Yes, you can have a rain delay in hockey. That leads my list of three things I learned this week in Hockey East:
1. If you play hockey at a baseball stadium, expect a rain delay
Rain delay isn’t a term that hockey fans are familiar with, but on Saturday those in attendance at Frozen Fenway had the unique opportunity to experience such a delay. Thunder, lightning and heavy rains interrupted the first period of the game between Boston University and Maine at Fenway Park as part of the final game of Frozen Fenway. Credit to all those involved who worked extremely hard to get the ice surface back to playing shape in the delay that lasted 1 hour, 9 minutes. At the end of the day, somehow both hockey games were completed with Maine and Northeastern coming away winners.
2. Time to push the panic button at BU?
Anyone who tolerated the rain delay at Fenway now know that there is cause for concern for Boston University. The Terriers fell behind 5-0 to Maine before rallying to get within two before surrendering two empty-netters for a 7-3 final. The BU defense looked pedestrian for much of the first half of the game as Maine scored at will, including four first period goals. BU is 2-5-1 in Hockey East and sits in 10th place. There are still 12 league games left for BU, but this is quickly becoming a lost season for the struggling Terriers and first-year head coach David Quinn.
3. Merrimack back to winning ways
Merrimack had plenty of reason for concern heading to Clarkson for a two-game series this weekend. The Warriors entered the weekend with just a single win in their last 10 games (1-6-3) and were headed on the road to face a very good team in 11th-ranked Clarkson. A rally on Friday night to tie the game was spoiled as Merrimack fell, 3-2. But Saturday’s 4-0 shutout provided a lot of good signs for the struggling Warriors club. For starters, the Warriors potted four goals (one was an empty netter) and two of those came on the power play, something that needs to click if Merrimack is to have any success. On top of that, Rasmus Tirronen finished the game with a 34-save shutout. It is still a long-way back for the Warriors, but Saturday’s win could be the jump start this team needs.