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Weekend Wrap-around ▲ Northeastern Surging

We had  nothing but conference play for the Hockey East teams this past weekend.  Yes, the stretch run has come to the league.  Of the six weekend series, four ended up being sweeps.  The weekend helped cement the gap between the four or five teams with a chance at the league title and everyone else.

Northeastern won their first game of the season opening night and then proceed to go winless in their next 13 before defeating Colgate in Belfast at the Friendship Four.  Starting with that win overseas the Huskies have gone 6-1-2, including this weekend’s sweep of New Hampshire.  They now have 7 points in Hockey East play.  This puts them just one point behind UMass, who is currently tied for 8th place after getting swept by Lowell this weekend.  UMass and Northeastern meet for the first time this season in a mid-February home and home.

After struggling for the first half of the season it appeared that Vermont had turned things around, winning four straight since the holidays.  But the hopes of a resurgence were thwarted this past weekend when they got swept at home by Providence by a combined score of 9-4.  Notre Dame continues to play well while Merrimack’s freefall continues as the Irish swept the Warriors at home with a 7-2 decision Friday and 5-1 on Saturday.

Probably the marquee matchup of the weekend was between Comm Ave foes Boston College and Boston University.  An Eagle sweep would’ve given Jerry York 1,000 career wins.  BC won Friday night at home but the teams ended up tying 1-1 the next night at Agganis Arena, meaning York will try again for the milestone this Friday in Amherst.  In the last weekend series UConn, which is also playing better lately, went up to Maine and got a win and a tie despite only giving up two goals on the weekend.

With all those results, here are how the current Hockey East standings look.  With New Hampshire and Vermont both getting swept they stay in the three way tie with UMass.  However UConn has now leapfrogged the three to drop them to 8th place and Northeastern is now right behind.  Lowell remains on top with the four points they got over UMass.

Conference     Overall
    GP W-L-T   PTS GF-GA     GP W-L-T GF-GA
1 Mass.-Lowell 14 9-2-3   21 38-18     22 14-4-4 64-36
2 Boston College 12 8-1-3   19 50-25     22 15-4-3 89-42
3 Notre Dame 11 8-1-2   18 42-20     23 12-4-7 80-54
4 Providence 10 6-1-3   15 34-22     22 15-3-4 80-49
5 Boston University 12 5-4-3   13 40-35     22 11-7-4 75-63
6 Connecticut 13 4-7-2   10 28-40     23 8-13-2 56-70
7 Merrimack 12 2-5-5   9 23-36     23 7-11-5 51-63
8 Massachusetts 13 2-7-4   8 28-52     23 7-12-4 57-83
  New Hampshire 10 2-4-4   8 30-35     22 8-10-4 79-77
  Vermont 12 3-7-2   8 28-38     25 9-14-2 53-66
11 Northeastern 13 2-8-3   7 34-42     23 7-12-4 61-65
12 Maine 10 2-6-2   6 14-26     23 5-13-5 40-68

 

The Hockey East Player of the Week was Providence defenseman Trevor Mingoia who had two goals and two assists in the wins over Vermont.  Notre Dame’s Bobby Nardella was the Rookie of the Week while goaltender Rob Nichols of UConn was the Defensive Player of the Week after giving up a lone goal to Maine.

We have a new #1 in the USCHO rankings as Quinnipiac took over the top ranking with their 19-1-3 record after North Dakota dropped a game in overtime to Omaha.  Providence stays at #3 while Friday’s opponent, Boston College, remains at #4.  Lowell rose from #11 to #8 with their dominant sweep of UMass.  Boston University dropped a spot after getting just one point against BC.  Notre Dame remained #13 despite sweeping Merrimack.

USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll

January 18, 2016

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Quinnipiac (41) 19- 1-3 990 2
2 North Dakota ( 8) 19- 3-2 941 1
3 Providence ( 1) 15- 3-4 889 3
4 Boston College 15- 4-3 820 4
5 St. Cloud State 18- 5-1 785 5
6 Michigan 14- 3-4 748 6
7 Nebraska-Omaha 15- 6-1 671 9
8 Massachusetts-Lowell 14- 4-4 611 11
9 Harvard 9- 4-3 603 7
10 Cornell 11- 3-3 528 8
11 Boston University 11- 7-4 496 10
12 Yale 10- 4-3 471 12
13 Notre Dame 12- 4-7 448 13
14 Penn State 15- 4-3 352 15
15 Denver 10- 7-5 335 14
16 Rensselaer 12- 7-5 180 20
17 Michigan Tech 13- 7-4 141 NR
18 Bowling Green 13- 7-5 140 16
19 Minnesota-Duluth 8- 8-5 110 17
20 Minnesota State 11- 8-5 84 19
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 58, Minnesota 46, Holy Cross 18, St. Lawrence 17, Dartmouth 4, Union 4, Rochester Institute of Technology 1.

 

In this week’s Pairwise rankings Quinnipiac, St Cloud, North Dakota, and Providence are all on track for one seeds.  Hockey East would get 5 teams into the tournament currently.

Rk Team PCWs RPI Rk QWB-† W-L-T Win % Wgtd Win % – ‡
1 Quinnipiac 59 .6293 1 .0096 19-1-3 .8913 .8772
2 St. Cloud State 58 .6036 2 .0066 18-5-1 .7708 .7667
3 North Dakota 57 .5982 3 .0056 19-3-2 .8333 .8306
4 Providence 56 .5954 4 .0039 15-3-4 .7727 .7870
5 Nebraska-Omaha 55 .5875 5 .0060 15-6-1 .7045 .7196
6 Harvard 54 .5778 6 .0050 9-4-3 .6562 .6585
7 Michigan 53 .5740 7 .0026 14-3-4 .7619 .7400
8 Cornell 52 .5726 8 .0043 11-3-3 .7353 .7346
9 Boston College 51 .5690 9 .0047 15-4-3 .7500 .7477
10 Yale 50 .5673 10 .0033 10-4-3 .6765 .6839
11 Notre Dame 49 .5667 11 .0047 12-4-7 .6739 .6636
12 Boston University 48 .5603 12 .0107 11-7-4 .5909 .5833
13 Mass.-Lowell 47 .5584 13 .0022 14-4-4 .7273 .7294
14 Denver 46 .5531 14 .0061 10-7-5 .5682 .5794
15 Penn State 45 .5462 15 .0014 15-4-3 .7500 .7115
16 Minnesota 43 .5373 16 .0045 11-10-0 .5238 .5000
17 Minnesota-Duluth 43 .5346 17 .0046 8-8-5 .5000 .4953
18 Rensselaer 41 .5339 18 .0037 12-7-5 .6042 .5948
19 Dartmouth 40 .5278 19 .0021 8-8-1 .5000 .5065
20 Minnesota State 40 .5236 20 .0006 11-8-5 .5625 .5726
37 Massachusetts 23 .4802 37 .0000 7-12-4 .3913 .4138

 

The NHL Central Scouting rankings came out today and defenseman Callum Fryer, who has been one of UMass’ best players in the past few months, is ranked 190th among North American skaters.  He is projected to be a potential late round draft pick.  Recruit John Leonard had previously been listed by Central Scouting in their rankings, but dropped off in the most recent update.  Leonard has struggled adjusting to the higher level of play in the USHL this season compared to high school.  Leonard has three goals and three assists in 29 games this season.

The Collegian’s Jason Kates has this article on former Minutemen playing in the NHL.

Like most everyone else, the USHL are not big fans of the Big Ten’s age limit proposal.

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