After an exhibition game that didn’t matter, the Boston College men’s hockey team is diving right into games that really matter to start off the spring semester. The Eagles will play a home-and-home with the Providence Friars this weekend, two games that are sure to be intense battles with big implications for the Hockey East playoffs and beyond.
PC is a clear-cut member of Hockey East’s top tier alongside BC, BU, and Maine. They’re 9th nationally in the pairwise rankings, too. With a formidable coaching staff and a lot of experienced players, the Friars are going to be a huge test for this young BC team. They play a grit-and-grind style of hockey that is similar to what the playoffs feel like, and the atmosphere in both arenas is sure to be a loud one. This series of games is one of the few opportunities we’ll get to see a real preview of what this team could look like in the NCAA tournament.
BC already beat PC once in an impressive fashion before break, collecting themselves after a disastrous collapse to pull out a victory. That game showed me that this BC team is smart enough to fix it mistakes and gritty enough to execute those changes against a great team in high-pressure situations. It wasn’t a given that these new young players would thrive under pressure, but I’ve been very impressed so far and I’m optimistic about what the rest of this season could bring. They proved themselves on a big stage in the World Juniors tournament over break, too, so I’m hoping that translates to these important games coming up on the schedule. Because we’re just two weeks away from facing those guys down the street, and the intensity is going to ratchet up really quickly.
We’ll have our preview of BC-PC later this week, alongside coverage of the games all weekend, so be sure to follow along with BCI. I’m excited for the rollercoaster ride!