River Hawks run win streak to six, five on the road

UMass Lowell owns the nation’s longest winning streak at six. What’s most impressive is that the last five of that streak came on the road. That leads this weeks’ three things that I’ve learned.

1) UMass Lowell doesn’t mind the road

It was a gamble of Lowell coach Norm Bazin. Send the team on the road for six games. The fact that it spanned a long period – beginning in the final game before the break and ending next Saturday at Massachusetts – made the gamble a bit measured. But a four-game stretch that began at the Ledyard Bank tournament at Dartmouth on Dec. 30, included a Tuesday game at Rensselaer and then a Friday league contest against New Hampshire certainly meant negotiating many thing, including nutrition and conditioning on the road.

It has paid off for Lowell, thus far. Winning the Merrimack game before break and the four games, including the Ledyard Bank title, since then leaves the River Hawks with a six-game winning streak heading into a non-league game against Massachusetts next Saturday. Lowell is the nation’s hottest team right now and we’ll see if this trip pays dividends as the season goes on.

2) Fenway isn’t “Frozen” but snow covering makes us question the event

We all knew on Saturday there was no way that games were going to be played at Fenway Park, the fourth installment of what is becoming an overdone event for Hockey East. The games were pushed from Saturday to Sunday and played in front of a near empty-stadium based on television shots. Can this event continue? Who knows. The fact that league points remain on the line is befuddling and we’ll talk more about this later in the week. But another weather hiccup makes one shake a head about this event.

3) Without many, BU continues strong play

A win at Fenway on Sunday against Massachusetts was a good one for BU, but nowhere near as incredible as Thursday’s 5-4 overtime victory over Union on Thursday. That same night, seven BU teammates battled for the gold medal in the World Junior championship. Somehow BU pulled out a win, paced by Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter, which combined with Sunday’s Fenway win give the Terriers a four-game winning streak, pacing them to the second half. Hats off to BU for its World Junior player tally but a larger hat needs to be tipped towards that win on Thursday.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Keep it rolling River Hawks! The only problem is, we’re stuck playing this ridiculous non conference game with UMA on Saturday. A damned if you do and damned if you don’t proposition. If we beat them (w/their #50 pwr ranking) and we may actually drop in the PWR. It’s time we schedule somebody else in this slot for the future. The Alumni Cup means nothing.

    • This Saturday IS a HE game. The Feb 18th game is the non conference game. I agree that we need to get rid of that one and play Harvard or Quinnipiac to help with the Pairwise ratings. Playing 6 games against the NCHC this year has been helpful. Lowell should try to schedule only tough non league games as these help with the Pairwise and gets them tournament tested. Maybe play North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Denver, UMD on a regular basis. Playing UMD 2 years in a row is a start. Go Riverhawks

      • Two things to you and Vinnie: first, beating UMass can’t lower your PWR. If a game lowers your RPI (i.e. RPI last Tuesday), it gets eliminated from the math. That is the asterisk on the RPI page. As for this Saturday, this should be the nonleague game according to the UML and Hockey East sites. UMass lists it as a league game, but pretty sure that is wrong.

        • Understood about the *, My point was that it certainly does nothing to help UML in the PWR even if we do beat them in (& as I said above) this useless NC game, when in a perfect world, whoever writes the schedule could place a NC opponent with more payback in terms of gaining NC points in the PWR instead of playing a pointless 3rd meeting with a team that for all intents and purposes, has no real rivalry with UML.

        • …but, as predicted UML starts the day at #6 in the PWR beats UMA on the road and now sits at #7. Explain Mr. Connelly.

          …Edit: & Just like that, Harvard gets swept and UML is back at #6.

          …Edit2: WMU gets crushed by Denver and UML is at #5.

          I’m dizzy

  2. Keep it rolling River Hawks! The only problem is, we’re stuck playing this ridiculous non conference game with UMA on Saturday. A damned if you do and damned if you don’t proposition. If we beat them (w/their #50 pwr ranking) and we may actually drop in the PWR. It’s time we schedule somebody else in this slot for the future. The Alumni Cup means nothing.

    • This Saturday IS a HE game. The Feb 18th game is the non conference game. I agree that we need to get rid of that one and play Harvard or Quinnipiac to help with the Pairwise ratings. Playing 6 games against the NCHC this year has been helpful. Lowell should try to schedule only tough non league games as these help with the Pairwise and gets them tournament tested. Maybe play North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Denver, UMD on a regular basis. Playing UMD 2 years in a row is a start. Go Riverhawks

      • Two things to you and Vinnie: first, beating UMass can’t lower your PWR. If a game lowers your RPI (i.e. RPI last Tuesday), it gets eliminated from the math. That is the asterisk on the RPI page. As for this Saturday, this should be the nonleague game according to the UML and Hockey East sites. UMass lists it as a league game, but pretty sure that is wrong.

        • Understood about the *, My point was that it certainly does nothing to help UML in the PWR even if we do beat them in (& as I said above) this useless NC game, when in a perfect world, whoever writes the schedule could place a NC opponent with more payback in terms of gaining NC points in the PWR instead of playing a pointless 3rd meeting with a team that for all intents and purposes, has no real rivalry with UML.

