All but one of the remaining games before the holidays took place this past weekend. (The lone exception is Vermont at St. Lawrence on Saturday.)
The big winner was New Hampshire, which came from behind to topple Maine at Alfond Arena, 4-3 in overtime. This has become a huge rivalry so bragging rights all by themselves loomed large but there was even more to this win.
The Wildcats needed an extra-attacker goal from Dalton Speelman with 18.3 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and then got the game-winner 1:26 in from Jeff Silengo. So for UNH fans, it was an especially exhilarating win and for Maine fans, a dagger to the heart.
In the bigger picture, the win vaulted the Wildcats to the top of the Hockey East standings. Technically, they’re tied with idle Boston College at 18 points, but with two games in hand UNH can consider itself on top. Heading into the break in that position and with an 8-1-2 league record has to be particularly pleasing.
Maine got some of that bad taste out of its mouth on Sunday with a win over Massachusetts, 4-1, led by Brian Flynn’s hat trick. The Black Bears now reside in fourth place with 14 points, four points out of first place and two points out of third but with two games in hand over BC and third-place BU.
Speaking of the Terriers, they travelled to Spell-Check University, also known as Rensselaer, and got sent back to Boston with their tails between their legs. A 4-1 loss sends BU into the break with three losses in its last four games. Since opening the season with a 6-0-1 mark, BU has gone 2-4-4.
In other nonconference games, Providence defeated Quinnipiac, 5-2, to boost its overall record over .500. Massachusetts-Lowell lost twice at Princeton, falling to 2-14-2. And Vermont got a much-needed win, its second of the year, defeating Dartmouth, 6-5. Sebastian Stalberg and Matt Marshall each scored twice in that one.
So other than the afforementioned Vermont – St. Lawrence tilt this weekend, that’s it for games until after final exams and the holidays.
We’ll have more content here in the meantime so keep checking back, but just in case, here’s wishing a Happy Holidays to all of you and thanks for reading.