Boston College and Eagle goaltender Parker Milner were honored in this week’s Hockey East awards for their sweep of #9 Merrimack and Beanpot Championship. Kevin Boyle, Mike Marcou, and Mike Pereira were all named Top Performers for their play up in Orono.
The Eagles are also the top ranked team in Hockey East in the USCHO poll, just behind #1 Ferris State (that still sounds weird). Boston University’s two losses this past week dropped them to #5, Lowell is #7, and Maine moved up a spot to #10 even though they split with the Minutemen. Merrimack dropped out of the top ten to #12. Much the same in the USA Hockey/USA Today poll.
Hockey East has four probable at-large NCAA bids in the most recent Pairwise rankings.
Here’s the current Hockey East playoff situation:
7th New Hampshire, 22pts. Games left at UMass (2), at Maine
T-8th Massachusetts, 18 pts. Games left vs UNH (2), vs Mack, at Mack
T-8th Northeastern, 18pts. Games left vs Maine (2), at BU, vs BU
UMass currently holds the tiebreaker over Northeastern. The teams went 1-1-1 during the season, they both have 7 conference wins which is the second tiebreaker, so UMass’ 2-1-0 record against BC gives them the edge (Northeastern went 0-3-0 against BC).
With two games at home against UNH and the Minutemen having a game in hand over the Wildcats means 7th place is not out of the question.
PlayoffStatus.com gives UMass a 19% chance of taking 7th place but a 35% chance of finishing in 8th. Overall the site gives the Minutemen a 36% chance of missing the playoffs while Northeastern has a 59% chance. The Huskies inability to get more than two points in their two home games against Providence this past weekend really hurts them.
Despite some adversity during the season, UNH remains confident coming into this weekend’s trip to the Mullins says the Foster’s Daily Democrat.
USCHO covers the races at the top and bottom of the standings.
Something is rotten along Commonwealth Ave. Terrier defenseman Max Nicastro has been arrested for sexual assault on the BU campus. Nicastro is the second BU player to be charged with a serious crime this year after Corey Trivino was kicked off the team for a similar incident in December. Some of the quotes in this article from the BU student paper suggests the problem may lie in the culture that surrounds the hockey program at the school.
Lastly, I’m sad to report that UMass lost a long-time fan in the past week. Joe Mauger was a fellow UMass fan I got to know over the last decade or so at games, tailgates, and wherever else UMass fans gathered. He was a mainstay at UMass sporting events, be it basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, softball, or whatever. I personally enjoyed hearing his stories of when he was young and worked at Boston Arena (now Matthews) caring for the ice and facility in those pre-Zamboni times. Those who met him will remember his quick wit and love for the University of Massachusetts. My thoughts go out to his wife Nancy and the rest of his family. Rest in peace OBG.