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McCoshen A Steadying Force for Eagles

Matt Dewkett

When Ian McCoshen's blast from the left point found its way past BU goaltender Sean Maguire and into the back of the net to give Boston College a 4-3 lead in Friday's Commonwealth Ave. clash, it was the exclamation mark on a terrific night for the Florida Panthers prospect.

"His influence on the game," said York after Friday's game. "He was a man tonight playing. Everyone knew exactly where No. 3 was on the ice. He's not only a physical presence on the ice, he's got a nice offensive touch to him. You notice that when he does have the puck and when he doesn't have the puck."

McCoshen, who added an empty net goal, had two goals and two assists in the Eagles' 5-3 victory. He added a helper in Saturday's 1-1 tie down the road at Agganis Arena.

McCoshen, a 2013 second round draft pick of the Panthers out of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL, is a man among boys now in his third year plying his trade in Hockey East.

Not known for his scoring acumen or proneness to jumping into the offensive end of the ice, McCoshen has now registered at least a point in four straight games. He has a booming shot from the point, and the poise and reach to step around opposing players trying to get in shooting and passing lanes.

The Hudson, Wis. native is +23, tops in Hockey East and fifth nationally. He's so big that it doesn't look like he's moving that fast, but his powerful stride allows him to look like he's just gliding out there. He can keep up with anyone, going forward or backwards. He made several key plays in his own end, as well, including breaking up an odd man rush with a sliding block with under 10 minutes to go in the third.

McCoshen's steady development, turning into a premier defenseman should come as no surprise as he has learned under the tutelage of one of the game's top defensive assistants in BC associate head coach Greg Brown.

"It's been a terrific progression from first year to third year here," complimented York.

There is not a more pro-ready defenseman in college hockey than McCoshen, who has also taken it upon himself to nurture one of the game's top freshmen, Casey Fitzgerald, who's rated 108th by NHL Central Scouting for the 2016 NHL Draft.

"Casey is a phenomenal player. He's got a lot of confidence in himself. He uses that to his advantage. He's just got to work on some of his defensive positioning, but that comes with time and maturity," said McCoshen of his defensive partner.

McCoshen and the Eagles head to Amherst to take on Massachusetts at the Mullins Center Friday night for what could be a historic game. York, the all-time wins leader, sits at 999 career victories and could reach the milestone against the Minutemen.