Thanksgiving is just around the corner and soon most schools will be on a winter break for a couple of weeks. However, the past few weeks of college hockey have been some of the best hockey in years.
Last weekend, Maine upset Boston College at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine, while UMass Lowell swept the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in their first trip to the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass.
This week’s Hockey East Power Rankings have a few changes from the past few weeks, take a look at this week’s rankings.
1. Providence College (10-2-1, 6-2-0 HEA) – Last Week: 1
Providence College picked up only their second loss of the season overall and in Hockey East as they split the weekend series with the New Hampshire Wildcats. The Friars fellow to New Hampshire on Friday and took game two on Saturday. Providence remains one of the teams to beat in Hockey East for the time being.
2. Boston College (8-3-2, 4-1-1 HEA) – Last Week: 3
Boston College had a freak loss on Saturday night as the Maine Black Bears topped the Eagles, 5-1 in Orono, Maine. Saturday night’s loss was the Eagles first of the season in Hockey East play. Providence a No. 1 and Boston College at No. 2 may stay this way for now if both schools continue to play well.
3. Massachusetts Lowell (10-4-0, 4-1-0 HEA) - Last Week: 4
UMass Lowell picked up two huge wins this weekend at the Tsongas Center over Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish entered the weekend with the top penalty kill in the country (93%), but the River Hawks tallied four power play goals against them for a two-game sweep. After struggling to start the season, UMass Lowell has picked up wins in nine of their last 10 games.
4. New Hampshire (7-6-1, 5-3-0 HEA) – Last Week: 5
New Hampshire was struggling for a bit a few weeks ago but has seemed to find their way. The Wildcats picked up win over the weekend during their two-game series with the Providence College Friars. The Wildcats have won six of their last seven games and were riding a six-game win streak into the second half of the two-game series with Providence. The Wildcats are moving in the right direction.
5. Notre Dame (8-5-1, 2-3-1 HEA) – Last Week: 2
Notre Dame has struggled in conference play in their first season as a part of the Hockey East Association. The Fighting Irish entered the weekend 2-1-1, but failed to pick up any points against the UMass Lowell River Hawks over the weekend. The Fighting Irish were only able to tally a single goal over two games in Lowell, Mass., and surrendered four goals while on the penalty kill, doubling their season total.
6. Maine (6-4-1, 3-2-1 HEA) – Last Week: 8
Maine has now had two great single-game weekends in a row. Last weekend they beat up on Boston University, 7-0 and this past weekend defeated the Boston College Eagles, 5-1. The Maine Black Bears are sitting at 3-2-1- in Hockey East and are doing great things under new head coach Red Gendron.
7. Northeastern (8-5-0, 3-4-0 HEA) – Last Week: 6
Northeastern started off with a 5-0-0 record to the 2013-14 season, but have fallen off a bit since. A weekend sweep of the Merrimack College Warriors didn’t make a statement like it may have in seasons past, as the Warriors are winless in Hockey East play. The Huskies are having a great offensive season, but won’t go far as the season progresses.
8. Boston University (6-6-1, 2-3-0 HEA) – Last Week: 7
Boston University skated fairly well against North Dakota in their two-game series in Boston, Mass. The Terriers picked up a win and a tie. However, Boston University sits at No. 8 in the Hockey East Power Rankings due to seven other teams playing better than them at the present moment.
9. Vermont (5-5-1, 4-4-0 HEA) – Last Week: 9
Vermont was swept by top-ranked Providence last weekend, but rebounded to sweep the Massachusetts Minutemen this past weekend. The Catamounts are having .500 season and their record proves as much.
10. Massachusetts (3-9-2, 1-6-2 HEA) – Last Week: 11
Massachusetts only moves up into the 10 spot in this week’s Hockey East Power Rankings due to the awful conference play of the Merrimack College Warriors. The Minutemen were swept in a two-game series by the Vermont Catamounts over the weekend and will sit towards the bottom of the rankings for the near future.
11. Merrimack College (3-8-1, 0-5-1 HEA) – Last Week: 10
Merrimack College has only three wins this season and none of them have come against Hockey East opponents. With an 0-5-1 record in Hockey East, the Warriors moved to the 11 spot in the Power Rankings. Merrimack was swept by Northeastern over the weekend and will continue to have scoring troubles to finish the season.
Justin Soderberg is a Northeast Hockey Reporter for Inside Hockey, he also covers the UMass Lowell River Hawks for View from 123. Follow him on Twitter, connect with him on Facebook or add him to your circle on Google+.