Men’s Hockey: Hockey East Weekend Preview

Last Week In Review

The past week in Hockey East action was not surprising. The teams that were supposed to win won for the most part and kept their spots in the rankings.

Providence continued its strong season with 5-2 and 3-0 victories over Northeastern. In the 5-2 win on Friday night, Mark Jankowski, who was last week’s player of the week, scored two goals, including the game winning goal on the power play. Jankowski scored again the next night and goaltender Nick Ellis picked up the shutout.

Boston University split its weekend with Michigan, winning on Friday night 3-2 and falling on Saturday 4-2. BU went on to defeat Bentley 3-0 on Tuesday night where Sean Maguire picked up his first shutout of the season. In the 3-2 victory over Michigan, the Terriers trailed 2-0 in the third period before scoring three straight goals to win.

UMass Lowell stayed hot with a 3-1 win over Notre Dame afer tying 2-2 the night before. In the Riverhawk victory, goaltender Kevin Boyle made 35 saves. Cal Peterson, the goaltender for the Fighting Irish, made 32 saves in the tie. Notre Dame trailed 2-0 until late in the second period where goals from Dennis Gilbert and Anders Bjork tied the contest.

Boston College doubled up New Hampshire, 6-3. Teddy Doherty scored two goals for the Eagles and goaltender Thatcher Demko made 24 saves. Steve Santini added three assists.

What to Watch For

#3 Quinnipiac @ UMass

The Minutemen came out with two ties in Hockey East contests last week and now face the unbeaten Bobcats. UMass has tied in three straight contests now and they have the chance to knock of an undefeated club at home. Though led by Dennis Kravchenko, the Hockey East player of the month of October, UMass has struggled against ranked opponents this season, going 0-3-1.

#8 Harvard @ #18 Notre Dame

The Irish had a rough weekend with a tie and a loss against the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. Havard at 4-1-1 hasn’t played as much as some other teams, but when the Crimson have played they have played well. The only loss was to Quinnipiac, one of the top teams in the nation. This is one of the most interesting games of the week, because when Notre Dame is playing well it is one of the strongest teams in the country, but there’s no reason to think the Crimson will not play well.

#11 Boston University vs #16 Cornell

Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden. The Terriers are coming off of a solid win against Bentley, but Cornell is a much tougher challenge. BU is ranked ahead of Cornell but that doesn’t make the Big Red any lesser of a team. Cornell is 6-1-1 overall and have won three of its last four games, including a shutout of Brown last week.

#10 Yale @ #1 Providence

Providence has won two straight but before that it tied two games in a row with Boston University, ranked 11th. Now the Friars face the tenth-ranked Yale Bulldogs. The Friars are flawless on the season so that makes it nearly impossible to pick against them, but this game is one of the most interesting of the week.

Predictions

#3 Quinnipiac @ UMass

UMass has proven resilient with its four straight ties. However, Quinnipiac is too strong of a team. The Minutemen might be able to hang tough, but the Bobcats are undefeated for a reason.

Pick: Quinnipiac

#8 Harvard @ #18 Notre Dame

Notre Dame might be better than its .500 record, which is why the Irish have the #18 ranking. However, the Crimson are ranked #8 for a reason.

Pick: Harvard

#11 Boston University vs #16 Cornell

Red Hot Hockey has been a tradition for the last five years. BU has some good things going and freshmen such as Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are playing well.

Pick: Boston University

#10 Yale @ #1 Providence

It is almost impossible to predict against Providence at home right now, even if Yale is one of the tougher games for the Friars thus far.

Pick: Providence

#4 UMass Lowell vs Northeastern

The Riverhawks are starting to separate themselves from the middle of the Hockey East pack. Along with Providence and BC, they are at the top of the league. The Huskies are stuck facing UMass Lowell after being swept by Providence last week, and its hard to see them having any more luck this week.

Pick: UMass Lowell

RIT vs #2 Boston College

If not for Providence, the Boston College Eagles would be the top team in the country. RIT is not a bad team but it doesn’t matter against a team as strong as BC.

Pick: Boston College

Merrimack vs Union

After having their struggles last year, the Merrimack Warriors have emerged as a top cotnending team in Hockey East. Union has had its own struggles of late, and this should be no contest.

Pick: Merrimack

Author: Marisa Ingemi

Marisa covers sports (mostly baseball, hockey, and lacrosse) for ESPN New Hampshire, In Lacrosse We Trust, BU News Service, Inside Hockey, the Patriot League Network, and a wide range of other places.

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