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Take 5: Women’s hockey’s must-see games

Seventy-four. That’s the number of days between now and the start of the 35th season of Northeastern University women’s hockey. To help you pass the time, we’ve assembled a list of the top five can’t-miss home games.

Opening Night

The Huskies will begin the 2014-15 campaign on a seasonlong eight-game road trip, which starts on Oct. 10 at Syracuse and ends on Oct. 30 at New Hampshire. Just two days later, the red and black will begin the home portion of their schedule, facing off against the Maine Black Bears in a Saturday matinee at Matthews Arena. Northeastern posted a 2-0-1 record against Maine last season, including an 8-2 home victory in January. The one-sided win came as no surprise: Last season, the Huskies outscored the Black Bears 94 to 62.

Battle with BC

Northeastern and Boston College will face off four times, beginning with a Nov. 8 matinee at Matthews Arena. The Huskies own a 65-28-6 all-time record against the Eagles, but failed to beat them last season, scoring just four goals in four games. Northeastern’s regular season performance against its conference foes should indicate whether the squad has the offensive pluck and defensive discipline to compete for Hockey East supremacy: Last season, the Eagles won 27 games and lost in the NCAA Tournament to Clarkson, which eventually won the national championship.

Mirror Images?

Northeastern and Vermont will play a home-and-home series later in the month, beginning with a Matthews Arena matinee on Nov. 22. If history is any indication, fans should not be surprised to see a low-scoring overtime thriller: Last season, the Huskies and the Catamounts compiled almost identical records, scoring and relinquishing nearly the same number of goals. Northeastern edged Vermont in head-to-head play, winning two of three matchups by a combined score of 8 to 6.

New Year’s Eve on Ice

Northeastern’s final game of 2014 will take place on New Year’s Eve, when the Huskies face off against Dartmouth in yet another Matthews Arena matinee. On paper, the matchup is one-sided—last season, Northeastern won 10 more games than Dartmouth and scored 44 more goals—but teams win and lose on the ice and complacent play could turn an otherwise easy victory into an embarrassing loss. Nevertheless, the thinking here is that Northeastern will be celebrating two things come midnight: the New Year and a convincing victory.

The Revenge Game

When: Saturday, Jan. 18. Where: Matthews Arena. Who: Northeastern and Boston University, facing off for the first time at Matthews Arena since the Terriers edged the Huskies 3-2 in the semifinal round of the 2014 Hockey East Tournament. The mid-January matchup will represent the teams’ third and final regular season meeting, but here’s to hoping for a playoff rematch in March. The Terriers may have won three of last season’s four matchups, but the Huskies would have more experience this time around, having returned 14 letter winners from last year and honed their skills in tough non-conference games to begin the campaign. “We will be tested early on with some difficult road trips that I feel will prepare us well down the stretch,” head coach Dave Flint said.

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