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Around Hockey East, Polls, & Awards

A week after squandering their spot atop the USCHO rankings by going 1-2-0 the Boston University Terriers did better this past weekend, grabbing three points in a home and home with the Warriors of Merrimack.  Meanwhlie, Lowell played a couple games at home and won both of them, first clubbing UConn 6-4 in a mid-week affair and then beating the Maine Black Bears in a surprisingly narrow 3-2 overtime victory.  While goaltending performance at Lowell has a lot to do with the defensemen and system under coach Norm Bazin, it’s worth mentioning that former Minuteman Kevin Boyle has one of the top winning percentages in the league with a 7-1-3 record so far for the River Hawks.  The Vermont Catamounts had the a weekend off and this Saturday will face Saint Lawrence.

Providence and Northeastern split an odd Wednesday-Saturday home and home this past week, despite Friar goaltender Jon Gilles only giving up three goals total in the two games.  Boston College took three points from New Hampshire, even though the Eagles continuing to struggle on the power play this season.  BC has only scored six power play goals total this season with half of them coming at the Minutemen’s expense unfortunately.  In addition to their loss at Lowell, the UConn Huskies also lost earlier in the week 1-0 to the Brown Bears.  Since their big games where they took three points from BU and BC earlier this season the Huskies are just 1-4-2 since.

With those results BU and Lowell are atop the Hockey East standings, with the River Hawks having a game in hand on the Terriers.  Vermont is just one point behind.  There’s a logjam in the middle with just five points separating 4th and 8th place.  UMass remains in last place, with the three teams ahead of them all holding two or more games in hand on the Minutemen.  These standings will remain as is until January.  While there are some matches between Hockey East opponents coming up, they’re all non-conference tilts.

Conference     Overall
    GP W-L-T   PTS GF-GA     GP W-L-T GF-GA
1 Boston University 10 7-1-2   16 38-19     15 10-3-2 49-28
  Mass.-Lowell 9 7-0-2   16 37-16     16 10-3-3 60-42
3 Vermont 11 7-3-1   15 37-20     15 11-3-1 52-25
4 Providence 10 6-4-0   12 18-13     15 8-6-1 30-27
5 Notre Dame 8 4-2-2   10 23-20     18 8-8-2 53-50
6 Boston College 9 4-4-1   9 24-21     16 8-7-1 47-42
  Merrimack 9 4-4-1   9 19-18     17 10-5-2 44-32
8 Northeastern 10 3-6-1   7 20-34     15 4-10-1 28-49
9 Connecticut 7 2-4-1   5 15-20     15 3-8-4 26-38
10 Maine 8 2-6-0   4 19-28     16 3-12-1 34-58
11 New Hampshire 7 1-5-1   3 12-22     14 4-9-1 34-38
12 Massachusetts 10 1-9-0   2 22-53     15 4-11-0 40-67

North Dakota is still #1 in this week’s USCHO rankings.   With their win and tie against Merrimack, BU moves up a spot to #2.  Lowell dropped to #8 despite winning both their games this past weekend.  Vermont didn’t play a game but moves into the top ten at #10.  Lots of Hockey East representation at the bottom of the rankings with BC at #16, Providence at #18, and Merrimack at #19.

USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll

December 08, 2014

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 North Dakota (38) 12- 3-2 983 1
2 Boston University ( 1) 10- 3-2 900 3
3 Minnesota State ( 1) 12- 4-0 818 2
4 Michigan Tech ( 1) 12- 2-0 784 5
5 Harvard ( 6) 9- 1-2 752 9
6 Miami 11- 5-0 743 4
7 Minnesota 9- 4-1 715 6
8 Massachusetts-Lowell 10- 3-3 707 7
9 Minnesota-Duluth ( 3) 11- 5-0 677 8
10 Vermont 11- 3-1 548 11
11 Denver 9- 4-0 478 10
12 Nebraska-Omaha 8- 4-2 435 12
13 Bowling Green 11- 3-2 419 14
14 Colgate 9- 5-1 377 13
15 Quinnipiac 10- 5-1 256 15
16 Boston College 8- 7-1 177 17
17 Robert Morris 10- 1-3 170 20
18 Providence 8- 6-1 161 16
19 Merrimack 10- 5-2 138 18
20 Union 9- 6-1 66 NR
Others receiving votes: Penn State 56, Northern Michigan 51, Yale 29, St. Cloud State 28, Michigan 18, St. Lawrence 7, Ferris State 3, Dartmouth 2, Holy Cross 1, Mercyhurst 1.

 

It’s also probably time to start looking at Pairwise Rankings.  Well, not for UMass’ purposes of course.  Here are the Top 20 currently in the Pairwise.

Rk Team PCWs RPI Rk QWB-† W-L-T Win % Wgtd Win % – ‡
1 Minnesota State 58 .6328 1 .0150 12-4-0 .7500 .7561
2 Minnesota-Duluth 57 .6113 2 .0128 11-5-0 .6875 .6747
3 Nebraska-Omaha 56 .6090 3 .0092 8-4-2 .6429 .6757
4 Harvard 55 .6075 4 .0050 9-1-2 .8333 .8333
5 Michigan Tech 54 .5993 5 .0000 12-2-0 .8571 .8421
6 Miami 53 .5981 6 .0105 11-5-0 .6875 .6757
7 North Dakota 52 .5893 7 .0049 12-3-2 .7647 .7442
8 Bowling Green 51 .5889 8 .0042 11-3-2 .7500 .7619
9 Minnesota 50 .5795 9 .0031 9-4-1 .6786 .6923
10 Vermont 49 .5794 10 .0000 11-3-1 .7667 .8082
11 Boston University 47 .5786 11 .0021 10-3-2 .7333 .7237
12 Denver 47 .5627 12 .0040 9-4-0 .6923 .6667
13 Mass.-Lowell 46 .5581 13 .0013 10-3-3 .7188 .6835
14 Yale 45 .5548 14 .0061 6-3-2 .6364 .6228
15 Merrimack 44 .5495 15 .0007 10-5-2 .6471 .6429
16 Penn State 43 .5463 16 .0017 9-4-2 .6667 .6831
17 Quinnipiac 42 .5429 17 .0014 10-5-1 .6562 .6329
18 Colgate 41 .5419 18 .0003 9-5-1 .6333 .6301
19 St. Lawrence 40 .5354 19 .0040 8-6-1 .5667 .5823
20 Dartmouth 40 .5337 20 .0052 5-4-1 .5500 .5510
50 Massachusetts 9 .4319 50 .0006 4-11-0 .2667 .2821

 

As you can see Hockey East is currently in line to get four teams in, but their spots in the top 16 are shaky at best.

BU’s Danny O’Regan was able to outshine teammate Jack Eichel’s four assist performance on Saturday with a hat trick and an assist, capturing Hockey East Player of the Week honors with his actions.  Notre Dame’s Robbie Russo, who I was very impressed with in the games against the Minutemen, grabbed the Defensive Player of the Week honors with his two goal, three assist performance in Amherst.  Lowell’s Michael Louria was named Rookie of the Week.

Do you like Power Rankings?  Well here’s one from SBN College Hockey and another from Scott McLaughlin at WEEI.  I think you can probably guess where UMass falls in both of them.

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