College Hockey Series of the Week: No. 16 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Boston College
As college hockey tips off for the 2019-20 season, the first series of the week features two teams eager to get off on the right foot after disappointing seasons. While it is only a one game set, both the Boston College Eagles and the Wisconsin Badgers should view this as a great test to start things off right and prove their spots in the first college hockey rankings of the new season.
No. 10 Boston College finished last season eight games under .500 but went on an impressive run, beating Providence and Massachusetts in the Hockey East Tournament before losing to Northeastern 2-3 in the finals. Jerry York’s Eagles played nearly double the amount of road games as they did home games last season, and it cost them dearly, as the team had a miserable 5-15-1 record on the road.
Junior David Cotton led the team last year with 23 goals and 36 points on the season. The Texas native returns to the team this season for his senior year.
Boston College won its first game of the new season on Saturday, 4-2, over New Brunswick. The win was sparked by a two-goal second period, which saw scores from both Matt Boldy and Mike Hardman. David Cotton and Jack McBain also found the net in the win. After Wisconsin, Boston College has a three-game road stretch with a single game at Colgate and a two-game series at Denver.
Meanwhile, No. 16 Wisconsin finished four games under .500 in 2018-19 but finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak beating Michigan twice and Penn State once. Once the Big Ten playoffs started, the Badgers put up a fight against Penn State by winning Game 1 in overtime. They pushed Game 3 to overtime as well but lost, 3-4, against the team that eventually finished second in the Big Ten Tournament. The task for Wisconsin doesn’t get any easier this season with the top of the Big Ten set to make another big leap this season.
Sean Dhooghe led the Badgers in goals last year with 15, while he and Seamus Malone tied in points with 26. The former returns to the team for his junior year, but the latter graduated at the end of last season.
This will be the first game of the season for the Badgers and the start of a two-game road stretch in which they also play Merrimack. The Badgers then have a four-game homestand against top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth and No. 11 Clarkson, which will carry them into Big Ten play. Wisconsin won both of its exhibition games on the road against British Columbia by scores of 3-0 and 7-5. Cole Caufield scored four goals between the two games, recording a hat trick in Game 2.
Although it is a great way to start a new year of college hockey, a ranked matchup this early in the season will definitely cause some early shake-ups in the Top 20.
Prediction: Boston College 3, Wisconsin 1
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.