Humiliation, Alfond and Zambonis

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

1. UNH suffered an embarrassing loss. 

I’ll admit it.  When I saw that New Hampshire lost in overtime to Arizona State, I instinctively concluded that the Wildcats were in for a loooong season. After all, Arizona State only began playing varsity hockey last season, and this year is the first one in which it’s playing a fully Division I schedule.

Losing to such a fledgling program — and at home, no less–feels like something to hang your head over, especially when you have as proud a history as UNH’s.

But then one day later, the Sun Devils trailed third-ranked Boston College by only a single goal, 2-1, with just three minutes to play. And the Eagles had needed power plays to score both of their goals.

Not to mention that Arizona State also beat then-18th ranked Air Force earlier this year.

So UNH’s loss was… just a loss. Not a proud moment; but not a humiliating one either.

2. Alfond Arena is once again becoming a tough place to play.

Yes, Maine’s home record is only 4-3-0, hardly reason to break out the bubbly. But look at who the Black Bears have played there. Other than a struggling Rensselaer team, they’ve taken on third-ranked BC, fifth-ranked Massachusetts-Lowell, and seventh-ranked Quinnipiac, splitting with the latter two powerhouses.

Of course, we’re not talking the kind of dominance the Paul Kariya-led Black Bears enjoyed or for that matter that of Steve or Martin Kariya’s teams. But considering that Maine was projected to be rebuilding this year, Alfond has become a surprisingly hostile venue.

3. Zamboni failures aren’t just a youth hockey phenomenon.

Fan’s at Sunday’s Northeastern – Notre Dame game found this out the hard way. With the score tied, 0-0, the two squads headed to their dressing rooms for the intermission heading into the third period.

But there was no third period.

When one of Northeastern Zamboni’s broke down in the left corner of the ice, that portion of the ice was unable to freeze. After a delay, the ice was eventually deemed unplayable.

Hockey East’s executive committee will decide later this week the fate of the game. Of course, the visiting team being Notre Dame renders a makeup an even worse logistical nightmare than it would be for any local team.