Marc McLaughlin and his Boston College teammates have experienced a roller coaster of emotions over the past year. When the sports world was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic last March, the Eagles were just getting set for what most college hockey pundits were expecting to be a long run through the Hockey East and NCAA tournaments.
The 2020-21 season came with its own unique set of obstacles to overcome — such as testing, masking and other safety protocols; Hockey East’s week-to-week scheduling format; and playing in empty arenas — but none of it stopped BC from emerging out of the conference’s tight pack to post yet another first-place finish.
“We thought we had the team to pull it off last year and things obviously ended shorter than we had hoped. I think our success really started then,” said McLaughlin, a junior from North Billerica, Mass., who has captained an Eagles squad that finished a 16-4-1 regular season with defenseman Michael Karow as the lone senior, after forward Logan Hutsko signed his first professional contract with the Florida Panthers after suffering an undisclosed season-ending injury in February.