Is Northeastern ready for a second-half run?

A sweep of St. Lawrence puts Northeastern back into the conversation of the relevant teams in Hockey East and leads the three things I learned this weekend.

1. Northeastern may be poised for a big second half

The Huskies swept St. Lawrence on the road this weekend, which one might have believed would be improbable given the team’s 3-12-4 record entering the weekend. But add in the fact that the Huskies also tied Quinnipiac to open 2016, you might want to keep an eye on this Northeastern team in the second half. It’s not likely they can make a run at a title seeing as they are halfway through the Hockey East schedule with a 0-8-3 mark. But remember this team hasn’t had Kevin Roy since mid-November.

2. Boyle’s shutout numbers in perspective

UMass-Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle posted his ninth career shutout on Friday, a 1-0 decision at New Hampshire. It was his eighth as a member of the River Hawks, having played his first two seasons at sister school Massachusetts. What makes Boyle’s shutout numbers impressive is the fact that his eight shutouts at Lowell have come in just 54 games played. Thus, nearly 15 percent of Boyle’s starts at Lowell have resulted in shutouts. Pretty impressive numbers.

3. A good weekend vs. ECAC will help come March

Hockey East teams posted a collective 5-3-0 mark against ECAC teams this past week/weekend, including wins by Boston University over Harvard, the aforementioned sweep of St. Lawrence by Northeastern, Maine’s split with Colgate and Vermont’s 1-0 win over Dartmouth. Sure, a 5-3-0 mark may not sound like something to write home about but given that the ECAC entered the weekend with the best non-conference winning percentage (the NCHC has since past them), those five victories could become a bit larger in March. Currently five Hockey East teams are in the top 13 of the USCHO PairWise Rankings, with Boston College, Boston University and Notre Dame all taking steps forward to move away from the NCAA bubble over the weekend.