Boston College won their second and final exhibition game on Friday night, topping the United States Under-18 national team, 6-3. Freshman Chris Kreider, a first round draft pick of the New York Rangers, was the star of the show, tallying two goals including a highlight reel shorthanded tally in the second period.
Cam Atkinson had a goal and two assists, Tommy Cross scored his second goal of the exhibition season, and brothers Steve and Joe Whitney each added a goal.
"I thought we played well in that game against an impressive young team," said coach Jerry York. "I think the game also showed us some areas that we can really focus on to try to improve. Playing two exhibition games really afforded us that opportunity."
"[Kreider] is doing a great job so far," continued York. "He's adjusting really well. The freshman class as a whole is doing well so far, which is really big, because the freshmen are going to be an important class for us."
Muse Ready To Go
John Muse shut out the U-18s in his period of action, turning aside all six shots – and, more importantly, he felt pain-free afterward.
"He seemed to feel really good after playing, and his recovery is coming along well," said York. "It seems right now like the operation was a success."
Parker Milner and Chris Venti also drew plaudits from York, who said all three goalies did a "fine job" in the game.
While initial projections had Muse out until November, it appears that he will be ready to go for Sunday's season opener at Vermont (5 PM, ESPNU).
"He should be [all set] for Sunday," York said. "He's doing really well in practice."
Patrick Wey and Matt Price are also recovering from injuries suffered during the preseason, but according to York, both will also be ready to play on Sunday. They have been fully participating in practice.
Wey and Price both were injured during last Sunday's exhibition against St. Francis Xavier, and were held out of the US Under-18 game.
Catamounts Off To Strong Start
BC's opponent on Sunday, Vermont, is already a week into their regular season after earning an impressive split at #1-ranked Denver University last week. After giving up three goals in the third period to lose game one, 5-4, the Catamounts bounced back with a 6-4 victory in the second game.
While Vermont has always been known as a defensively stout team, backstopped by sophomore goalie Rob Madore, they appear to be clicking offensively, too.
"They've got a high quality team," said York. "They return a lot of guys from a group that went to the Frozen Four… you can't underestimate the impact that a Frozen Four trip has on a program, from recruiting, to the confidence of the players. That's going to be great for them."
While last year's star for Vermont, Viktor Stalberg, has departed for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, his younger brother, freshman Sebastian Stalberg, started his collegiate career well last weekend with an assist.
The Catamounts are currently ranked 11th in the USCHO.com poll, and were pegged to finish 4th in the Hockey East coaches poll.
Ryan Departs, Shuffling Lines
As EagleInsider reported earlier in the day, freshman forward Kenny Ryan, a second round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in this summer's NHL draft, has left BC to play major junior hockey for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League.
"This came as a complete surprise to us," said York. "There were no indications at all in advance, but he's made the decision to go play for Windsor."
Ryan had been skating on a line with sophomores Paul Carey and Jimmy Hayes in practice and in last week's exhibition.
Ryan's departure means that Paul Carey and Pat Mullane will likely both be in the starting lineup, leaving Brooks Dyroff and Tommy Atkinson as the only forwards scratched.
"We'll have to re-tool that line a little bit with that news," said York. "Otherwise it'll be pretty much status quo" in terms of the lines for Sunday's game.
In the Under-18 game, the lines were:
Kreider-Brian Gibbons-Ben Smith
Joe Whitney-Atkinson-Steve Whitney
Barry Almeida-Pat Mullane-Matt Lombardi Carey-Hayes-Ryan, with Matt Price out due to injury.
Sunday's game, played at Vermont's Gutterson Field House, will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 5 p.m. It is one of nine BC games currently scheduled to be televised this season.
The TV schedule:
Sunday, 10/18: BC @ Vermont, 5 PM, ESPNU Friday, 11/6: BC @ UNH, 7 PM, NESN Saturday, 1/2: BC @ Denver, 9 PM, Fox College Sports Central Saturday, 1/9: BC vs. BU at Fenway, 7:30 PM, NESN Saturday, 1/22: BU @ BC, 7:30 PM, NESN Monday, 2/1: BC vs. Harvard, Beanpot, 5 PM, NESN Friday, 2/5: BC @ Massachusetts, 7:30 PM, NESN Sunday, 2/21: Northeastern @ BC, 3 PM, ESPNU Friday, 3/5: BC @ UNH, 7:30 PM, NESN
The women's hockey team fell to 1-2-2 on the season with a 3-2 loss to Northeastern on Tuesday night in their Hockey East season opener. Northeastern scored with: 23 seconds to snatch the win after BC controlled much of the third period.
Freshman goalie Corinne Boyles kept BC in the game early, as NU outshot the Eagles 21-5 in the first period. Boyles ended the day with 43 saves on 46 shots on goal.
Allie Thunstrom continued her hot start to the season with her fourth goal of the year.
The women play twice at home this weekend – on Friday night against Quinnipiac, and on Sunday afternoon against Maine.
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