Do you like splits? Well this past weekend in Hockey East was for you. The biggest story of the weekend was that Northeastern got its first win of the season at home against UNH after losing in Durham the night before. Vermont got blanked in Providence 3-0 on Friday but rebounded with a 2-1 win on Saturday. What I found most surprising about that series is that the Friars, the #3 team in the country to start the season, only got 2300 fans to each of the games. That’s disappointing and surprising, despite the slow start for the team.
Merrimack hosted Notre Dame this past weekend and after losing a tough one in overtime on Friday bounced back to a surprising 4-1 win on Saturday. Even out of conference we saw a split has Penn State dominated #4 Lowell by a score of 4-1 on Saturday after losing 5-3 the night before. In a split against two different teams this past week Boston College continued to struggle on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to Harvard but travelled out to East Lansing and beat the Spartans by the same score Friday. No split for Boston University as they travelled up to Orono for a 3-1 victory in their only game of the weekend against Maine. And in the “Well, that’s college hockey…” result of the week UConn followed up its three point week against BC and BU by getting shutout 2-0 against Sacred Heart. What’s interesting about that game is that it was played at prep’s Taft School in honor of Jason Pagni, a force in Connecticut hockey and someone who meant a lot to UMass great Jon Quick.
Minnesota got swept by Minnesota-Duluth this past weekend which means we have a new #1 team this week. That team is Michigan Tech. Michigan Tech! If Union winning the championship last year and the Huskies of Tech being the top team in the country isn’t a huge affirmation to the fact that any team in college hockey, even success-challenged UMass, can climb to the top I don’t know what is. North Dakota stays at #2 and BU climbs all the way to #3 with their 6-1-1 ranking. Needless to say David Quinn is the early favorite for coach of the year.
Minnesota drops to fourth after getting swept by the Bulldogs while Lowell’s loss to Penn State drops them a spot to #5. Saturday’s opponent Vermont dropped one spot from tenth to eleventh after splitting at Providence. Friday’s foe BC is just behind them at #12, dropping out of the top ten with their recent struggles. Vermont’s split with Providence dropped them one spot but Providence’s split with Vermont dropped them three spots to #19. Merrimack is set to break into the Top 20 next week if they can build on their 7-3-1 start.
USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll
November 17, 2014
|Team||(First Place Votes)||Record||Points||Last Poll|
|1||Michigan Tech||(24)||10- 0-0||940||5|
|2||North Dakota||(12)||8- 2-1||916||2|
|3||Boston University||(14)||6- 1-1||913||3|
|9||Minnesota State||7- 3-0||574||9|
|12||Boston College||5- 5-0||439||8|
|16||St. Cloud State||4- 5-1||248||15|
|17||Northern Michigan||6- 1-1||205||18|
|18||Bowling Green||8- 3-1||177||19|
|20||Robert Morris||7- 1-2||108||17|
|Others receiving votes: Merrimack 61, St. Lawrence 54, Ferris State 53, Harvard 44, Notre Dame 22, Penn State 19, Yale 15, Michigan 1.|
Apparently spending a week growing Movember mustaches isn’t enough for UMass players to get a mention in the Hockey East Weekly Awards. Important to note that Vermont sophomore goaltender Mike Santaguida was defensive player of the week. Meaning it’s not just Brady Hoffman that Catamount opponents have to plan for.
The big news around UMass hockey today was that Austin Plevy signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Minutemen next fall. This link includes a profile and commentary from Coach Mick on Plevy. Those who have followed along with FTT’s recruit updates know that Plevy, a former Merrimack recruit, is one of the top scorers in the AJHL and will likely be able to contribute right away for the 2015-16 season. Plevy is currently leading the Viterra Cup standings, which measures the accumulation of each player of the game designation around the AJHL.
Speaking of UMass spending their bye week on their mustaches, the UMass team, spurred on by head coach John Micheletto has fully embraced Movember, where guys grow facial hair to raise awareness of prostate cancer. Although as someone who goes through every day with facial hair I never really know what to do when November rolls around (do I shave and start from scratch? do I just mold the usual goatee into something else entirely?) this is a great cause and one that hits home since I faced a prostate cancer scare myself a few years back myself. Clicking on the above Collegian link will show you that Mike Busillo should already be crowned the Movember champ for UMass. Friday’s game against BC will feature some mustache themed contests. I encourage everyone to donate to Coach Mick’s Movember page for this cause.
UMass athletes, coaches, and administrators have created the following video in support of the “It’s On Us” campaign to battle on-campus sexual assault:
Finally, here’s a must read about a Union hockey player who finally got to meet the person whose life he helped save last winter before a game this past weekend.