It was a weekend that spoke to the league’s parity as all active teams except Northeastern came away with at least a single point.
Although I hesitate to categorize any college kids as “losers” — a hesitation I’d drop if these were professional teams — the winners and losers categories provide a logical breakdown of the weekend’s games.
Thus, without further equivocation, let’s take a look.
Clear winners: Maine and Providence
Maine had the best weekend of anyone, sweeping Northeastern. The Black Bears were the lone team to earn four points in the standings, vaulting to second place with nine points (4-0-1) and to first place in terms of percentage (.900). Yes, the Huskies have been struggling so Maine was expected to win at home, but four points are four points.
Providence also won both of its games, but the sweep of Alabama-Huntsville didn’t help the Friars’ position in the standings. That said, they’re 5-4-2 overall now and 3-2-2 in Hockey East. For a team that missed the playoffs the last two years and was routinely projected to the same again this season, the sweep was more welcome good news.
Pretty much winners: Vermont, Merrimack, and New Hampshire
The Catamounts got off the schneid, getting their first win of the season in a split with Boston College. Since many (yours truly, included) still consider BC as the team to beat this year, a split with them is a great weekend, especially when you go into it 0-3-3 overall.
Merrimack continued to back up what I’ve been saying about them, earning back-to-back ties with Boston University. The Warriors are a very good hockey team. They’ve now split points on consecutive weekends with Boston College and Boston University, former and current number-one teams in the country.
UNH took three of four points from Massachusetts, improving to 3-0-2 in the league. In terms of percentage, that record trails only Maine’s. UMass may be 0-6-3 overall now, but taking three of four points in Hockey East play is never an achievement to be sneezed at.
Eh: BU, BC, and UMass
As already noted, BU and BC came away with only two of four Hockey East points on the weekend. Not something to hang one’s head in shame about but still short of what’s expected from a national contender.
UMass did grab one of four points from a tough opponent, UNH, so the weekend wasn’t a complete loss. Nonetheless, the Minutemen now stand at 0-6-3 overall and could really, really use a win.
Ouch (yes, that’s a euphemism for Losers): Northeastern
After losing three games to Atlantic Hockey teams at home, the Huskies were hardly expected to win at Alfond Arena. Their back-to-back 4-2 losses were also hardly blowouts. Even so, they’re now 1-7-2 overall.
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For information about Dave Hendrickson’s other writing as well as his blog about books and the creative life, visit his writing website.
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