The no. 9/10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish have run into some trouble after what began as such a promising start to the season. Coming off dropping the second game of the series to the Michigan State Spartans, the Irish were swept in a home and home by the Bowling Green Falcons last week. This week, they’ll find themselves playing another home and home, this time with the no. 10/7 Boston College Eagles.
WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW TO WATCH
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA (Game 1) and Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame, IN (Game 2)
When: Friday, Dec. 6, 7:00 PM ET (Game 1) and Sunday, Dec. 8, 5:00 PM (Game 2)
Watch: CBS All-Access (Game 1) and NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app (Game 2)
While the Irish have found themselves in a slump over the past couple weekends, the Eagles will head into the series as one of the hottest teams in college hockey. They defeated both the Yale Bulldogs and Harvard Crimson last week and are winners of seven straight. Currently sitting at fourth in the always competitive Hockey East, the Eagles know they can let off the gas in a conference where only four points separate the top team from the seventh-place team.
Of course, the Eagles are led by head coach Jerry York, who is fresh off his historic induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The native of Watertown, MA has been behind the bench for Boston College since 1994 and is the active leader in victories for NCAA D1 head coaches. Fittingly enough, the coach behind him in wins, Jeff Jackson, will be coaching against him this weekend.
Boston College will rely on 2019 first round pick of the Florida Panthers, goaltender Spencer Knight. Knight, who spent the last two seasons with the United States National Development Team, had an incredible amount of hype coming into a draft where he was the highest goaltender taken since 2010. This season, he has validated it with a .934 save percentage and 1.92 goals against average.
An eventful first comes to an end w/ the Falcons in front 2-1.— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) December 1, 2019
Mike O'Leary with the Notre Dame goal
Bischel (ND): 5 saves
Dop (BG): 7 saves
Cam Morrison's chance with just over a minute left in the first ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/JwtDd3q5Ov
One of the lone bright spots of last weekend was the continued four-game point streak of senior forward Mike O’Leary. The winger from Halifax, Nova Scotia had an assist in the first game of the series and tallied another goal in the second, extending his team lead in both categories. He and the rest of the Irish will have their work cut out for them this weekend, against a Boston College defense that allows just 2.08 goals per game.
Rivalries are one of the things that make college hockey great, and Notre Dame’s move from Hockey East to the Big Ten made it so the Irish and Eagles don’t see each other us as much anymore, but it’s always exciting when these teams get together, and the all-time series record (Boston College leads, 21-20-3) shows it. This year’s chapter of the rivalry will feature two of the greatest goaltenders these schools have seen, and I expect them to split a low-scoring series.