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Weekend in review: Well now we know.

March 10, 2008

Now the playoffs matches are set and the lines drawn in the sand. Some teams (Lowell and UMass) have what appear to be very tall tasks on their hands. Others (Providence and Northeastern) have a decent chance of making it to the TD Banknorth Garden despite being lower seeds.

But if there’s one thing Hockey East has taught us this year, it’s that predictions are meaningless. Case in point: Vermont was able to pull out a 4-3 win at the Whitt on Saturday after losing the night before 3-1. Sure, UNH likely eased up on the gas a little headed into the playoffs, but beating UNH isn’t easy regardless of the circumstance.

Another case of improbable results: the BC-NU series. Northeastern was a team that was swept by a struggling Lowell squad just last week, but they went into BC’s Conte Forum on Friday and stole two points with a 3-2 overtime win. The next night, of course, things normalized a bit and the Eagles won 4-1 at Matthews.

The other three series were not so much surprises, but they were perhaps the most significant.

BU locked up home ice with a 6-0 demolition of Providence College in Providence on Thursday, then ensured itself second place with the teams’ second shutout of the weekend and fourth in seven games on Friday, 2-0.

UMass swept Merrimack to keep the Warriors outside the playoff picture once again, 5-2 in Amherst on Friday, and 4-2 Saturday.

The UMass sweep effectively locked Maine, which of course swept Lowell 4-1 and 2-1 in overtime at Alfond, out of the playoffs as well. While we obviously weren’t pleased with the results, we were sure that Lowell fans could hold their heads high on the way out of Orono on Saturday.

We’ll talk more about the league-wide playoff scene as the week goes on, and take a long, hard look at BU Wednesday and Thursday.

Our Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Peter MacArthur, Boston University (senior forward) – A first-period natural hat trick when your team is looking to clinch home ice? That’s a good start. Playing strong defense on the wing to help ensure your team gets two shutouts against a nationally-ranked opponent? That’s a good finish.
(Honorable mention: Bret Tyler, Maine)

Rookie of the Week
Wade MacLeod, Northeastern (freshman forward) – Two more goals this week against BC. This kid’s been on fire lately, and he pulls ahead of both James Marcou and Paul Dainton* because beating Merrimack is almost as easy as beating UMass.
(Honorable mention: James Marcou, UMass; Paul Dainton, UMass)

Ham-n-Eggers of the Week
The University of Maine Black Bears – How does a team picked fourth in the conference miss the playoffs, what with UMass and Merrimack as bad as they were this year? Oh yeah. They were just as bad. Enjoy your summer.
(Dishonorable mention: Providence College)

Tee time for Whitehead, party of 20?

National Poll

Team (FPV) Record Points Last Poll
1 Michigan (19) 27- 5-4 964 2
2 North Dakota (20) 23- 8-4 936 1
3 Colorado College ( 9) 26- 9-1 898 5
4 Miami ( 2) 29- 6-1 857 4
5 New Hampshire* 23- 8-3 843 3
6 Michigan State 23- 9-5 726 6
7 Clarkson 20-10-4 676 8
8 Denver 22-13-1 623 7
9 St. Cloud State 17-14-5 541 11
10 Boston College* 17-11-8 538 10
10 Minnesota State 18-14-4 538 9
12 Notre Dame 22-12-4 432 12
13 Wisconsin 15-14-7 383 13
14 Boston University* 17-15-4 330 16
15 Minnesota 15-14-9 299 14
16 Princeton 17-12-0 257 15
17 Harvard 14-11-4 164 19
18 Minnesota-Duluth* 13-15-6 156 18
19 Vermont* 14-13-7 103 NR
20 Providence* 14-15-5 46 17
Others Receiving Votes: Niagara 45, Ferris State 29, Army 23, Massachusetts* 17, Michigan Tech 14, Cornell* 13, Northeastern* 12, Quinnipiac 10, Air Force 8, Union 7, Bemidji State 4, RIT 3, Bowling Green 2, Nebraska-Omaha 2, Mass.-Lowell 1

*2007-08 Lowell opponent

Hockey East Weekly Awards
Player of the Week: Peter MacArthur, BU
Rookie of the Week: Dan Lawson, UVM
Defensive Player of the Week: James Marcou*, UMass
Honor roll: Brett Bennett, BU; Ben Bishop, Maine; Nick Bonino, BU; Bobby Butler, UNH; Joe Cucci, Merrimack; Joe Fallon, UVM; Karson Gillespie, BU; Matt Gilroy, BU; Mike Kostka, UMas; Wade MacLeod, NU; James Marcou, UMass; John Muse, BC; Kevin Regan, UNH; Bret Tyler, Maine

Weekend results (home team bolded)
Thursday
BU 6, Providence 0

Friday
BU 2, Providence 0
UNH 3, UVM 2
NU 3, BC 2 (ot)
Maine 4, UML 1
UMass 5, Merrimack 2

Saturday
UVM 4, UNH 3
BC 4, NU 1
UMass 4, Merrimack 2
Maine 2, UML 1 (ot)

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