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Weekend in review: Thanks for the help

January 22, 2008

This week in Hockey East, just about everything broke Lowell’s way.

The loss to BC and a few ties around the league notwithstanding, things lined up perfectly for Lowell to not only maintain their position in the Hockey East standings, but move into sole possession of it.

Emotionally, we could have done without NU giving up three points to Vermont, or Maine shutting out Providence, but logically, only BU’s three-point weekend (a win over Merrimack and a tie with BC) stands out as particularly worrisome. We begrudgingly accept that we have to like that NU getting just one point against lowly Vermont and coming ever closer back down to earth.

But now we have new things to worry about. Is this BU finally breaking out? How long can Providence keep playing as they have? Is Vermont on the cusp of an improbable second-half run?

Questions to ponder, certainly, but one thing we know for sure is how good this Lowell team is. This is the best team we’ve seen since the 2003-04 season, and right now Lowell is a hell of a lot younger than that team was. This team, all things considered, might end up being better. They’re on pace for about 14 fewer goals, of course, but no one on the team is close to operating at Ben Walter‘s level during that 26-goal campaign.

However, Elias Godoy and Andrew Martin both had 12 goals that year, and Danny O’Brien and Jason Tejchma both popped in 11. Mark Roebothan is already at 11, and Kory Falite (nine), Jonathan Maniff (eight), and Scott Campbell (six) are capable of getting up there as well. Mike Potacco (also six) might have gotten there as well, but he’ll be out a few weeks with a bum shoulder. Most of these players, it should be noted, are younger than Walter, Godoy, Martin, et al. Signs of good things to come, certainly.

Our weekly awards
Player of the Week:
Kory Falite, UMass Lowell (sophomore forward) – Falite scored a goal and added two assists in the loss to No. 11 Boston College, and followed that up with a goal against No. 10 UMass. His goals were important too, with the one against BC pulling Lowell even at 3-3 after blowing a two-goal lead and giving the ‘Hawks a chance in the third period. Similarly, after a fairly drab first two periods, Falite’s pick-me-up goal Lowell even with UMass at 1-1 to spark Lowell’s comeback.
(Honorable mention: Ben Holmstrom, UMass Lowell; Rob Ricci, Merrimack)

Rookie of the Week:
Maury Edwards, UMass Lowell (freshman defenseman) – Edwards scored a pair of powerplay goals over the weekend. One put Lowell up 1-0 on BC early in the game, and the
other was the game-winner against UMass. The goals were Edwards’ first since scoring twice against BU way back on Nov. 3. That’ll work.
(Honorable mention: Colin Wilson, BU)

Ham-n-Egger(s) of the Weak:
The college hockey media types that vote in the national poll – Perhaps you could explain something to us. Lowell falls to No. 11 BC (losing by just one goal) and beats No. 10 UMass, and stays at No. 15 in the country. Okay, fine. But UMass loses to unranked Providence and Lowell and somehow stay ahead of the River Hawks, dropping four spots (that’s nine in two weeks) to No. 14? In which universe does this begin to make sense? Voters, you’re on notice!

Brian Gionta: Dead to Us!

Permanent Tomato Cans:
Maine Black Bears (8-10-2, 1-0 this weekend)
Vermont Catamounts (5-9-6, 1-0-1 this weekend)
UMass Minutemen (9-7-5, 0-2 this weekend)

National Poll

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Michigan (49) 22- 2-0 999 1
2 Miami ( 1) 23- 3-0 944 2
3 Colorado College 18- 6-0 907 3
4 North Dakota 14- 8-1 815 6
5 Denver 18- 6-0 783 4
6 Michigan State 16- 5-4 766 7
7 New Hampshire* 13- 7-1 704 5
8 Boston College* 11- 5-6 627 11
9 Notre Dame 18- 9-1 566 8
10 Clarkson 13- 7-2 521 12
11 Northeastern* 11- 6-3 490 9
12 Quinnipiac 14- 5-3 393 14
13 St. Cloud State 11-10-3 383 13
14 Massachusetts* 9- 7-5 365 10
15 Mass.-Lowell 11- 6-4 351 15
16 Wisconsin 10-10-4 214 17
17 Minnesota 12-10-4 213 18
18 Princeton 10- 8-0 119 19
19 Minnesota-Duluth* 8- 8-6 96 16
20 Air Force 12- 8-4 78 NR
Others Receiving Votes: Bowling Green 40, RIT 26, Providence* 22, Michigan Tech 21, Niagara 18, Union 12, Minnesota State 9, Cornell* 6, Dartmouth 6, Bemidji State 5, Boston University* 1

*UML 2007-08 season opponent

Hockey East Weekly Awards
Player of the Week: Kory Falite (UML)
Rookie of the Week: Colin Wilson (BU)
Defensive Player of the Week: Ben Bishop (Maine)
Honor roll: Chris Barton (MC), Wes Clark (Maine), Greg Collins (PC), Maury Edwards (UML), Boomer Ewing (BU), Benn Ferriero (BC), Ben Holmstrom (UML), Brayden Irwin (UVM), Peter MacArthur (BU), John Muse (BC), Rob Ricci (MC), Viktor Stålberg (UVM)

Weekend results (home team bolded)
Tuesday
Dartmouth 3, BU 2

Friday
Providence 3, UMass 2
Northeastern 2, Vermont 2 (ot)
BU 6, Merrimack 4
BC 5, UML 4

Saturday
UML 3, UMass 1
Vermont 5, Northeastern 2
Maine 4, Providence 0
BU 2, BC 2 (ot)
Dartmouth 5, UNH 3 (neutral site)

Sunday
Merrimack 4, Brown 3

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