Vermont showed a lot of meddle this weekend earning a sweep over Maine. And that leads the three things I learned about Hockey East this weekend:
1. Friday rally turns into a weekend sweep for the Catamounts
It appeared Maine was about to win just its second road game in the Red Gendron era on Friday night when the Black Bears held a 2-0 lead early on Vermont and a 3-2 advantage in the closing minute. But a Mario Puskarich goal with the goalie pulled for the extra attacked with just 59 seconds remaining knotted the game at three. Then with 1:47 left in overtime Mike Stenerson buried the game winner, demoralizing Maine. The momentum from Friday carried into Saturday as Vermont scored twice in less than a minute early and never looked back, posting a 4-1 victory for the sweep. UVM is now 4-1-1 in league play and tied for first place with Massachusetts-Lowell. Part of that is a perfect 4-0 record at home.
2. Three huge points spark a lot of belief in Connecticut
UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh knew Wednesday night was going to be a special night. Not only was his team playing its first Hockey East game in the XL Center in front of a sold out crowd, on the opposite bench was Cavanaugh’s former mentor Boston College coach Jerry York. Little did he know that at the end of the night, Cavanaugh would be congratulated by York for winning, 1-0, pulling off the upset of the then-No. 3 Eagles. Four night later, this time at Agganis Arena, Cavanaugh’s squad huge blow for blow with a Boston University team some think may be among the nation’s elite, battling to a 4-4 tie against the 5th-ranked Terriers. It is early, but having played just a single home game thus far, UConn looks pretty impressive and hardly the near-consensus late place team most of us though they would be.
3. Panic at the Heights?
Speaking of Boston College, the 1-0 loss to UConn was the middle loss of three straight losses for the Eagles. It is the first three-game losing streak for BC since the 2009-10 season. That team went on to win the national championship, but title thoughts right now seem pretty far away from BC. The Eagles struggled to score in the first two of the three losses, falling 2-1 in OT to Denver before the 1-0 shutout by the Huskies. On Friday, the offense returned and BC took a 3-2 lead in the third period only to allow rival Boston University to score the final three goals of the game for a 5-3 Terriers victory. The good news was that BC coach Jerry York felt his team played a good game on Friday against BU but were just victimized by some unlucky puck luck. BC won’t have to wait too long in hopes of returning to the win column as the Eagles face Harvard on Tuesday.