We are just three weeks into the hockey season and this year’s version of the Massachusetts Minutemen have twice done something most teams can’t do very often: comeback. That headlines the three things we learned this week in Hockey East.
1. Minutemen should call themselves the Cardiac Kids
Two weekends ago, UMass fell behind 3-0 at Colorado College only to score four times in the third to pull off a dramatic 4-3 victory. On Friday, the Minutemen pulled off a similar feat. Trailing New Hampshire, 6-2, entering the third, UMass again scored four third-period goals to earn a 6-6 tie in its home opener. Listen, no coach wants to see his team dig itself a hole and chase the game, but it is pretty clear that UMass may have a never-say-die attitude we haven’t seen in recent years.
2. Ties abound throughout the league
Far too many teams were fit to be tied this weekend, most notably Merrimack, UMass Lowell and Notre Dame. For the Irish, they pulled off back-to-back 3-3 ties, rallying from two goals down on Friday against Minnesota-Duluth before blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday in the rematch against the Bulldogs. But Notre Dame was hardly the only team to give fans a sense of deja vu. UMass Lowell and Merrimack battled to a 1-1 tie at Lawler Arena on Friday night before repeating that score on Saturday night at Tsongas Center. The Warriors outshot the River Hawks in both games, holding Lowell to just 32 shots in total on the weekend.
3. Plenty of Hockey East players among nation’s leaders early
Take a look at the national statistics and you will find plenty of Hockey East players dotting the lists early on. New Hampshire’s Tyler Kelleher currently leads the nation in points with 11 in his first five games, an impressive stat that is actually outdone in points per game by UMass forward Dennis Kravchenko, who 10 points in just four games top the country in PPG. On the back end, Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko is currently lights out. He completely shut out Colorado College in a two-game series this week to post a total of three straight shutouts. His 0.60 goals against average leads the country.