Weekend Wrap-Up: Old Man on the Mountain
The Huskies managed to get just 1 point on the weekend (Friday Reaction, Game Story, Saturday Reaction, Game Story) against a talented UNH team. But the really story of the weekend was the emergence of Bryan Mountain. Mountain’s performance on Saturday has started a bit of a goalie controversy for the Huskies. And by controversy, I mean Mountain is going to play until he gives the coaching staff a reason why he shouldn’t, which is basically the situation that the Huskies started the season with, only it applied to Chris Rawlings.
Mountain’s performance (62 saves on 63 shots) earned him Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors. which he shared with his counterpart Casey DeSmith. Joe Manno was named as a Key Performer.
The Huskies stayed at 15th in the USCHO Division I poll. They are join the likes of BC (#1), UNH (#9), BU (#12), and Lowell (#14) in representing Hockey East. As usual, the best part of the poll is the guy who keeps giving Union a first place vote. This voter is either unaware or unfazed by the fact Union lost to Merrimack at home and tied UConn. I like to pretend this person is the Ron Swanson of poll voters, trying to take down a stupid system by furthering its stupidity from the inside.
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. Bryan Mountain 6
2. Kevin Roy 5
3. Braden Pimm 4
4. Ryan Belonger 3
4. Josh Manson 3
6. Vinny Saponari 2
6. Steve Morra 2
8. Robbie Vrolyk 1
8. Garrett Vermeersch 1
8. Colton Saucerman 1
8. Joe Manno 1
8. Chris Rawlings 1
Around Hockey East
The first full weekend of Hockey East action didn’t feature much in terms of surprises.
BC earned a sweep over Lowell in what was billed as a battle between Hockey East’s two best teams. After getting shutout on Friday, Lowell coach Norm Bazin tinkered with his lines for Sunday’s game. Lowell found some offense, but special teams were the difference has the Eagles skated to a convincing 6-3 win. Lowell wants to be title contenders this season, but spotting the team you are hoping to knock off a 4 point head start isn’t the best way to accomplish that.
The other UMass, UMass Amherst, was up to their old tricks again. After getting beat 5-2 on Friday at Boston University, the Minuteman looked to grab their first Hockey East win against the Terriers back home in Amherst on Saturday. They got another big crowd, and another early lead. But once again they were unable to hold on and their 2-0 lead turned into a 3-2 loss. At least the fans held off on the overrated chants this weekend.
Vermont and Merrimack hooked up in the No One Cares Series of the Week. Merrimack found their offense on Friday and pulled out a 6-3 win. But the Catamounts were able to earn a 2-2 tie on Saturday. These two teams will likely be battling it out for the final playoff spot come March, so the final game of this season series could be a big one for tiebreaker purposes. Merrimack’s Mike Collins (noted Northeastern killer) picked up Co-Player of the Week Honors for his efforts.
The final series of the weekend featured the hapless Maine Black Bears. A trip to Providence for the weekend proved to a continuation of their horrendous start. A 3-2 loss on Friday was followed by a 3-0 loss on Saturday. Maine (1-6) can’t score, can’t play defense, and they really aren’t getting great play in net. So basically, they are this year’s Vermont. Joey Diamond has to be getting frustrated, which is bad news for backs, heads, and backs of heads across Hockey East. Maine is also 1-36 on the power play. Good for a 2.8% success rate and for making Northeastern’s look not that bad.
Lowell is off this weekend, but the rest of Hockey East is in action.
The Huskies host Merrimack on Friday night, before heading to
Fuddruckers Lawler Arena on Saturday. This weekend will wrap up the season series with Merrimack. Lawler might be the worst rink on the planet, but Merrimack was nice enough to push the game back to 7:30 to allow for maximum Fuddruckers time before the game. Fuddruckers is awesome and it totally makes this trip worth it.
Providence travels to Vermont for 2 games, in what should be an exciting series with 2 freshman goalies leading young team. You’ve probably heard of Jon Gillies, but UVM’s Brody Hoffman has been pretty good too. These two will go toe to toe for the first time this weekend. Providence has more veteran leadership and they have looked good so far this season. This trip will be a good test for them.
BU heads west for an important series against North Dakota. Hockey East has got off to a poor start in non-conference play so this is a big opportunity for them to pick up some ground. So that means that yes, this is one of those unfortunate times where Huskies fans would be best served rooting for BU. Now some people will never ever do that. Totally understandable. But this could be the difference between another Hockey East team making the NCAA’s or not.
It doesn’t get an easier for Maine this weekend as they get arguably the two best teams in the league, BC and UNH. Both games are at least home for Maine with BC coming in Friday and the Wildcats coming on Sunday. Depending on the result Friday, Sunday’s game will be “Bring Your Pitchfork” Day as the Black Bear faithful hope to run Tim Whitehead out of town for the 10th year in a row.
UNH opens the weekend on the road at Amherst on Friday. The Minuteman will play BC at Conte Forum on Sunday.