By: James Duffy
College hockey is back.
The games may have been just exhibitions, but last weekend, 10 of the 12 teams in Hockey East opened up their season with practice games against teams hailing from the Great North. Teams from Hockey East combined to be 8-2 against these Canadian squads, with the only losses by Boston College and Vermont. Providence and Northeastern were the biggest winners of the weekend, both slaughtering Simon Fraser University, winning 9-1 and 10-2 respectively.
Freshmen led the way for Northeastern, as first years accounted for 6 of the 10 Husky goals. Jason Cotton got a hat trick, and Adam Gaudette, Lincoln Griffin and Eric Williams all potted goals of their own. Kevin Roy opened the scoring just two minutes into the game, and from that point it was never a contest. NU found the back of the net twice more that period, twice in the 2nd, and erupted for 5 goals in the 3rd. This was one of those games where Northeastern had one less goal than Simon Fraser had shots.
Providence had the same fortune against SFU, winning by 8 goals as well, with Trevor Mingoia, Eric Foley and Jake Walman all netting a pair. Things turned out worse for Boston College, as they let up 5 unanswered goals to New Brunswick in their exhibition loss. Their star goalie Thatcher Demko did stop all 16 shots in his one period of play, so there isn’t a whole ton of concern after the loss. It looks like the penalty kill could use some work in Chestnut Hill though as they committed 8 penalties and allowed New Brunswick to convert on 3 of the man advantages.
Home team on the right, winners in bold.
Saturday, October 3rd
Queens 1-3 Connecticut
Acadia 2-4 Boston University
Francis Xavier 1-4 Merrimack
Simon Fraser 1-9 Providence
Dalhousie 0-4 Massachusetts
New Brunswick 5-2 Boston College
Sunday, October 4
Simon Fraser 2-10 Northeastern
New Brunswick 2-3 UMass Lowell
St. Francis Xavier 4-6 New Hampshire
Acadia 2-1 Vermont
The Week Ahead
With the exception of Notre Dame, who will play a pair of exhibitions, every Hockey East team will play their first real game of the season this weekend. While all the games are non-conference to start, there are still some noteworthy contests on tap. The University of Maine will host the annual Ice Breaker Tournament in Portland to officially kick off the hockey season, welcoming Michigan State, Lake Superior and North Dakota for the 19th installation of the tourney. One of the most interesting matchups featuring a Hockey East team this weekend is the home-and-home between Miami (OH) and Providence, the 11th and 7th ranked teams respectively. Other games to watch are Boston University traveling to upstate New York to face Union, and Vermont trekking to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers.
Northeastern will be right here at Matthews Arena this weekend, as the Huskies look to open the season with a win over Colgate on Saturday night. Colgate, ranked 20th in the preseason poll, are led by junior goalie Charlie Finn, who finished 13th in the nation in save percentage and goals allowed average last season. Finn is off to a rocky start, having allowed 6 goals on 41 shots in two games against Mercyhurst, so the high flying Husky offense should look to capitalize. Last season Colgate swept a two game set against the Huskies, winning both games 3-0, so Northeastern will look to change their luck this time around.