Don’t look now but Providence’s Jake Walman is tied for the nation’s lead in goals per game. That tops my list of three things in Hockey East that I learned this week:
1. Walman a beast on the blue line for the Friars
On a weekend where the Providence Friars buried 11 goals, it was defenseman Jake Walman who netted four. Walman scored a hat trick on Friday night in a 7-2 victory and added another goal in PC’s 4-3 win on Saturday. He has scored in six of the Friars seven games, leads all defensemen in the nation in scoring and is tied with Nebraska-Omaha’s Austin Ortega and Massachusetts forward Dennis Kravchenko as the top goal scorer. It goes without saying that Providence’s offense is clicking on all cylinders thus far this season and getting goals from the back end certainly helps.
2. Boston College is making me a believer
After BC’s 2-1 loss to Rensselaer a few weeks back, I pondered in this space whether or not this Eagles team was ready for prime time. They have certainly proved their worth, going 4-0-0 since the loss to the Engineers that dropped them from their perch as the nation’s number one team. Friday’s win against Denver is BC’s most impressive of the season and likely will place them back in the top 3 in the USCHO.com poll when it is announced on Monday.
3. Vermont breaks out of its slump
It was an early season doldrum for Vermont, losing four straight games. The opponents were mighty and, as of writing, sit No. 1 and No. 2 in the USCHO.com poll. Possibly you let that slide but all four of those games – two against Omaha and two versus North Dakota – were at home. Those woes ended this week against Northeastern as the Catamounts gutted out a road win on Thursday negating a Northeastern rally from 2-0 down by scoring the game-winner late. Then on Saturday, Vermont scored another late goal to force a 3-3 tie. At 2-4-1 the record may not be pretty but this week provided many positive signs for the Catamounts.