The 2017/18 season is finally upon us. It was a long hot summer, that seems to be still going, that brought quite a few changes to each program. Union graduated 2016/17 Hobey Baker Award Finalist Mike Vecchione, as well as Goalie Alex Sakelleropuolos, Defensemen Jeff Taylor, Matt Krug, & Forwards Michael Pontarelli & Eli Lichtenwald. The Dutchmen also lost talented Forward Spencer Foo & solid Defenseman Nick DeSimone to the lure of professional hockey. Coach Rick Bennett has a talented incoming Freshmen class of nine led by Forwards Parker Foo and Jack Adams, and Defensemen Brandon Estes. These additions should step in and bolster a strong squad that finished last season ranked 11th. This year Union starts out ranked 16th. Ryan Scarfo, Sebastian Vidmar, Brett Supinski, & Cole Maier look to build on strong 2017/17 seasons. While D-men JC Brassard, Vas Kolias, & Greg Campbell are poised to take on an even bigger role this year. I’m curious to see who will get the starting nod in goal. Will it be Jake Kupsky who played in 10 games last season? Or will Freshman Darion Hanson over take Kupsky and Junior Joe Young? We’ll see.
As for BU, this year’s 2nd ranked team is hoping that their usual influx of top notch talent will replace last year’s departed superstars. The Terriers lost Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Kiefer Bellows, Charlie McAvoy, & Clayton Keller to the NHL. While graduating reliable players like Nick Roberto & Doyle Sommerby. Certainly McAvoy, JFK, & Keller will be tough skates to fill but per usual the Freshman class is loaded with studs. Ty Amonte, Brady Tkachuk, Jake Witkowski, Shane Bowers & Logan Cockerill are primed to make an immediate offensive impact. Cam Crotty, David Farrance & Kasper Kotkansalo are looking to solidify a deep blue line corps. BU’s D has 3 solid Seniors in Captain Brandon Hickey, John MacLeod, & Brien Diffley, all 6 footers. That’s not even mentioning offensive minded defensemen Chad Krys, Dante Fabbro, and Shane Switzer. The Terrier offense is still loaded with talented forwards like Jordan Greenway, Bobo Carpenter, Patrick Harper, & Ryan Cloonan. The meshing of old & new talent probably won’t take long. This team will be gunning from the opening drop. Will this be the year that Greenway puts his talent together and has a monster season? There was chatter that he may leave at the end of last year, a big year could make that decision so much easier. It’s a safe bet to say that the netminder’s job is Jake Oettinger’s to lose.
Both teams should have success in their respective conferences. BU will vie for 1st in Hockey East while Union be in the hunt for a top 4 finish in the ECAC. In regards to tonight’s game I think BU will prevail in a close one, 4-3.