Finally, we come to the best conference in the nation this season. Hockey East has routinely featured 4 or 5 teams in our top 16 all season, and BU has spent 12 straight weeks atop our rankings.
Hockey East features a solid top 4 of BU, Northeastern, New Hampshire and Vermont, all of whom could make a run at the Frozen Four in Washington DC.
The Favorite – Boston University
The regular season champions enter the postseason as the best team in college hockey. The Terriers are led by perhaps the best player in college hockey in Colin Wilson, who at 14-34–48 is second nationally in points per game. BU is first nationally in scoring offense and 3rd in scoring defense. The Terriers also lead the nation in scoring margin. They take quite a few penalties, so a team with a good power play unit might stand a chance, but it’s still a small chance. Freshman goalie Kieran Millan has been fantastic in net this year, as he is 9th nationally in save percentage. He obviously is helped out by a great defensive corps in front of him, the best of whom is Kevin Shattenkirk, one of the better players for the US at the World Junior Championships in Ottawa.
The Spoiler – Boston College
The Eagles have had a rough year defending their championship, and it starts in net. John Muse’s numbers have gone down to a 2.79 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Last year he was at 2.20 and .921. Obviously the loss of Nathan Gerbe has hurt BC, but Brock Bradford has picked up the slack. The Senior is 2nd nationally in goals per game, and he has notched 25 total on the season. Everyone else on the team however has taken a bit of a step back. Joe Whitney went from a stellar freshman campaign to just 14 points this season. Still, the Eagles have the potential to pick it up.
The Pick – Boston College
The Eagles know that in order to have the opportunity to defend their title, they have to win the Hockey East tournament. Led by Brock Bradford I think the scoring will pick up immensely, and John Muse has shown he still has the ability to make the fantastic save from time to time. Jerry York gets his teams ready to play in March, and this year will be no different.