        • …but, as predicted UML starts the day at #6 in the PWR beats UMA on the road and now sits at #7. Explain Mr. Connelly.

          …Edit: & Just like that, Harvard gets swept and UML is back at #6.

          …Edit2: WMU gets crushed by Denver and UML is at #5.

          I’m dizzy

  3. I’ll believe that we’re the “nation’s hottest team” when we beat BU, PC, NU….. The Boys looked bad Friday at UNH. Maybe it was the competition…… At the moment, I fear BC and BU and I think PC and NU will test the RiverHawks. We’ll know a lot more about the boys after some stiffer competition.

    • I don’t think they looked all that bad, I think they looked tired. First period they were all over UNH, as the game wore on, they looked tired, with UNH winning most of the ono on one battles and slow on the forecheck. It was their 4th game in 8 days, I give them credit for finding a way to win.
      I think the same teams you called out will definitely test them, though, I’m not all that sold on NU or PC. Both have been a bit inconsistent, but PC seems to be playing better recently. I think if we can play .650 hockey for the rest of the way, we’ll be fine.

      • As a huge Lowell fan I am a bit worried. Maine still has only 1 league win: Against Lowell. The UConn weekend was ugly. PC can still play and the ‘Chiefs’ have 2 games against BC, BU and PC. NU can still play and Lowell seems to play down to their opponents. It would be nice to see some consistent offense considering all the talent they have in their upperclassmen.

  4. I’ll believe that we’re the “nation’s hottest team” when we beat BU, PC, NU….. The Boys looked bad Friday at UNH. Maybe it was the competition…… At the moment, I fear BC and BU and I think PC and NU will test the RiverHawks. We’ll know a lot more about the boys after some stiffer competition.

    • I don’t think they looked all that bad, I think they looked tired. First period they were all over UNH, as the game wore on, they looked tired, with UNH winning most of the ono on one battles and slow on the forecheck. It was their 4th game in 8 days, I give them credit for finding a way to win.
      I think the same teams you called out will definitely test them, though, I’m not all that sold on NU or PC. Both have been a bit inconsistent, but PC seems to be playing better recently. I think if we can play .650 hockey for the rest of the way, we’ll be fine.

      • As a huge Lowell fan I am a bit worried. Maine still has only 1 league win: Against Lowell. The UConn weekend was ugly. PC can still play and the ‘Chiefs’ have 2 games against BC, BU and PC. NU can still play and Lowell seems to play down to their opponents. It would be nice to see some consistent offense considering all the talent they have in their upperclassmen.

  5. I agree it’s time to retire Frozen Fenway. Postponing the games Saturday was the right move for the safety of players, officials, fans and park employees but rescheduling for the very next day? I believe the reported 19,000+ tickets were sold but certainly all were not used, mine included. You expect cold for these outdoor games but the nearly one foot of snow on Saturday made for bad ice and dangerous conditions Sunday. Of course the Red Sox organization didn’t lose any money since no refunds were offered.

    • I’m with you, but for another reason. I think these games and the Friendship series in Ireland are distractions. UML played in them both and came back from both flat. It took two weeks to get right after Ireland in 2015 and by that time UML played their way out of a tournament bid. I’ll pass…

      • All I remember from Lowell’s games in Fenway was a rain soaked event where the goalie (Carr?) mentioned his glove must have weighed 30 pounds from all the water. And the scarfs, Lowell did pretty well with that regard. The Fenway group needs to be stopped. Seriously. They’re whoring out Baseball’s greatest Cathedral.

      • Distracting is the perfect way to describe these special events. The Friars are playing in the F4 next Thanksgiving just as the season ramps up. Sure, a great experience for the players and staff but it also means less home games for the fans of participants. I’m not thrilled about the expanding intraleague games each season either.Only 5 of PC’s first 12 games this year were vs HE. It used to be special seeing teams from Minnesota or Colorado occasionally but a lot of people are over it.

  6. I agree it’s time to retire Frozen Fenway. Postponing the games Saturday was the right move for the safety of players, officials, fans and park employees but rescheduling for the very next day? I believe the reported 19,000+ tickets were sold but certainly all were not used, mine included. You expect cold for these outdoor games but the nearly one foot of snow on Saturday made for bad ice and dangerous conditions Sunday. Of course the Red Sox organization didn’t lose any money since no refunds were offered.

    • I’m with you, but for another reason. I think these games and the Friendship series in Ireland are distractions. UML played in them both and came back from both flat. It took two weeks to get right after Ireland in 2015 and by that time UML played their way out of a tournament bid. I’ll pass…

      • All I remember from Lowell’s games in Fenway was a rain soaked event where the goalie (Carr?) mentioned his glove must have weighed 30 pounds from all the water. And the scarfs, Lowell did pretty well with that regard. The Fenway group needs to be stopped. Seriously. They’re whoring out Baseball’s greatest Cathedral.

      • Distracting is the perfect way to describe these special events. The Friars are playing in the F4 next Thanksgiving just as the season ramps up. Sure, a great experience for the players and staff but it also means less home games for the fans of participants. I’m not thrilled about the expanding intraleague games each season either.Only 5 of PC’s first 12 games this year were vs HE. It used to be special seeing teams from Minnesota or Colorado occasionally but a lot of people are over it.

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