Shootouts produce trophies for UMass-Lowell, BU

Shootouts are not the norm in college hockey, particularly for schools out east. But this weekend, they twice translated to trophies for Hockey East teams.

1. UMass-Lowell plays comeback kids at inaugural Friendship Four

Wild and wooly is the only way to explain UMass-Lowell’s championship at the inaugural Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Friday night it was Ryan McGrath forcing overtime before Dylan Zink won the semifinal game over Northeastern in overtime. In Saturday’s final, C.J. Smith buried a rebound with 38 seconds left to tie things against Brown, 5-5. And after a scoreless overtime, Zink again was the hero scoring the only shootout goal in what was a first-class event in Belfast (more on that on Thursday).

2. BU rallies to take Harkness-Kelley Cup in shootout at MSG

The bi-annual Red Hot Hockey event at Madison Square Garden featured a great comeback by Boston University, overcoming 2-0 and 3-2 deficits before Matt Lane scored the winner in a sudden death round. The tie and shootout win improves the Terriers to 3-0-2 in the marquis event. Connor LaCouvee continues his strong play in goal for the Terriers, improving to 5-2-3.

3. Still difficult to gauge how strong Merrimack is

Just when you think it is safe to proclaim Merrimack as the upstart story of the season, they struggled to a 4-0 loss at home against a Union team entered the game with just one win in its last eight contests. The Warriors have still impressed throughout the first half of the season but now have the same number of wins (six) as ties and losses combined (four and two, respectively) which may leave some wondering just how strong this team is.


  1. MC is dealing with a few injuries and their goalies are young. I think they were due for a stinker. The test will be this weekend as to how good they are.

  2. UMD might be better off losing tonight as their reward for winning (if DU loses this afternoon) would be the overall #1 seed in the West Regional with a likely 2nd round match up with North Dakota in Fargo. No Thanks. Better off losing and going to Cincinnati.

    • I think it’s the other way around. Duluth has beat UND 5-6 straight times. UND has had better luck against Denver. Duluth always ends up out east so either Fargo or Cincinnati is a win for me!

      • Last nights DU-UND game was worthy of a Frozen Four final. Not for the faint of heart. UMD had better come prepared tonight if UND plays the same game. PWR will have either DU/UMD as #1/#2, depending on today’s results so either way we will both stay in the west. This will really be a treat for DU fans, two years in a row not having to travel east.

        • Great game. Selfishly I wanted more scoring. I live an hour from Target center but I am torn on making the trip. Just seems like a meaningless game.

          • It was a great, tense 1-0 game, I am not into a lot of goals making it more “exciting”. If DU ties or wins this afternoon, it will be meaningless as far as ranking. If you are planning to go to the UMD regional game, I would say save your money. Since the game is on TV anyway, I would not make the trip.

          • Just woke up from a nap so I’m not going anywhere tonight. I would consider Fargo but it will probably be Chicago before I pony up the cash to go. I wish DU/WMU was on tv…

        • I’d like to see DU not in Fargo, since it could be a regional final with UND and DU….would rather see both of those teams make it to the frozen four.

          • It really sucks that UMD, or DU, will meet UND in Fargo. This will eliminate a team worthy of Frozen Four Final.

          • If UND had beat the rodents or Mich state one game, they would be somewhere up around a low 1 seed or high 2 seed right now. Crazy how one game can make such a difference. Would have been awesome for NCHC teams to get the top 4 spots.

          • To me that would suck, DU would definitely get sent east if that was the case. You are right, PWR shows importance of every game.

          • Well, hopefully somehow UND and DU can make it to chicago. I’ll be there that week for work, so I’d like to watch a couple good games.

          • If things follow form, two from NCHC should be there. Kind of sucks that DU-WMU game is not on TV this afternoon, at least I can catch it on NCHCTV.

          • After 3 years of having to watch the afternoon game, it was kind of nice to not have to. Didnt catch todays game, but if it was the same as previous years, there wasnt any commentators were there?

          • I haven’t dug too far into pairings, but I dont know how the selection idiots could put Goof U in fargo as the number 5 team, as they should be matched up where ever WMU is sent, if WMU keeps the 4th number 1 seed. If DU beats WMU, Goofs should move up to 4….but obviously they would be shipped out east.

  3. Congrats to the Penn State Nittany Lions on their first ever bid to the NCAA tournament! While I miss the days at Greenburg late on Friday nights, it’s great to see my alma mater join the big time!

  4. The Pairwise system shows again that it’s flawed….. How exactly is BU ahead of Lowell in the rankings? Not a matter of getting in, but could affect where we go. Better record, further in the tournament. Reminds me of the old college football computer rankings. Hopefully the committee will correct it. Perhaps a win tonight vs. BC will correct it, but regardless of tonight’s outcome, Lowell has outperformed BU.

