Traditionally, the Boston College women's hockey schedule has been released astonishingly close to the start of the season due to the number of tenants that currently call Cone Forum home.
This year is no exception, as BC athletics has finally announced the 2016-2017 season schedule with just over two weeks to go before the start of the season.
The Eagles will kick off the year with a pair of exhibition contests against the Boston Pride of the NWHL and the Cambridge Rivulettes of the PWHL on September 22nd and 23rd. The game against the Pride will be particularly interesting to watch, as several former Eagles, including all-World superstar Alex Carpenter, will be suiting up in the opposite locker room.
BC will definitely need the warming, as the regular season starts off hot with a pair of critical road contests at Minnesota-Duluth on September 30th and October 1st -- the only pair of games against the WCHA of the season. The series will be a strong bellwether for how the rest of the season will play out, as the Eagles lost the most successful graduating class in program history, including no less than three former Eagles who are currently on the Team USA roster.
Other non-conference matchups include a road trip to Dartmouth, the annual game against fellow ACC member Syracuse, Harvard at Frozen Fenway, the Beanpot, and a very highly anticipated home-and-home with Quinnipiac early in the season. The Bobcats are expected to challenge for a spot in the Frozen Four as possibly the strongest team in the east.
The Eagles will certainly have a drop off from last year's program record 40-1-0 record, but the question will be "how much"? The team lost substantial talent to graduation, but returns one of the strongest goaltenders in the country, junior Katie Burt, and has a large recruiting class which includes New England Division 1 Player Of The Year and two-time USA U18 member Caitrin Lonergan.
Despite a soft Hockey East schedule, the Eagles have put themselves in position to succeed in the eyes of the selection committee with a very strong non-conference slate. All that's left to do is put the pieces together and reload for another run at the Frozen Four.