These are the three things I think I learned this week.
1. I should stop being surprised when Connecticut defeats a strong team.
Earlier this year, UConn defeated Boston College and tied Boston University in the span of just four days. The Huskies also have toppled Quinnipiac and Vermont.
But I really didn’t think they could knock off Massachusetts-Lowell, thereby giving the River Hawks their first Hockey East loss of the year.
But UConn did it again, shutting out Lowell, 2-0.
Expect more on the Huskies in this week’s column.
2. Maybe Notre Dame just isn’t that good.
I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, expecting the Irish to finally put it all together. I’m starting to think it just won’t happen.
The Irish went five games without a win in mid-to-late November, but then followed a sweep of UMass with an upset of sixth-ranked Miami.
So I started to believe, at least just a little.
But then the Irish lost to a Lake Superior team that even with that win is only 4-19-1.
This weekend, Western Michigan, in next-to-last place in the NCHC with a 2-6-2 league mark, swept Notre Dame.
At some point, you just have to look at the record and say, “It is what it is.”
3. You can’t take anything for granted.
I knew this, of course.
But as already noted, Lowell lost its first league game to UConn.
Then Providence, projected in the preseason to finish first in Hockey East and appearing to hit its stride of late, takes on a Brown team next-to-last in the ECAC with a league mark of 1-7-1, and an overall mark of 3-10-0. The Friars take the away portion of the home-and-home series on Friday night, needing overtime to pull out the win. But then they lose back at home, 5-3, and have to settle for a split with one of the ECAC’s weakest teams.
But the piece de resistance was BU traveling to Wisconsin. This is not your father’s Badgers. This year’s edition was 2-11-1 going into the weekend. BU was ranked second in the country with an 11-3-3 mark.
Like taking candy from babies, right? I mean, what else do you expect from 11-3-3 vs. 2-11-1?
Well, BU did win impressively on the second night, 6-1, but the Terriers needed not one, but two, extra attacker goals to pull out a Friday night tie, the second coming with three seconds left in regulation.
No, there are no more automatics.