Now that college hockey season is in full swing, I’ve decided to do a weekly version of what’s been happening around Hockey East. Agree with me, disagree with me–mostly, just bring it on. So, without further adieu, here’s this week’s edition of “The Good, the Bad and the NO WAY!!!”
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES–They are just good. I don’t care that they are No. 1 in the nation or that it was expected of them. We have seen teams in the past who won a national championship and then completely lost themselves the following year. The Eagles came out this weekend and swept No. 6 Denver with a 6-2 win on Friday and 3-0 win on Saturday.
WHO’S HOT: Cam Atkinson is once again leading the way with points for BC, tallying four points this weekend against Denver (2g, 2a).
Defenseman Tommy Cross also has made this week’s list with two goals himself, including the game winning goal on Saturday. Expect this kid to continue this kind of production, barring his health this year.
Junior forward Jimmy Hayes also found the back of the net for two goals this weekend.
NOTES: Perhaps the scariest part about this team is how good their lower classes are, and how many are contributing to the offense this year. Atkinson, Cross and Hayes, who all had multiple goal weekends are all juniors. I don’t know what’s more scary–the fact that there are only three seniors on this team, or how talented this team is with only three seniors.
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE BLACK BEARS– It’s incredible how this team can come back and score. Twice now in two straight weekends, UMO has scored consecutive goals in an incredibly small amount of time. Last weekend when Maine went up against UConn, the Black Bears stole two shorthanded goals from the Huskies in a span of 1:06. This weekend up at Michigan State, it only took 10 seconds for Spencer Abbott to put up two goals. Though Maine left Michigan without taking a win from the Spartans, they continue to improve and show good signs.
WHO’S HOT: Junior Spencer Abbott is currently leading his team with four goals and three assists this season–two goals and two assists this weekend alone. His two goals came when the Black Bears were down 2-0 halfway through the third period as well.
You can’t talk about UMaine hockey without mentioning Gustav Nyquist. Though he hasn’t registered a goal yet, he has racked up 5 assists and opened up the ice for big plays from other players. However, don’t expect him to go too much longer without a goal for Maine.
NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY HUSKIES– I know, I know, it’s only the second weekend into the season, but someone had to go here, and unfortunately for the Huskies, they hit it. NU has yet to win a game this season, after playing Providence, BC and RPI. Perhaps the silver lining for this team is that they haven’t been blown out of a game yet, and each of their games was close. However, they have only accumulated four goals on the season while letting up seven to their opponents.
WHO’S NOT: If the Huskies want to pick up their season, you have to call out some of the veteran players including Wade MacLeod and Tyler McNeely–neither who have netted a goal this season. As of now, the two top point leaders are freshmen Rob Dongara and Cody Ferriero each who have picked up a goal.
THE NO WAY!!!
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE WILDCATS– Okay, looking back at last season’s out-of-conference record (yeah, they only won one game), and then taking a peek at five of their first six games, and cringing at the thought of losing net minder Brian Foster and superstar Bobby Butler, it would be easy for anyone to count the Wildcats out for the month of October. UNH’s first matchup of the year was a two game weekend against No. 3 Miami followed with a game with Michigan this past weekend–both who are ranked in the top five in the nation. After their initial 6-3 loss to Miami, the Wildcats, who have climbed to No. 7 in this week’s polls, have shocked and impressed the nation and their fans with what they were capable of.
WHO’S HOT: With the exit of linemate Bobby Butler, it was a toss up to whether the line would be as effective with captain Mike Sislo. That question was answered quickly, as both Phil DeSimone and Paul Thompson have each recorded two goals so far. Also heating up is UNH junior Stevie Moses who also has netted two goals. Overall the ‘Cats have nine different players who have scored, and 11 with assists. Also, junior netminder Matt DiGirolamo has made an impression this week, coming out as Hockey East’s Pure Hockey Defensive Player of the Week. He is first in Hockey East in saves with 98 and minutes played at 184:50. Check out last weekend’s story
NOTES: UNH opens up its Hockey East schedule this weekend against Northeastern University before heading back to Cornell and then No. 1 ranked Boston College.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS–Normally up higher in the ranks, the Terriers had a number of obstacles in the way of higher rankings this year. Questions of defense (minus Warsofsky), goaltending and heck, even offense had them knocked down lower than usual. But in the opening part of the season, BU has proven themselves, most recently at the Ice Breaker Tournament with Wisconsin and Notre Dame and in the home opener against UMass. The Terriers remain undefeated, with a 2-0-1 record so far this year. They have moved up to No. 8 in the national poll and are quickly gaining confidence and spots in the standings.
WHO’S HOT: David Warsofksy is the leading point leader for BU, with two goals and three assists. But perhaps the biggest thrill this weekend came from freshman Matt Nieto who netted his first goal in a Terrier uniform in front of home fans. Speaking of freshmen, also look to Sahir Gill (1g, 4a) and Charlie Coyle (1g, 2a) to really provide offense for the Terriers this year.
Biz Jacobs can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed on Twitter @bizjacobs