Suddenly hot Vermont looking for first-round home ice

Don’t look now but Vermont, left for dead a few weeks back, are suddenly hot and fighting for first-round home ice. That leads this week’s three things:

1. Unbeaten in five, Vermont is red hot

Raise your hand if you saw a five-game unbeaten streak coming for Vermont. Put that hand down! No one called this.

The Catamounts were reeling, winless since Thanksgiving heading into a series with UMass Lowell. Then, in game one of the series, Vermont blew a two-goal third period lead, losing in overtime.

But instead of cowering and packing bags, Vermont has responded. And after taking three of four points from Providence this weekend, Vermont is now tied for eighth place with New Hampshire for the final first-round home ice spot.

2. UConn follows five losses with five wins

Another team in turn-it-around mode, Connecticut beat Boston College and Brown this weekend to win their fourth and fifth straight games. That after losing five straight to begin the second half of the season.

The Huskies have virtually locked up a first-round home ice spot and are fighting for a first-round bye, just two points behind fifth-place Maine.

UConn’s offense has come alive. After scoring just three goals in the five straight losses, they’ve potted 21 goals in these five wins, including 11 in two games this weekend.

3. On cue, Boston University heads into Beanpot hot

You may not have heard this story in the last couple of years, but you have heard it before: a struggling BU team suddenly is playing its best hockey as the Beanpot approaches.

The Terriers are 6-0-1 in their last seven, though none of the wins have come against the top half of Hockey East. That’s irrelevant, though, come Monday when BU faces Harvard in the Beanpot semis, with the Crimson, too, playing its best hockey of the season.

BU and Harvard were the only Beanpot teams to win this weekend as Boston College lost to UConn and Northeastern tied New Hampshire.