These are the three things I think I learned this week.
1. Northeastern may be headed to another bad start.
The Huskies defeated Colgate to open the season, but it was an ominous reminder of last year when they got swept in this weekend’s home-and-home series with Bentley. Gone are the days when wins over Atlantic Hockey teams are automatic and Bentley did finish fourth in its league last year.
Bentley was only 17-15-5 last year and lost its only two previous games this season, both to Mercyhurst.
More to the point, though, is that the Huskies dug themselves a gigantic hole last year, failing to record their first win until Nov. 15, so even if Bentley proves stronger than expected this year, any hint of a repeat of last year’s opening weeks is cause for alarm.
2. Close but no cigar isn’t good enough for New Hampshire.
Bad starts doomed the Wildcats’ chances the last two years, so getting out of the blocks strong this time was a matter of focus. Like Northeastern, however, UNH won its opener but got swept this weekend.
Friday amounted to the height of frustration. The Wildcats fell behind 19th-ranked St. Lawrence, 2-0, in the first period, but came back with shorthanded and power-play goals in the third to force overtime. Unfortunately, they then lost in the extra session.
A similar script took place on Saturday against Clarkson. The Cats fell behind by two, came back to tie, gave up a goal, came back to tie again, then gave up the game-winner with less than a minute remaining.
Close but no cigar.
That, however, isn’t good enough for the Wildcats, who really need a good start this season.
3. Forget the spread, they swept.
I have no idea what the actual point spread was for the Massachusetts-Lowell games against Colorado College. But considering that CC is coming off a 6-26-3 season, not to mention two home losses to Massachusetts to open this year, one can be sure that Lowell was expected to defeat the Tigers by more than single goals at the Tsongas this weekend.
But 3-2 and 2-1 amount to two wins so forget about the margin of victory and look at the record: 3-0-0.