This is not a drill: Boston College Women’s Hockey is no longer winless against Huskies this season! Of course, the win in question was against the UConn variety of husky this past weekend, and not against the Northeastern juggernaut in front of them for tonight’s Hockey East semifinal. But it’s something!
Having to face top-seeded Northeastern in the semifinals is a result of BC coming up short in the regular season battle for third place in the conference. But there’s no point in lamenting what-could-have-been... realistically, the Eagles were going to have to go through the Huskies sooner or later. Instead of getting to avoid the far-and-away top team in the conference as long as possible, Boston College will just have to take them out a little earlier.
No. 15 Boston College Eagles (20-14-1, 16-11-0 WHEA)
at No. 5 Northeastern Huskies (31-2-1, 24-2-1 WHEA)
The 2023 Women’s Hockey East Tournament Semifinals
Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
HOW TO WATCH
Today’s game, like all Hockey East games this season, will be streamed live on ESPN+. Here is a direct link to the stream.
Boston College has been playing somewhat up and down... maybe a little more “up’ than “down” after their thrilling 4-3 victory in overtime over UConn this past weekend. They also have a couple wins over a ranked Providence College team in their current stretch of 6-2-0. There are some things they really need to clean up, though, if they hope to get finally get past Northeastern — the defense can’t let shooters camp out in front of the net, and Abbey Levy’s going to have to shake off what was an uncharacteristically rough afternoon on Saturday.
Northeastern has put together the longest winning streak any team in the country has been able to manage all season, rattling off 19 consecutive wins and allowing more than one goal just twice in that stretch of games. There’s no doubt about it — the Huskies are red-hot. But the Eagles have been right in it with NU in the last three head to head contests, falling 2-1 in the Beanpot championship and taking the Huskies to overtime in mid-January.
Alright, let’s get into some numbers.
KRACH (used for odds) has Boston College in 16th and Northeastern in 7th. Running the numbers gives us BC winning 12.94% of the time, or BC +673 with your local bookie.
The GRaNT rankings (used for point spread) likes both teams just a little bit better, with the Eagles in 14th and the Huskies in 5th. That works out to a projected score of 3.31 to 1.15, or something like a 3-1 NU win.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
Or close the wall up with our English dead
The Eagles have faced off four times against Northeastern this year, with tonight’s matchup being the fifth. In each successive matchup the Eagles came in more and more optimistic that they could finally overtime the Huskies and pull off the upset... only to come up short each time.
Tonight, BC once again enters the contest certain of their ability to overcome their league rivals. Will the outcome finally be different? Or will the story end the same, with the Eagles coming up just short and closing the season with a frustrating loss once more?
Writing these articles as a fan means you have to either sound like a complete homer picking your team to win despite the long odds against them, or you sound like someone who doesn’t believe in the team enough because you don’t pick them to win. My heart tells me that of course BC has the talent and the desire and the grit needed to grind out their biggest win in years to put themselves in a championship game. My head tells me “BC has lost four games against Northeastern this year and only managed to find the back of the net in one of them... why should this game be any different?”
I will direct you to last year’s Beanpot semifinals. BC took down an even more talented Northeastern team — then ranked #3 in the country — to advance to the Beanpot championship game. That game was at Matthews Arena as well. The belief that BC can win this game isn’t based on a fantasy. They really can do it, and they really have come closer and closer each time they have stepped on the ice against these Huskies.
Sometimes you just have to let your heart win the argument. It’ll be 2-1 BC, in regulation, to advance to the Hockey East championship game.