Hockey East Quarterfinals Preview: Boston College vs. Notre Dame


#2 Boston College hockey has been all about streaks.

First, since very early in the season, junior forward Johnny Gaudreau has been on a points streak. Entering Game 1 of the Hockey East quarterfinals against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tonight, that run is at 29 games in a row; a goal or an assist on Friday would put the Hobey Baker frontrunner at an even thirty.

Next, the Boston College Eagles as a program are on a Hockey East quarterfinals win streak. As a matter of fact, the Eagles have not lost a single game in this round of the conference playoffs in ten years, sweeping the quarters nine seasons in a row. That’s 18 straight quarterfinals wins to you and me.

Finally, and perhaps most prominently on the minds of Boston College fans, the Eagles were on their longest unbeaten streak under Jerry York — 19 games — but that came to an end in their last regular-season game two weeks ago. Against whom, you ask? Why, the very same Notre Dame team they face tonight.

As far as the PairWise Rankings are concerned, Notre Dame is well into the field of sixteen. Boston College’s bid has neer been in doubt. Still, they are looking to start a new streak this month: Hockey East championships. Two years removed from their last title, Boston College has their sights set on bigger and better things, namely winning the whole thing down in Philadelphia next month, but winning the conference is a start. They will have their hands full with the Fighting Irish.

Boston College has had two weeks to stew on their late-season defeat to Notre Dame as they received a first-round bye. For the Eagles’ sake, that time may have been used trying to figure out how the Irish’s stout defense was able to slow down the nation’s best offense and what they can do about it.

Soon, we will see if the Eagles learned from their most recent experience with Notre Dame and if their top line — easily the best set of forwards in the country and it’s not even close — can generate the kind of scoring we’ve come to expect. By the way, that Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes line has a combined total of 159 points in 34 games.

In a best-of-three series, it will once more be Boston College’s offense against Notre Dame’s defense. Which one reigns supreme? Stick around.