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Awards and Polls; Dainton Named HEA Defensive POTW

Congratulations to UMass captain Paul Dainton who was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for his performances against Maine this past weekend.  It’s the third time this season Dainton has been honored with a weekly award.  Rocco Carzo was named a Weekly Top Performer.

UMass will be facing the second ranked Boston College in the quarterfinals this weekend as they held onto their #2 spot in the national rankings.  UNH dropped to #10 after getting swept by BC, while BU and Maine remained at their #13 and #14 spots respectively.  Amazingly Merrimack did not drop from their #9 ranking in the USCHO or USA Today poll after splitting with Providence.

Here are INCH’s Power Rankings.

Speaking of polls, with the regular season in Hockey East in the books let’s take a look at how teams finished compared to the early season predictions.  First up, the preseason coaches poll:

1. Boston College
2. Maine
3. New Hampshire
4. Boston University
5. Northeastern
6. Vermont
7. Merrimack
8. Lowell
9. Massachusetts
10. Providence

Now let’s take at look at the Fear The Triangle preseason predictions:

1. Boston College
2. New Hampshire
3. Maine
4. Merrimack
5. Boston University
6. Northeastern
7. Vermont
8. Massachusetts
9. Lowell
10. Providence

And finally, here is how the teams actually finished:

1. Boston College
2. New Hampshire
3. Boston University
4. Merrimack
5. Maine
6. Northeastern
7. Vermont
8. Massachusetts
9. Providence
10. Lowell

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of my predictions.  Swap two sets of teams and I had it perfect.  Obviously I thought a little too much of Maine, but then again not as much as the coaches did.  I really believed this UMass team, despite the fact that they lost 2/3rds of their scoring, would find a way into the playoffs, which they did.  Nearly every Hockey East poll I saw in the media picked them 9th or 10th.  The only other person I know of to have UMass to make the playoffs was New England Hockey Journal’s Andrew Merritt.  Obviously he, like myself, put our UMass educations to good use.  The difference I thought between the young UMass team and the young Lowell team was goaltending.  UMass had a four year starter and Lowell had, well, no one.  Obviously I thought the guys they had would do better than they actually did or I would’ve flipped Providence and Lowell myself.  The difference between those two teams?  Goaltending again with the Friars in possession of the skilled Alex Beaudry.  Of course next year the shoe will be on the other foot with the Minutemen bringing in two freshmen goaltenders and returning another with limited experience.  But we’ll worry about next year whenever UMass’ season comes to an end.

College Hockey News’ Joe Meloni has Mike Pereira on his All-Rookie Team with BC’s Cam Atkinson as his Player of the Year.

The Collegian has their weekend recap.

Northeastern got some good news on the eve of the playoffs with the reinstatement of coach Greg Cronin.

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