Boston College at Providence: Running Away With Hockey East?

Boston College Hockey General

There’s no debating that the #2 Boston College Eagles are in commanding position to take the top spot in Hockey East as the conference tournament approaches.

Tonight, as they take on the #7 Providence Friars in a major engagement, the question becomes this: if the Eagles win, will they be so far ahead as to have iced it, pun intended?

First, a look at the standings entering this evening’s play:


 

Team

Record

Points

Gm Left

Max Pts

Playing BC?

1

Boston College

11-1-1

23

7

37

2

Northeastern

8-5-1

17

6

29

3

Providence

7-5-1

15

7

29

1x

4

Maine

6-4-2

14

8

30

5

UMass-Lowell

6-4-1

13

9

31

2x

6

New Hampshire

6-6-0

12

8

28

7

Vermont

5-7-0

10

8

26

2x

8

Notre Dame

4-6-1

9

9

27

1x

9

Massachusetts

3-8-2

8

7

22

10

Boston University

3-8-1

7

8

23

11

Merrimack

2-7-2

6

9

24

1x

If the Eagles were to win, that’s 25 points and an eight-point lead as Northeastern does not play this weekend — their next game is the early Beanpot semifinal on Monday afternoon. Boston College would have six games remaining, four of which are against teams with losing Hockey East records (though this is a bit misleading in that Vermont and Notre Dame are still nationally ranked). Win or lose tonight, it seems likely that the Eagles will come up with at least 30 points by season’s end.

Only two teams, however, are mathematically unable to catch up to Boston College: Boston University (Eagles hold tiebreaker) and UMass. Looking at the “maximum points” column, one team in the middle of the pack getting hot late in the year could change the Hockey East chemistry. Still, whatever team potentially does so would be at a significant disadvantage and needs help from the Eagles themselves to catch up. For example, UMass-Lowell, a decent team with yet to make its move, has two games left against Boston College and the second-highest possible point total. Still, they’re ten points behind and would probably need to beat the Eagles twice to have a shot.

Should Boston College beat Providence tonight — and they have already done so earlier this season — yes, being the top seed in the Hockey East Tournament looks a great deal more likely. In the event of a loss, Providence closes to back within six points, but getting into February, that’s still quite a bit of ground to cover, especially considering that Boston College is probably too good to tank the rest of the way.

The Eagles are riding the hottest offensive attack in the nation, averaging nearly four and a half goals per game. Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes are combining to annihilate college hockey, as the two lead the country, respectively, in points with 50 and 45. For the mathematically stunted, that’s 95 points between the two in 25 games.

Providence has gotten good goaltending from Jon Gillies, but as other teams have learned, that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot when facing this offense. The Friars will need Gillies to stand on his head if they intend to pull the upset.

Topics: Boston College Eagles, Hockey, Hockey East

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