Featured Column, Men's Hockey, Column

The Definitive Guide To Watching BC Athletics Over Break

WHEW. It’s finally time for finals week here at Boston College. What a semester we’ve had.

There have been constant protests on campus, from impromptu caroling by Eradicate Boston College Racism, to signs across campus on topics ranging from immigration reform to climate justice. The Heights has gotten exclusive access to the inner workings of BC’s two new dorms: 2000 and 2150 Commonwealth Ave. The gridiron Eagles followed up a 7-6 bowl season campaign with a 3-9 one that saw the painfully slow development of an offense coupled with a defense that reached unparalleled levels of success.

And now, in the last week, a wave of E. coli and/or norovirus is sweeping through Chestnut Hill thanks to Chipotle, a restaurant that has always been the bane of my existence and has questioned everything I know about the sanctity of the burrito and Mexican food. It’s even threatening to prematurely end the men’s basketball season before they can end it themselves in the ACC Tournament.

What a way to end a semester, huh?

And now it’s time for the reward: Winter Break. It’s easily the best time of the year. You don’t really have to worry about starting your internships or jobs, so it’s time to relax. Your family might plan a vacation around Christmas, since parents often get breaks during that four-week stretch. Home friends can get back together for more than a quick four-hour session in between Thanksgiving turkey and mile-long lines to get on a six-hour bus ride from Port Authority to South Station. And presents! Who can hate on presents? (Bern and Mike, if you’re reading this, I want tearaway pants.)

For me, I’m taking some of that time to relax—not on an island or anything, unless you think Long Island in the winter is a place for relaxation. I plan on checking if the tree in Rockefeller Center looks any different from the Christmas tree that they’ve acquired in each of the first 20 Decembers of my life. I’ll hit up my favorite restaurants in Manhattan—shoutout to you, Macbar, I want a large Lobsta’ Mac. And sleep. I need sleep.

But more likely than not, I’ll be back at the grind very soon. I’ll be returning as your sports editor next year. My two new assistants—Riley Overend and Annabel Steele—and I plan on bringing this section to the next level of coverage. To do that, I’ll be spending most of my Winter Break studying other newspapers and websites, student and professional alike, to figure out how to perfect our sports section.

More importantly, there’ll be plenty of game stories that need to be covered over the course of the next month. Just because the classes stop doesn’t mean the grind does, for the athletes at least. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Eagles throughout this Winter Break. You should too!

Here are the best BC games you can watch or listen to between Dec. 19, the last final, and Jan. 19, the first day of the Spring 2016 semester, in chronological order.

Men’s basketball vs. Fordham at the Barclays Center, Tues., Dec. 22: Listen, Jim Christian’s Eagles are not exactly on a hot streak right about now. They’ve lost their last six after getting out to a 3-0 start in their non-conference slate. For some, we expected—Michigan State University, Providence College, and even the University of California-Irvine are all forgivable losses. You can’t say the same for Pennsylvania State University, Santa Clara University, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. I fully expect BC to hit a small winning streak against the University of Maine and the University of Delaware before heading out to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to take on Jesuit rival Fordham University in the ACC-A10 Challenge. Playing on the big stage of a bad NBA team could give BC the confidence it needs heading into conference play.

Men’s hockey vs. Cornell or Providence in Estero, Fla., Tues., Dec. 29: This could be the big 1,000 for Mr. Jerry York. If things bounce BC’s way against the University of Notre Dame on Thursday and in the first round of the Florida Hockey Classic, York will have an opportunity to widen his lead on college hockey’s all-time wins list. And in Austin Cangelosi’s hometown no less! More importantly for the Eagles, this could be their first test against the defending national champions. If BC wants to be taken seriously, it needs to beat Providence College.

Men’s basketball vs. Duke, Sat., Jan. 2: So you’re saying there’s a chance? Yes. There is always a chance. But considering this is BC’s marquee home men’s basketball game of the year, it’s definitely worth tuning in on whatever ESPN affiliate it appears on. Take a look at NCAA’s defending national champions with the roundball, highlighted by Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram.

Men’s hockey at Providence, Sat., Jan. 9: Similar to York’s potential 1,000th win, this is a crucial game for BC. This will be their first serious road test of the year. The Eagles don’t want to be just a national title contender. They want to be the contender. BC needs to take the home game on Fri. Jan. 8 and put this one in the win column to be taken seriously by the college hockey community.

Women’s basketball vs. Notre Dame, Thurs., Jan. 14: The way BC women’s basketball has played this year, there’s no reason why Erik Johnson and Co. can’t knock off Muffet McGraw’s legendary Fighting Irish. That being said, the Irish are really good. This is a prime game to view if you want to see quality women’s basketball from a team that is very likely to go to the Final Four against Geno Auriemma’s 10-time national champion University of Connecticut Huskies. An Eagles’ victory would give them a great pitch when Selection Sunday rolls around.

The Comm. Ave. Classic—men’s hockey vs. Boston University on Fri., Jan. 15 and at BU on Sat., Jan. 16: The Granddaddy of Them All (for men’s collegiate hockey). Even if BC drops both of its games against PC, it still has a solid chance to come away a bigger winner in early January with a sweep of the Terriers. It’s a shame students on both sides won’t be around to watch it because of winter break, because a big draw to the BC-BU game is the pure hatred between both schools, but it won’t change any of the intensity on the ice.

Women’s hockey at Harvard, Tues., Jan. 19: Okay, I’m cheating a little bit by including a game on the day we come back. But seriously, how could I not give a shoutout to Katie Crowley’s crew? This time, it’s personal. The Eagles had three losses last year. Two of them were because of the sharp glovework of Harvard University’s Emerance Maschmeyer, who shut down BC in the Beanpot final and the NCAA Semifinals. This year, in superstar Alex Carpenter’s senior year, the Eagles are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen again.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor


December 10, 2015