Awards & Polls, Mastalerz Named Defensive Player of the Week

His 35 save shutout of #4 Boston College earned Steve Mastalerz recognition in the form of Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors, shared with Merrimack’s Joe Cannata.  Conor Allen, Peter DeAngelo, and T.J. Syner were named Top Performers for this part in the upset last weekend.

BC’s loss to UMass and narrow win against Northeastern didn’t hurt them in the USCHO poll however.  In fact they moved up a spot to #3.  The other team tied for first place in Hockey East, Boston University, leapfrogged the Eagles and are now ranked #2 in the country behind Minnesota-Duluth.  The Terriers defeated Northeastern and Harvard this past week.  A win and tie over Maine sent Merrimack up a spot to sixth.  Lowell dropped three spots to #14 after losing in overtime up at Vermont.

Looking at the Hockey East standings, UMass finds itself in 7th place, two points behind Lowell, which still has two games in hand on the Minutemen, and three points behind Providence in 5th place.  Maine is currently sitting in the last home ice spot, four points ahead of UMass but having played two more games thus far.  Missing the playoffs is still very much a possibility for the Minutemen with UNH just a point behind of UMass in 9th and Northeastern two points back, out of the playoffs.  After beating Lowell on Friday Vermont lost to Providence yesterday and still sit firmly in last place.

I told myself I wouldn’t give the Pairwise rankings my attention until UMass was at least at .500, which occurred with this past weekend’s win.  UMass currently sits tied with Maine at #23.  There is still a long ways to go to get to 15th, which is what is needed assuming the Atlantic Hockey winner only sends their automatic qualifier and there are no major upsets in the conference tournaments.

Joe Meloni at College Hockey News says Steve Mastalerz’s win makes the goaltending situation more interesting.  Honestly what is happening is nothing more than a continuation of what we expected out of training camp.  The only difference is Mastalerz wasn’t healthy at this point.  But so far all three goaltenders have made their case that they’re good enough to start in Hockey East.  While not ideal, t’s a great problem to have.

Expectations have changed with the win says Dick Baker.