No splits from a full weekend of Hockey East play

These are the three things I think I learned this week.

1. It was great to see the first full weekend of Hockey East play.

Hey, I like the prime nonconference games as much as the next guy. But it was great to see the first full slate of six league games on Friday and another six on Saturday.

We’ll have another full slate this upcoming weekend before the Beanpot interrupts that for a couple weeks. The next six-for-six on back-to-back nights will be the weekend of Feb. 12-13.

And the results of this past weekend’s six series all meant a lot. There wasn’t a single split in the bunch.

2. Four teams swept.

Three of them — Massachusetts-Lowell, Notre Dame and Providence — are jostling for position at the top of the standings; one team, Northeastern, used its sweep to escape the cellar.

With the sweep, Lowell maintained its position at the top of the standings in terms of total points, albeit while still conceding games in hand to every other league team.

Notre Dame and Providence kept pace, remaining in striking range. Both will leapfrog the River Hawks if they cash in their extra games.

And while it might be tempting to consider Northeastern’s sweep of minimal importance since those two wins were the Huskies’ first two in league play, they arguably swept the top opponent of the four. Combined with last weekend’s road sweep of nationally ranked St. Lawrence, the Huskies are now playing like many of us thought they’d play all year.

3. At the other end of the spectrum, four teams got swept and one of the other two suffered almost as bad a fate.

We’re giving Boston University a partial pass since its single point against BC isn’t the end of the world. When Top 10 opponents are involved, that’ll happen.

But Maine’s singleton came against Connecticut with both games at home, and also dropped the Black Bears into last place. A point is a point, but still….

As for the teams that got swept — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Merrimack and Vermont — one can argue that UNH fell the hardest. The Wildcats had the best opportunity of them all to move into the top of the middle tier of teams and were facing the Huskies, admittedly hot but still 0-8-3 in Hockey East games.

So a particularly tough weekend for UNH, but try telling that to the other three sweep-ees.

57 COMMENTS

  1. And the Spartans burst the bubble for Alaska. Maybe this weekend they can burst Miami’s #1 seed bubble and knock them out of the top 4 of the pairwise? Go MSU!

    • MSU did a good job this past weekend. However, lets not get ahead of ourselves. THeir season will most likely end this weekend. The trip to and from Alaska is draining in itself. Then playing 3 games up there. Not to mention going to the Goggin this weekend to play a real team. Look for Miami to win it in 2 games.

    • Alot of talk from the SW directional MAC school. Nice to know that the Broncos will forever have zero CCHA regular season titles and will never have more than 3 CCHA titles. I’d show a little more respect for this series, it may be the difference in getting to the NCAA tourney or not. IF your program does win this series and goes on to the NCAA tourney, try making it out of the first round just once, then talk smack to our program. :)

  2. Credit where credit is due. I have been hard on the Spartans this season, with good reason. But, well done Boys! You know how you have to play for a full game. Do it in Oxford and on to the JLA. Go Green!

  3. “This is a business”???

    No, the NHL is a business. AHL is a business. I’d even entertain the notion that major junior teams are businesses.

    But collegiate athletics — particularly non-Football, non-Basketball — is not and should never be “a business” (read: in it for profit).

  4. I think the rules committee needs to consider a few things that don’t get considered that often:

    1) Changes like removing GM and DQ options from penalties would make the rulebook far less usable for many groups that currently use it.

    We have to remember that the NCAA Rules are not only for Men’s Division I Hockey, they are also used by Men’s Division III, Women’s Division I and III, all levels of the ACHA, and many prep school and high school sanctioning bodies in the United States.

    Many of these groups do not have full-time league offices who can review every situation that could require supplemental discipline if many of the standing penalties for aggressive fouls are removed, even if this makes sense for some or all of the Men’s Division I leagues.

    2) It isn’t clear to me if the rules committee’s proposal is saying that players who deliver hits that injure opponents should be allowed to come back to the game after a five minute major, and then be suspended by their league after the game is over. If this is the proposal, it would open the game up to retaliation penalties, making it more dangerous for everyone.

    3) Relying more on supplemental discipline would also cause players, coaches, administrators, and fans to have to wait longer for any sense of the final penalty for an aggressive foul. Do we really want press conferences to be mostly about speculation on the final disposition of the obvious penalty situations in the game?

    A better solution addressing these issues might be that penalties that have Major, GM, or DQ options be reviewed by the on-ice officials using all available technology at the conclusion of the current period of play, and penalties adjusted if necessary. The league offices would still have their current supplemental discipline role, and more of the penalties assessed would be correct when they come in.

    4) The article correctly points out that video replay cameras and angles are already a pretty big issue. The number of cameras available in non-televised Division I games is inadequate in many cases for the situations where replay is already used.

    For instance, video review of goals is very difficult when the only camera available is above the goal and the puck is under the goaltender. Goal judges were made optional, so in many games they aren’t there anymore to assist the referee who is on the goal line.

    It’s easy to mandate an increased number of cameras for varsity games; But this would be a big issue for Women’s Hockey and some Division III Men’s Hockey, and almost totally unworkable for other users of the NCAA rules.

    • There are some really bad teams in Hockey East right now. And the “good” teams just aren’t that good. The top three or four stand out as quality teams, but after that, its not that impressive. After the top 4, only BU has an overall record above .500.

  5. It would be nice if USCHO would calculate the correct points for WCHA Standings. Huntsville, Bemidji, and Mankato each have 6 points in the new WCHA scoring system. But USCHO gives each team only 4 points. Let’s get with it USCHO!

  6. .
    WHAT???

    as per above; the new-WCHA will have one less team then the NACHO??? and wait, the B1G has two more teams then they do???

    what is this world coming to???

    has the cheese gone bad – can that fake stuff ever go bad? are the jalopeños dated? are the chips soggy???

    one thing i am certain about; the onions are making a lot of the pretencious cry – that’s for sure!!! ;)

    GO TECH GOLD!!!
    .

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s 2 items that the NCAA can do RIGHT NOW that would increase attendance immediately, regardless of where these regionals are being played.
    1) lower ticket prices
    2) start selling beer

  8. I’m not sure that Ohio State would think that you are doing them a favor by putting them on a bus to travel almost 8 hours to Allentown (Columbus to Allentown is 450 miles). I’m reasonably sure if they wind up there, they will fly in.

  9. I get the NCAA does not want to move a 2 seed to a 3 seed but that is why we have a selection committee. The best thing the NCAA could do is put St. Cloud state vs Minnesota and Minnesota state vs Minnesota Duluth in the west region. I am not a fan of any of those teams but that would fill that building up. Am all Minnesota bracket. As a fan of college hockey WOW! That would be intense and the right thing to do.

    Yes Cornell goes to Allentown and then ND to Ne and Ohio (east). ND VS BC, Michigan vs Providence

    Cornell vs northern michigan , Denver vs PSU

    EAST Ohio vs mercyhurst, Clarkson vs northeastern.

    We can swap Cornell and Ohio for attendance. I am not a fan of Minnesota.

    GO BLUE!!!

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