Last weekend, Boston College Women’s Hockey put together its first weekend sweep since mid-November. The only problem is that last week’s sweep came at the hands of Vermont, the 2nd worst team in Hockey East. So it didn’t really tell us much.
But the Eagles get a real opportunity make a statement this weekend against the Friars, who up until last weekend had found themselves ranked in the top ten of the USCHO poll for seven consecutive weeks. The Friars sit just outside the top ten as the first team Also Receiving Votes thanks to a tough stretch where they’ve lost 3 of 4 and 4 of 6, so this is a big opportunity for the Eagles to make some real headway in the Pairwise rankings.
Providence College Friars (17-7-0, 11-6-0 WHEA
at No. 9 Boston College Eagles (16-9-0, 13-7-0 WHEA)
No. 9 Boston College Eagles (16-9-0, 13-7-0 WHEA)
at Providence College Friars (17-7-0, 11-6-0 WHEA)
BC’s first legitimate chance to climb back into an NCAA tournament at-large position since the start of their mid-season swoon.
Chestnut Hill, MA
Friday, January 25th, 2019
2:00pm EST (@BC)
Saturday, January 19th, 2019
3:00pm EST (@PC)
HOW TO WATCH
Friday’s game is at BC, which means the game will be streamed on ESPN3.
Saturday’s game at PC will be streamed live on Friars All-Access, but unfortunately you’ll need to sign up for the $9.95 monthly subscription to watch. What the hell, get with the times, Providence...
The models both think we’ve got a really good matchup on our hands this weekend.
KRACH has the Eagles favored, but only slightly, with BC at a 51.24% chance of winning (BC -105 on the money line). That’s roughly a 26% chance of that big BC sweep the Eagles are looking for.
GRaNT gives us a score projection of 2.67 to 2.31 in favor of the Eagles — something like a 3-2 final, or of course a tie. That’s obviously very close, but not quite as close as you might expect given what KRACH thinks of the matchup.
LAST TIME OUT
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
The Eagles have been solidly out of NCAA tournament contention for a few weeks now, but it’s amazing what a few wins will do. According to the BCI Pairwise Calculator, a sweep over the Friars would, outside of other results nationally, lift BC all the way back up to 6th in the Pairwise, good enough to be in an at-large position for the national tournament. Even if you assume no upsets this weekend, the Eagles should still rise up to 7th or so, with the gap all the way up to 4th place shrinking considerably.
The end of the regular season is rapidly approaching. If BC’s got something in them for a postseason run, now’s the time we’re going to see it.
Two weeks ago it was Delaney Belinskas who broke out... last week it was Caitrin Lonergan... who will be the next player to break out and lead the BC offense? Can the Eagles tighten up the defense now that they’re playing with some confidence? Is the team over the illness that many of them dealt with last week? Will Maddy McArthur continue to play hero minutes in goal for the Eagles, or will we see Barrow or Pickreign for a game? Is Chuck Norris afraid of Megan Keller?
RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM PROVIDENCE’S WIKIPEDIA PAGE
Providence College is the only college or university in North America administered by the Dominican friars. I assumed that there were plenty of them out there... but nope, just PC. Huh.
ICE CREAM OF THE WEEK
We do ice cream of the week because hell yeah, ice cream.
Kitchen Sink — Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Walt Disney World
So much ice cream they literally give you everything including the kitchen sink: “Scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips smothered in every topping we have,” according to the menu.
This works because I will be at Disney World this weekend (sorry), and also because BC should throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Friars this weekend.
It’s a stretch, I know. But let’s roll with it.
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
The Struts ft. Kesha — Body Talks
I’ve been trying to come up with a reason to use this song in Final Thoughts pretty much since the season started, but there isn’t really any pithy tangentially related pun or explanation I can use except that this song kicks ass. Oh, and the whole video is a maroon and gold theme. So that’s something.
And say what you want about Kesha, but the song isn’t nearly as good without her. This song rules. Don’t @ me.
It’s a little nerve-wracking, because boy, this matchup does set up nicely for BC. A legitimately solid team (PC was in the top four of the Pairwise at one point) that would make for a significant rankings boost if they can pull off a sweep... and with that team struggling of late, meaning the Friars are probably playing a little short on confidence.
The last time BC had an opportunity like this to climb back into Pairwise contention was two weeks back against Northeastern, and I predicted an NU sweep. BC pulled off a respectable split, with the milk-carton BC offense exploding to lead the way in the win.
That was a pretty pessimistic prediction, but, God help me, things feel different this week. It does come at a great time for BC, and at a terrible time for the Friars. My heart says BC can take the sweep — and I’m sure they can — but I’ll stay grounded and say the Eagles come away with a not-quite-satisfying three points. I’ll go with something like a 4-2, 2-2 weekend for BC, with the caveat that if the Eagles can come out of this weekend with all four points and look pretty good doing it, you’d have to like BC’s chances to build some serious momentum in the last few weeks.