Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson will miss roughly two weeks of action for the Eagles after falling victim to a vicious boarding penalty in BC’s 9-3 victory over Northeastern this past Saturday at Matthews Arena in Boston.
The 6’1”, 180-pound defender was drafted in the first round – 23rd overall – in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers. He leads all Eagles defensemen with 4-10-14 totals through 21 games this year. His history of concussions has the BC medical staff exhibiting caution with what will likely be the team’s number one defenseman next year.
Matheson has the skating ability and puckhandling skill to become a very good offensive defenseman. Add in a good shot from the point and you have the makings of a power-play QB. Thankfully, the Eagles are headed into a soft spot in their schedule, hosting 5-14-4 Maine twice this weekend. While Matheson’s scoring touch, as evidenced by his points totals, will surely be missed, his team-leading fifty-four penalty minutes will not.
Normally a contender in Hockey East, Maine has reached the point of no return in their season, and has gone 0-3-2 in their last five games. The Black Bears sport a young team though, much like the Eagles – who have the lowest average age of any team in the NCAA – and a learning curve is expected for such young skaters.
Led by emotional senior Joey Diamond and suave sophomore Connor Leen, Maine almost stole a victory from BC in November. Having survived two periods of Eagles hockey, the Black Bears took BC to a third period tied at 2-2. After a goal by Johnny Gaudreau, Steven Whitney iced the game with an empty-net, power-play goal late in the third, sealing BC’s 4-2 victory.
With Matheson on the shelf this weekend, Jerry York will be forced to dress his last available asset, Peter McMullen. McMullen will join an ever-thinning defensive group that includes senior Captain Patrick Wey, junior Isaac MacLeod and freshmen Ted Doherty, Colin Sullivan, and Travis Jeke. York could also slide forward Brooks Dyroff back on D, as he did for last week’s UMass game and dress forward Cam Spiro to slot in for Dyroff on the wing.