ECAC Northeast and MASCAC weekend wrap: Nov. 14

You had to wonder when it was going to happen for Salve Regina. Last week, I wrote that Salve had won its first game in nearly nine months, as the Seagulls defeated Franklin Pierce, 4-2, last Tuesday, November 8.
Four nights later though, the Seahawks lost 10-2 to Curry in their ECAC Northeast opener, and it was an eye-opener for the Seahawks, who faced the defending league champion and a team that had earned an NCAA tournament berth last season. The road will continue to be challenging for Salve Regina (1-2, 0-1 ECAC Northeast), as it faces two more conference opponents before a pair of post-Thanksgiving, nonconference games against Bowdoin and Colby, November 26 and 27, in the Bowdoin-Colby Faceoff Classic in Maine.
For Salve Regina however, the nonconference schedule — 11 games this season, including six in a stretch from December 9 to January 14 — is one that’s specifically by design. As Seahawks coach Andy Boschetto explained it prior to the season, it’s about improving his team’s “compete level.” If you’re a hockey aficionado, you’ve probably been hearing that term quite a bit as of late.
Essentially, the “compete level” is how hard an individual or a team competes.
The philosophy when it came to creating Salve Regina’s 2011-2012 schedule? To compete well, you’ve got to learn how to compete against the best.
And for Salve Regina, there’s no other direction to go but upward. Salve Regina has won seven games since the start of the 2008-2009 season, going 7-64-5 in that stretch (including 1-2 this season). Furthermore, the Seahawks have not had a .500 record since 2007-2008, when they went 10-10-4 and 8-5-3 in conference play; they had gone winless in seven games prior to last week’s win.
After Salve Regina’s win, who’s on the clock now?
From a quick look around the ECAC Northeast and the MASCAC, Framingham State. The Rams are winless in their last five games, dating back to a 1-0 win February 12 against Worcester State. Framingham State lost its final five games of the 2010-2011 season.
Consider this: The Rams have won seven games in the last four seasons, but here’s a tip of the hat to some of my colleagues, who dug up some stats when it came to winless and losing streaks. In 2004, the MIT women ended an 82-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Salve Regina. Also, Lebanon Valley had a 60-game losing streak and a 69-game winless streak before the program abandoned varsity/Division III status in 2010. Lebanon Valley was 1-23-1 in 2007-2008, which included an 0-18-1 winless stretch from November 10, 2007 to February 23, 2008, then went 0-25 in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.
Proper Predictions
While I don’t go out on a limb all the time, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I predicted something correctly. Wentworth won the Fitchburg tournament — better known as the IC Federal Credit Union Shootout. (Just don’t expect me to volunteer this week’s lottery numbers!)
The Leopards, who are expected to be one of the top contenders in the ECAC Northeast, defeated Franklin Pierce, 5-2, in their tournament opener, then defeated tournament host Fitchburg State 2-0.