Separation at the top of Hockey East

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

1. Boston College remains in the driver’s seat.

Factoring in Thursday’s win over Massachusetts, the Eagles posted two impressive road wins (5-2 over UMass and 5-0 over Maine) to stay two points ahead of Providence (plus a game in hand) and three ahead of Northeastern.

With two games back at home against the Black Bears, BC is in great shape to take another regular season title.

2. Providence and Northeastern still have a shot.

While BC remains in control of its destiny–and that 5-0 Eagles win over the same team they’ll face this weekend bodes well for them to seal the deal–the Friars and Huskies also posted strong weekend sweeps to stay in the hunt.

The Friars swept UMass-Lowell in a home-and-home, while the Huskies took to the road sweep previously red-hot Vermont.

BC, Providence, and Northeastern have now locked up the top three spots in the standings.

3. Vermont and Lowell suffer lost weekends.

Vermont had been the hottest team in college hockey, bootstrapping itself from the Hockey East cellar into the middle of the pack. Its two home losses at the hands of Northeastern means the best the Catamounts can do is finish seventh while they could still finish last.

Lowell is, fortunately, in much better shape. It can still clinch a first-round bye by finishing fifth, and can do no worse than eighth, so the River Hawks will at least enjoy home ice if they fall short of the bye.