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College Hockey:
A pleasant plane ride for UNH, concerns at NU, and a challenge to readers

After blowing a 4-0 lead on Friday night, finishing in a 4-4 tie with Colorado College, it looked like New Hampshire’s trip to Colorado could be a disaster when the Wildcats fell behind, 3-0, to Denver on Saturday. Then something changed. That leads my three takeaways from this weekend.

1. Comeback makes long flight more tolerable

According to United Airlines, a flight from Denver to Boston is 1,754 miles and takes 3 hours, 49 minutes from gate to gate. Add another 90-minute bus ride from Logan Airport to UNH’s campus in Durham, N.H. That would be one long, ugly trip had the Wildcats not posted a memorable comeback at Denver on Saturday night when Grayson Downing and Kevin Goumas each potted hat tricks in a 6-4 victory. UNH was on both sides of big-time comebacks on the weekend but I think everyone in the Wildcats travel party would say they prefer to make the comeback prior to such a long trip home.

2. Northeastern is in dire straits

Things have turned ugly for the Northeastern Huskies. Since posting upsets of Merrimack and Boston College to begin the season, Northeastern has posted but two wins against Alabama-Huntsville, a team that isn’t exactly lighting it up in college hockey. Last Friday night, after jumping out to a 1-0 lead, Northeastern allowed a late goal in the first to send its game against St. Lawrence to intermission tied at 1. From there, the Huskies sleep walked through the game, losing 5-2. According to head coach Jim Madigan, it may be time to blow things up and start fresh, with each player looking deep inside themself. I couldn’t agree more (more on this in Thursday’s column).

3. A challenge to our readers

OK, I’ll admit it. I need your help, particularly those with great memories of college hockey. With Boston College’s win last Saturday, it has won 29 of its last 30 games, dating to last season. Long-time radio announcer at Providence Mike Logan mentioned to me that this run is the best in college hockey since a Maine team that went 42-1-2 in 1992-93. But after I looked into it, even that Black Bears team didn’t post 29 wins in a 30-game period. I’ve racked my brain all weekend trying to figure out if any other team has posted 29 wins in 30 games and the only club I could think that would qualify for that is Cornell. In 1969-70, the Big Red went 29-0-0, thus regardless of the result of Cornell’s final game in 1968-69 or the first game of the 1970-71 seasons, Cornell at least matches BC’s 29 wins in 30 games.

So thus, I challenge you, my readers, to find another team since 1970 that has posted 29 wins in 30 games at the Division I level. Yes, it will take a very good memory and a little bit of research. But send me your thoughts to jim.connelly@uscho.com and I will verify any answer. Anyone who provides me with a correct answer by Wednesday, Nov. 28 at noon will get a mention in this week’s Hockey East column. So start pulling out those old media guides!

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  • Traqques

    ND WMU game is actually in South Bend…..

    • Paula Weston

      Yes, it is.  I said so in the paragraph but not the header.  Caught and fixed.  Thank you.  

  • Paul

    You got this one 100% correct Paula.  Notre Dame did win and the final score was 3-2.

    This wouldn’t have been as big of a deal had WMU swept Michigan State last weekend.  Since WMU won’t play again until next Tuesday (at home vs. Notre Dame), the Broncos could fall over the weekend from 5th in the CCHA standings to 8th.  Tonight’s loss dropped Western from 12 to 14 in the PairWise rankings.  The Michigan State losses in Kalamazoo dropped WMU from 3 to 12 in the PairWise.

    Notre Dame is now 4-0-0 at their new Compton Family Ice Arena, which you can still see in this live construction camera:  http://hockeycam.campus.nd.edu/view/viewer_index.shtml?id=155

    Notre Dame officially dedicates their new arena at the dedication game this Friday.

    • Paul

      Here’s an interesting statistic from before this game:  “Notre Dame overall is scoring an average of 3.45 goals/game, while giving up 2.45/game.”

      • Paul

        The weekend is over.  WMU only fell from 5th to 6th in the CCHA standings, with Michigan State and U. of Michigan right behind, both tied for 7th.  In the PairWise rankings, WMU went up from 14 to 12, where they were before losing at Notre Dame, which is now #2 in the PairWise.