This evening's women's hockey game against Providence (4:00 PM, Conte Forum) is likely to be fairly routine as the 32-0-0 Eagles play out the last two games of the regular season. As has been so often the case during the Age of Skarupa and Carpenter, BC will likely roll past the Friars, with anything less than a comfortable win being seen as cause for mild disappointment.
But as the Eagles look to finish off their second consecutive undefeated home campaign today, they also know that they've reached the final days of these "routine games." They've got this weekend against Providence, then next weekend's Hockey East quarterfinal series against Maine; both of those should be pretty easy. But after that, the days of Hockey East drubbings will be in the past, and this year's seniors will embark on three weeks of hockey that will go a long way toward defining their legacy as Boston College Eagles.
The ceremonies for Alex Carpenter, Haley Skarupa, Kaliya Johnson, Dana Trivigno, Meghan Grieves and Lexi Bender begin this afternoon just prior to the 4 PM puck drop at Conte. The impressiveness of the list of names graduating just adds to the urgency of knowing how important it is for BC to do damage in the tournament this year - while the program looks to be in good shape and good hands going forward, it's hard to imagine the team not taking a major step back after losing so much talent.
The accomplishments of this class have been historic for BC to say the least. They've won three Hockey East regular season titles, a pair of Beanpot championships, and two NCAA regional games to head to the Frozen Four. Alex Carpenter won the program's first ever Patty Kazmaier award, and took a sojourn from the team to play on the USA's top line in the Olympics. BC has won 47 straight regular season conference games, with this year's senior class posting a 77-4-4 record in league games overall.
It goes without saying that the class will go down as the most decorated in program history, but just how decorated remains up for debate. Famously, this group has not won a Hockey East championship title, as BU has tripped up the Eagles (and all others) in winning the last four conference tournament titles. They've also not gotten over the hump of making it in to the national championship game, losing in the national semifinal to Minnesota in 2013 and Harvard in 2015.
All of those pressures will come to light in two weeks' time when BC travels to North Andover for the Hockey East tournament (assuming they get past Maine, obviously). But for now, it's time for one last day of what we've come to expect as routine hockey at Conte, and a ceremony honoring the seniors that have made it look so easy.
They do have one more bit of history they can accomplish before heading off to the postseason: The Eagles can become the first team in Hockey East history to complete the entire regular season unbeaten and untied. The puck drops today at 4 PM, then one more time tomorrow at 1 pm in Providence.