Men’s Hockey East Weekend Preview

By: Marisa Ingemi

Last Week in Review

UMass Lowell tied Brown in the championship of the Friendship Four in Ireland, 5-5. That came after the Riverhawks defeated Northeastern to advance. Northeastern would defeat Colgate in the consolation game, 7-1, for just its second win of the entire season.

Notre Dame defeated Western Michigan 3-1 in the Shillelagh Tournament a night after falling to Harvard, 4-1.

Boston College continued its season of dominance with a 6-1 victory over the RIT Tigers. RIT stormed out to a 2-0 lead but six straight goals from the Eagles silenced the Tigers. Matt Gaudreau had three assists in the win.

Boston University tied with Cornell 3-3 in Red Hot Hockey from Madison Square Garden, but since a winner of the event had to be named, BU won the contest in a shootout. Of course, it will go down in the records as a tie game. AJ Greer and Jordan Greenway both got on the board for the first time this season.

Quinnipiac remained perfect with a sweep over UMass-Amherst, winning 4-1 and 1-0.

Maine also picked up a weekend sweep with 5-3 and 3-2 victories over Princeton, as the Black Bears have suddenly strung together four straight wins following an 0-8-3 start to the season.

New Hampshire defeated an upstart Bentley team, 5-4. Dan Correale scored twice for the Wildcats in the win while the Falcons’ Kyle Schmidt also lit the lamp two times.

What to Watch For

#11 Boston University hosts Vermont for two games this weekend at Agganis Arena. BU is starting to find a rhythm despite injuries and the tie against Cornell was hard fought. With two games at home against Vermont, it is a good chance to make a move in the standings.

Undefeated #1 Providence faces Merrimack in a home-and-home series. The Friars had a good showing against Yale last weekend after coming back from down 3-2, while the Warriors faltered in a surprising 4-0 loss to a slumping Union team. This is a chance for the Friars to add more to the win column.

New Hampshire and Maine play a home-and-home series as well this weekend. This is a chance for the Wildcats to move up in the Hockey East rankings after a narrow victory past Bentley, but after sweeping Princeton last weekend, the Black Bears are not the pushover they were once thought to be.

#2 Boston College travels to Northeastern on Sunday after hosting the Huskies on Saturday.

UMass-Amherst faces two contests at Notre Dame. The Minutemen have had an odd season, tying in four straight contests before being swept by Quinnipiac this past weekend. Notre Dame suffered a tough 4-1 loss to Harvard and split its weekend, but both teams have something to prove.

Predictions

Last week I went 5-1 on the predictions, so this week will look to replicate that success.

#1 Providence vs Merrimack (twice)

Merrimack lost for the first time in a while but it was a tough 4-0 loss for the Warriors last week. They face a Providence team looking to steamroll (reference to 1920s NFL!) past its opponents and remain at the top of the rankings.

Pick: Providence sweep

Northeastern vs #2 Boston College (twice)

Boston College is on fire. Hockey East is such a strong conference between the Eagles, Riverhawks, Bobcats and Friars, but the Eagles might have the most scoring punch. Scoring six straight goals last weekend, they should roll past the Huskies, who have just two wins this season.

Pick: Boston College sweep

#5 UMass Lowell vs Connecticut (twice)

The Riverhawks are on a roll. If it were not for the powers that are Providence and Boston College, UMass Lowell might be considered the top team in all of college hockey. With the way they are playing, it is difficult to pick against them at all. UConn is struggling, if it were to pick up a win it would be a stunner.

Pick: UMass Lowell sweep

UMass-Amherst vs #20 Notre Dame (twice)

Notre Dame and UMass are both interesting teams in the Hockey East conference. The Fighting Irish defeated Western Michigan this past weekend after falling to a good Harvard team, while UMass lost to undefeated Quinnipiac. Both of these games are at Notre Dame, but a sweep is tough to predict.

Pick: Split

Vermont vs #11 Boston University (twice)

BU will be without captain Matt Grzelyck on Friday, a tough blow for the defense. However, BU has gotten past injuries all season and have a chance to pick up ground at home. With two home games, the Terriers have a real opportunity in front of them. Vermont has not been able to prove they can compete in Hockey East this season.

Pick: BU sweep

Maine vs New Hampshire (twice)

Maine is on a tear after sweeping Princeton last week. The Black Bears suffered a tough start to the season but are finally getting things together. New Hampshire isn’t a bad team in its own right, and did win last week, so I can see this series being a split.

Pick: Split

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