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Weekend in review: Softly weeping

December 8, 2008

Hockey East might be normalizing itself a bit now. As the league winds down ahead of Christmas, three of the Big Four played very well against tough opponents (and BU, obviously, got three points out of BC) and the bottom-six teams were just so-so.

UNH obviously had the best weekend of anyone in Hockey East, taking four points from No. 17 Lowell, including its first road win of the season. Maine fell to Northeastern 3-2 in overtime and then beat Merrimack by the same score in regulation on Sunday, which, if you’re Maine, you have to be happy with. BU and BC skated to a 1-1 draw on Friday and then BU stormed into the Conte Forum to take a decisive 3-1 victory.

Elsewhere, UMass Amherst did what it needed to do to beat UConn 5-1, Vermont barely outplayed the Under 18 team in a 6-4 win and Providence lost to Quinnipiac 5-2. Those are three of the who-caresest results we’ve seen this season.

Our Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Brian Foster, UNH (junior goalie) — Tough to line up against 48 saves on 50 shots, isn’t it? Especially when it’s done against Lowell and in light of the way he stole the first game of the weekend series. Goalies don’t often have better weekends than that.
(Honorable mention: Louis Liotti, Northeastern; Nevin Hamilton, Lowell)

Rookie of the Week
Kieran Millan, BU (freshman goalie) — Hey, BC/BU is a big series every year and for a freshman to come in and stop 49 of 51 shots is pretty damn impressive. BC’s no slouch on offense when it’s motivated, and it should’ve been motivated against BU. Millan’s work was, by all accounts, outstanding.
(Honorable mention: Scott Darling, Maine; Blake Kessel, UNH)

Ham n Eggers of the Weak
UMass Amherst schedule-makers — This one might come as a shock, but when we saw they played UConn a week after they played St. Lawrence (and lost! Haw!), we couldn’t help but wonder who’s doing the scheduling over there. Turns out, it gets worse. Next week the Minutemen take on AIC and then in their Christmas tournament play Bemidji and one of Army or Dartmouth. Add in the out of conference games against RPI, Michigan State and North Dakota, and the Minutemen, who believe themselves to be some sort of superior program, have played almost exclusively cupcakes out of conference. RPI, St. Lawrence, UConn, AIC, Bemidji, and Army/Dartmouth make up 3/4 of their OOC sked. Wow. Embarrassing.
(Dishonorable mention: Lowell (for five periods); Brian Roloff and Brayden Irwin, Vermont)

Permanent Tomato Cans:
Providence College (2-10-1, 0-1 this weekend)

National Poll

Team (FPV) Record Points Last Poll
1 Notre Dame* (41) 12-3-2 976 1
2 Minnesota ( 3) 7-2-5 918 3
3 Miami ( 3) 10-3-3 873 4
4 Boston University* 10-4-1 805 7
5 Northeastern* 11-3-2 759 6
6 Denver ( 1) 11-5-1 731 8
7 Boston College* 9-5-2 723 2
8 Princeton ( 2) 10-2-0 678 9
9 Colorado College 9-5-4 570 5
10 Cornell 7-1-2 544 13
11 Vermont* 9-3-2 507 12
12 Air Force 14-2-0 445 10
13 Michigan 11-7-0 438 14
14 Minnesota State 8-5-3 272 11
15 New Hampshire* 7-6-3 214 19
16 Wisconsin 9-7-2 183 NR
17 St. Cloud State 10-6-0 169 NR
18 Dartmouth 6-4-0 163 16
19 Nebraska-Omaha 9-4-3 156 18
20 Alaska 8-4-4 86 20
Others Receiving Votes: Minnesota-Duluth* 47, Alaska-Anchorage 45, North Dakota 44, Mass.-Lowell 40, Ohio State 39, Maine 35, Massachusetts* 23, Yale 14, Niagara 2, Quinnipiac* 1

*indicates 2008-09 Lowell opponent

Hockey East Weekly Awards
Player of the Week: Louis Liotti, Northeastern
Rookie of the Week: Chris Connolly, BU
Defensive Player of the Week: Brian Foster, UNH; Kieran Millan, BU
Honor roll: Chris Barton, Merrimack; Bobby Butler, UNH; Scott Darling, Maine; Nevin Hamilton, Lowell; Blake Kessel, UNH; John McCarthy, BU; Gustav Nyquist, Maine; TJ Syner, UMass Amherst

Weekend results (home team bolded)
Friday
BC 1, BU 1 (ot)
Northeastern 3, Maine 2 (ot)
UNH 2, Lowell 0
UMass Amherst 5, UConn 1
Quinnipiac 5, Providence 2
Vermont 6, US National Development Program Team 4 (exh.)

Saturday
UNH 3, Lowell 2
BU 3
, BC 1

Sunday
Maine 3, Merrimack 2

How we voted
Last year, voting for the UMLHockey.com Player of the Game was very, umm, lax. Let’s not have that happen this year, eh? Go vote for right now. What we’ll do is post our votes each week and then you can have something to copy because you know we know what we’re talking about.

1) Nevin Hamilton
2) Scott Campbell
3) Nick Monroe

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