Editor’s Note: This is the inaugural Heights Sports edition of Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down. Have mercy on us.
The great wall of Demko – Most thought the men’s hockey team’s strength would be its defense. It’s not. It’s the goalie. Demko has looked phenomenal in every game this season from Colorado College on, and that’s really good for BC. He was exceptional last year but a little inconsistent, especially in March and April. This year, he’s doing everything better, all the time. His positioning is somehow better and takes up the whole net. He’s stood on his head on the penalty kill and limited rebounds. BC needs him to be the MVP of team if it’s going to have a shot at a ring, and he’s been that so far. Johnny Gaudreau made you remember where you were when you saw some of his goals. We won’t tell our kids about Demko’s positional saves, but he’s been making hockey look just as easy as Johnny Puck did.
Halloweekend – Men’s hockey got a split at Denver, no easy place to play. Women’s hockey continues to make the competition look like grade schoolers learning how to skate, as it swept a home-and-home with Providence College (side note: the second game of the home-and-home? BC was playing with nine forwards and four defensemen. While time on ice isn’t officially tracked in college hockey, it’s safe to say we can put all 13 skaters down for simply “a lot of time on the ice, like way more than usual.” BC won 4-1). While men’s soccer was eliminated from the ACC tournament with its overtime loss to Syracuse, its two assistant coaches combined to score three of the New England Revolution’s four goals in the first leg of the conference semifinals. Football is going bowling. Everyone’s costume game in the Mods? On point.
Beginner’s luck- Our first attempt at this column. Not too shabby, eh?
Michigan – Athletic Director Dave Brandon resigning. Come on, Dave! Fight through it! You’re going through some tough times now, we get it, but as Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, don’t raise the price of student football tickets, because seriously, dude, how stupid could you be?” With Brandon resigning, Brad Bates is rumored to be a strong candidate, with his ties to Michigan and his success so far at BC. While we’re confident in BC’s ability to find another competent AD, the hypothetical turnover could destabilize an athletic program that is just again finding firmer footing in football and, presumably with Jim Christian’s hiring, basketball.
El Capitan – Michael Matheson. He falls asleep in the cockpit just like he did in coach, or wherever he was last year in this analogy. The point is that naming him captain hasn’t helped his attentiveness. He’s still easily the best player on the ice when he feels like it, just like he was last year. Also like last year, he takes dumb penalties and loses his mark in his own zone too often. With Steve Santini out, the latter is a bigger problem than usual because Matheson’s matchups will only get harder.
Extra Points – Steve Addazio and his staff have done an impressive job this year. They lost a lot of what made them good last season and are bowl-eligible earlier than they were last year. But it’d be nice if people could go to the bathroom after a touchdown and not think twice about making six into seven.