It has been an awfully long time since Boston College Hockey has brought a trophy back to the Heights.
The men’s team hasn’t won a tournament of any kind since the 2016 Beanpot, and their only “trophies” since then were the 2018 and 2020 Hockey East regular season titles — though the 2020 season was effectively Servpro’d from existence. And I guess the Eagles can claim the 2021 HEPI Championship, if you want to count that.
As for the women’s team, recent history has been even more bleak. They haven’t claimed any hardware since the 2018 Hockey East regular season title and the 2018 Beanpot, though they certainly came close last season in overcoming four (!) one-goal deficits in the Beanpot championship against Harvard before ultimately falling 5-4 in the waning minutes.
The men came up just short — oh so painfully — in their Beanpot semifinal last night, so Coach Crowley’s squad will have the next opportunity to bring some hardware back to Chestnut Hill.
Boston University Terriers (10-15-3, 9-12-3 WHEA)
vs. No. 5 Northeastern Huskies (25-2-1, 21-2-1 WHEA)
Harvard Crimson (7-14-3, 6-10-3 ECAC)
at Boston College Eagles (16-12-1, 14-10-0 WHEA)
The 44th Women’s Beanpot Semifinals
Chestnut Hill, MA
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
4:00pm EST (BU/NU) & 7:30pm EST (HU/BC)
HOW TO WATCH
As they do every year, NESN will be picking up the feed for the Women’s Beanpot games. For those of you outside of the NESN coverage area, you’ll also be able to stream the games online on ESPN+. Here is a link to the BU/NU semifinal in the early game, and here is a link to the HU/BC semifinal in the late game.
Boston University has quietly put together quite a respectable stretch of games. They’ve gone 3-0-3 in their last six against some solid league competition (winning the shootout in all three of those “tied” games, for what it’s worth), including a win over #11 Vermont and a tie with #13 Providence. That’s really not bad for a team that started out looking like they were as bad as anyone in the league early on.
Northeastern has been cursed with a godawful weak schedule, but there’s no doubt about it: they are one of the hottest teams in the country. They’ve won 13 straight and haven’t given up more than a single goal in their last 11 contests. I don’t care who you’re playing against — that’s a run that will raise some eyebrows. The Terriers have the bad luck of getting the Huskies in the first round draw this season.
Harvard has been pretty consistently bad this year, and in the last three weeks they’ve got 2 just awful losses to their record. They dropped a 3-1 decision to Union on January 21st, and have an eye-popping 2-1 loss to the NEWHA’s Sacred Heart a week before. They haven’t yet strung together two consecutive wins the whole season... it’s been a struggle.
Boston College is coming off their most impressive win of the year, a crisp 3-0 victory over #11 Providence last week at Conte Forum. That came after a 4-0 win over lowly Merrimack to put the Eagles back on the right track after a frustrating stretch of 5 losses in 6 games, during which the Eagles gave up the game winning goal within the last handful of minutes in all 5 losses.
Alright, let’s run some numbers.
KRACH (used for odds) has Boston University 23rd, Northeastern 8th, Harvard 24th, and Boston College 17th.
For the BU/NU semifinal, KRACH has the Huskies as a commanding favorite, with the Huskies projected to win 93.54% of the time — that’s Northeastern -1448 with your local bookie.
For the late game between BC and Harvard, running the numbers sees the Eagles as more mild favorites. The Eagles are projected to win in 70.74% of matchups against the Crimson, or a moneyline of BC -242, were you to find a site to take such a wager.
The GRaNT rankings (used for point spread) sees things slightly differently, with BU 22nd, NU 5th, HU 24th, and BC 16th.
For our early game, that works out to a projected score of 3.87 to 0.74 in favor of Northeastern, or something like a 4-1 Huskies win.
For our Eagles, we get a projection of a 3.00 to 1.50 win over Harvard — roughly a 3-1 or 3-2 BC victory.
THIS WEEK’S BC STORYLINE
Bury your chances. The Eagles didn’t really play any better or worse against Providence in last weekend’s 3-0 win than they had peen playing in the prior few weeks. Coach Crowley has the Eagles playing pretty good hockey, with the one glaring exception being that BC had been unable to cash in on their opportunities for a stretch that resulted in a string of frustrating losses.
That changed entirely in the game against the Friars, with the Eagles scoring a couple really nice goals and putting the game away with a dagger early in the third period to take PC out of the contest. That’s going to be the winning formula for the Eagles here as the end of the regular season approaches.
This semifinal round should be pretty fun here. In game one, Northeastern is a dramatic favorite against Boston University, but the Terriers have been all kinds of scrappy the last few weeks and I don’t think they’re going to get stomped out of the contest early. Expect NU to come away with the victory, but I could see them needing a late tally to finally take the pressure off for a 3-1 Husky win.
Early in the season I had lamented that the Eagles had to face Harvard instead of Boston University in this first round contest, but that’s really flipped around as the Terriers have found their footing. The Crimson stumbled out of the gate and really never got going — they’ve got a 5-1 loss to the Eagles on their schedule already, with BC blitzing Harvard to the tune of a 48-30 shot advantage, but I would expect the Crimson to show up for what might be their only realistic chance to play for a trophy this season.
The Eagles are a decent bet to get the win on home ice in this one, but it’ll be something a bit closer than last time, with the Eagles getting the 4-2 (ENG) win to advance to the championship game.