The Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks scheduled some difficult road trips to begin the season. That proved to be a good thing this past week as the team extended its road winning streak to six games. That leads the three things I learned this week.
1. Road tested, road approved
UMass-Lowell finished what was a pretty grueling road trip – the longest any team in Hockey East will spend away from campus this season – with a perfect 3-0-0 record. Lowell left campus early last Monday morning. Played Tuesday night at Princeton. Traveled Wednesday to State College, Penn. Played Thursday and Friday at Penn State returning home around 5 a.m. on Saturday. And at the end of it all, Lowell came away with three hard-fourth victories to extend the team’s road winning streak to six game. The River Hawks are now 6-1-0 on the road this season. That trend could be important late in the year as seven of Lowell’s final nine game – all league contests – will be played on the road.
2. Friars stay hot
Providence remained one of the nation’s hottest teams this weekend winning twice at Vermont to improve to 9-1-1. The Friars .864 winning percentage is second in the nation to Quinnipiac (11-1-1). While many expected Jon Gillies, who became Providence’s all-time shutout leader on Saturday with eight, to play well, it’s difficult to overlook the contributions of Ross Mauermann, who after a three-goal weekend at Vermont, now has 10 goals in 11 games.
3. Blowouts continue
It’s been rare in recent years to see any Hockey East team blowout an opponent. But after New Hampshire crushed Massachusetts, 9-0, and Boston College routed Army, 11-0, last weekend, Maine followed suit on Friday, shutting out Boston University, 7-0, at home. Six different players scored goals for the Black Bears, the back breaker coming early in the second when Maine’s Ben Hutton scored an unassisted goal while his team was killing a 5-on-3 man advantage.