Well, Monday has reared its ugly head once again, which means it’s time to look back at this weekend’s games in Hockey East. There have been a number of returns from last week, and some that might surprise you, but sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of “The Good, the Bad, and the NO WAY!”
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE BLACK BEARS – The tweets were remarkable Friday night as the score between Maine and North Dakota climbed and climbed until finally it rested at 7-3. And yes, Maine did win. Now, we knew this team was good, but that good? The Black Bears finished their weekend with a 4-2 win on Saturday to complete sweep against NoDak. They now are outscoring their opponents 28-17–that’s averaging almost five goals per game.
WHO’S HOT: Well, truth be told, the entire team. There are only THREE members on the entire roster that have a minus rating on the ice. Three. That puts the team at a remarkable +28 overall. To put that in perspective, the undefeated Boston University Terriers only have a team total of +14. I could mention seven or eight people on here, but I’ll break it down a little bit.
First off, it didn’t take too long for Gustav Nyquist to get a couple of goals under his name. He had two of them this weekend, as well as two assists for a total of nine points this season. The only teammates that he is sitting under at this point are Spencer Abbott (yeah, you heard his name last week too) who tallied a goal and three assists this weekend and currently sits on top the Maine team with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists), and Robby Dee (4 goals, 5 assists) who also took home one goal and three assists this weekend.
NOTES: If this is any indication of how Maine will play the rest of the year, this is going to be one heck of a year in Hockey East, especially with how well some of the other teams have been playing. I guess there is more to Maine than just woods and moose huh?
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN – This was a hard one this week. There are a couple of teams down in the crypts of Hockey East standings, but it almost seems unjust to mark any of them as “The Bad,” because you look at who they are playing and suddenly, a tie doesn’t seem so bad. But, UMass was the team that didn’t quite reach as high as the others.
The Minutemen have not won a game yet, and sit at a dismal 0-3-1 overall this year. Again, looking at the schedule, they were forced to play two games at Minnesota (they lost both games), followed by two games against Boston University (lost one, and tied the other.) But regardless of strength of schedule, the place where UMass needs to improve is in the first period. They are being outshot (49-29) and outscored (6-1) in the first frame alone.
WHO’S NOT: You need leadership, especially at the beginning of the season. At this point the Minutemen have only one point coming from a senior, and that was a goal from Marc Concannon. Every other point this season has come from an underclassmen. Now, I’m not saying leadership can’t come from the juniors, sophomore, or hey, even freshmen, but when your seniors aren’t producing, it just makes it that much more difficult to come out and perform every weekend.
THE NO WAY!
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS – There are only two teams left in Hockey East that hold the undefeated season in hand still — seventh place Merrimack and the first place Terriers.
BU has caught the nation off guard and has climbed the national polls each week as well as in Hockey East. They entered the season ranked fourth in Hockey East in the coaches poll behind Boston College, UMO and UNH. But, with a 4-0-1 record, they have declared very loudly that they are going to be top contenders this year. They have already offed Wisconsin and Notre Dame (who, by the way, beat #1 ranked Boston College this weekend,) as well as Hockey East opponents UMass and Providence. While none of the games have been blow outs, they have been close, gritty and hard fought battles.
WHO’S HOT: One of the backbones of this team coming in was goaltender Kieran Millan, and he has stepped up and performed well. He currently holds a .927 save percentage, and a 2.20 GAA while boasting a 3-0-1 record. Offensively, the Terriers have only four players without a point on the roster. Leading the way is freshman Sahir Gill who has 2 goals and 4 assists so far this season, followed closely by senior Joe Pereira (4 goals, 1 assist).
UNH 2, Northeastern 2 (A Tale of Twos)
UMass Lowell 5, Providence 4 (OT)
Northeastern 3, UMass Lowell 1
Merrimack 2, Vermont 2 (OT)
Notre Dame 2, BC 1