At last, the winter break is over and the second half is here!
After a full month off since Boston College Women’s Hockey last hit the ice, the Eagles get thrown into the second half with a pair of important games against the Maine Black Bears. Maine and BC enter January tied for 4th in the Hockey East standings — the last home ice spot in the league tournament — and the Eagles will hope to take advantage of getting both games at home this week to try and come away with all six points.
Maine Black Bears (11-10-0, 8-6-0 WHEA)
at Boston College Eagles (11-7-1, 9-5-0 WHEA)
The resumption of league hostilities
Chestnut Hill, MA
Thursday, January 5th, 2023
Friday, January 6th, 2023
HOW TO WATCH
Thursdays game will be shown live on NESN. Friday’s game will be the usual ESPN+ stream. If you’re outside of the NESN coverage area, you’ll be able to catch both games on ESPN+.
LAST TIME OUT
In their last series back in early December, Boston College picked up a tight sweep against Holy Cross while fighting through some injuries. The Eagles took the wins by 2-1 (OT) and 4-2 scores — far closer than you’d like against the team in last place, so hopefully the Eagles get some of their injured players back this week.
Maine last played on the same weekend and had a nice weekend, picking up a 3-0, 3-2 road sweep against Boston University. While the Black Bears are currently sitting just over .500, some of the wins they’ve had have been pretty solid.
KRACH (used for odds) has these two teams neck and neck with Boston College ranked 15th and Maine in 16th. Running the numbers gives us the Eagles with an 52.71% chance of winning, or BC -111 with your local bookie. That also works out to about a 28% chance of a BC sweep on the weekend.
The GRaNT rankings (used for point spread) has a bit more separation between the two squads with the Eagles in 14th and the Black Bears in 21th. Our calculator gives us a projected score of 2.77 to 1.88 in favor of the Eagles, or something like a 3-2 BC win.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
The race to full speed. The month off in the middle of the season is an interesting quirk of the college hockey schedule, and if one team takes a while to get back into midseason form, the ice can be really tilted — especially in game one. Hopefully Coach Crowley has her team in top shape for the drop of the puck.
This series is a pretty tough call. Looking back through Maine’s schedule, there are a few results that really raise an eyebrow. They opened the season in September taking Quinnipiac, who currently sit at #4 in the USCHO poll, to overtime. They took a 1-0 win over #7 Northeastern in late October. In November they got another ranked victory over #11 Clarkson. The Black Bears aren’t to be ignored, and a sweep by BC would be a pretty great result.
I’m not quite going to go that far, because I’ve got a little bit too much respect for Maine to take them that lightly. But I do think the Eagles get a split and maybe eke out a win on aggregate, with a 3-2 loss on Thursday followed by a 3-1 win on Friday as we head into the second half.