Are the Maine Black Bears at a crossroads?

After a solid sweep at home of Providence on October 28 and 29, Maine has dropped four straight Hockey East games to drop below the .500 mark. Losses at Boston College and New Hampshire last weekend don’t seem too bad. But two losses at home to Massachusetts-Lowell could be cause to raise the red flag. That leads the three things I learned this weekend:

1. Does Maine have goaltending problems?

The Black Bears started Martin Ouellette on Friday and pulled him midway through the first after he looked out of it on two of Lowell’s first three goals. Dan Sullivan took over an looked pretty decent the remainder of the game but then allowed goals in bunches in the third on Saturday to allow the River Hawks to come from behind for the road sweep. Both goaltenders have goals against averages north of three and save percentages south of .900. Both of these will have to change if the Black Bears are to earn home ice this season.

2. On the other hand, Lowell (as I predicted two weeks ago) seems like the real deal

Some commenters criticized when I said that Lowell’s offense is much improved this season. I said that I love how aggressive the River Hawks are and was reminded by one reader that Providence for years tossed everything and the kitchen sink at the net yet missed the playoffs three straight seasons. Lowell, though, seems to have some talented players, as evidenced in a couple of the goals this past weekend (find video of Scott Wilson’s goal on Saturday and Chad Ruhwedel’s game winner from the same game) and they are beginning to finish their chances.

3. Despite 255 meetings, Boston College and Boston University can still make history

You would think that BU and BC playing so often that there wouldn’t be much history left to be made, but remarkably Terriers netminder Kieran Millan made some on Sunday. Millan became the first BU goaltender since the beginning of Hockey East in 1984-85 to shutout Boston College. The last BU shutout of the Eagles came all the way back on March 1, 1983.