Hockey East’s opening weekend

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

1.Beware the Atlantic Hockey Conference.

It wasn’t that long ago that games against the Atlantic Hockey Conference were considered close to automatic wins. Maybe not by the lower end of the Hockey East, but certainly among the elite.

Not this past weekend.

Atlantic teams swept Hockey East, taking all three contests: Air Force 2, Boston College 1; Bentley 5 New Hampshire 1; and Sacred Heart 2 Merrimack 1.

Ugh!

2.How about them Black Bears?

Raise your hand if you thought Maine would sweep Rensselaer?

Liar!

Maine finished 11th in the league last year, and this season Hockey East coaches picked the Black Bears to drop one spot into the cellar. RPI, by contrast, was a plus-.500 team a year ago and projected to be in the middle of the ECAC pack.

Quite the opening weekend for the Black Bears!

3. Welcome to Splitsville

Most Hockey East teams came away with their glasses half full (or half empty). The only schools that pulled off two wins were Maine, as noted above, Notre Dame (playing Arizona State, a new program playing as an Independent), and Connecticut (playing Alabama-Huntsville, a program on the very of extinction not that long ago and coming off a 7-21-6 season).

Nothing to really write home about.

19 COMMENTS

  1. “With little surprise, two favored teams — Milwaukee School of Engineering and Lawrence — advanced to the Harris Cup Four by sweeping their respective Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series during the weekend.”

    Little surprise? You picked Northland to sweep.

  2. “With little surprise, two favored teams — Milwaukee School of Engineering and Lawrence — advanced to the Harris Cup Four by sweeping their respective Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series during the weekend.”

    Little surprise? You picked Northland to sweep.

  3. Brian: USCHO has Vecchione not the third highest scorer, but the first highest scorer in the nation (tied for first). Please check your statistics page.

    • Clarification: Vecchione is the third-highest scorer by rate (points per game), but is indeed tied for most points overall. I have edited the post to reflect this, thanks.

  4. The non-Ivy half, i.e, the 4 little D-III schools, QU and Colgate have gotten the ECAC off to a good OOC start, 13-9-1 thus far. Hopefully the Ivy’s can add to those numbers.

  5. I’ve always wondered if the Ivy’s late start is a help or a hindrance. They should have fresher legs in February/March, but who knows?

    • The Ivy coaches generally agree that it’s a hindrance, as opponents have had an extra month to gel and work out kinks in the systems.

  6. From what malady are Clarkson and RPI both suffering? Lack of goal production or losing games? You never say what you really mean.

  7. What I learned is that there is a VAST difference between games officiated by Cameron Lynch and games officiated by John Gravellese. I also learned that UML has found a keeper in Tyler Wall. I don’t think we’ll be seeing much more of Hernberg between the pipes. Wall was very good all night long, on his angles, challenging shooters and displaying a calm that most freshman don’t have.

  8. I’ve never been a fan of inter-league play. It’s always been nice having a couple of games against teams from other conferences but as a Hockey East follower I would rather see the teams in HE play one another more. As the schedule is now not every team visits every arena so unless one can travel or pay for a package there won’t be an opportunity to see each HE team this season for some fans.

    • No you need them, because it matters when talking about NCAA tournament placement. Also they are interesting. While I hate seeing UNH going and getting trounced out west (as often happens) its good to see them against other teams.

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