Saturday’s game against Holy Cross was a laugher. Tonight’s game against Northeastern will not be a laugher.
Boston College and Northeastern will head to Matthews Arena tonight in what will be easily the biggest game of the year thus far for both teams — a battle of top five teams who are both looking for a signature win and need to make a statement that they belong in the battle for a top four spot and a home NCAA quarterfinal.
For Boston College, this is the highest-ranked opponent they’ll face all season. With Providence the only ranked team left on the schedule — a team BC’s already lost to this year — the Eagles don’t have many opportunities for quality wins. BC needs to get them while they can.
No. 4 Boston College Eagles (12-3-0, 9-1-0 WHEA)
at No. 5 Northeastern Huskies (11-1-2, 12-0-2 WHEA)
Tuesday, 11/27/18, 7pm EST
HOW TO WATCH
The game will be televised (!) on NESN. For those of you outside of the New England area, Northeastern also broadcasts their games live on their website for free.
LAST TIME OUT
Boston College had no trouble at all with Holy Cross on Saturday, taking an easy 5-0 win and outshooting the Crusaders a whopping 50-16 — and that was despite taking seven penalties.
Northeastern had a 1-0-1 weekend at Maine last weekend, with a 3-1 win on Friday and a 3-3 tie coming in game two on Saturday. However, that tie was with their “1b” goaltender, Brittany Bugalski, in net. “1a” goalie Aerin Frankel has been far and away the top goaltender in the country, posting an absurd 0.72 GAA and 0.972 save percentage, both of which blow away second best. It would be almost criminal for NU coach Dave Flint to not start Frankel in net tonight.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
This game is all about both teams having an opportunity to get a signature win on their resume. The winner will seize control of the top spot in Hockey East, and even more importantly, will make a statement that they are a contender for home ice in the NCAA quarterfinals. We haven’t had a heavyweight bout like this in Hockey East in a few years.
Is it possible that Northeastern is punching above their weight so far this season? Yes, it is, but all the signs point to the Huskies being a legit threat. Their goaltending has been out of this world (when they start Aerin Frankel) — though admittedly it’s been so good that a statistical regression is almost certainly in store — and their offense has been humming along thanks to two of the best freshman recruits in the country. Given that one of those recruits, Alina Mueller of Switzerland led all scorers at the PyeongChang Olympics, that offense is... er... less likely to regress.
Which team will come out firing early? Will the Eagles continue their trend of strongly outshooting their opponents, even against a high-power team like Northeastern? Can the Eagles contain the freshman duo of Mueller and Aurard? Will NU coach Dave Flint be thrown into actual prison if he decides to start Brittany Bugalsky over Aerin Frankel in net? Will the BC “big guns” on offense take over the game or will BC’s depth continue to light up the score sheet — or both?! Will the BC power play and penalty kill turn it on after a so-so start to the season in a game that could very well be decided by special teams?
RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM NORTHEASTERN’S WIKIPEDIA PAGE
The Northeastern men’s hockey team won the 2018 Beanpot beating out Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard.
ICE CREAM OF THE WEEK
We do ice cream of the week because hell yeah, ice cream.
Ben & Jerry’s — Half Baked
The undisputed GOAT of ice cream flavors from the undisputed GOAT of ice cream makers. This is a top-shelf hockey game — on TV, no less — and deserves nothing less than the best of ice cream options. Aw yis. Treat yo self.
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
The story of one of the greatest battles in American political history. And it fits even more perfectly because...
...It’s a tie!
Like the Election of 1800, this BC vs. NU game looks very draw-ish. Northeastern has found itself with a much better roster than most people anticipated at the start of the season, and BC has really not yet done anything to suggest that they’re capable of consistently beating good-to-great teams. With this game at Northeastern, I think the Eagles are going to find themselves in a real dogfight. This will be great training for post-season play, but I think we’re going to see a 2-2 deadlock when all is said and done, leaving both teams a little disappointed and leaving the rest of us frustrated at not seeing any real clarification at the top of the WHEA standings.