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Plenty of turkey in my stomach (no surprise to anyone who knows me), and here we are another weekend in the books and some really interesting games in the rear-view mirror. Included in that was the still-incredible rivalry between former ECAC powers Boston University and Cornell. The third edition of the every-other-year Red Hot Hockey proved once again not just an incredible draw (18,200, a sellout of famed Madison Square Garden) but a heck of competitive event on the ice. That tops my three takeaways from this weekend in Hockey East.

1. BU and Cornell are still a Red Hot draw.

The renewal of the rivalry between the Terriers and Big Red lived up to its billing as the packed house in Manhattan saw one incredible overtime thriller. The game wasn’t without controversy, though, as Cornell thinks a quick referee’s whistle took away the winning goal in regulation. A Cornell shot was, according the reports of the game, deflected in front of the net and might as well have hit the MSG roof it took so long to come down. When it did, it hit Kieran Millan’s back and went into the goal. Upon review of the replay, it was determined that the referee, having no clue where the puck was, blew the whistle prior to the puck entering the net. BU went on to get the game-winner in OT from Ross Gaudet. Nothing like adding some controversy to such a heated rivalry.

2. Northeastern has quietly come alive.

Two victories over Providence and Vermont a week ago was a positive sign for Northeastern, which hadn’t won a game prior to that in more than a month. But the sign that the Huskies are on the upswing was a definitive victory over Michigan on the road on Friday evening. Until last weekend, Northeastern had scored four goals in a game just once (the Huskies lone win to date over New Hampshire). In each of these three victories, Northeastern has scored four or more goals, a very positive sign for first-year head coach Jim Madigan.

3. Newly-crowned No. 1 Merrimack continues to take care of business.

Yes, Merrimack’s only win of the week was a 6-0 drubbing of Alabama-Huntsvile (which also lost to Massachusetts-Lowell and New Hampshire this weekend). But having just ascended to the top spot in the USCHO.com poll for the first time ever, the decisive win was a positive sign this team isn’t letting their success go to their head.

  • Simon

    Such a BSU hater because of the style they play. Please tell me how playing an up-tempo style would help them? They don’t have the horses the big boys have so they need to play a grind-it-out style for wins and the fans appreciate their hard work. Trying to play like UND gets you 5-2 losses.

  • @simon: I’m confused, are you directing your comment at anyone? Quite frankly i don’t see any BSU hating in the article. As a Sioux fan I am unhappy with their play but i understand the game and I’ve played it. Every team cycles, and the fact that this year might be the year the Sioux end up at the bottom of the league is depressing but also a way of understanding. J.T. Miller a first rounder opt out before the year started. our next big thing in Grimaldi is out until January and with a team of sophomores and freshmen with only one true scorer in Kristo; it’s obvious why they have been having troubles. I’m not making excuses but simply rather giving my take on the growing pains. Besides Saturdays game was close until the end of the third and the Sioux simply couldnt generate offense on sunday  hats off to da beavers.

  • Fatmikek

    Some guys always think people are bashing their team. To be honest the beaver were very luck that the Sioux couldn’t and didn’t generate any offense. This coming from a UMD fan. UND is a better team just having issues and the grind it out game Simon talked about wouldn’t have helped if UND could have scored. It didn’t work against my Bulldogs.

    • WCHA Fan

      Were the Bulldogs “lucky” that the Beavers couldn’t generate some offense when they won 1-0?  No, it’s called playing solid defense for 60 minutes.  Why then are the Beavers “lucky” the Sue couldn’t generate some offense?  This is what Simon is trying to say.  While few would argue that the Sue have been the better team in the past, have a deeper roster, etc…, that does not mean that they are the better team any given weekend or even this season.  The Beavers split, which implies this weekend that they were equal teams.  The Beavers have played a tough early schedule including all but 4 games on the road, and games against ranked opponents every series with the exception of NoDak.  Still, they hold a three point advantage in the standings against the Sue.  Explain to me how NoDak is a better team right now?  Explain how shutting out a WCHA opponent is a “lucky” win?  I think Simon hit the nail on the head.  No love or respect. 

      • Stoney2323

         Or you can watch the game and see that UND was the better squad both games…. seems pretty logical to me

        • WCHA Fan

          How so?  No scoring in 60 minutes?  9 minutes of power play chances in the 3rd period alone and no goals?  FYI, a team is made up of offense and defense.  Apparently BSU’s defense was better, their offense was better, and goaltending was better on Sunday.  Their schedule has been tougher and their record is better.  I did watch the game on Sunday, obviously you are a Sue fan with their typical blinders on.  Give me a real explanation as to why you think UND is the better squad right now.  You can do better than that.

  • Donnordland

    just because of what nodak has done in the past doesnt mean stink thats why they play the game or should we just hand the trophy to umd because we one last year?

  • That Mack Guy

    This is the strongest Hockey East has been top to bottom in at least a decade. Vermont is an easy out but I feel like the other nine teams are all able to beat the others on any given night. It’s nice to see the best league in the country living up to the moniker.

    P.S. Being able to gloat to my UNH and BC friends about my Warriors doesn’t hurt either.

    • HEhockey31

      I agree that the bottom is much stronger than ever, but I also think the top is a lot weaker. Merrimack is the only consistent, solid team this year. 2009 was much much stronger. Northeastern was on fire and made the NCAA’s, Vermont made it to the frozen four, UNH lost to BU in the regional final. On top of that Lowell almost beat BU in the hockey east tournament, and BC looked pretty good too but lost to BU in the semi’s. Oh yeah, and BU won the whole thing. It really doesn’t get much stronger than that. The top 5 teams were really something else.

      • CommAve

        Pretty tough to consider to BC, Merrimack and BU weak…Most likely all 3 will be in tourney (the former two with high seeds) and who knows what UNH will do.  Early for sure, but don’t think top of the Hockey East is that watered down.

  • BU stole the game against Cornell.  A phantom interference to give BU a 5 on 3, TWO disallowed Cornelll goals. The Hockey East refs embarrased themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Fire Tim Whitehead

    • it’s 2011

      fire your avatar

      • Anonymous

        Oh, he’ll be gone in Nov 2012

    • Brian Harvey

      can someone get this doofus banned?  his avatar is pretty racist and all he ever posts is “fire tim whitehead”

      • Anonymous

        Ban Brian Harvey AND fire Tim Whitehead!

  • 94Eagle

    Looking forward to BC/BU this weekend and hopefully 4pts for the Eagles!