We’re at the unofficial halfway point of the season already, with this weekend’s home-and-home against Boston University marking the end of the fall half of games. After this weekend, BC will have a few weeks off before the start of the second half on New Year’s Eve against Harvard.
And so, in closing out the first half with a pair of games against not just a ranked team, but your rival from down the street battling you for an NCAA tournament spot — it goes without saying that these are a couple of massive games for positioning for the Eagles.
No. 8 Boston College Eagles (11-4-2, 10-3-1 WHEA)
at No. 9 Boston University Terriers (10-4-1, 5-4-1 WHEA)
Walter Brown Arena
Chestnut Hill, MA
Friday, December 6th, 2019
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
HOW TO WATCH
Both games will be televised, with NESNplus picking up the games on both nights.
These two teams are almost as close in the rankings as they are in proximity on Commonwealth Avenue. They’re directly adjacent to each other in literally everything: in KRACH, GRaNT, the SBNWH Poll, the USCHO Poll, and the Pairwise Projections.
KRACH (used for odds) has BC in 9th and BU in 10th, with their close ratings resulting in the Eagles being favored with 52.23% odds. That comes out to BC -110 with your local bookie, nearly a pick-em. For entertainment purposes only, of course.
GRaNT (used for scores) has the two teams in the same positions, but the ratings are even closer. That makes for, obviously, a projection of a virtual tie at 2.41 to 2.39 — something like a 2-2 or 3-3 tie, or, of course, a split on the weekend.
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
The Terriers had a week off for Thanksgiving where they were hopefully engorging themselves with turkey and fixins instead of doing anything hockey related. Prior to that, though, they took a road sweep at Vermont by scores of 3-2 (OT) and 5-1. BU has looked good since they’ve gotten USWNT player Jesse Compher back from injury.
Boston College had a respectable weekend in Nashville against #1 Minnesota and #2 Wisconsin, earning a hard-fought 2-2 draw against the top-ranked Gophers last Friday before falling 5-3 with a late empty netter against the Badgers. All in all, a pretty impressive showing against the two western juggernauts.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
BC and BU are almost identical in every ranking. They are battling for an NCAA tournament spot and a sweep by either team would do wonders for the winner and be a huge blow to the loser. Here’s hoping the Eagles can be the ones who come out on top this weekend.
THE BIG QUESTION
How will injuries affect the Eagles in this series? Freshman and leading scorer was see on crutches after last week’s game against Wisconsin, which doesn’t bode well for her availability this weekend. And senior captain Erin Connolly did not play against the Badgers at all and was seen in a knee brace. Not good!
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
Burgers on the Grill
Sure it’s getting cold out, and those of you in Boston definitely have some snow still on that back porch, but who cares? That just makes the grilling experience more of an experience.
The nice thing about making burgers at home is that you’ve got full customization control over your burger experience. Rare, medium, well done, avocado, bacon, mushrooms & onions... whatever floats your proverbial boat. So fire up some burgers and enjoy some televised rivalry hockey between two top-ten teams.
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
Hamilton — Your Obedient Servant
I am slow to anger
But I toe the line
As I reckon with the effects of your life on mine
I look back on where I failed
And in every place I checked
The only common thread has been your disrespect
An excellent Broadway “Eff you” song. These two teams dislike each other every bit as much as they do on the men’s side, and their proximity in the rankings just makes things even more tense. This should be a really entertaining weekend, and a crucial one for both sides.
I can’t express enough how critical this series is going to be for BC. With the team’s top scorer seen on crutches after last week’s game against Wisconsin, and a long break after this weekend’s games, the Eagles could dodge a bullet if they could steal a couple wins against one of their main rivals for a tournament spot and then get Bilka back after a few weeks of rest, if possible.
But that’s going to be a tough task. The Terriers are coming in pretty hot, and they’ve had an extra week off to prepare for the Eagles while BC was getting beat up by Minnesota and Wisconsin last week.
I don’t see a BC sweep this weekend, but an acceptable weekend, given the injuries, would probably be a split. I’ll say that each team gets their home win on the weekend, leaving neither team all that satisfied, but giving BC an acceptable outcome without one of their best players. I’ll go with 3-1 BU at Walter Brown on Friday before the Eagles rebound with a 4-2 win at Conte Forum on Saturday.