The BC hockey weekend actually started on Wednesday where the #6 BC Women opened up a home-and-home against the #5 BU Terriers. For those of you who don't follow the BC women (I will assume that's a lot of you), the rivalry is as heated with the ladies as it is with the men. Unfortunately, Wednesday didn't start out too well for the Eagles. Despite a flurry of shots for BC throughout the game - the Eagles outshot the rat dogs 31-15 in the game - BC couldn't get it done, despite two stretches of 5-on-3 play. BU took the game 4-1 on BC's home ice.
Despite the embarrassment on national TV on Thursday, I'm sure the loss to the BU Women was what was on everyone's mind going into Friday. Fortunately for BC fans, Jerry York led his boys to Kelley Rink to wipe it from everyone's mind. In a completely noncompetitive game, #1 BC toyed with the #20 Maine Black Bears for 60 minutes en route to a dominating 5-1 victory. It was so one-sided that every BC penalty only excited the crowd, with everyone wondering who would score BC's next shorthanded goal.
The BC Women hoped to ride the wave Saturday afternoon down the road at Walter Brown Arena (BU's ugly women's-hockey-only arena down an ugly side road on the ugly end of Comm Ave), and ride it they did. The BC women put in their own dominating effort against the rat dogs down the street with a thorough 3-1 drubbing. Three quick goals in the second period put the game far out of reach, and despite winning by only two, the Eagles showed why they will be a factor come March with one of their best efforts of the season.
With everyone all caught up in the high of the BC men's win over Maine, unreasonable predictions abounded. "This BC team might break the Hockey East wins record!" "This team could run the table in conference!" Part of those predictions were because of the perception that the conference is in a down year, but they were bold nonetheless.
With all those lofty expectations creeping in, it was easy to fall into the trap of playing unranked UMass in Amherst. And fall into it they did. Despite having a perfect 12-0-0 record against the Minutemen (ha, Minutemen...) since 2008, BC dropped a frustrating game, 4-2. It was a game that featured too many penalties for the Eagles, and a controversial goal for UMass that turned the tide of the game. Tied 1-1 early in the 3rd, UMass scored a goal that at the very least should have been reviewed - it went in off a UMass skate - but the replay was malfunctioning for the officials, so unfortunately the goal would stand. BC got within a goal but UMass was able to ice the game with an empty netter. It was "one of those games," and the near-impossible expectations for the Eagles quickly tempered a bit.
The new polls were released this afternoon. The BC men dropped a spot to #2, with the Minnesota Golden Gophers leapfrogging from 5th up to the top spot. Minnesota was the only team in the top 9 of the rankings to have a perfect weekend.
The women, despite a run-of-the-mill 1-1 weekend, vaulted past the Terriers and the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs up to 4th in the polls. There is a precipitous drop from 3rd to 4th in women's hockey this year, but the high ranking is nonetheless encouraging. BC figures to be a factor again this year, after losing an absolute heartbreaker to #1 Wisconsin in the Frozen Four semi-finals last year.
The BC women are off this weekend, and then have a home and home against a very respectable Northeastern squad next Thursday and Friday, 11/17 and 11/18. The men play BU on Sunday at home... and, oh, by the way, play Northeastern on Friday.