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THE HOCKEY EAST CHAMPIONSHIP, BC Women’s Hockey vs. #3 Northeastern: Final Thoughts & Predictions

Let’s get some hardware

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Well, yesterday kind of kicked ass, huh?

Let’s dive into this little nugget from our Finals Thoughts post from 24 hours ago and point and laugh at the dummy now standing before you:

This game is going to be extremely uncomfortable. At no point will either team pull out to a multi-goal lead, unless there’s an empty net involved.

...

Give me a 3-2 BC win, probably in overtime. This game is going to be a heart attack on ice and I cannot wait to be there for it.

Haha NOPE.

What actually happened was pretty much the exact opposite of that, with BC blowing the doors off BU to end their season, advancing to the Hockey East championship, and advancing to the NCAA tournament as well. It was freaking sweet and I would like today to be the exact same thing.

WHO

No. 6 Boston College Eagles (26-10-1, 19-7-1 WHEA)
vs. No. 3 Northeastern Huskies (26-5-5, 21-3-3 WHEA)

WHAT

The Hockey East Championship Game

WHERE

Schneider Arena
Providence, RI

WHEN

Sunday, March 10th, 2019
1:30pm EST EDT — change those clocks, kids

HOW TO WATCH

The good news is that the Hockey East championship will be on honest-to-goodness HDTV, with NESNplus picking up the feed. The bad news is that if you aren’t in the New England area or don’t otherwise have NESN as part of your cable package, you’re going to be out $30 for a monthly subscription to FloHockey.tv to watch the game. So stupid.

PROJECTIONS

KRACH has the Huskies favored, with Northeastern at a 62.43% chance of winning (BC +166 on the money line). I’m a little surprised the Eagles are that much of an underdog by KRACH. To me this game is a total toss up. I would buy BC +166 all day if that was an actual betting line.

GRaNT has the game much, much closer. Our model still gives the Huskies an edge, but with a score projection of just 2.76 to 2.56 — something like a 2-2 or 3-3 tie if there wasn’t unlimited overtime.

Given that GRaNT involves how many goals you beat your opponents by, it makes sense that this is close. The Huskies won a lot of close games, especially down the stretch.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston College, as we mentioned before and will gladly mention again, totally ruined BU 5-1 in the late game of the semifinals. It was really very good and enjoyable and fun.

Northeastern had a tougher go of it against Providence in the early game, holding on for a 3-2 win over the Friars in a game where the Huskies got dramatically outshot, particularly in the first two periods.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

TROPHY.

All the stress of the last few weeks of BC needing to go on a tear and have some things break their way just to make the tournament are finally behind us. This game is about winning a championship.

BIG QUESTIONS

For today’s BIG QUESTIONS, we’re going to see what the answers to yesterday’s BIG QUESTIONS were.

Will Daryl Watts suit up this weekend after leaving game two against UConn in the second period and not returning?

Daryl Watts went biblical on BU last night. So, yeah, she suited up, alright.

Is BC’s freshman goaltender ready for the pressure of real, big-time playoff hockey?

Maddy Ice didn’t have to do too much, but she looked cool and sharp when the situation arose. Probably going to see some more pressure this afternoon.

Will the Eagles play this neutral site game like they’re on the road or will they not be awful?

“They will not be awful” was the winner.

If this game goes to overtime, will I survive it?

N/A. But probably no.

Can’t we get, like, ECAC refs for this deal or what?

Hey, the refs were actually pretty good yesterday! A broken clock is right twice a day... maybe Sunday will be that second time in 24 hours!

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM NORTHEASTERN’S WIKIPEDIA PAGE

Northeastern University started out as a YMCA. Lol what?

ICE CREAM OF THE WEEK

We do ice cream of the week because hell yeah, ice cream.

Spumoni

Prior to Saturday’s game, the BCI Crew & Friends went out to a tremendous Italian family restaurant on Federal Hill called Angelo’s Civita Farnese. It really checked all the boxes — great food, great service, great decor (lots of old-school pin-up style menus around the walls showing the specials)... it was A+.

One of the dessert specials was Spumoni — not to be confused with the singer from the old Nicktoon “Hey Arnold!” — which is basically molded gelato. Were we not stuffed to the brim from cleaning all our plates, I probably would have grabbed some. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a place to stop downtown before or after the game today.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

The Beatles — Hey Bulldog

The story goes that “Hey Bulldog” was just sort of a throwaway song the Beatles put together to kill some time in the recording studio. It’s one of my favorites of theirs, because it was arguably the last song that the Beatles truly collaborated on as a group, even as friends, before things started to fall apart and the greatest band of all time was no more.

By all accounts — from the coaching staff, from the players in post-game interviews, and from others inside the program who know how the team is behind closed doors — this Boston College roster is one of the closest, most tight-knit groups to come through BC. Yes, everyone says their team is close, whatever. But it has been impressed upon me that this group has a special camaraderie.

BC may or may not run the table and win a national title. Minnesota and Wisconsin are a pair of juggernauts that they’d have to go through to get there. But it would be pretty great for this group to come out of the season with at least one major trophy.

PREDICTION

Well, I was pretty wrong about BC vs. BU. As it turned out, the game was not close. I appreciated that!

So now the Eagles are faced with a Northeastern team that has been the “Best Of The Rest” behind Minnesota and Wisconsin in the polls for a few weeks now. From where both teams are in the polls, BC should be pretty solid underdogs in this game. And yet somehow, BC doesn’t feel like underdogs. The Huskies have not been playing that well of late, or at leat not as well as you would expect the #3 team in the country to be playing. Goaltender Aaren Frankel, who started out the season with ungodly numbers in net, has come back down to earth. The Huskies have pulled out a number of games that were close late, and while that says a lot about their strength in close games, it does give you pause.

BC, on the other hand, is playing by far their best hockey of the season. Coach Crowley and Coach Kennedy have the Eagles peaking at the right time. There can be no taking Northeastern lightly, but something tells me BC’s going to come away with this one. I’m pulling on the maroon and gold goggles and calling for a 4-2 (ENG) BC win to take the title back home to Chestnut Hill.