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Weekend in review: Now we’ve got our legs under us

October 20, 2008

The Hockey East regular season began for most of the league this week, with six of the 10 teams taking part in conference play.

Of particular note, obviously, was the play of Northeastern, which dismantled Providence on the road 4-0 and then squeaked past BC 4-3 at Matthews the next night. Brad Thiessen made 38 saves in the latter contest, and 73 on the weekend. Joe Vitale had two goals in the BC game, including a shorthanded game-winner. Not a bad start for the Huskies, not at all. God they’re going to be good this year.

Boston College and Providence also both had the pleasure of beating Bowling Green, 5-3 and 4-3, respectively. Brock Bradford (2-1-3) and Matt Bergland (1-2-3) were the stars in those two games.

BU opened the weekend with a 5-2 win over Merrimack on Friday before losing to UNH in Durham 2-1. Nick Bonino picked up three helpers Friday and Jason Lawrence had the only goal against the Wildcats, who continue to get stellar play from Brian Foster. Foster was also good enough in the 1-0 win over RPI.

The ‘Mack, meanwhile, got an outstanding performance from freshman keeper Joe Cannata in a 1-0 win over Army on Saturday. But who gives up 40-plus shots to Army, for real? Merrimack seriously might have the best goalkeeping tandem in Hockey East, and that’s a weird thing to say.

Maine split with the Alaska teams, and Vermont got a win and a tie against Miami. Whatever.

Oh and apparently Lowell split with the No. 11 team in the country on the road, including a shutout. It was hard to track down information on this exciting turn of events via Hockey East’s website. Must be some sort of oversight.

Our weekly awards
Player of the Week
Carter Hutton, Lowell (junior goalie) — Hutts made 48 saves on 50 shots this weekend, including picking up a shutout at Michigan State on Thursday night. The two goals he gave up were both second chances, and both were while Lowell was shorthanded. That’s an a-okay way to rebound from the loss at Colgate, we think.
(Honorable mention: Brian Foster, UNH; Brad Thiessen, NU)

Rookie of the Week
David Vallorani, Lowell (freshman forward) — Two more assists this weekend for the kid, both at MSU, and both at critical junctures in the game. Only Fabian Brunnstrom gets off to better starts than Vallorani’s. Sorry to Cannata, but come on dude, it’s only Army.
(Honorable mention: Joe Cannata, Merrimack)

Ham-n-egger of the Weak
Andrew Braithwaite, Merrimack (junior goalie) — Come on, Andy. We thought you were the best goalie in Hockey East last year, and said as much several times. Then you give up five goals on 28 shots Friday? You’re making us look bad.
(Honorable mention: UMass Amherst, just because)

National poll

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Colorado College (39) 4-0-0 976 3
2 Denver ( 5) 3-0-0 928 4
3 Boston College* ( 3) 2-1-0 868 1
4 New Hampshire* ( 2) 3-0-0 840 6
5 Michigan ( 1) 3-1-0 810 2
6 Boston University* 3-1-0 726 5
7 Minnesota 2-0-0 694 9
8 Notre Dame* 2-1-0 693 8
9 Princeton 0-0-0 480 10
10 Miami 1-1-2 472 7
11 Vermont* 2-0-1 388 17
12 Michigan State* 2-2-0 369 11
13 Minnesota State 3-1-0 365 15
14 Northeastern* 3-0-1 312 NR
15 St. Cloud State 2-2-0 246 12
16 North Dakota 1-3-0 232 13
17 Cornell 0-0-0 197 16
18 Northern Michigan 2-2-0 196 19
19 Clarkson 1-1-0 184 14
20 Harvard 0-0-0 114 18
Others Receiving Votes: Minnesota-Duluth* 109, Air Force 107, Colgate 29, Nebraska-Omaha 28, Mass.-Lowell 26, Wisconsin 25, St. Lawrence 24, Massachusetts* 19, Alaska-Anchorage 18, Maine 7, Niagara 7, Alaska 6, Dartmouth 3, Providence* 1, Union 1

*2008-09 Lowell opponent

Hockey East Weekly Awards
Player of the Week: Brad Thiessen, NU
Rookie of the Week: Joe Cannata, Merrmiack
Defensive Player of the Week: Brian Foster, UNH
Honor Roll: Matt Bergland, PC; Scott Darling, Maine; Carter Hutton, Lowell; Kevin Kapstad, UNH; Peter Lenes, UVM; Rob Madore, UVM; Justin Milo, UVM; Lem Randall, Maine; David Vallorani, Lowell; James van Riemsdyk, UNH; Brandon Yip, BU

Weekend results (home team bolded)
Thursday
Lowell 3, Michigan State 0

Friday
BC 5, Bowling Green 3
BU 5, Merrimack 2
NU 4, Providence 0
UNH 1, RPI 0
Vermont 4, Miami 3
Alaska Anchorage 3, Maine 1 (neutral site)

Saturday
Northeastern 4, BC 3
Providence 4, Bowling Green 3
Merrimack 1, Army 0
Vermont 3, Miami 3 (ot)
Maine 2, Alaska 0

Sunday
UNH 2, BU 1

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