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Weekend in review: A heck of a start (for everyone but UML)

October 13, 2008

Well Hockey East went 8-2-1 in its first 11 games of the season, which is good. Lowell was 0-1 in its first game of the season, which is bad.

The implications of this fast start, especially with wins over traditional Western powers that are going to be up for NCAA bids in March, are obvious. It helps strength of schedule ratings, and Pairwise ratings for most Hockey East are, as a result, going to be higher. Going 5-0 against the WCHA don’t hurt either. End result: by the end of the year, Hockey East is more likely to have a greater number of teams in the NCAA tournament. So that’s good.

Of course, BU probably had the most impressive weekend out of anyone, demolishing North Dakota 5-0 on Friday and sneaking past Michigan State (Lowell’s next opponent) in the championship of the Ice Breaker tournament, 2-1. The Terriers got excellent goaltending out of freshmen Kieran Millan and Grant Rollheiser, who combined to allow two goals on just 26 shots this weekend. If they keep that kind of play up, that’s bad news for Hockey East.

In the other half of the Ice Breaker, the UMass Minutemen lost to State 3-1, as they should’ve. But then the next night, they somehow beat North Dakota 3-2, which you’ll still be hearing about from UMass fans in February, when the team is back below .500. Backup Dan Meyers, playing in place of an injured Paul Dainton*, sparkled, making 53 saves and allowing just four goals.

Elsewhere, BC edged Wisconsin Friday, 5-4. Brian Gibbons and Brock Bradford had three points apiece in that one, and freshman Cam Atkinson had the game-winner. UNH played the Badgers the next night and got a stellar 30-save performance out of Brian Foster, in for the graduated Kevin Regan, in a 5-1 win.

Northeastern was the lucky team to make the Alaska trip this weekend and was undefeated against the teams from Palinland. After a frustrating 2-2 draw against Alaska Fairbanks on Friday, the Huskies rebounded for a 4-2 win over Alaska Anchorage the next night. Ryan Ginand and Dennis McCauley both netted two goals and an assist on the weekend.

Merrimack beat Robert Morris at home, 3-1, and Vermont beat RPI 4-1 in Quebec City. Who cares. Lowell’s 2-1 loss to Colgate, though, is very troubling.

In a pair of exhibition games, Maine gave up 10 goals to New Brunswick, which was fresh off a pair of losses to UMass (6-0) and BU (4-1). On Friday, Maine allowed 38 shots but eeked out a 5-4 win. The next night, Maine blew leads of 3-0 and 5-3 for a 6-6 draw that UNB eventually won in a shootout. Scott Darling made 26 saves on 30 shots before getting the hook in favor of Dave Wilson, who made 8 on 11. So 79 shots in two games against a team that gave up 10 goals and scored one against two Hockey East teams last weekend? Yeah, that Maine team’s gonna be awesome this year.

Our Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Brock Bradford and Brian Gibbons, Boston College (senior and sophomore forwards) — Tough to line up against six combined points for the linemates. Bradford in particular looks like BC’s breakout player d’année.
(Honorable mention: Dan Meyers, UMass)

Rookie of the Week
Kieran Millan and Grant Rollheiser (freshman goalies) — The big question mark once again this year for BU was goaltending, and these two got the Terriers off to a fine, fine start. That’s how you handle your biz.
(Honorable mention: David Vallorani, UML)

Ham-n-Eggers of the Weak
Lowell’s top two lines
— Totaling six shots and no points against a team like Colgate is just terrible, especially given that they were presented with four power plays. That was a rough one to listen to, and probably even worse to watch.

National poll
Oddly, USCHO didn’t have one as of press time (about 8 p.m. Monday), maybe because it’s a holiday.

Hockey East Weekly Awards
Player of the Week: Kevin Shattenkirk, BU
Rookie of the Week: Cam Atkinson, BC
Defensive Player of the Week: Dan Meyers, UMass
Honor Roll: Cam Atkinson, BC; Alex Berry, UMass; Ryan Blair, UML; Patrick Cey, UML; Danny Dries, UNH; Brian Foster, UNH; Brian Gibbons, BC; Ryan Ginnand, NU; Blake Kessel, UNH; Kieran Millan, BU; Justin Milo, UVM; Francois Ouimet, Merrimack; Mike Spillane, UVM; Brad Thiessen, NU; David Vallorani, UML; Colin Wilson, BU

Weekend results (home team bolded)
Friday
BC 5, Wisconsin 4
BU 5, North Dakota 1
NU 2, Alaska 2 (ot) (neutral site)
Michigan State 3, UMass 1 (neutral site)
Maine 5, New Brunswick 4 (exh.)

Saturday
Vermont 4, RPI 1 (neutral site)
UMass 3
, North Dakota 2 (neutral site)
Colgate 2, UML 1
UNH 5, Wisconsin 1
Merrimack 3, Robert Morris 1
NU 4, Alaska Anchorage 2 (neutral site)
BU 2, Michigan State 1
New Brunswick 7, Maine 6 (SO) (exh.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Joe Grav permalink
    October 14, 2008 9:01 am

    I missed these weekend reviews. well done.

    BU may be for real this year.

    UMaine sucks.

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