Well, it's come down to Notre Dame. Boston College sits fairly solidly at #9 in the Pairwise, and much less solidly at #2 in the Hockey East standings. With one win this weekend, BC sews up a first round bye in the Hockey East tournament, and gets themselves awfully close to being locked in to the NCAAs (though you never want to take anything for granted).
With two wins, BC can start looking at the teams above them a bit. There's still a longshot possibility of BC snagging a share of the Hockey East regular season title if they can sweep Notre Dame while Northeastern sweeps BU.
#9 Boston College Eagles vs. #32 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Friday, February 27, 7:30 PM, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, February 28, 2015, 6:00 PM, NBC Sports Network
Team Offense Rankings
Boston College: #17, 3.03 goals per game
Notre Dame: #20, 2.94 goals per game
Team Defense Rankings
Boston College: #22, 2.41 GA/game
Notre Dame: #37, 2.74 GA/game
Joe's Last Thoughts
As we've documented repeatedly on BCI all week, Notre Dame is traditionally one of the toughest matchups for BC each and every year, regardless of how good Notre Dame is. While the Irish's record isn't super impressive (14-15-5 and way down in the pairwise rankings), they've done well enough in conference play to be breathing down BC's neck in the Hockey East standings in search of a bye.
Last week, Notre Dame was in vintage form, taking 3 of 4 points against BU. They were wildly outshot both nights, but still managed to come out on top on the weekend. BC probably won't put up 40+ shots on ND the way BU did. This weekend, we're highly likely to see both teams playing pretty conservatively. Not the greatest show on ice for the fine folks at the NBC Sports Network.
I don't really care about the entertainment factor this weekend; I just want to see BC pick up points. With BC knowing a win on Friday puts them in great shape, I'm hopeful that they will come out flying and win, say, 3-1 in the first game, playing the kind of full 60 minute game that has eluded them in recent weeks.
It's hard to see that happening for 120 minutes, though, so I'll say that the second game will end in another tight 2-2 tie.
Would you believe it—Coach is now 2-for-2 when actually entering this tournament, scoring 11 points in the contest at the Beanpot on the strength of correctly pegging BU 4, NU 3 as the final score in the late game. Nice work Coach.
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Staff Prediction Summary:
BC (9) - Notre Dame (3) - Tie (2)
Leave your thoughts and predictions on the games below, and tune in to the NBC Sports Network tonight and tomorrow to cheer on the Eagles.