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

Taking things game by game

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

We’re one (1) week into the season and it already feels like things are being held together with rubber bands and scotch tape. The men’s team hasn’t even played a game yet, with their first weekend of games postponed entirely and this weekend’s games against a new opponent.

The women at least got their opening games in against New Hampshire, and everything went about as well as you could have hoped on the ice. BC thoroughly controlled both games, and looked really sharp — especially for being games one and two.

We’ve got a schedule change for this weekend, though. The Eagles were originally scheduled to play Vermont, but with the Catamounts delaying the start to their season, BC’s weekend was free. When Northeastern announced this week that they would delay their start as well, the Friars’ weekend opened up too... and so here we are.

I get the sense that there won’t be much point in pre-writing these weekend previews more than a few hours in advance.

WHO

Friday
Providence College Friars (1-0-1, 0-0-0 WHEA? Apparently?)
at No. 7 Boston College Eagles (2-0-0, 2-0-0 WHEA)

Saturday
No. 7 Boston College Eagles (2-0-0, 2-0-0 WHEA)
at Providence College Friars (1-0-1, 0-0-0 WHEA? For some reason?)

WHAT

Hockey games, if the good Lord’s a-willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

WHERE

**Games will be played without fans, so don’t show up hoping to get in the door**

Friday
Conte Forum
Chestnut Hill, MA

Saturday
Schneider Arena
Providence, RI

WHEN

Friday, November 27th, 2020
2:00pm EST

Saturday, November 28th, 2020
3:00pm EST

HOW TO WATCH

Friday’s game will be shown live on NESN, which will be a great opportunity for you to load up on Thanksgiving leftovers and watch the Eagles hopefully take care of business. Expect a whole bunch of games on TV this season — Friday’s game will make it 3 for 3 to start the year.

Saturday’s game will be streamed free on CollegeSportsLive.com, as all non-NESN Hockey East games will be this season.

PROJECTIONS

As we get deeper into the season, this space will be used to give you game odds and point spreads using our KRACH and GRaNT calculators. We’ll still be running them this season because even though they’ll be useless to compare teams from different conferences, they’ll be perfectly fine to use for intra-conference games... which are the only ones that will be played anyway.

But, not enough games have been played for the numbers to mean anything, so we’ve got no projections just yet.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston College started the year guns a’blazing, and both games had a little something special. The Eagles took down New Hampshire 6-2 on Friday with freshman Gaby Roy scoring a quad trick, of all things, in the first game of her career — the first time this has happened in well over a decade, or at least as far back as women’s hockey advanced stats go.

Saturday’s game was a still-very-strong albeit more conventional 4-1 win, but the big story was Willow Corson’s absurd saucer pass to Hannah Bilka completely blowing up on the internet. The original @BC_WHockey tweet was shared by USA Hockey, John Buccigross, and others, and @NHL tweeted it as a standalone video from their own account as well.

Providence had a perfectly adequate opening weekend against UConn, taking game one in Providence 6-2 before tying the Huskies 1-1 in game two and losing in a shootout. These were, for some reason, non-conference games. That seems silly given that nobody has a clue whether games later in the year are even going to happen and they should probably just take the first two games against any given opponent as conference games, but I don’t run the show.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

It’s really just “let’s get in as many games as we can, while we can.” Several teams are having trouble getting their seasons off the ground, and it feels like there’s always another shoe to drop without any warning. The Eagles have done a good job so far in keeping things under control; let’s hope they’re able to keep COVID at bay for another week.

THE BIG QUESTION

Were last week’s Eagles for real? Last year was bad, and BC was expected to take a nice step forward this season with a big year of roster turnover... but wow, that was a quality start. The score lines were solid, yeah, but it was more that they just looked sharp and crisp — it was nearly midseason form, yet it was just Week 1.

The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for having the team ready despite the distractions. If that same team shows up for week two, the Eagles should be in business.

IN THE BEFORE TIME, IN THE LONG LONG AGO

We’ve done the “Random, Possibly Incorrect Fact From Our Opponent’s Wikipedia Page” for so many years now that at this point there’s nothing else in the wiki pages to use. So we’ll change it up, and this year we’ll talk about a women’s hockey memory from the last 15 years featuring our opponent from back when Joe Gravellese and I followed the program as students.

Providence College holds a special place in Grant & Joe BC Women’s Hockey lore, as it was the first road game we went to as freshmen in 2006 after going to a couple games at Conte Forum. It actually started out as a bit of a joke: “Hey, you wanna take the commuter rail down to Providence for the game next weekend? Ha ha ha!” Well, the weekend rolled around, and we finally had to decide if we were joking or not — so, down to South Station we went.

We didn’t really do our research in how to get to Schneider Arena and it ended up being a two mile uphill walk from the station, and the Eagles lost the game. But we brought a big “BOSTON COLLEGE” blanket-as-banner and a metal trash can to make noise with in the stands, so we had our fun.

The big history-altering moment, though, was when BC freshman phenom Allie Thunstrom punched a Providence player in the face behind the play for what appeared to be no reason, directly in front of us in the stands. That poor girl slid 20 feet into the boards with a look of bewilderment on her face that I won’t soon forget. We were hooked on following the team from there, and well, here we are.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I mean, OBVIOUSLY.

Thanksgiving is the only good holiday. I will not be taking questions at this time.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Molly Hatchet — Flirtin’ With Disaster

I’m travelin’ down that lonesome road
Feel like I’m dragging a heavy load
Yeah I’ve tried to turn my head away
Feels about the same most every day

“Flirtin’ with disaster” should be the college sports COVID-19 slogan.

PREDICTION

This should be a good spot for the Eagles. Last year, BC, UNH, PC, and UConn were ranked from 15th to 20th in the Pairwise, so they were all pretty even. The other three teams all lost quite a bit more talent to graduation than BC did, and the Friars lost a transfer to Northeastern on top of it.

The Eagles easily handled UNH last week, and PC had a so-so weekend against UConn. So I think this weekend plays out a lot like last week’s did for BC, with a couple quality wins. We’ll call it 4-1 Eagles at home on Friday, and maybe a bit tighter with a 3-1 final in Providence on Saturday.