It’s not a big surprise that Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after scoring a natural hat trick against the Minutemen just two days following scoring a goal in BU’s crazy comeback against Harvard. UMass’ opponent in goal this weekend, former Minuteman Kevin Boyle, was named co-Defensive Player of the Week after picking up his fifth shutout of the season against UNH.
The UMass-BU game on Saturday was just one of four league matchups during the week. Boyle’s 1-0 win over UNH on Friday was one of the others. Meanwhile arguably the two best teams in Hockey East, Boston College and Providence, played a home and home series on the weekend. BC hammered the Friars 7-3 on Friday and then the teams tied 4-4 in Providence on Saturday. What’s surprising is that it was the Friars who had problems keeping the puck of the net, despite BC starting Ian Milosz, a goaltender just joining the squad from the USPHL.
In other games this week UConn headed out to Arizona for a game with Arizona State as well participate in their Desert Hockey Classic. The Huskies beat Arizona State 5-2 on Tuesday, fell to eventual tournament winner Michigan Tech in the opening game of the Classic on Friday, and then beat Arizona State again in the 3rd place game. Merrimack’s freefall continued this week with a 3-0 loss to Cornell after dropping a 3-0 shutout to Dartmouth in their previous game. Maine hosted Colgate for two games in Orono, splitting the weekend series.
Northeastern is now 3-0-1 in their last four games after sweeping a road series at #13 Saint Lawrence over the weekend, outscoring the Saints 7-2. Vermont blanked nearby Dartmouth in a game where they retired the number of Catamount legend Martin St Louis. And Notre Dame won and tied in a home and home series against Western Michigan.
With only a few Hockey Games this week and UNH losing UMass remains in a three-way tie with the Wildcats and a Vermont team that is starting to heat up. They’re just one point back from a plummeting Merrimack team. UConn is just behind the Minutemen, although UMass owns the tiebreaker against the Huskies. Maine isn’t too far behind the Minutemen and they have three games in hand.
North Dakota remains as the #1 team in the USCHO rankings this week. Providence remains at #3 despite only picking up one point this past weekend. For their performance against the Friars BC jumps from #7 to #4. With their wins over Harvard and UMass BU moved up one spot to #10. This weekend’s opponent, Lowell, move up a slot to #11. And Notre Dame is Hockey East’s final representative in the poll at #13.
USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll
January 11, 2016
|Team||(First Place Votes)||Record||Points||Last Poll|
|1||North Dakota||(32)||18- 2-2||980||1|
|4||Boston College||14- 4-2||815||7|
|5||St. Cloud State||17- 5-0||775||4|
|10||Boston University||11- 6-3||562||11|
|13||Notre Dame||10- 4-7||375||15|
|15||Penn State||13- 4-3||300||14|
|16||Bowling Green||13- 6-5||223||16|
|18||St. Lawrence||10- 7-2||152||13|
|19||Minnesota State||11- 7-4||124||18|
|Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 65, Michigan Tech 59, Union 12, Holy Cross 10, Minnesota 7.|
Since we’re now in the second half of the season it’s time to start thinking ahead to the postseason and looking at the Pairwise rankings. Hockey East would curently get 5 teams into the NCAA tournament. UMass is currently 31st in the Pairwise.
|Rk||Team||PCWs||RPI||Rk||QWB-†||W-L-T||Win %||Wgtd Win % – ‡|
|3||St. Cloud State||57||.6002||3||.0061||17-5-0||.7727||.7615|