The 2013-2014 Boston College Men’s Hockey schedule has officially been announced. As Austin Tedesco from The Heights noted yesterday, the Big 3 sports will host the fewest amount of home games (32) in the last 20 years. While I think this is mainly due to the basketball team’s willingness to play more road/neutral games against tougher opponents, it is still surprising.
But back to hockey. A more detailed season preview will come later but here is the 2013-2014 schedule followed by some initial thoughts:
|Sun||10/06/13||vs. ST. FRANCIS XAV |
|7:00 p.m. ET|
|Thu||10/10/13||at Michigan||7:35 p.m. ET|
|Sun||10/13/13||vs. RENSSELAER||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||10/18/13||vs. WISCONSIN||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||10/25/13||at Minnesota||7:07 p.m. CT|
|Sun||10/27/13||at Minnesota||7:07 p.m. CT|
|Fri||11/01/13||vs. NORTHEASTERN||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||11/02/13||at Northeastern||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||11/08/13||at Boston University||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sun||11/10/13||vs. ARMY||3:00 p.m. ET|
|Thu||11/14/13||at Massachusetts||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||11/15/13||vs. MASSACHUSETTS||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Wed||11/20/13||at Harvard||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||11/23/13||at Maine||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||11/29/13||vs. HOLY CROSS||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||12/06/13||vs. NEW HAMPSHIRE||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||12/07/13||at New Hampshire||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||12/27/13||vs. Bowling Green |
Three Rivers Classic (Pittsburgh, PA)
|4:35 p.m. ET|
|Sat||12/28/13||vs. Penn State /Robert Morris |
Three Rivers Classic (Pittsburgh, PA)
|4:35 p.m./7:35 p.m. ET|
|Sat||01/04/14||vs. Notre Dame |
|7:30 p.m. ET|
|Fri||01/10/14||vs. PROVIDENCE||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||01/11/14||at Brown||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||01/17/14||vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||01/18/14||vs. MAINE||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Tue||01/21/14||at Merrimack||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||01/25/14||at Penn State||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Fri||01/31/14||at Providence||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Mon||02/03/14||vs. Boston University |
Beanpot (Boston, MA)
|8:00 p.m. ET|
|Fri||02/07/14||vs. MERRIMACK||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Mon||02/10/14||vs. Harvard /Northeastern |
Beanpot Third Place/Championship (Boston, MA)
|Fri||02/14/14||at Vermont||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Sat||02/15/14||at Vermont||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Fri||02/21/14||vs. UMASS LOWELL||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||02/22/14||at UMass Lowell||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat||03/01/14||vs. NOTRE DAME||7:00 p.m. ET|
1- First five games: Michigan (road), RPI (home), Wisconsin (home), Minnesota (road), Minnesota (road). Well that’s one way to ease your way into the season. Last year was the first since 1991 that Michigan was not in the big frozen dance, so expect them to be back this year retooled and ready for another run. Like BC, Wisconsin and Minnesota suffered disappointing first round defeats in last year’s tournament but both are expected to contend again this year. Don’t sleep on RPI either. They made the tournament two years ago and finished 2nd in the ECAC last year. This game will not be a cakewalk.
The tough beginning is similar to BC’s schedule in 2011-2012 when they played Michigan State (W), North Dakota (W) and Denver (L) before going into conference play.
2- The first five games won’t make or break BC’s season…: Of course, every game is important. And if they went 0-5 or 1-4 in these games, there might be some cause for panic. But time and time again we have seen this hockey team sputter through the first half of the season, only to get hot after the Beanpot and contend for a national championship, most notably two years ago. It would be great for this team to send a message to the rest of the country early in the season, but if BC can manage 3-2 in these first five games, all should be well in the world.
3- …But the last two against UMass Lowell might: Anyone who doesn’t expect UML to repeat last year’s success might be underrating the Riverhawks. Of the 11 players who had 10 or more points last year, UML returns 9 of them including their top 3. They also return possibly the best pound-for-pound goalie in college hockey, Sophmore Connor Hellebuyck. He was the anchor behind UML’s improbable run posting a 20-3 record with a 1.37 GAA and a .952 save percentage. He was even more astounding during tournament play, stopping 70 of 71 shots in the final 2 games of the Hockey East Tournament. He was the first Freshman to win the tournament MVP since, well, Johnny Hockey the year before.
With David Quinn in his first year as coach of Boston University, it is not out of the question that these final 2 conference games between BC and UML could decide the Hockey East champion.
4- A great home schedule (read: Students, go to the freaking games): The home schedule should provide lots of great hockey both out of conference and within the Hockey East. Given BC’s roster, there is a great possibility this will be a special year.
Since the only thing “special” about this football season may be Coach Addazio’s impassioned pre-game speeches, I think this would be a great opportunity for current students (especially Freshman) to make it a habit of filling the seats for hockey and basketball games. We won’t have hockey teams like this forever (really, we won’t. See pre-2001) and two bad years of recruiting can set basketball teams back for an entire class of students (Class of 2013 nods begrudgingly). So there should be no excuse for BC students (and alumni who live in the area!) not to fill Conte this fall and winter for some (hopefully?) exciting action.