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BC Women’s Hockey vs. #3 Northeastern: Final Thoughts & Predictions

It’s been tough sledding for the Eagles

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

So things have been... well, pretty freaking awful for the Boston College Women’s Hockey team! The Eagles enter the first week of the decade unranked for the first time since the beginning of *last* decade. BC’s on a brutal 1-6-1 stretch that has sunk them well out of the NCAA tournament picture in 12th place in the Pairwise and outside of the top 10 of the polls.

Things weren’t looking too bad after the Eagles put in a pretty good showing against #1 Minnesota and #2 Wisconsin in Nashville, but a sweep at the hands of Boston University and a blowout 7-1 loss to Harvard — both teams with whom BC was battling for a tournament spot — have put Boston College almost a position where it’s likely that they’ll need to win the Hockey East tournament to make NCAAs.

So, that sort of changes the focus for BC this weekend against #3 Northeastern. The Eagles want to prove that they can beat one of these good teams, since they’ll have to if they want to win the conference tournament. They’ll get two shots at it against league leader Northeastern this weekend.

WHO

No. 3 Northeastern Huskies (15-3-1, 12-2-0 WHEA)
at Boston College Eagles (11-7-2, 10-5-1 WHEA)

Boston College Eagles (11-7-2, 10-5-1 WHEA)
at No. 3 Northeastern Huskies (15-3-1, 12-2-0 WHEA)

WHAT

An extremely tough matchup for a team looking to right the ship

WHERE

Friday

Conte Forum
Chestnut Hill, MA

Sunday

Matthews Arena
Boston, MA

WHEN

Friday, January 10th, 2020
2:00pm EST

Sunday, January 12th, 2020
2:05pm EST

HOW TO WATCH

Both games will be streamed for free on CollegeSportsLive.com. You can watch Friday’s stream here and Sunday’s stream here. However, those of you in the Boston area can also see Sunday’s game televised live on NESN.

PROJECTIONS

KRACH (used for odds) isn’t a huge fan of either team — it has the Huskies down in 7th and BC in 14th. The ratings work out having Northeastern favored with 72.77% odds. That’s BC + 267 with your local bookie (for entertainment purposes only, of course).

GRaNT (used for scores) loves Northeastern — it has the Huskies at #2 in the rankings — but is even more bearish on BC than KRACH is with the Eagles in 15th. The score projection comes out to Northeastern being favored by a score of 3.70 to 1.29, or something like a 4-1 or 3-1 final score.

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 Live Pairwise, Projected Pairwise, KRACH, and GRaNT calculators.

LAST TIME OUT

Northeastern had itself a so-so weekend in the Battle At The Burgh, skating to a 1-1 draw with Colgate (winning in the shootout) before falling in overtime to #1 Wisconsin by a show of 4-3. The Wisconsin game, though, was an impressive outing for the Huskies as they showed they are definitely in the running for some national hardware.

Boston College’s return from the winter break couldn’t have gone much worse than it did. Despite getting Hadley Hartmetz and Hannah Bilka back from injury, the Eagles were absolutely smoked at home by a score of 7-1 in one of their worst home losses — and indeed one of their worst losses anywhere — in ages.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

BC just needs to get back in the win column and end this losing streak. They aren’t quite out of the running to get back into the NCAA tournament picture (if they win out, for example, they’ll absolutely be comfortably back in the tournament field), but it’s pretty close. A sweep at the hands of Northeastern, despite the Huskies being one of the best teams in the country, will probably put the Eagles pretty close to a “win the league or you’re out” position in March.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will BC once again rise to the challenge against a big-time opponent? The Eagles have actually done very well this year against the top 3 teams in the country, despite not picking up a win. BC earned a tie against #1 Minnesota and lost by one-plus-an-empty-netter against #2 Wisconsin, and were down by 1 until the closing minutes against #3 Northeastern in their matchup earlier in the season.

BC is definitely good enough to put up a W in one or both of these games out of nowhere, but they’ll need to be a totally different team than the one that lost their last three against BU and Harvard.

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM NORTHEASTERN’s WIKIPEDIA PAGE

Northeastern started out as “The Evening Institute for Younger Men” at the Huntington Avenue YMCA. I would guess that not too many universities have such humble beginnings, and you know what, that’s pretty great! Stick tap.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Grilled Chicken Salad

Does anyone else feel like an absolute slob after gaining 50 pounds over the holidays? I SURE DO! The last time I felt like this was after the Men’s Frozen Four in Philly a handful of years ago where I really took the phrase “Every day all day cheesesteak cheesesteak” to heart. Or to heart disease. Get it?

Anyway, I don’t know about you folks, but I just want a good salad. For our usual chicken salad that we have in the rotation here at Chez Salzano, I marinade some chicken tenderloins in an island teriyaki dressing that we like and cook them up on the grill. Add some tomatoes, romaine, croutons, and sliced avocado (or, for the Mrs., hard boiled eggs), and it’s pretty great — and much more filling than you’d think.

Top it off with your vinaigrette of choice, and enjoy.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Paramore — Hard Times

Walking around
With my little rain cloud
Hanging over my head
And it ain’t coming down
Where do I go?
Gimme some sort of sign
You hit me with lightning!
Maybe I’ll come alive

Hard times, indeed. It’s been a long time — ten years, in fact — since the Eagles have been down like this. The 7-1 loss to Harvard was a brutal rock bottom for a season that has quickly fallen from its optimistic start. But the team obviously has talent, given their hot streak at the beginning of the year and how well they’ve skated with the top teams, so they could be a spark away from getting back on track.

PREDICTIONS

Man, I just don’t know. BC’s sweep at the hands of Boston University to end the first half was awful, but the team was down three major contributors due to injury and you just kind of had to hope that the team would put it back together after the break.

But after the break and getting two of those three players back against Harvard — a team that’s a hair below Boston University talent-wise — the team looked awful. The hope is that there was just some awful post-break hangover to shake off, but 7-1 is pretty rough.

Had BC taken the win against Harvard, I would have given BC a good shot at a split this weekend against Northeastern. But I’m not really feeling that now. A Northeastern sweep is definitely possible (in fact, KRACH gives it a 53% chance of happening), but I’ll give BC a point out of the deal and have them pull a decent game out of the weekend. Call it a 2-2 draw at Conte on Friday before Northeastern just becomes too much for the Eagles by a 4-1 score on Sunday afternoon.