Hockey is starting up again this weekend with a lot of holiday tournaments, important out of conference games, and interesting matchups. Here’s a taste of some matchups:
-BU faces off against Notre Dame on Saturday. This game will be intriguing on a number of levels. To start, this is the first college hockey game shown on Versus, with the well known Eddie Olcyk doing the commentary for it. Secondly, this is the first chance we get to see how BU plays after losing 2 players (not to mention Adam Clendening who is at the World Juniors program, so 3 not playing).
-UML plays in possibly the weakest ever holiday tournament, RPI, UConn, and Army (all in the mid-50’s in the PWR, out of 60). They need 2 wins (which would help us)
-On the other hand, BC plays possibly the toughest tournament this year, the Great Lakes Invitational. They face off against Michigan, then either Michigan State, or Michigan Tech, a long suffering team that has really turned it around this year.
-Providence and UNH both play Brown this weekend. No one will probably notice, and it won’t do much to PWR ratings.
-Maine and UMass are the lucky ones, in Florida playing Cornell and Clarkson. This will be a good tournament, Cornell is likely going to be in the NCAA tournament and a solid team. Wins here would be very helpful for our strength of schedule.
-Merrimack plays St. Lawrence, and then either Holy Cross or Dartmouth up at Dartmouth. Again, not too exciting, and won’t do too much to PWR, but Merrimack needs to turn it around here and win.
-Finally Vermont plays Lake Superior State and Ferris State in Vermont. Both are solid CCHA teams that turned it around, and if UVM could get a win, it’d be very helpful.
Speaking of Vermont, nothing is going their way. They lost 6-1 to a subpar Russian team, and their one star, Connor Brickley, is sidelined with a minor leg injury up at the WJC.
Finally, the Burlington Free Press has an interesting articlethat looks at early departures, looking at freshman from 07/08 season and 08/09 and who is left. Interestingly, NU has the lowest retention rate of all the teams in Hockey East. The main problem with the computing for departures is that there’s no way of telling who left early, or who left due to injury, was redshirted, etc.Northeastern’s 08-09 class featured 4 forward, 2 of whom were redshirted and are now juniors, 1 who transferred to D3, and one who’s a freshman, as well as one defenseman whose hockey career ended due to injury. So while it’s interesting to see, remember that it doesn’t reflect people leaving early, just all players who left for any reason.
Coming up tomorrow is a midseason power ranking, and then the previews will be not long after. Hockey is returning, get excited.