Once again, Boston College has wasted no time positioning themselves as one of the top teams in the nation. Through the first month of the season, the Eagles are 7-1-0, undefeated in Hockey East play at 5-0-0, and are ranked No. 1 overall in the USCHO.com national poll.
The old saying is that BC doesn't ever rebuild its team, instead they reload. With a bunch of players moving on after last season including Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons and John Muse, there are new guys with the opportunity to make an impact.
One player who is making the most of his ice time is sophomore forward Bill Arnold. Arnold, who had a solid freshman campaign with 10 goals and 10 assists last season, is leading the team in scoring with six goals and six assists, and was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October.
Arnold, who was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL draft, also has two game-winning goals for the Eagles, proving that when he has scored, it's really helped the team.
"He's taken a real leadership role for us," said BC head coach Jerry York. "He's only a sophomore but he's really become one of our go-to guys both with and without the puck. I think he's shown some real
improvement from last year to this year and I thought he had a pretty good freshman year for us."
The sophomore, who has been playing on a line with Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider, said he has been feeling comfortable with his linemates and they have fun playing together.
"I feel like we have a lot of good chemistry and we work well together and it's really fun playing with those guys," Arnold said. "I'd say I definitely feel more comfortable, getting a full year under my belt last year, you just want to continue getting better every time you step out there."
Arnold also spoke highly of freshman forward Johnny Gaudreau, who has come in and provided some instant offense to the Eagles lineup.
"He's been fantastic so far," Arnold said of the freshman. "He's a really shifty and smart player up there. He can find guys and score from pretty much everywhere and it's great to get a contribution from him. The whole freshman class this year has been great. They all work hard and they're all talented which is really important for us."
Another player who has been counted on early and has proved himself so far is junior goaltender Parker Milner. Milner had been Muse's backup the last two seasons and has started all eight games for the Eagles this season, posting a goals against average of 2.24 and a save percentage of 92 percent.
"Parker has stepped in and done an incredible job," Arnold said. "He's been rock solid for us all season and keeping us in a lot of games. We've been getting out shot and that's one area we need to improve in is not letting up as many shots. He's given us the opportunity to start off 7-1."
Finally, Arnold, who is a native of nearby Needham, Mass., said he was really excited to hear about the announcement of the game the Eagles will play against Northeastern at Fenway Park in January.
"I've always been a little jealous that I missed out on that game so when we heard the news, I couldn't be happier. I definitely have that one circled on the calendar. [Northeastern] always comes to play when they play us so I'm sure it'll be a great game."
Arnold and the rest of the BC Eagles will look to stay undefeated in Hockey East play this weekend when they host Maine on Friday at Conte Forum and then head to UMass to play the Minutemen in Amherst on Saturday night.