COLUMN: End Of A Dynasty Challenges New Hockey Captains
Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013 01:04
As Union’s Daniel Ciampini put his goal past Parker Milner, it represented more than the fifth goal that the Dutchmen would score that night. It was more than just a finishing touch for Union to put on its performance of the night. It was the end of a dominating win that was an uncharacteristic way to put an end to the college career of six Boston College seniors.
Twice this postseason, the Eagles have been treated to abrupt endings. In the Hockey East playoffs, Boston University put on a second half offensive rally that pushed BC out of the running for a tournament title. Then, in the NCAA Tournament, a run was cut short once again in the first round of play as they failed to match the Dutchmen’s efforts.
The Eagles did not win the national championship. The senior class failed to win the Hockey East tournament for the first time in their careers. The Eagles finished with a record of 22-12-4.
It would be hard to argue that the senior class is not one of the most successful in the history of BC hockey. Their overall record was 114-40-9. They went undefeated in the Beanpot. They won two National Championships.
Despite the disappointing playoff performances this year, the six seniors have been praised as a dynasty. But as with all great dynasties, this one must inevitably come to an end.
The trio of Pat Mullane as captain and Steven Whitney and Patrick Wey as the assistants proved to be big performers this season. Whitney was second on the team in points, surpassed only by sophomore standout and Hobey Baker award finalist Johnny Gaudreau. He scored 26 goals, the most for the Eagles, and just behind him was Mullane, whose points came in the form of support as he tallied 27 assists. Wey had 12 assists and provided steady support on the defensive end.
As Ciampini’s goal hit home, it was time for the Eagles to start looking toward the next season. In this abrupt ending, there was no time to praise the dynastic class before moving on to determining how to continue the tradition of success for the Eagles over the individuals. The first progress came in form of the election of a new set of leaders.
Next year, another strong set of two forwards and a defenseman will captain the Eagles. Elected by their peers, a set of three: a goal scorer, a brick wall defenseman, and a player that goes beyond statistics.
Bill Arnold and Isaac MacLeod will take up the reigns of Whitney and Wey as the team’s assistant captains.
Arnold will bring a similar up-front leading attitude that Whitney and Mullane did with their productivity on offense. This season, he struck a balance between the great scorer and great assister, coming in just behind the offensive duo with points with 17 goals and 18 assists. Arnold gained valuable leadership experience during his sophomore year when he participated in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships and was considered one of the U.S.’s top three players.
MacLeod provides the defense. A leader on that end of the ice has to offer things other than goal scoring, and MacLeod has demonstrated his ability to lead in another way by earning Hockey East All-Academic team honors during his first two seasons.
At the head of the charge will be Patrick Brown, a forward from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who, though he fell in the middle of the pack as far as points this season, has stepped it up to become a valuable addition to the team during his junior year. Some of his top performances came when they mattered most, as Brown scored the deciding goal in the second game of the Eagles’ Hockey East quarterfinal series. He also had a goal in the Beanpot final.
Even with an undeniably able trio to lead the Eagles going into next season, the rising senior class has a lot to live up to. Is there life after Milner? Can BC still score with two of its top three point earners graduated?
This senior class was hugely important to the success that BC hockey has enjoyed over the past four years, but their graduation will not mean the end of a tradition of excellence. Along with the three captains, the team still has its top goal scorer in Gaudreau and emerging powerhouses such as Quinn Smith and Teddy Doherty to place their hopes in. It’s not the end of the line.