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.
2.How about them Black Bears?
Raise your hand if you thought Maine would sweep Rensselaer?
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.