NCAA Matchup of the Week: Northeastern v Boston College

This week brings us a Top-5 matchup.

This week is another conference matchup, this time in the East, as two long time rivals will be playing in the oldest multi purpose arena in use in the world.  While BC has had the Huskies’ number in recent years, historically Northeastern dominated. The past few years Hockey East has primarily been between these two teams but this is likely the closest the two have ever been in talent with both teams playing well.

After you’ve read our takes, go check out this preview from our friends at BC Interruption.

William Whyte: Northeastern 3-1. The Huskies are brimming with confidence after a series of straightforward wins. BC’s play is finally passing the eye test after looking very ragged earlier this season, but they’re still not scoring at the rate you’d expect given the forward talent that they’ve got. The good news for BC fans is that just as in the last post-Olympic season, when BC destroyed Harvard 10-2 after Thanksgiving only to flop out to the same Harvard team in the Frozen Four, this result will galvanize the loser and BC will thrash Northeastern 4-1 in both the Hockey East tournament and the nationals.

Valerie Fox: I’m going to call it a 2-2 tie. These two teams are quite evenly matched. I saw Northeastern at Gutterson Fieldhouse a few weeks back and the first thing you notice is how crazy fast they are. That versus a stacked BC defense is going to be fun to watch. And BC’s offense going up against one of - if not the best - goalies in Hockey East in Aerin Frankel will also be fun to watch.

Michelle Jay: BC will win, though the score...? Honestly this is such a toss up. It’s a huge post Thanksgiving match up in Hockey East. On one hand, you’ve got the well-tested BC roster with a freshman goalie whose only real test was at the beginning of the season against Duluth. On the other hand, you’ve got the youthfully exuberant European freshman duo of Alina Mueller and Chloe Aurard with Aerin Frankel backstopping. The real loser will be my poor NCAA Fantasy team as I have both presumed starting goalies.

Eleni Demestihas: This is going to go one of two ways. Either playing Northeastern will kick BC into high gear or they’re going to get thrashed. I happen to think that the genuinely difficult competition will make BC up their game and they’ll eke out a narrow win, but I doubt the game will be high scoring as both starting goalies have posted multiple shutouts this season.

Grant Salzano:  Easily the biggest game of the year for both of these teams so far. Neither team has much of a signature win at this point and both really need one to give them the confidence that they can beat someone good -- since neither team has done it yet.

Northeastern has been a very, very pleasant surprise this year thanks to the play of their freshmen forwards and the remarkable numbers being put up by goaltender Aerin Frankel. BC fans might not want to hear it, but this game looks a lot closer on paper than you’d have expected in the beginning of the year.

BC probably has the deeper roster, but the Eagles have yet to really a groove on offense despite the improved defense and aren’t playing as well as they’re capable of. This game just screams “tie” to me. I think we’re going to see a completely unsatisfying 2-2 draw that kind of hurts both teams a bit in the Pairwise and leaves us all a little disappointed about not seeing some sort of clarification at the top of Hockey East.

Nathan Vaughan: This one is going to be nerve racking. I will agree with William about the score a 3-1 Huskies victory; three goals has been a common number for the Huskies and BC has too potent of an offense to be shutout.  This game is going to come down to sophomore Aerin Frankel’s ability to play in the big game. While the European duo on the top line is potent this is one of the deepest NU teams in a long time, I will disagree with my friend on the later season results though (I paid a lot of money for my degree and don’t want it revoked). These teams will meet at least two other times and have two likely matchups with a possible sixth one in the NCAAs, and this one meeting will give confidence to the winner and push the loser to work harder the next time.

KRACH: Our trusty calculator made available to us by Grant Salzano gives Northeastern a 58.6% chance of beating BC.

GRANT: The Grant rankings, created by Grant Salzano, can give score predictions and predicts a 2-2 draw, with a slight edge to Northeastern (Northeastern predicted goals 2.39, BC projected goals 2.10).