(2) Northeastern vs. (9) Boston College

Friday at 2:00 PM and Sunday at 5:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Friday's game on a free stream through College Sports Live, Sunday's game on NESN and NESN.com.

We finally get to see Northeastern take the ice. The Huskies have been my number one this season based on what we saw last year and the makeup of their roster this year, but now it's time to see how that all comes together on the ice. They've had extra time for practice, but jump right into rivalry games with BC. Without much roster turnover, the Huskies know how to play with each other and likely won't have much adjustment to make when actually playing. I expect their lines to be pretty set and they can count on Aerin Frankel in net should there be any bumps early on as they find their legs.

It's been difficult to pin down exactly who Boston College is as a team thus far. I wasn't expecting them to get swept by Providence, but they were strong in their wins over UConn and New Hampshire. There are a lot of talented young players on this team and it looks like the roster may be as deep as we've seen from the Eagles. The Eagles are taking way too many penalties, taking themselves out of the game and giving their opponents too much time with an extra attacker. For now I'll chalk it up to youth and exuberance, but they have to play more disciplined. They still have some growing to do, but I think what we've seen so far bodes well for what this team is capable of.

(10) Boston University at Connecticut

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream via CBS.

This is the last game BU currently has on the schedule before the winter break. The Terriers took the ice for the first time last weekend and split a series with New Hampshire. Jesse Compher looked to be in midseason form for the Terriers, but the team as a whole was a bit shaky at times. They need more time together to find their rhythm and an early end to the front half isn't going to help. They may try to add games for next week, but in the meantime, they'll need to use this matchup to try to find the cohesiveness they'll need to be successful this year.

Savannah Bouzide has been a standout for Connecticut thus far and rookie Jada Habisch has had no trouble transitioning to the college game. The two lead the teams in points and the Huskies as a whole have been spreading their scoring around, which makes them more dangerous. Freshman Tia Chan has split time in net with Samantha Carpentier-Yelle and has shown herself well.

I think this will be a closer game than I might have imagined before the year started. There are no favorites this year, in my opinion. In this very messed up season, the one bright spot has been seeing so-called underdog teams flourish so far. The pandemic has erased some of the things separating teams and so many more games have been toss-ups.

Penn State at Syracuse

Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free steam from Cuse.com.

These two teams played last week, with Penn State winning the first game and the two teams tying in game two.

Penn State has been working its way up in the CHA over the past few years and has felt like they could be on the edge of breaking through, similar to how Syracuse did a in recent years. They have had moments, periods or even games where they've shown they can play with Mercyhurst, Robert Morris and Syracuse, but haven't been able to sustain it. Coach Jeff Kampersal is in his fourth year and I wonder if we're starting to see the payoff of his time and recruiting since he's been in Happy Valley.

The season hasn't begun like Syracuse would have liked. Their only win is over RIT, who had to cancel their second game of the series. They lost two to Colgate to open the year. The Orange are a fairly young team and they have graduated many of the players that elevated the program. This is kind of uncharted territory Syracuse as the program grows and improves. Freshman Victoria Klimek is showing how the younger players can step up and be impactful immediately. She was CHA Player of the Month and leads the team with four goals and six points.

Stick Taps and Snark

Robert Morris senior Lexi Templeman – With a goal and an assist on Thursday, Templeman became the sixth Colonial to reach 100 points in her career.

Hockey Commissioners Association Players of the Month – Congratulations to  Colgate's Kelty Kaltounkova for being named Rookie of the Month, Boston College's Gaby Roy for being named Player of the Month and Minnesota's Lauren Bench for being named Goalie of the Month for November.

Photo credit: Syracuse Women's Hockey Twitter

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