Weekend (plus) recap: Jan. 18-23

There was an unquestioned king of the past week: Boston College.  Only the Eagles among all the Hockey East teams claimed every available point. 

Nobody else swept.  No team went without at least a tie.

With wins over arch-rival Boston University and Massachusetts-Lowell, BC moved into first place.  Sort of.  The Eagles now lead New Hampshire by two points, true enough, but UNH holds three games in hand.  That says advantage - UNH.

The Wildcats scored a dramatic overtime win against Providence, rallying from a 3-0 deficit before getting the Paul Thompson game-winner 4:14 into the OT.  The Wildcats couldn’t make it 2-for-2 on the weekend, however, losing to BU one night later, 2-1.

Speaking of the Terriers, that win kept them from going 0-for-3 on the week.  Prior to the big win over UNH, the Terriers lost a mid-week game to Merrimack, 3-2, and then a Friday contest by the same score to BC.  With the one win, BU holds onto a tenuous grasp of third place, one point ahead of Maine but conceding two games in hand.

Maine tied its only game of the week, 3-3, at Northeastern.  The Huskies also shut out Harvard, 3-0, in a nonconference mid-week tilt.  They remain a long shot to get home ice but are playing much more like the tough opponent people expected at the beginning of the year.

Merrimack suffered the most disappointing split, toppling BU on Tuesday only to lose at home on Friday to last-place Lowell. The two former Merrimack Valley rivals have played many heated games over the years, but this one on paper was supposed to go to the Warriors.

The River Hawks couldn’t savor that win for too long even though it broke a 13-game losing streak, because BC beckoned one night later and the Eagles took care of business.

Vermont and Massachusetts completed the most conventional of splits, being the only two teams that played against the each other both nights. The Catamounts squeaked out a 2-1 win on Friday before the Minutemen came back to trounce them one night later, 6-0.

Providence had undoubtedly the least satisfying “split” of all the teams.  On Friday, the Friars surrendered the aforementioned 3-0 lead over UNH and lost in the final minute of overtime. They did come back on Sunday to defeat the US Under-18 team, but exhibitions are exhibitions.  No points in the standings; no effect on the PairWise.

So for fans of every team but BC this past week it was a case of half-empty or half-full.