After falling short, Boston College regroups with holes to fill

When Boston College was upset by Colorado College in last year’s NCAA tournament, there was not only a sense of shock for the Eagles but also, quite possibly, one of unfinished business.

The Eagles had very high expectations for last year’s club, particularly given that they had captured the Hockey East regular season and postseason titles. Looking for the trifecta, a first-round exit was hardly expected.

Six months later, with a new season on the horizon, it’s still difficult not to look back on what might have been. At the same time, though, coach Jerry York is very much ready to look forward.

“Looking back, we take pride in the 30 wins and the trophies we won during the year,” said York. “I’m sure [not winning the national title] will be in the back of our mind, but October is coming up.”

As the Eagles return to the ice, they’ll have a number of major holes to fill. None will be larger than that left by the graduation of John Muse. Muse is the only BC goaltender to lead his team to two national titles.

Muse’s shoes will be filled by junior Parker Milner, who has amassed 13 wins in limited time in his first two seasons as Muse’s understudy. Now ready to assume the primary role in net, Milner will be challenged by a pair of rookies — Brad Barone and Brian Billett.

“Parker Milner wants to be the No. 1 goaltender,” said York. “But I think we’ll get some healthy competition. But I expect Milner will be our guy based on the past.”

About the Eagles

2010-11 overall record: 30-8-1

2010-11 HEA record: 20-6-1 (first)

2011-12 predicted finish (coaches poll): First

Key losses: Goaltender John Muse; forwards Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons, Jimmy Hayes and Joe Whitney; defenseman Philip Samuelsson

Players to watch: Defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Tommy Cross; forwards Pat Mullane, Chris Kreider, Paul Carey, Barry Almeida and Bill Arnold

Impact rookie: Goaltender Brian Billett

Why the Eagles will finish higher than the coaches poll: It’ll be tough to finish higher than first.

Why the Eagles will finish lower than the coaches poll: Between graduating seniors and early departures to the pros, BC has a lot of holes to fill.