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BC Women’s Hockey vs. Boston University: Final Thoughts & Predictions

Undefeated no more, with a rivalry game on deck

BC Athletics

Last week Boston College Women’s Hockey was handed its first loss of the season in embarrassing fashion, getting dominated by UConn on the road for a 5-2 loss in which BC trailed literally from the opening seconds. It was a bit of a reality check after the Eagles came out to such a hot start to the year at 9-0-1 with a soft schedule.

Here’s the worse news — despite only having one loss, the Eagles fell to 8th in the Pairwise Rankings, which would be out of the NCAA tournament. As we’re now at the 1/3rd marker of the regular season, it’s not exactly a small sample size. With the exception of a surprisingly undefeated Harvard (who started their season late), all the teams above the Eagles in the Pairwise are expected to be top teams. It’s going to be tough to leapfrog many of them.

But, BC finally gets to face a good team for the first time all year. It’s an opportunity to make a statement, and also to make some Pairwise gains at the same time.

WHO

No. 6 Boston College Eagles (9-1-1, 8-1-1 WHEA)
at Boston University Terriers (7-3-1, 3-3-1 WHEA)

WHAT

BU WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHERE

Walter Brown Arena
Boston, MA

WHEN

Friday, November 15th, 2019
7:05pm EST

HOW TO WATCH

The game will be streamed live for free on CollegeSportsLive.com. Here’s a direct link to the game.

PROJECTIONS

KRACH (used for odds) saw the Eagles fall to 10th place with the UConn loss, and Boston University up to 14th with a 2-0-0 weekend. Using our handy-dandy calculator, that gives the Eagles a 62.19% chance of winning — that’s BC -164 with your local bookie.

GRaNT (used for scores) is in the same ballpark, with the Eagles 8th and BU 13th. The score projection works out to 2.57 to 2.10, or something like a 3-2 BC win or a 2-2 tie.

We have a direct link to all our BC Interruption hockey calculators in the site header. Just hover over “More” at the top of the page to be linked straight to the Pairwise, KRACH, and GRaNT calculators.

LAST TIME OUT

It was disaster for BC last weekend as they got pretty well drubbed 5-2 at UConn. As I said in last week’s preview, Freitas has become a house of horrors for the Eagles the last few years, but 5-2 is certainly worse than any reasonable observer would have expected. The only thing BC can hang their hat on is that Olympic defender Cayla Barnes missed the game to play with Team USA last weekend, though as good as she is I’m not sure that would have been worth a 3+ goal differential.

Boston University had a good week, beating Providence on the road by a score of 2-1 and then beating Yale at home 3-1. Both of those teams are about average. But the most important thing to happen to the Terriers was that they got their best player, Jesse Compher, back from injury. Compher, who played for the US National Team at the IIHF Worlds last year, missed the start of the season but has returned, of course, just in time to face BC. Of course.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

Friday’s game against BU, along with Tuesday’s against #4 Northeastern (which will have its own preview), are far and away the toughest opponents the Eagles have faced so far this year. The 9-1-1 record tells us just about nothing — we should learn a lot about how good BC really is this week.

BIG QUESTIONS

How the hell did the Eagles give up 5 goals to UConn? Is Cayla Barnes really that important to the roster? What the hell happened to BC’s special teams, which are now both struggling wildly? How much of a boost will getting Jesse Compher back give to the middling BU offense? Will the Terriers be unranked at all the rest of the season now that she’s back? Who are the Eagles really? Are they a tournament bubble team or something more than that? Can they get a statement win this week?

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM BOSTON UNIVERSITY’s WIKIPEDIA PAGE

The Wikipedia article neglects to mention the fact that Boston University lost the 2015 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship after goaltender Matt O’Connor dropped the puck into his own net.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Raising Cane’s — The Box Combo

One of the good things about going to a hockey game at Boston University — quite possibly the only good thing — is the fact that BU has a Raising Cane’s on campus. It’s right next door to Agganis, which granted isn’t exactly next door to Walter Brown, but it’s close enough.

Back in my day (/old guy voice), we used to go to Cane’s for dinner before BC vs. BU, because Raising Cane’s rules. I highly recommend The Box Combo because you get Texas Toast, and the Texas Toast pairs with that chicken like a fine wine.

Make sure you get extra Cane’s Sauce. Aw yis.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Arctic Monkeys — The View From The Afternoon

Anticipation has a habit to set you up
For disappointment in evening entertainment but
Tonight there’ll be some love
Tonight there’ll be a ruckus, yeah, regardless of what’s gone before

I know many of those of you who follow the women’s hockey team only do so casually, but how can you not get excited for BC vs. BU?! This is a huge game for the Eagles to show just what they’re made of — really the first such opportunity of the season despite us being 13 of the way through — and a win would give the team a huge boost in confidence.

PREDICTION

Last week’s loss to UConn really tempered the early-season optimism, as least for me. Giving up 5 goals to a barely-average team is not a good sign, regardless of who was missing or where the game was played. Still, it was the team’s first real bad game of the year, so it’s not quite time to worry just yet.

Still, the loss does bump expectation back down a bit, to probably what they were before the season started — I thought the Eagles were probably 3rd in Hockey East after Northeastern and Boston University and an NCAA tournament bubble team.

The Terriers had a pretty underwhelming start to the year, but I am just about certain that’s due to the fact that they were missing arguably the best player in the conference up to this point. Now that she’s back, BU is not going to stay unranked for long. And while I’m not quite ready to give the edge back to BU the way I had before the season started, I think the two teams are far closer than the polls are making it seem. On the road, with BU on a high with their best player back and BC on a low after a huge stumble against UConn, I think it’s pretty fair to expect to see a disappointing 2-2 tie when the horn sounds on Friday night.