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Weekly Kickoff: I’m Thankful for Boston College Hockey & Basketball

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Boston College Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College football showed us who they are once again last week, this time against Pitt, who sits at the basement of the ACC. Between shockingly bad offensive playcalling and a defense that doesn’t know its fundamentals, it was very difficult to find any bright spots in their 24-16 loss on Thursday. We didn’t even get a Phil Jurkovec cameo! Thankfully, though, BC’s winter sports have gotten off to a good start.

Men’s Hockey

Boston College v Massachusetts-Lowell Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The Eagles had a rough weekend up in Maine a week ago, but as the season progresses, that 2-point weekend may not end up looking too bad. The Black Bears seem to be a very good squad this season. Maine did unfortunately get swept by BU this past weekend, but both games were decided by just one goal. Meanwhile, BC took care of business against UConn in their home-and-home. They played a really ugly second period at home on Friday with a lot of execution issues, but they responded really well in the third and eventually pulled out the OT win, followed by tense 3-0 victory in Storrs on Saturday. There will continue to be concerns with this team due to their youth that could lead to some disappointing nights, but the way they regrouped on Friday has me really optimistic about this coaching staff’s ability to get them back on track. And when they’re firing on all cylinders, they very well may be the best team in the country.

Men’s Basketball

Syracuse v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

4-0 is nothing to sneeze at. It may not always be pretty, and Earl Grant will be the first one to tell you that, but wins are wins. BC has won some close games over The Citadel, Richmond, and Harvard, but what matters is that they won and they leaned on their defense to do it. This team is clearly not built to score at a high volume, but they will be a tough match-up against anybody with their ability to force turnovers and play with energy. Jaeden Zackery especially has been key piece of their defense with his terrific on-ball defense that has limited some of their opponents’ top players. And now with scorers like Claudell Harris and Prince Aligbe coming into their own, BC could have enough success on offense to win some games that they didn’t last year.

Women’s Hockey

Boston College v Holy Cross

Here’s another team that’s had its ups-and-downs, but is playing the right way and is showing why they could be in the mix come tournament time. With Northeastern’s somewhat unexpected collapse, Hockey East is wide open this season and the Eagles have been navigating conference play pretty well. After their sweeps of UConn and Merrimack, BC earned splits with Maine and UVM before beating BU at home on Friday. They sit at 2nd place in conference standings, just behind UConn, and play NU on Saturday in what could be a very big game. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on them as the season progresses and this young team shows what they can do.

Women’s Basketball

Boston College v Miami Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

There are fewer bright spots to be found with this team right now, but they’ve at least pulled out a few wins and their defense has looked good doing it. This could be a make-or-break year for Coach Mac and she’ll be relying heavily on her stars, Dontavia Waggoner, Andrea Daley, and Teya Sidberry, to make an impact.