‘Dick Umile Weekend’ paid homage to one of the game’s greats

Dick Umile (UNH - Head Coach) - The University of New Hampshire Wildcats defeated the Providence College Friars 3-1 in their Hockey East semi-final on Friday, March 21, 2014, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)

The University of New Hampshire paid tribute to its coach, Dick Umile, throughout the entire weekend. It was a more-than-fitting tribute to the retiring bench boss who is in his 28th season coaching his alma mater.

1. Emotional Umile honored by players of present and past

When you looked out on the ice at UNH’s Towse Rink on Saturday and saw – from goal line to goal line – a line of former players back to honor Dick Umile it was difficult not to be moved.

A tribute video moved the emotional coach to tears as he was surrounded by his family on the bench. When Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna presented Umile with the Hockey East Founders Medal, just the second coach to be given that honor, the noise in the building was deafening.

His team responded with a come-from-behind 2-2 tie against an energized Vermont team to cap off a terrific two-night tribute to the coaching legend.

2. Nothing is decided with two weeks left

That headline isn’t an exaggeration whatsoever. First place remains up for grab, likely a three- (maybe four-)team race. Home ice and first round byes is a battle among a pack of seven (mathematically, it’s a pack of eight, but Boston College should be safe). And first-round home ice could be something that any of the bottom seven teams seek as the season draws to a close.

It’s difficult to tell if this upcoming weekend’s games will provide much clarity.

3. With Beanpot finale on tap, Northeastern falls, BU ties

Neither Northeastern nor Boston University walked away from the between Beanpot weekend feeling too happy. Northeastern fell at home against Connecticut and BU blew a two-goal lead and tied Massachusetts.

Coaches will tell you that the anticipation of the Beanpot finals doesn’t impact the games played the weekend prior. I’ve always argued different.

What is known is that when both teams take to the ice on Monday, the intensity should not be lacking.