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Hockey East Quarterfinals, BC Women’s Hockey vs. UCONN: Final Thoughts & Predictions

It’s tournament time!

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Welcome to the Hockey East tournament!

We’ve reached the point in the season where any weekend can be the last. With no NCAA tournament to look ahead to without winning the league, a loss in any round would mean the start of the offseason.

Fortunately, the quarterfinals are a best-two-out-of-three, so the Eagles still have a mulligan to play with if they need it. But unless they can find two wins over the Huskies, they’ll be making other plans for Hockey East championship weekend.

Let’s dive in.

WHO

UConn Huskies (16-16-2, 13-12-2 WHEA)
at Boston College Eagles (16-14-3, 14-11-2 WHEA)

WHAT

The Hockey East Quarterfinals

WHERE

Conte Forum
Chestnut Hill, MA

WHEN

Friday, February 28th, 2020
6:00pm EST

Saturday, February 29th, 2020
2:00pm EST

Sunday, March 1st, 2020
2:00pm EST (if necessary)

HOW TO WATCH

Friday evening’s game will be live on HDTV with NESNplus picking up the feed. Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) will be streamed for free on CollegeSportsLive.com. You can find direct links here to Saturday’s and Sunday’s games.

PROJECTIONS

KRACH (used for odds) has BC in 19th (oof) and UConn in 22nd. That puts the Eagles as a moderate favorite at 60.05% odds to win, or BC -150 with your local bookie (for entertainment purposes only, of course). You can use some basic probability to see what the odds are of the Eagles of winning the best-of-3 series, and that comes out to 64.87% (or BC -185). That’s not bad; we’ll take it.

GRaNT (used for scores) has the two teams a bit higher than KRACH with BC in 16th and UConn up to 20th. The score projection for those rankings is very close — GRaNT expects a 2.55 to 2.42 final score, or something like a 2-2 or 3-3 tie... were it not for unlimited overtime, obviously.

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 Pairwise Predictor as well as our KRACH and GRaNT calculators.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston College stumbled into the postseason with a pretty ugly 5-1 loss to New Hampshire in their only game of the weekend last week. Hopefully they figured things out in practice this week, because that effort is not going to cut it.

UConn’s weekend wasn’t much better. The Huskies were swept by Boston University 6-2, 3-1 after losing to last-place Merrimack the week before. Hopefully it’ll help BC out to have a team coming in not playing that well.

These two teams faced off three times this season, with UConn taking the regular season series 2-1. That was back in November when both teams were playing better than they are now, though, so tack on a giant ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to this whole paragraph.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

Don’t let the season end. BC is (admittedly barely) the better team here based on the numbers, so all they need to do is go out and take care of business in a three game series at home. It sounds simple, because it is. Do that, and they extend the season.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can the Eagles fix... something? Look, it hasn’t been pretty the last several weeks. The offense has struggled like crazy. The defense has allowed way too many opportunities. The goaltending that looked like it was coming around fell apart again. The special teams have done nothing of note. The regular season is over, so there’s no more experimenting to be done. We know the Eagles know how to win, because they’ve done it before in this very season! So it’s just a matter of whether they can remember how.

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM OUR UCONN’s WIKIPEDIA PAGE

According to Wikipedia, UCONN’s football team is actually part of the FBS. This is why you really can’t trust everything you read on the internet.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Not Meat

Literally anything as long as it isn’t meat. Welcome to Lenten Fridays.

You’re supposed to give up something you love during Lent. Hopefully BC doesn’t force me to give up the Women’s Hockey team after this weekend.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

The Fratellis — Six Days In June

I slow down so I can speed up
And I wind down just so I can wind up
I was thinking about thinking about thinking
And it only made my brain freeze
If I walked with you a while, you would make it worth my while
Oh how did you know that I love tricks like these

The Fratellis, of Chelsea Dagger fame, are coming out with a new record in a couple months and released their first single of the album last week. I like the style of these Scottish gents, and I’m pretty happy with Single #1.

Maybe the Eagles are overthinking things. Maybe they are squeezing their sticks too tightly and thinking too much and just need to remember that they’re good hockey players and learn to trust their instincts and reflexes again. You may recall that BC’s best game of the second half was the Beanpot consolation game where the Eagles were just playing for the fun of it and they blew the doors off the Crimson.

Maybe they should pretend these games are like that and just loosen up.

PREDICTION

There is no way this series doesn’t go three games. Just zero chance. BC can’t seem to figure out how to put up two straight nights of good games, and that’s okay this weekend, since they’ve got a mulligan to play with.

I was all prepared to call this series for the Huskies back when it looked like UConn was about to charge their way up the standings at BC’s expense. But even though the Eagles are playing badly, the Huskies are in even more of a slump than BC is. So while I think there’s no way BC sweeps this weekend, I do like the Eagles to advance. We’ll call it a 3-1, 1-3, 4-1 series win for the Eagles where playing three games in a row actually helps BC get into a rhythm going into championship weekend.