Weekend Wrap-Up: First Place
The Huskies took care of business this weekend with two home wins over ranked teams (Merrimack Recap, Facts and Boston College Recap, Facts). More importantly, both games were Hockey East contests, meaning the Huskies now have 4 points after the first week of the season. The Huskies now find themselves in first place for the first time since the penultimate day of the 2008-2009 regular season. That season also happened to be the last NCAA tournament appearance for Northeastern.
The Huskies earned plenty of recognition for their successful weekend. They were named Hockey East Team of the Week by the league. They are also ranked 14th in the USCHO Division I poll. Their ranking in the poll means nothing in reality, but hopefully it will increase interest and awareness on campus.
Kevin Roy’s 2 game winning goals helped him earn Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week honors in Hockey East. Freshman Ryan Belonger and Colton Saucerman, joined sophomore Joe Manno on the list of Top Performers.
HHN’s 3 Star Standings
Our 3 stars of the game can be found on the Rapid Reaction articles immediately following each game. The standings cover the total of all games. 3 points for 1st star, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd.
1. Kevin Roy 5
2. Ryan Belonger 3
3. Vinny Saponari 2
4. Colton Saucerman 1
5. Chris Rawlings 1
Around Hockey East
In the season opener for both teams, everyone’s pick for last place, Vermont, was able to pull out a tie on the road against Lowell. The result was not a good one for a Lowell team who some have picked to win Hockey East this year. But don’t tell that to the Lowell Sun. Yes, the headline is seriously “Despite Tie, River Hawks Look Like National Contenders”. Lowell may very well be national contenders, but tying Vermont at home is a bad result for a team with such lofty goals, no matter how well they played.
Vermont was helped out big time by an amazing performance from freshman goalie Brody Hoffman. The rookie posted 38 saves, allowing just 1 goal and was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Goaltending was a major weak spot for the Catamounts last year. With a reliable goalie, they may be able to surprise some people and avoid a last place finish.
New Hampshire swept St. Cloud State at home, which could end up being a big Pairwise benefit for all of Hockey East. Dalton Speelman had 4 points and earned Hockey East Player of the Week honors. Coach Dick Umile earned his 500th career win Friday.
UMass got off to a winning start under new coach John Micheletto with a comfortable 4-1 win over UConn. The Minuteman must now prepare for a home game against a Boston College team looking for their first win.
Maine finished 3rd in the Icebreaker Tournament out in Kansas City. The Black Bears were shut out by Notre Dame in the opener, but they managed to sneak by Army on Saturday. Maine is really struggling out of the gate this season as they try to replace Brian Flynn, Spencer Abbott, and Matt Mangene. They have a tough trip to Providence looming two weeks from now.
Providence and their huge freshman class got off to a great start with a 8-2 win over Sacred Heart on Friday. They found things a little more difficult on Saturday when they went on the road to face BU. Cason Hohmann’s breakout game led the Terriers to a 4-2 win in the Hockey East openers for both squads. For the Terriers, it was a great start and hopefully the beginning of a season where they can put the program’s off-ice issues behind them. For the Friars, it was a mixed result. With 9 players making their first appearance in a PC jersey, a slow start seems inevitable. But it was encouraging that many of these guys made their way onto the scoresheet. Freshman goalie Jon Gillies was also impressive, earning Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors with Hoffman. This could be a very different matchup when these teams meet again in late January.
The Friars head to Miami for 2 games against the RedHawks.
Lowell is also heading west, with games against western heavyweights Denver and Colorado College.
Maine hosts St. Lawrence for 2 in what could be a great chance for them to get their season going.
Merrimack heads up to the Last Frontier for 1 game with each Alaskan team.
Boston University heads up to Lake Whitt for an early season battle with UNH on Saturday.
Boston College travels to Amherst on Friday for the first Hockey East game of the Micheletto Era, before returning home to host Northeastern on Saturday in an effort to get revenge for the season opening loss they suffered on Saturday.