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.