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College Hockey:
A quick look back at the weekend: Nov. 5-6

It certainly was an interesting weekend to look back on in Hockey East. A busy league slate was highlighted by a clash of what most believe will be two of the league’s powerhouses come March – Maine and Boston University. The single game on Saturday night was a barnburner for 60 minutes and beyond and USCHO.com’s Scott Weighart described the game as have the “feel of a playoff game in March.”

The 2-2 deadlock at the end may have been the most fitting outcome given the back-and-forth nature of the game, though it took a Charlie Coyle goal late in the third to earn the tie for the Terriers. The tie keeps the Terriers as one of only two unbeaten teams in the country at 6-0-2 (Yale is currently 4-0-0) and could possibly launch them to the top spot in the USCHO.com poll when it is released this afternoon.

The BU/Maine tilt was hardly the only game of note on the weekend. New Hampshire proved to many they belong among the league’s elite by knocking off a Boston College team that a few weeks ago I was ready to crown national champions once again. The Eagles mustered just a single goal, though, a fell 2-1, their third loss in five games, dropping them to a pedestrian 5-3-0 on the season.

Providence, which my colleague Dave Hendrickson recently praised, continued to play well, posting a 2-0 victory over Merrimack and rallying for a 3-3 tie with Vermont. Suddenly the Friars, with a 3-2-2 league mark, sit in second place, though have played the second most games (seven) of any league team. Still, points are points in the standings and come season’s end it will be interesting to see if the Friars can remain consistent enough to fight for a home ice spot.

One thing to note about Providence’s starts is the fact the Friars are now 3-0-1 at home. There hasn’t been much home ice advantage down at Schneider Arena in years past. But if this team can turn things around and make that building a difficult one in which to play, that certainly will have positive impact.

All the way at the other end of the spectrum are Vermont and UMass, two teams that to this point still have yet to find a victory. Add to that a sorry start for Northeastern, which lost its third straight home game against an Atlantic Hockey opponent on Friday night falling to Niagara, and you have one sorry trio. Vermont twice blew third period leads this weekend, losing to Lowell 3-1 after leading 1-0 through two and then tying Providence 3-3 by blowing a 3-1 lead in the final twenty. It’s far too early in the season to press a panic button, but all three of these teams will need to turn things around quickly or they will be fighting it out for the final playoff spot come March.

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  • WildcatFan

    Is New Hampshire invisable? They beat the defending champs in their building, went 2-0 on the weekend and have played the toughest schedule to date. I don’t want them crowned champions but a little press would nice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2NJDAIOWD4C3RE673RB7WE4NEI Scott

    Same old story – UNH has played the #4, #7, #8 and #21 ranked teams in this weeks poll, going 3-1-1 against those schools. However, because there is no “Boston” associated with their school name – they will not get the respect they deserve. We need to face it – if you play in HE and are north, south or west of metropolitan Boston – you are just a sub-story. BU – the #1 team in the country – get real! The reporters love playing the “health issue with Parker” card, but shouldn’t they judge rankings solely on game performance, and not “great story value”? The fact is – UNH and Maine have both played tougher schedules than BU, Oh – but wait – BU has more “potential” so maybe that is why they are ranked #1.

    • Bobbym112

      do u really care who is number one in november? what’s the difference unh can’t win games in march and april anyways

    • black bears 8

      It might have something to do with BU being undefeated?

  • Tom

    Why bother covering UNH? Their story in March always has the same ending….

    • Friarsfinally

      Tom has it right on the money. for years I’ve been trying to tell Hendrickson that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRAQDMYBUWVI4OGXGZSFJP7PLU grizz man

    And UNH was winning on the Road !!! Yale 4 home games no ranked opponents, BC losing to Merrimack UNH and Notre Dame I think..come on voters wake up and
    look at the schedules – its like Auburn playing Chattanooga last weekend, how can playing such an inferior opponent – one who should be an exhibition game at best – help them in their rankings?? Same crap goes on here way too often

  • LtPowers

    No AHA team has more than one non-conference win; eight have exactly one. Why does Robert Morris alone out of those eight teams merit poll selection despite building its record primarily on AHA competition so far?

    • CG

      There are only 54 teams to choose from. Besides, regular season top 20 polls mean NOTHING in .NCAA hoops & hockey

  • Topshelf

    Not sure how you place NoDak ahead of Maine…unless you were out of the country when the Sioux played at Alfond.