How frustrating is it that after a six game winning streak that lifted the Eagles all the way back into an NCAA tournament position, it just took one pound-your-head-against-the-wall loss in the Beanpot to nearly undo all of it. Really frustrating!
Tuesday’s loss to Harvard had some really bad Pairwise implications beyond just losing RPI points. The gist of it is that if BU beats Harvard in the Beanpot finals this week, it will be almost impossible for BC to flip back into an NCAA tournament at-large position unless the Eagles can face off against the Terriers in the Hockey East tournament. So now the Eagles are stuck hoping for some things beyond their control to go their way just to get back into the picture.
Of course, BC can just win the Hockey East tournament and lock themselves in, which is turning out to be no easy task.
Anyway. Let’s see the Eagles onto a new winning streak.
New Hampshire Wildcats (13-12-4, 10-11-1 WHEA)
at No. 7 Boston College Eagles (19-10-0, 16-7-0 WHEA)
The game that should have been The Beanpot Trap Game, but instead is now a Beanpot Revenge game (…I hope).
Chestnut Hill, MA
Friday, February 8th, 2019
HOW TO WATCH
Tonight’s game, like all BC men’s and women’s hockey home games, will be streamed live on ESPN3. Awesome.
KRACH has the Eagles decently favored, with BC at a 70% chance of winning (BC -234 on the money line).
GRaNT gives us a score projection of 2.99 to 1.74 in favor of the Eagles — something like a 3-2 final. That’s definitely a lot closer than BC would probably like, but not all that surprising when you consider that New Hampshire beat BC in the only game the two teams played against each other so far this season.
LAST TIME OUT
New Hampshire is on a five game winning streak, taking their two games against Maine last weekend with scores of 5-2 and 3-2. The Wildcats have been one of the season’s biggest turnaround stories, posting a 12-3-2 record in their last 17 games after starting just 1-9-2 out of the blocks.
Boston College took one of their worst “L’s” of the season on Tuesday in the Beanpot semifinals, taking a whopping 53 shots on goal but getting countered 4-1 where it mattered against Harvard. It was the first time in seven years that BC lost in the Beanpot semifinals.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
It’s very easy to come out of a painful “trophy game” loss and head back into the grind of your bread-and-butter league games wondering if these games “matter less” because they aren’t for a trophy. But it might be easier for BC to get over that mindset this year. BC’s still hovering on that Pairwise bubble, and while they need a couple things to go their way to get back into an at-large spot (namely, BU losing to Harvard in the tournament final), the Eagles just saw with the loss on Tuesday that a long winning streak can be undone by just one loss.
BC needs to remember that these games are critical for them to reach their larger goals, and losing to Harvard only made that more true.
Can goaltender Maddy McArthur shake off the tough game she had against the Crimson? Will Coach Crowley give her workhorse goaltender a breather? Will BC learn how to not panic if they fall behind and stop trying to force things? Can we get some meaningful improvement on the power play finally or is the fact that our special teams are hot garbage just kind of how it’s going to be the rest of the season (HARSH but true!)? Why is it that BC is just so much worse on the road than they are at home (12-1-0 home, 7-9-0 road!!!!!!!)?
RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE’S WIKIPEDIA PAGE
UNH has “…a Dairy Club for people interested in dairy cows and learning more about them.” Which sounds like something I would make fun of, but you know what, cows are great. Have you ever met a cow you didn’t like? All they do is hang out and look chill and chew on grass all day. I personally would very much enjoy being in a club where I got to hang out with cows. Cows don’t get your hopes up by winning six in a row only to then break your heart by LOSING TO HARVARD.
ICE CREAM OF THE WEEK
We do ice cream of the week because hell yeah, ice cream.
These are good! But you only get a little bit of ice cream this week, BC. You get more ice cream WHEN YOU DON’T LOSE TO ****ING HARVARD.
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
Jon Fratelli – Rhythm Doesn’t Make You A Dancer
Well, it was my finest hour yes it was (a-ha!)
I was the last of the believers in the cause (a-ha!)
They tried to sell me Jacob’s glory
And the answers to the story
And the rhythm of the laughable applause
So I buried my belief and rode the train (a-ha!)
I sang, “Your lover is a liar in the rain” (a-ha!)
And though a man he has to eat
He’s always drowning in defeat
Only a fool would think the world is round anyway
What I usually do for these Songs Of The Week is I open up my Poweramp app in my phone and flip through songs at random until something strikes my fancy. When I got to this one (a solid choice from the lead singer of The Fratellis from his first solo album), it reminded me about the fact that BC has so much talent and yet they’re sitting here on the outside looking in for the NCAA tournament. Rhythm doesn’t make you a dancer, and talent doesn’t make you a winner.
BC’s got a lot of warts, and at this point we’re so deep into the season that I’m not sure there are enough weeks of practice for us to get rid of them.
In doing my research for this preview, I couldn’t believe BC’s home/road splits. One loss at home and a losing record on the road… That is just wild.
Thank God today’s at home, because I would otherwise be pretty worried that BC would be vulnerable to a loss-of-confidence-spiral like we saw in their 1-6-0 run a few weeks ago. But I think BC’s 53 shot effort in the loss to Harvard – while ultimately insanely futile – reminds the Eagles that they can still control games. And with the game at Conte Forum, I think BC should be okay. Let’s go OPTIMIST MODE! and give the Eagles a 4-1 win at home.