Twenty games into the season, BC women's hockey is 20-0-0.
In the modern era of women's hockey, dating back even prior to the NCAA era to the first USCHO poll in 1998, it's only the second time a team has entered the break with a perfect record.
The only other perfect team after the first half? The 2012-2013 Minnesota Golden Gophers, the best collegiate women's hockey team ever assembled, which finished its season 41-0-0 and featured an unheard-of three players in the Patty Kazmaier final three.
So while there's no doubt that BC's schedule has been somewhat soft, it's still an impressive feat to get through 20 games unscathed. After all, as many great teams with soft schedules as there have been, it's only been done one other time.
Let's look back on the first half with some midseason awards.
Best Moment: Alex Carpenter Scores In Overtime To Beat BU
There weren't really any thrilling, last second wins last season. The games that went to overtime either ended in a frustrating draw, and the most exciting games of the season were more exciting for the other team than they were for BC.
So when Alex Carpenter one-timed a pass from Haley Skarupa for the overtime win over the Terriers, it almost felt like we had forgotten what it was like to be excited to win. It was a thrilling victory for the sake of a thrilling victory, without feeling like the team needed style points. It was fun. I had almost forgotten what that was like.
Best Individual Performance: Alex Carpenter Scores Four vs. Syracuse
Unbelievably, that's the first time BC women's hockey has had a player score four goals in a game since 1999. It's probably most unbelievable that Carpenter's never done it. It's her fourth hat trick of the season, and we're only halfway through.
We're hoping that #5 eventually has a 5 goal game so we can call it a Carpentrick.
Best Team Performance: BC Tops Northeastern 4-2
If wasn't their highest goal output of the year. It wasn't the fewest goals they've allowed on the year. But it was BC's best effort of the season.
Northeastern doesn't have the depth of BC but they have a top line as good as just about any in the sport. Kendall Coyne will be a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier award this year, and her line was matched up with BC's top line for most of the game. In the end, BC's depth won out over a Northeastern team they threw the kitchen sink at them and the Eagles escaped unscathed.
Best Goal: Lexi Bender from Dana Trivigno vs. BU
That poor BU girl that Trivigno self-passes around isn't even in the frame by the time Trivigno makes the pass. This goal was my personal favorite.
Best Goal -- Honorable Mention: Skarupa and Carpenter vs. BU
This goal was from the same game as the last one. Just 0.1 seconds left on the clock at the end of the second period.. have mercy.
Good times in the first half. But the team knows that it's not all fun and games in the second
Last season, the Eagles started off 27-0-1, by far the best start in program history, but crashed and burned at the end of the season. They finished off with three losses: the Beanpot finals, the Hockey East finals, and the Frozen four -- the stuff of legends. So despite the great record, BC ended up with not a single piece of tournament hardware.
So the historical significance of being 20-0-0 at the break means nothing. The team and coaching staff knows that it won't help them toward their goals be be #1 through the second half and pick up a bunch of easy wins over cupcakes. If anything, it should anger the team that after coming apart at the seams in big games last year, they went right back to dominating opponents in the regular season like nothing ever happened.
But there's an important difference between last season and this season. Last season, BC never had to battle in a tight game and it hurt them when teams actually started keeping up with them. This season, it's happened a few times, with games tied or close in the third period against Cornell, Duluth, Northeastern, and BU -- who actually took the Eagles to overtime.
When comparing last year's team to this years, it's not unreasonable to think that last season's squad might have been more talented based on how much they were blowing teams out. But as they learned, all that experience in blowouts doesn't do a thing to prepare them for the big games in March.
There's not doubt that there's still plenty of talent for BC to win the whole thing -- they have national team talent up and down the roster, and they are undefeated, after all -- but the hope now is that the Eagles will have the experience to play tough in big games. That's going to be the key to whether BC has the ability to win it all.