With the sour taste of a tie to Providence College still fresh in their mouths, the Eagles begin their two-week break until their schedule picks up again on Dec. 29 for the Mariucci Classic in Minnesota.
Heading into the holidays, the NCAA currently has Boston College (11-2-1) ranked first with a total of 981 points out of a possible 1000. New Hampshire (11-2-2) is lurking not far behind with 921 points. The Eagles received thirty-five, out of a possible fifty, first-place votes, with New Hampshire (nine first-place votes), Notre Dame (three) and Minnesota (three) rounding out the other teams receiving top votes.
The season is still young, though and these rankings will surely not remain at season’s end. The Eagles still have three games left against New Hampshire, all of which could prove hugely significant come playoff time. Only seven of BC’s final 20 games are against non-ranked teams: Providence – who gave us a run for our money last game, Maine – who is normally not as bad as they are this year and Vermont – a perennial contender. The Eagles will surely have their wings full for the rest of the year.
With that being said, the head-to-head games BC has left against Boston University, Minnesota and New Hampshire become that much more important. The Eagles cannot count on any easy victories from here on out. Here is how the NCAA will likely pan out come March.
1 - Boston College: Current Place – 1st
2 - Notre Dame: Current Place – 3rd
The Irish have won seven of their last eight and do not have all that difficult of a schedule facing them in the second half of the season.
3 - Minnesota: Current Place – 4th
With the exception of two games against 11th ranked Denver, the Gophers do not play another game against a ranked team this season. A loss would hurt them that much more now.
4 - New Hampshire: Current Place – 2nd
The Wildcats will be seeing quite a bit of the Eagles, unfortunately for them, but also a good amount of non-contenders.
5 - Boston University: Current Place – 6th
The Terriers have an almost identical schedule to that of BC’s. Winners of four of their last five, BU needs to continue their pace if they want to grab a spot in the Final Four.
6 - Miami (Ohio): Current Place – 5th
This CCHA powerhouse has a schedule similar to that of Notre Dame’s. Two games in mid-February between these two teams may very well decide their fates.
7 - Western Michigan: Current Place – 7th
Of the four CCHA teams in the top seven, Western Michigan has the toughest schedule. It is in their favor that they have the fewest losses among CCHA teams though.
Rounding out the top ten will most likely be Denver, Dartmouth, and Quinnipiac.