Very interesting weekend that just passed in Hockey East as the results of the games shuffled the Hockey East standings a bit with just four weekends remaining.
The marquis series of the weekend didn’t disappoint. Boston University went up to Orono and walked away with three of four points against Maine, despite two nailbitter games that could’ve gone either way. The Terriers rallied from 3-1 down on Friday to earn a 4-3 victory, just Maine’s second loss of the season at home. On Saturday, BU survived an absolute onslaught from the Black Bears, which include being outshot, 20-2, in the opening period. At the end of the frame, though, each team had registered a goal and neither could find the back of the night for the remaining 45 minutes and the game finished in a 1-1 tie.
The results of the weekend series probably mattered more for Maine than BU. The Terriers remained in third place after the weekend, though distanced themselves from the Black Bears. Maine, on the other hand, fell to fifth place, and out of the final home ice slot being leapfrogged by Merrimack, which swept Vermont, 2-1 and 7-1.
New Hampshire grabbed two wins over Providence on the weekend and, in doing so, jumped back into a tie with Boston College, which won its only game of the weekend, 5-1, over Massachusetts-Lowell. UNH entered the weekend with three games in hand on BC and made up one of those up this past weekend. That trend will continue in each of the following two weekends as the Eagles play just single league games (due to the Beanpot).
Passing BC in the next two weekends is hardly a slam dunk for the Wildcats. UNH will face a hungry Maine team at home this weekend for two before playing Merrimack in a home-and-home the following week.
The other key series this past weekend was Northeastern’s win and tie over Massachusetts. Huskies goaltender Chris Rawlings impressively posted his third shutout in four games on Friday with a 3-0 win before the Huskies earned a 2-2 road tie on Saturday. The three points for the Huskies further cemented their position in sixth place as they are now five points ahead of UMass. At the same time, Northeastern remains in the race for home ice, just two points behind fourth-place Merrimack and one behind Maine. The only downside for the Huskies is, like BC and BU, Northeastern will play just single games the next two weekends, allowing the Warriors and Black Bears the opportunity to extend their leads.