The Boston College Eagles hockey team has not put Hockey East away. Far from it, in fact. And if they have a bad weekend against the Providence Friars, chances are they won’t.
Any evaluation of BC’s current state is simple: they’re in a four-way tie for first place, facing one of those teams in a home-and-home series this weekend, and have just four games to go. The Eagles have not spent the last few months lighting the world on fire but they still have an opportunity to recover enough to claim the top seed in the upcoming Hockey East Tournament. The question, of course, is if they will do it.
It’s not if they can do it, because the answer is obviously yes. This hockey team has earned enough slack from fans over the last few years and all the college hockey world knows that Boston College is capable of turning it on at any given time. Whether or not they will this time is at issue, and that is a very good question.
At around Beanpot time, BC got hot and won their fourth straight title, also collecting three wins in a row for the first time since November. After that, it’s been some more inconsistent play by the defending national champions. This up-and-down stretch began against these very same Providence Friars.
It was in early December, just before the winter break, that these two teams faced off in Rhode Island. Boston College had a one-goal lead in that game with less than 20 seconds to go in regulation and were about to give Jerry York his 925th win. BC fans trekked down to Providence to see the event, but then the unthinkable happened: the Eagles gave up a goal with 11 seconds to go, and it ended in a tie. York got his 925th win after the break in Minnesota, but the Eagles have been a .500 hockey team since.
This is an opportune moment for Boston College to both exorcise those demons and get themselves back on sound footing in the Hockey East race. It’s not like they’ve got time, either: after this home-and-home, BC plays two games on the road in Vermont and then the regular season is over. Next week’s opponents are a better matchup for the Eagles, which may mean that if BC has a successful weekend against Providence, they just might take this conference after all.
The clock is ticking. It’s time for Boston College hockey to rise up once again.
Friday night’s 7pm contest is at Providence and Saturday afternoon’s game is at Boston College. The former will be broadcast on Cox TV locally and on 98.5 The Sports Hub; Saturday’s 4pm puck drop will be carried on NESN.