These are three things I think I learned from this past weekend.
1. Northeastern is in trouble.
The Huskies, who two weeks ago projected to be an NCAA tournament bubble team after running off eight straight wins, now sit in ninth place in Hockey East and 27th in the Pairwise. Making matters worse, the teams immediately ahead of them in the race for the final playoff berth — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Massachusetts-Lowell — all picked up at least two points on the weekend while the Huskies got swept.
Although all four of their recent losses have come to Top 10 teams in the PairWise, the Huskies’ performance at Lowell on Friday night was not encouraging. Actually, that’s a euphemism for: they got their hats handed to them. The River Hawks controlled pretty much all of the 60 minutes.
At the top of their game, the Huskies beat a lot of impressive teams, but they’re not at the top of their game now.
2. The Boston University – Providence home-and-home series featured two teams going in different directions.
BU ranks first in the PairWise for good reason. The Terriers are now 12-2-0 in their last fourteen games. But their total destruction of Providence last weekend took their recent impressive showings to a new level. They defeated PC, a team that entered the weekend 7-5-1 in Hockey East, by scores of 6-1 at home and 8-0 on the road.
As for the Friars, that makes them 1-5-1 over their last seven games with the only win coming over last-place Vermont. And with top goal-scorer Tim Schaller out with mononucleosis, you have a team going decidedly in the wrong direction.
3. The Maine – Boston College series featured two more teams going in different directions.
Maine sweep of BC may have been whisker thin — Friday’s win came in overtime and Saturday’s came with an assist from an official who inadvertently turned a shorthanded break one way into a power-play goal the other — but wins are wins and the Black Bears now have a 9-2-1 record in their last dozen games.
Do I think that BU may have something to say about that next week? Absolutely. Am I sold on Dan Sullivan as an elite goaltender? No. The Maine games I’ve seen in person seem to have been his worst of the year.
But wins are wins.
Which is not what BC has been doing lately. The Eagles are 2-5-1 and 6-9-1 in recent play. Their goaltending is now comprised of three question marks and though they did score seven goals in Orono, they totaled only 10 in the previous six contests.
Early this year the Eagles looked like national championship contenders. Now they do not.