As we mentioned (and groaned about) a few weeks back, Frozen Fenway will be back next year, and we know Boston College will be involved. Based on Twitter rumors and BCI sources, signs are pointing to BC playing Providence College on Saturday, January 7 at Fenway Park, and it will be PC's home game.
Mike McMahon dropped some more details on the event on Twitter yesterday:
Not sure on matchups, but told Frozen Fenway teams are BC, BU, PC, UMass, UConn, UNH, Northeastern and Maine. 4 games over 2 Saturday's.— Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonCHN) May 17, 2016
The Providence Journal's Mark Divver also tweeted that it's looking like a BC-PC matchup, reaffirming what The Boston College Hockey Blog had previously suggested based on his sources close to the program. BCHB reports that the BC-PC series next year is set for January 6-7, with the Friday game at Conte Forum and the Saturday game at Fenway.
This all makes sense; UConn was a no-brainer to be involved in Frozen Fenway, and it was probably resurrected again largely because they're the one program in the league who has not gotten a chance to participate yet. BC and BU have to be involved if you're going to draw a crowd, and realistically these are probably 8 of the 9 programs best positioned to bring in an audience (conspicuously absent is Hockey East attendance leader UMass-Lowell).
While we maintain our editorial position at BCI of being sick of outdoor hockey and particularly sick of Frozen Fenway, with its poor sightlines and declining audiences, this is probably one of the better-case scenarios for BC fans.
BC-Providence has been a fun matchup in recent years, and has sold out at both Conte Forum and Schneider Arena pretty consistently since the PC revival. While Providence has participated in Frozen Fenway before, it was before most of their fanbase discovered they had a hockey team, so there could be a novelty element that will bring out their fans and make it fuller than past editions.
In addition, BC is finally not losing a home game, after giving up its home games for each of the first three Frozen Fenway events (vs. BU, ND and NU). This is setting up a weekend where BC will play Providence on a Friday night at Conte Forum, then trek down the green line to Fenway on Saturday to round out the weekend, which has the potential to be fun.
As a cherry on top, this might be a bit of a competitive edge for BC, too; obviously money and exposure trumps BC's quest for two Hockey East points in the eyes of the powers that be, but it's been frustrating to see BC lose key home games on Conte Forum ice for a crap shoot of a game in the elements. But Schneider Arena has been a tough place for opponents to play since Nate Leaman rode in to town in Providence, so removing that trip from the schedule and opening it up to the weather could serve to BC's benefit.
So there you have it: BC-Providence; January 7, 2017. Mark your calendars for this once-in-a-lifetime event for the fourth time. Woo!