Every year the Boston College Women’s Hockey schedule comes out hilariously late, but this year seems like it broke a new record. Up until Tuesday night there was still no schedule out there! It’s become something of a tradition, really, so you can’t get too mad about it.
The good news is that hey, the games start TONIGHT! BC takes on Penn State for a couple weeknight games on Thursday and Friday to open the season, and boy howdy, I’d say that’s pretty exciting.
No. 7 Boston College Eagles (0-0-0, 0-0-0 WHEA)
at Penn State Nittany Lions (0-1-1, 0-0-0 CHA)
The start of hockey season!
Pegula Ice Arena
State College, PA
Thursday, September 30th, 2021
Friday, October 1st, 2021
HOW TO WATCH
Penn State streams their games on B1G+, which isn’t free but comes at a somewhat reasonable cost compared to the other not-free options. You can pay $9.95 for a month if you select “Penn State” only, which will give you both BC vs. PSU games this week.
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State opened their season last week against St. Lawrence and definitely didn’t start out the way they’d have hoped after having a very strong 2020-2021 season and nearly making it into the NCAA tournament. The Nittany Lions went 0-1-1 last week against the Saints, losing 1-0 on Thursday before earning the draw 2-2 on Friday.
Boston College is playing its first two games of the season. Last year ended in the NCAA quarterfinals, though the Eagles put up a pretty good fight against #3 Ohio State in taking a lead into the second period before ultimately falling 3-1.
Once everyone’s played some games, this space will be used for KRACH and GRaNT projected odds and scores for the weekend games. But we don’t have any numbers to use just yet, so watch for those in the coming weeks!
THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE
A Non-Conference Matchup! Wow, crazy. Aside from the Ohio State game in the NCAA tournament, this will be BC’s first game against a non-conference opponent since pre-COVID. Now that the Pairwise is back to determine the NCAA tournament field this year, winning the non-conference games is going to be crucial for league positioning. With Penn State in the weak CHA, these games are going to be particularly important for BC — truthfully wins won’t help a ton, but losses would be killer. The Eagles need to come out of these games with two W’s.
THE BIG QUESTION
Who steps up on D? The defense is very inexperienced, and while there are seven bodies back there this season, the returning players are going to need to play far more important minutes than they’re used to playing. Last season the Eagles were 12th in goals per game allowed nationally, and with no Cayla Barnes (Olympics) or Hadley Hartmetz (transfer) back there, it’s going to be Next Woman Up.
How the two freshmen D grow over the course of the season will be important, but how the returning players developed over the offseason will be even more critical to the team’s success this year.
GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK
Nardelli’s Italian Grinder
Nardelli’s is an underappreciated star in the surprisingly high-quality Connecticut culinary landscape, and their Italian subs are easily the best in the state. With the first games of the season on tap, you’re going to want to bulk up — don’t cheat yourself here, get the full grinder to prepare for the season openers.
GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK
Hurry Hurry — Air Traffic Controller
The output is what you put in, and it ain’t enough
If you’re not focused on the most important stuff
And all that you’ve got left to show
Is hurry hurry on the go
The schedule’s out; time to play hockey!
It’s always hard to put your finger on how the season will play out when you’re relying so much on the freshman class to produce, especially when defense isn’t going to be your strength. But there’s enough experience and strong new blood on offense where it feels like BC should be able to win these games with goal scoring and lean on the goalies when they need to. BC starts the year strong with a 4-1, 4-2 pair of victories to go an early 2-0-0 on the season.