The Boston College hockey schedule for the next month and a half will have the definitive say in whether or not the Eagles make the NCAA Tournament in March.
It is not an easy one, either, but that can be construed as a good thing. Currently 20th in the PairWise Rankings and 17th in the national rankings, Boston College is not going to make any headway by playing middling teams. Padding your resume with filler is no way to get where you want to go, especially when you are on the outside looking in, as the Eagles are.
You have to beat the best to be the best. If Boston College cannot win these games to come in January and February against the better teams in Hockey East, they probably would not win them in March, either. Trophy season approaches, and despite their lousy start, this team still has it all right in front of them if they want it.
How tough will that Boston College hockey schedule be?
Boston College Hockey Schedule: Jan-Feb 2015
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If Boston College bent space and time to play all of their remaining opponents simultaneously today, the Eagles would face five top-ten teams and eight ranked teams out of their 13 games before the start of the Hockey East Tournament.
Boston University on Friday is the biggest game of the season to date. The Eagles are 5-0-2 in their last seven games and have finally shown some semblance of putting it all together. Now is their chance to prove it. This is why the current national and PairWise rankings for this week do not matter: BC is about to play the #2 team in the country. You want those numbers to go up? Beat them.
Of course, if the Eagles should lose on Friday, they’re further out of the mix than they were in the first place, but nevertheless, out before and out after. The Terriers are the kind of team Boston College needs to start beating at this time of year, if they have any plans of living up to their preseason expectations.
Trips to Maine are never easy, even if the Black Bears are the worst PWR team left and second-to-last in Hockey East, but that comes up next on the Boston College hockey schedule. That is followed by a crucial three-game homestand: Merrimack, UConn, and Providence. Preferably, win all three, though Merrimack and Providence are both ranked.
Then the 2015 Beanpot, which looks like perhaps the most consequential edition of this tournament in recent memory. As of now, three ranked teams are participating, and luckily for Boston College, they first draw the one that is not ranked. Regardless of who the Eagles play in the second Monday, that will be another big game, and Boston-area pride has little to do with it.
Another game with Merrimack sneaks in between the two Mondays, and that road contest looks like a sneaky big game between two middle-of-the-pack Hockey East teams. However, that is subject to change between now and February 6, for better or for worse.
Boston College Eagles
Boston College is lucky to get the Vermont Catamounts for the annual double-dip at home this season: UVM is 7-1-0 at home to date this season, with a 4-0-0 record in Hockey East play. They are still good on the road, but a slightly more modest 8-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the conference.
Some might be looking forward to the double-dip finale against Notre Dame two weeks thereafter because of who the opponent is, but that UMass-Lowell game at Conte Forum could have major implications if the Eagles are successful in this stretch run.
You may ask yourself, where will these wins come from on the Boston College hockey schedule? The correct answer should be everywhere, because that is roughly what it will take for the Eagles to go back to the Dance.