If you want to use a Halloween theme for this past weekend in Hockey East, there were plenty of tricks and treats.
Arguably, the best treats went to Providence and Merrimack. Boston University may have continued its strong start with two wins, the first Terrier blowout (5-1 over Massachusetts-Lowell) and yet another one-goal win in the rematch. And yeah, the Terriers are sitting atop the league. But this weekend was more of the same expected success for them.
Providence, on the other hand, came into the season with much lower expectations after missing the playoffs the last two years. For them to take three out of four points against Massachusetts was huge. Based on points — admittedly a dubious exercise at this point since teams have played differing numbers of league games — the Friars are now second in Hockey East.
Merrimack’s case is different. The Warriors came into this year with high expectations, but splitting with Boston College merits special attention. Going against a team just a week removed from a number one ranking, they played well on Friday but had nothing to show for it and then got their reward on Saturday.
Staying with league games, Maine continued its strong play with a win over Vermont and may be five points behind BU in the standings but is 2-for-2 in Hockey East contests.
The two Massachusetts state schools took it on this chin. Lowell dropped both to BU and has the unenviable possibility of making it an ofer hat trick tomorrow night at BC. UMass got only a point from Providence.
Moving to the nonconference games, New Hampshire held up its end of the Hockey East banner with a 7-4 win at Cornell. Any win at Lynah is a satisfying win.
Then there’s Northeastern. Following the trick-or-treat theme, this was the worst trick. I complained earlier this year when league teams collectively went 1-0-4 against Atlantic Hockey teams, but that’s nothing compared to what befell the Huskies this past weekend. They lost to both Holy Cross and Bentley.
As I’ve said before, this is no knock on Atlantic Hockey, but if you’re gonna say you’re the best conference, you can’t be going ofer against the upstarts.
As for the 1-4-2 Huskies, I was pretty bullish on them going into the season but have to wonder a bit now. Yeah, they’re only a game under .500 within the league and we are just talking about games in October. But this weekend has me concerned.