Conte, we have a problem.
Best team in the nation? Please. To save a few laughs, let’s think smaller. A Boston College hockey team once regarded as the best in the nation failed to earn that right in their own city. Following an embarrassing home loss to BU, the humiliation continued against our neighbors on the Charles, losing 6-3 to Harvard at Conte-- An utter disappointment for a Boston College team ranked 10th in the nation entering the cross-town contest.
In case you missed it, our beloved Boston College invited the Crimson into the storied classroom we call Conte. Unfortunately, Harvard not only passed with flying colors—they took their professor to school and finished top of the class, not just in GPAs and SATs but goals between pipe.
The 6-3 dismantling marked Boston College’s first loss to Harvard since 2006, not to mention their fourth straight loss since Halloween. On a night history proved meaningless, Jerry York felt speechless. What’s there left to say? Nothing. Just get Thatcher some chicken soup ASAP, keep Santini’s wrist in your prayers, and buy a whole lot of tape for that defense.
With short memories, the Eagles took this to heart, earning their first victories of November. As if celebrating winter break early, BC squeezed out a 3-2 victory against Michigan State in East Lansing before collecting an easy 5-3 win at UMass Amherst. Finally, all felt right in the universe. Thatcher returned, practically walking on water while snagging thirty saves in the process. A Gaudreau scored… and not the one in Calgary for a change! Even Steve Santini teased our hearts with signs of an early recovery.
Heading back home to Conte with the stars aligned perfectly, the Eagles felt comfortable-- rightfully so. Granted, there’s no place like home for the Holiday’s. Right?
Days before Thanksgiving, the Eagles finally broke through, recording their first home win in just under a month against Maine. BC ate their homemade pumpkin pie a bit early, tallying four goals in a dominant performance that exorcized home ice completely. Firing on all cylinders, nothing stood in this team’s way. Give us BU! Give us Harvard! Why not us?
Well… then Minnesota paid Conte a Black Friday visit, abruptly waking up any last dreamers on the Heights. The third ranked Gophers scorched the Eagles’ backline, dropping six goals on a healthy Thatcher. Another big-time game at Conte: an even bigger home letdown.
No more mulligans! The BU fiasco tested enough loyalty. Time to address the elephant in the room rather than chalking the game up as a massive food coma. The Gophers exposed mediocrity. They ran circles around a team lacking confidence, identity, and swagger.
(Which was worse, that Minnesota game or the music selection for the highlight video?)
Even worse, the bleeding continued Saturday night in Rhode Island. Hockey East rival Providence shutout the Eagles en route to a 1-0 victory. Great teams define themselves not on how hard they fall, but how quickly they get back up. This team lacks that greatness to bounce back from an embarrassing home loss and make a statement on the road. With a 7-7-0 record, Thatcher’s thirty save performances barely serve as a live-preserver to pull this team away from the brink of irrelevancy.
Where to go from here? The Eagles possess a .500 record on home ice, winning only once at Conte since Halloween. In that home time span, the Eagles forfeited an average of 4.5 points per game. Considering their top-5 preseason ranking, this Eagles team failed mightily to meet the expectations of your typical Jerry York squad—utterly unacceptable to say the least.
With this BC hockey team still bleeding, these Eagles need a tourniquet to keep their season on life support.
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