These are the three things I think I learned this week.
1. How ’bout them Minutemen?
Yes, I believe Massachusetts coach Greg Carvel has the program moving in the right direction for long-term success. But if you asked me a few weeks ago about the short term outlook for the Minutemen, especially against a perennial power like Quinnipiac, I’d have bet the ranch against them.
I’d have lost the ranch.
UMass didn’t just salvage a split in this weekend’s home-and-home. The Minutemen swept.
And if you want to dismiss that as a one-week aberration–too much turkey for the Bobcats?–then look again at the previous week’s results. A week ago, UMass split with 10th-ranked Providence.
Kudos to the Minutemen, now 7-6-0 overall on the season.
2. Finally, a good non-conference weekend!
Jim Connelly and I have beat the drum (or perhaps a dead horse) about Hockey East’s poor non-conference record so far this year. So now it’s time to give credit where credit is due.
With only a single conference game–Providence – Maine in the Friendship Four first round–this weekend was a big one for the league and it turned in a strong performance. It went 6-2-1, a significant shot in the arm for its chances of getting extra teams into the NCAA tournament.
Ironically, the two losses came from two teams expected to help carry the league, Providence in the Friendship Four championship game, and Boston University in its Madison Square Garden match-up with Cornell.
Speaking of which…
3. BU was the only team to play this week and not emerge with at least a single point.
The Terriers played only a single game, and they did mount a late-game charge to close a 4-1 deficit to 4-3, but the results are the results.
They fell to 6-8-1.