There will be no Boston College hockey for weeks. Unless we plan to devote ourselves to the World Juniors so we can watch John Gaudreau single-handedly propel the United States, action on the hockey front will be very quiet. With the Eagles back at #1 in the latest round of polls heading into the second half of the 2012-13 season, now is a good time to see what road they will face on their way to the Hockey East Tournament, the NCAA Tournament, and hopefully retaining their national championship.
The remaining schedule stacks up as follows:
December 29: Alabama-Huntsville (in Minneapolis, MN)
December 30: at Minnesota
January 4: Yale
January 11: New Hampshire
January 12: at New Hampshire
January 18: Massachusetts
January 19: at Northeastern
January 25: Maine
January 26: Maine
February 1: Vermont
February 4: Harvard (TD Garden: Beanpot)
February 8: UMass-Lowell
February 11: Boston University or Northeastern (TD Garden: Beanpot)
February 15: at Merrimack
February 17: New Hampshire
February 24: at Merrimack
March 1: at Providence
March 2: Providence
March 8: at Vermont
March 9: at Vermont
Boston College starts its stretch in Minnesota, where they will take part in the Mariucci Classic. Even with Gaudreau off to the World Juniors, Alabama-Huntsville is still a very likely candidate for York’s 925th win. The game thereafter is more compelling as a matchup, as this is a rematch of the national semifinal from April.
January is a month where one might expect BC to do some damage. Of the seven games they will play, five will be within the confines of Conte Forum. Part of the issue with that, however, is that two of the games will be against New Hampshire, the team right behind the Eagles in the standings. Circle the UNH home-and-home as possibly being one of the most decisive BC will play in the regular season (as far as determining a league champion goes). Boston College ends the month with a doubleheader against Maine, the worst team in Hockey East at present.
February of course has the Beanpot, but also games against teams BC should beat if they play the game right, such as Vermont, Merrimack, and UMass-Lowell. The schedule takes a turn once we pass the midpoint of February: five of BC’s last seven games are on the road, but one of the home games is New Hampshire. February 17 at home will be another major clash between Hockey East heavyweights.
The Hockey East quarterfinals would begin on March 15, and the TD Garden portion of the Hockey East Tournament will take place on March 22 and 23. The NCAA Tournament would get underway on March 29, and the Eagles will look to make their way to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four.
The Eagles will have their fair share of challenges coming up, with the three total games against New Hampshire being the most critical in terms of Hockey East supremacy. BC has ten conference games against teams currently with losing records, so if they do what they should in those games while putting together respectable showings against the rest, particularly denying UNH some points, then they will be in very good shape to take the top spot in the Hockey East Tournament in March.