    • How exactly is BU ahead of Lowell? The Software Engineer that programmed the Pairwise formula put in a compare statement on the last line of the program stating, “if name=lowell drop 3 steps in ranking”. Maybe the real reason is that BU and UML have almost an equal record, but BU played a tougher schedule. You would complain if UML was in a bracket with AF, PC, and Notre Dame. Quit your complaining and act like a big boy.

      • I’ll try to remind you of that last line of yours if DU somehow gets sent out east again. Ironically, that *might* prove a better path to the FF for you…

        • If you look back at any time I complained, it was when the “bracket integrity” does not warrant DU getting sent east. For example, If they are ranked # 7, they should be sent to play #2 wherever that may be. This should be 100% of the time, unless it forces a 1st round NCHC match-up, or another team in band 2 is given host status. As far as an easier path, I totally agree but, since you have to beat the best anyway, I would rather have it easier cost-wise for me to see my team play. Remind me again, which team is “your” team, other than not WMU.

          • I’m a Michigan Tech grad, so it looks like my guys will get to play your guys out in Fargo. I was rather hoping Tech would get another shot at Duluth now that Tech had their goaltending sorted out (although seeing Redmond give up two horrid goals in the last four games is a bit unnerving), but as you say, you gotta beat the best anyway. Who do you figure the fourth team to be? Ordinarily, it’d be the 8-9 teams (Union & Penn State) but #10 Nodak has to be placed in Fargo so do they either keep the 7-10 matchup with BU & Nodak, or do they just have Penn State & Nodak swap opponents (with BU & PSU elsewhere, Union & Nodak at Fargo)?
            EDIT: …or, they could just move the entire bracket to Cincy instead. Kind of hosed over Ohio State, but given their circumstances they can’t afford to be choosy. Looks like the bracket integrity fell into place pretty good, eh?

      • Really, DU Fan? Act like a big boy????? Maybe you constantly smoke the legal stuff in Colorado and believe that these computer ratings are infallible…… computers don’t take into consideration events like BU beating Northeastern on a power play goal in OT then a pp goal in the last minute of regulation in a playoff game. Was hoping Denver would beat ND last night, now rooting for whoever plays DU

        • Wow, such vitriol. You can root against whomever you want, I still like UML. They have a great program, excellent fan base, and tradition. I never said PWR is infallible, just totally unbiased. It certainly beats having humans, who only see one area of the country actually play, tell everyone how they “rank” all the teams. Pairwise takes into account the entire season, for every CH team in the country.You are right about how teams win or lose, but the results are the results, and in the end that is what counts.

          PS- Try to find where I ever knocked UML, that would be mission impossible.

        • Win is a win. Doesnt matter if it is a 9-0 blow out or they won on a crappy call in OT. Computer looks at strength of schedule, quality wins, win on the road. Where does it end if you give a team credit because they lost in the last min of regulation in a playoff game? That is the dumbest thing I’ve probably ever heard.

          • Dumbest thing I’ve heard is rewarding Minnesota with a trip to Manchester, NH. THAT is DUMB! Also, when judging a team’s potential, it certainly DOES matter if you lose in OT or lose 9-0, something that a computer cannot factor into the equation.

          • Well, if Goof U doesnt want to play out east, they should have won more games and gotten higher up. If you are the 4th number 1 seed, odds are you are not going to be close to home. Deal with it Francis.

          • And potential has nothing to do with it. If you had humans selecting everything, there would be shady stuff going on all the time. Win is a win, loss is a loss, tie is a tie. Nothing else matters. So because a team loses in OT a lot, they should just be rewarded? That is now the dumbest thing I’ve heard since Duluth fans defending Pionk for blowing through the goalie.

    • It’s a virtual dead heat The 2 are separated by .0009 in the RPI. If UML wins tonight, it will take care of itself. Funny thing is, BU getting swept at DU probably is the difference. SOS is SOS.

      • Good luck tonight. Not many other things give me a bigger smile than BC not making the tourney. Although if BC should win, UND could possibly get a 2 seed…..but I’m pretty sure I’d rather see BC not make it. Either way, good luck, sir.

      • I agree with you that playing DU at Magness definitely increased BU SOS. Unfortunate UML scheduled the two worst NCHC teams. There is really no way to know how good, or bad, a team will be when you schedule them.

        • I’m still waiting for Pauly over there on the crap 6 blog to give some justification of ranking Canisius 14…..and then promptly getting smoked.

  5. Good luck Penn State and Lowell, winning your respective conference championships gets the Friars in and hopefully seeded right here in Providence.

      • Wall was terrific last night, I’ve always like Gambardella and Kamrass too. Guess I jinxed BU by finally rooting for them. You’re right about the rankings, between BU and those Nomadic Disrupters it’s all mucked up.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here