like some of the other freshman defensemen, but I also haven’t noticed him making many obvious mistakes? So I’m expecting him to be a solid defensive defenseman, but I need a few more games to give a confident answer on him.
David Cotton and Logan Hutsko are both injured and we do not know the extent of the injuries / if either will play at Denver (shoutout in particular to the Colgate player that purposefully took Cotton out with an elbow to the head, you are my enemy), so that really affects which players to watch. Spencer Knight, BC’s goalie, is a real difference-maker for the Eagles – our defense will probably give Denver a lot of chances, but Knight will stop more of them than your average goalie would. Julius Mattila has also had a great season so far – he scored twice against Wisconsin and assisted on all 3 BC goals at Colgate. Marshall Warren, Matt Boldy, and Alex Newhook are all also worth keeping an eye on.
BC went roughly 47 years (it wasn’t 47 full years) without winning a nonconference game until they beat Harvard at last year’s Beanpot. What transpired to make that streak happen? And how in the world is it even possible?
See previous responses re: defense. Also BC has an ongoing problem where they take roughly 30 penalties per game (okay maybe not 30, but way too many), and penalty kills are tough when defense is your weak point!
Above nonconference losing streak jokes aside, it seems like Boston College’s roster is as strong as it has been in a while. Are fans more optimistic about the outlook of this team?
BC fans are cautiously optimistic. We’ve been burned in the past, but there are so many skilled freshmen on this roster and they’ve been playing really well so far. The fear at this point is a) will the defense get stronger as the freshmen settle in and b) can the team avoid injuries.
We have done this Q&A a number of times before and it has always seemed like there is a healthy, respectful rivalry between the two programs. But how do BC fans perceive Denver this year?
It’s always interesting to get a perspective of what an east coast blue blood fanbase thinks of a western power. I mean, you are friends with pretty much the only fans this team still has (sad!). I would say we think that Denver is a big threat and will be the first real test BC has had this year.
And finally, a prediction for this weekend? And I’ll remind the readers that this is Denver’s Homecoming weekend and first home series of the year.