Three tournament wins and three things learned

The annual weekend of in-season tournament madness came to an end and Hockey East fared the best of all the league involved earning three tournament victories. If you told me the league got three wins at tournaments, though, I’d have guaranteed you that Boston College had one of those victories at the GLI. Man, how wrong was I? But holiday tournaments lead the three things we learned this past extended weekend.

1. Northeastern leads league’s tournament success.

I will say it now, officially on the record, that it is time to stop picking against Northeastern. Dave and I have been hammered by Husky fans over the last few weeks for picking against this team, which now is on an eight-game unbeaten streak. But this team, and its confidence level, seems legit. To win a holiday tournament isn’t unexpected. To beat Minnesota on its home ice to earn that victory is pretty incredible. Congrats to the Huskies (as well as Maine and Massachusetts-Lowell) for earning tournament wins.

2. It looks like Boston University’s losses have added up.

I had some concerns coming into the weekend about Boston University’s loss of top scorers Corey Trivino and Charlie Coyle. They proved very real when BU was run over by Notre Dame on New Year’s Eve. When you think of the game, though, it wasn’t as much about the losses to the Terriers offense as much as the team’s defense unable to stop the Fighting Irish attack. Notre Dame reeled off five straight goals bringing into question how well the defense is playing. Yes, one game isn’t the best measuring stick, but it certainly didn’t calm any nerves of BU nation.

3. Time to press the panic button in Durham.

I think many of us have been standing by patiently waiting for New Hampshire to turn things around. There have been some signs of brilliance amidst what otherwise has been an ugly season in Durham. Optimists may have hope that playing a team that is among the bottom of the ECAC would provide a good start for UNH. But instead the Wildcats feel behind, 3-0, and then had a rally fall short losing 5-2. Goaltender Matt DiGirolamo had to be pulled from goal for the third time this season. What’s worse? UNH plays five of its next six games away from the Whittemore Center where its is winless thus far this season.

22 COMMENTS

  1. No mention on Clendening missing from the Notre Dame game? thats the main reason why the defense sucked, Ruikia was playing instead of Clendening. 

  2. Years of NCAA playoff ineptitude haven’t managed to wrest the throne from underneath UNH coach Umile, but I’ll bet the ineptitude they’re in the midst of now most certainly will (or ought to).

    • Not really Umile’s fault that DiGirolamo went from a solid goalie and a pre-season #1 to basically the worst goalie in college hockey overnight.  Maybe he should have gone to the backups earlier, but they are both very young (one a true freshman).  Th team is young in general, and they’ve yet to get a solid scoring line together.  

      that being said…i don’t think they would be taking a huge step back if they went in another direction at coach.

      • The team is young, but the two times DeSmith has played (vs. BU and the 3rd vs. Brown), the team has played with a lot more intensity.  It surely does help when you have confidence that your goalie will make the saves for you and he has proven he can, freshman or not, he deserves more of a look now.

  3. many of the players including the senior leaders on the unh team think Tyler Scott should be in net.  Unfortunately Umile doesn’t stand behind his walk on recruit.  He would rather play the players he invested in instead of players that can play to win.

    • I find that hard to believe… I do think Casey DeSmith deserves more time and Jeff Wyer would have gotten a lot more time by now, if not for his knee injury.  I don’t think there is any way Scott is better than Wyer or DeSmith.  Either way, the way Digi is playing, I’d rather see anybody but him in there.

  4. I thought St Cloud played about as well they have all season in the championship game. Their team defense and goal tending has gotten noticeably better than it was in the first half.

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