We’re back! “Where have the women’s hockey articles gone?!” you have surely been asking yourselves. I know; there’s been an empty space in your heart as they’ve been missing.
Well, it’s been a disastrous tech month in the Salzano household. Our old laptop finally reached the end of its days, so we ordered a new one. That one had a faulty motherboard and Dell kept delaying the repair because there apparently aren’t any replacement motherboards available to swap in. Finally we just had it with the delays and the waiting and bought a different laptop entirely.
Anyway, since I’ve been gone, my laptop’s not the only thing that’s been inoperable. The women’s hockey team has, uh, struggled over the last month. The Eagles were 6-0-0 while the Salzano house had a functioning computer and have gone 2-5-0 since. I take full responsibility for the slump.
Boston College Eagles (8-5-0, 6-4-0 WHEA)
vs. No. 8 Colgate Raiders (13-4-1, 5-2-1 ECAC)
Boston College Eagles (8-5-0, 6-4-0 WHEA)
vs. No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-3-0, 7-3-0 WCHA)
—OR— vs. Mercyhurst Lakers (11-4-2, 3-1-0 CHA)
The SMASHVILLE SHOWCASE, a holiday tournament featuring teams from each of the four top conferences in women’s hockey and taking place during a pretty large girls’ hockey showcase down in Nashville.
Ford Ice Center
Friday, November 26th, 2021
2:00pm EST / 1:00pm CST
Saturday, November 27th, 2021
2:00pm EST / 1:00pm CST
—OR— 5:30pm EST / 4:30pm CST
HOW TO WATCH
The Smashville Showcase will be streamed for free on Twitch.TV — which is a pleasant surprise, because these holiday tournaments are often hit or miss on having any streaming options at all. You can find links to all four games of the tournament here.
LAST TIME OUT
Boston College faced off against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena last Sunday in what was admittedly a pretty entertaining game for a casual fan. Unfortunately, the Eagles were on the losing end of the contest, falling to the Terriers after a late goal sunk BC to a 5-4 loss.
Colgate had a tough weekend, but at least it was against tough competition. The Raiders tied #10 Princeton 1-1 on Friday before getting pretty well beat up by #5 Quinnipiac on Saturday 4-0. Prior to this weekend, the Raiders had a case to be the best team in the east not named Northeastern, but last week’s slip has them licking their wounds a bit.
Minnesota is one of the hottest teams in the country, winning ten straight (and convincingly at that). Last week the Gophers dominated St. Cloud State by 6-2 and 5-1 decisions — not too shabby. Earlier in the year they played a pair of games with Colgate, who was #3 in the country at the time, and swept them 5-2, 3-2... so Minnesota is going to be a tough out in this tournament.
Mercyhurst had a pair of games against RIT, who is almost certainly the worst team in the country at 0-17-0, and came away with two wins. The Lakers had no trouble with the Tigers, winning 3-1 and 6-1 over the weekend. Mercyhurst has had a pretty decent year by CHA standards, and you’ve got to feel like they would match up pretty evenly with the Eagles at this point in the year if they should meet on Saturday.
We’ve finally got projections!
KRACH (used for odds) has the Eagles in 16th place after their loss to Boston University this weekend, with Colgate up in 7th. Using our handy-dandy calculator, that gives the Eagles a 24.49% chance of winning — that’s BC +308 with your local bookie, a pretty sizeable underdog.
BC’s chances of winning game two of the showcase will strongly depend on who they’re playing. The Gophers, at 3rd in KRACH, would be heavy favorites against the Eagles (10.93% chance of a BC win, which works out to a +815 on the moneyline). Facing #18 Mercyhurst, on the other hand, would put the Eagles as a slight favorite (53.59%, good for a BC -115).
Unfortunately the GRaNT Rankings are even less impressed with BC’s resume. The Eagles rank 18th in GRaNT, and plugging in #8 Colgate as their opponent gives a projected final score of 3.88-1.55 — something like a 4-1 or 4-2 Colgate win.
It’s roughly the same against Minnesota, with the 6th-ranked Gophers projecting out 4.02-1.36 final score. GRaNT even has Mercyhurst as a slight favorite over the Eagles, with the Lakers ranked 13th and a final score projection of 2.46-2.18 — something like a 3-2 Mercyhurst win or a 2-2 draw.
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
Rise to the occasion! BC’s only other ranked opponent all season, thanks to Hockey East being FREAKING AWFUL this year, is #4 Northeastern... and the Huskies have already taken two wins over the Eagles so far. BC played pretty well to start both of those games, but fell apart over 60 minutes. This tournament is one of BC’s only opportunities all season to show that they’re capable of beating a ranked team. Hopefully they’re able to play up to their opponent and steal a win or two.
THE BIG QUESTION
Who will break out? The defining characteristic of the BC Women’s Hockey team this year has been, to be perfectly blunt, being painfully average in just about all facets of the game. Out of 41 teams nationally, the Eagles sit at 21st in both goals scored and goals allowed per game — it doesn’t get any more average than that. BC doesn’t have any impressive wins nor any embarrassing losses. At some point you would think that things should click enough to pull off a nice upset to get a signature win... right?
GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK
I mean... obviously. What else are you going to eat on the day after Thanksgiving?
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
I’m standing, observing, cruising
Star-bright crystals are forming
We both know what we’ve got to do
Head back to where the magic grew
Come on, let’s go back to Moscow
The Eagles played in this tournament two years ago, and while they only came away with an 0-1-1 record, it was actually a pretty great weekend given the opponents. BC tied with #1 Minnesota (and won in the shootout, if you care about that sort of thing) and lost a close one against #2 Wisconsin, looking pretty great in both games. Now granted, that was a couple years back, but it would be nice for the Eagles to find a little magic here in Nashville in a big spot again to pull out an upset or two.
Yeah, this is a tough weekend and BC is struggling. Unfortunately, the Eagles really haven’t shown yet that they’re able to take down one of these national championship contenders. Colgate certainly isn’t unbeatable, and if the Eagles were playing better I’d love to pick a BC upset in this one... but unfortunately I’m not feeling it. I think Colgate takes a 4-1 (ENG) win over BC in game one.
That would probably put BC in a game against Mercyhurst in the consolation game on Saturday, and that’s a much more even matchup. The CHA is the one conference that’s as bad as Hockey East is this year, and I think BC’s got the athletes to pull out a win in that game — call it 4-3 Eagles to come out of Nashville with at least one win.