This weekend was weird all around. Powerhouse teams were upended, swept, beaten badly, while weaker teams preformed well, and showed why college hockey is such an unpredictable sport.
-UNH is now 0-3-0 this season, and has been outscored 1-13. UNH so far is really lacking a major scoring threat so far this year. In 08/09, it was JVR, in 09/10 it was Bobby Butler, and last year it was Paul Thompson. This year, no one’s stepped up and taken on that role, and until they get a guy like that they’ll suffer offensively.
-UMass Lowell swept MSU-Mankato this weekend. Hardly surprising considering Mankato has a pretty bare cupboard of talent this year, but a nice start for Lowell, who get to face UConn next on Tuesday before having to face BC twice, BU, Maine twice, and UNH. I still think Lowell won’t be good this year, but maybe they can cause mischief and make a run at 8th.
-Providence swept their weekend, scoring 11 goals in games against UMass and BU. UMass isn’t surprising, Boyle didn’t play well and UMass has a relatively thin team, but BU is interesting as they’re supposed to be one of the top teams. PC won against BU like NU beat UNH: they pounced on turnovers, blocked pucks and played consistently. I think PC has a higher ceiling than Lowell and could end up at 7th or 8th if things line up for them.
-Vermont lost to the US-18 team. Generally, the US-18 team gets beaten by most college teams, because, you know, it’s entirely kids who are under 18. While a lot of them are experienced and some will end up in the NHL, more experienced and older college teams usually win out. Vermont’s loss, and their inability to score more than one goal won’t bode well for them. They will likely have a solid top line of Connor Brickley-Nick Bruneteau-Sebastien Stalberg though.
If anything this weekend boosted the season’s prospects for Providence, UMass Lowell, and lowered the prospects for UNH. Should be an interesting upcoming weekend, as we’ll be able to see if teams like PC and UML can stay strong, and teams like UNH improve.