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BC Women’s Hockey vs. #2 Northeastern: Final Thoughts & Predictions

A monster match-up heading into the break

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

The totally-bizarre yet somehow-still-happening women’s hockey season is heading into winter break, a roughly month-long intermission that comes at a pretty weird time since we’ve only been doing this for like three and a half weeks. But at least the Eagles will end up having a meaningful number of games under their belts — Northeastern has yet to play any games so far this season, and they’ll have a month off after this short home-and-home.

2020, baby!

WHO

Friday
No. 2 Northeastern Huskies (0-0-0, 0-0-0 WHEA)
at No. 9 Boston College Eagles (4-2-0, 4-0-0 WHEA)

Sunday
No. 9 Boston College Eagles (4-2-0, 4-0-0 WHEA)
at No. 2 Northeastern Huskies (0-0-0, 0-0-0 WHEA)

WHAT

A top-ten matchup to end the first “half”

WHERE

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

Friday
Conte Forum
Chestnut Hill, MA

Sunday
Matthews Arena
Boston, MA

WHEN

Friday, December 11th, 2020
2:00pm EST

Sunday, December 13th, 2020
5:00pm EST

HOW TO WATCH

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

Sunday’s game will be shown live on NESN. If you don’t live in NESN’s coverage area, you can still watch the game live for free on CollegeSportsLive, but it’ll only work for you if you aren’t in New England.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston College did a magnificent job of playing through adversity last weekend, as they were down a whopping seven (7) players against UConn due to COVID protocols but came away with the weekend sweep. Based on the timing of those players’ ineligibility, all indications are that they will be unavailable this weekend as well against the #1/#2 team in the nation (depending on who you ask). Eep.

Northeastern hasn’t played in an eternity. Their last game action came roughly ten lifetimes ago in early March when they stomped UConn 9-1 to win the Hockey East championship. Their NCAA quarterfinal matchup with Princeton was cancelled along with everything else in the world, their first three weekends of this season were postponed due to positive tests within the program, and now here we are nine months after they last touched the ice for their first games of this season.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

Can the Eagles compete with a top team? Honestly, if BC gets swept this weekend, it probably won’t tell us much unless they get mollywalloped since the Eagles are still supposed to have a significant portion of their roster unavailable from COVID protocols. But should the Eagles pull out a win this weekend, even with Northeastern playing their first game of the season, it would be quite a statement for a team that is looking to show the world that they are back on the rise.

Even with these two teams playing at full strength in midseason form, the Huskies would be expected to sweep this series — they’re loaded this year. So seeing BC compete with a true national championship favorite with a short bench would raise some eyebrows.

THE BIG QUESTION

How extensive was NU’s brush with COVID? There haven’t been any reports of serious health issues coming from Huntington Avenue due to the positive tests, which is fantastic. But as the BC program knows well, the timing of these tests and any related close contact can mean some players have to sit for a while. It wouldn’t be all that shocking if the Huskies rolled out a short bench, too.

There haven’t been any smoke signals to that effect, but given that the program was shut down for three weeks... who knows.

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 or some historical context featuring our opponent.

I was trying to come up with a BC vs. Northeastern game from my school years that stood out, and was totally drawing a blank — and then I realized why. Until recently, BC and Northeastern were never peers in women’s hockey. Way back when (before my time, anyway), the Huskies were a national power, and BC’s program was basically just forming (it might surprise you to learn that the Huskies have the most Women’s Beanpots). But in the late ‘00s, during Joe’s and my time at the Heights, NU was pretty horrible, and the Eagles were on their rise to greatness. So these games were pretty ho-hum for a long time.

In fact, it took nine years for BC and Northeastern to even face off against each other in any round of the Hockey East tournament. That first time matchup was a major moment for the Boston College program — it was the 2011 Hockey East Championship game in which the Eagles finally, after years of coming close, won their first league crown. They knocked off the Huskies in the final to do it in what was easily the most memorable moment between these two programs up to that point.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

The New England Classic

Oh baby, do I miss being on campus. With BCI doing in-person coverage of both the men’s and women’s games on Friday, that gives yours truly the opportunity to grab some dining hall food for the first time in a while. You can imagine my delight when I saw on BC Dining’s menu that the New England Classic will be on sale for lunch.

I’ll be taking it back to my car to eat, because I’m a responsible adult that doesn’t eat in a public indoor setting, but it’s a small price to pay for greatness.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Taylor Swift — Evermore (Album)

You already know that BC Interruption stans Taylor Swift. There are plenty of you who do not appreciate ART and CLASS that give us grief about it. Yes, all you haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate).

This album literally dropped, like, two seconds before this article posted, so none of us have gotten to listen to it yet (as of this writing). But obviously it’s all we’ll be listening to today here in the BCI Newsroom. Make sure you do, too, if you don’t want to feel left out from all our impending T-Swift Twitter references during the games today! You wouldn’t want that!

PREDICTION

Well, I reluctantly predicted a BC sweep of UConn last weekend, but I sure would not have if I had known the Eagles would be down seven bodies. I’m no fool — I know the Eagles are going to be big underdogs in these games against Northeastern. Opening weekend or not, NU is stacked, and BC is still playing with a short bench.

I am pretttttttty sure Northeastern is going to sweep the Eagles without too much trouble, 4-1 NU at Conte Forum on Friday and 4-0 NU at Matthews on Sunday. OUCH. The doubt coming from inside the house has to sting a little extra, I know. Prove me wrong, Eagles. If Coach Crowley pulls a win out of a hat this weekend I will personally fund her statue outside Conte Forum.