Hockey East Notebook 11/19/15

By: James Duffy

Weekend Review

Now that every team has played at least two games against conference opponents, the Hockey East standings are starting to take form. Yet again it’s UMass Lowell sitting at the top, going 4-0-2 in six conference games after sweeping Maine this weekend. Kevin Boyle was incredible in net again for the River Hawks, and is approaching Thatcher Demko-esque numbers, lowering his goals allowed average to 1.26 with a save percentage of .957.

Speaking of Demko, he struggled for the first time all season when Boston College took on Michigan State in a tough non-conference game. The Spartans managed to get four past Demko, a guy who had given up six goals all season before that. BC still pulled out a 6-4 win carried by two goals from junior forward Ryan Fitzgerald. The Eagles are now a tremendous 9-1-0 on the year, the best overall record in Hockey East.

Providence College, the #1 ranked team in the nation, remained undefeated on the year when they opened up their conference play by tying two games with Boston University. Friars goalie Nick Ellis made 73 stops in the two games, including saving 40 of 41 on Saturday night and won himself the honor of being named Warrior Player of the Week. Merrimack too continued their strong season, beating Massachusetts 4-2 before playing New Hampshire to a 3-3 draw. The tough season for UNH still has bright spots in Tyler Kelleher and Andrew Poturalski, who combined for five points in the tie.

Beyond that, other notable games saw Notre Dame take three points in a pair of games at home against Northeastern, and Vermont beat Connecticut before tying Massachusetts at home. 

Scores

Thursday, November 12

Northeastern 2-3 Notre Dame

Friday, November 13

Boston University 1-1 Providence

Merrimack 4-2 Massachusetts

Connecticut 1-2 Vermont

Maine 1-2 UMass Lowell

Northeastern 2-2 Notre Dame

Michigan State 4-6 Boston College

Saturday, November 14

Providence 3-3 Boston College

New Hampshire 3-3 Merrimack

Sunday, November 15

Massachusetts 3-3 Vermont

UMass Lowell 6-0 Maine

Tuesday, November 17

Quinnipiac 6-2 Connecticut

The Week Ahead

This weekend features some good games in conference, starting off with #1 ranked Providence taking on Northeastern for a home-and-home. The Friars are still undefeated, something that many expect to stay true through the weekend as the Huskies have struggled to really get much going this season. It is worth noting that after starting slow last season it was right around this time of year that Northeastern started an incredible run, and they really need to start winning games right about now. Expect Nick Ellis to be the star in net.

Hockey East leader UMass Lowell will host Notre Dame for two games, and the high scoring Irish offense will look to ding up the 2nd best goalie in the conference right now in Kevin Boyle. The best goalie in the conference will look to get back on track as his BC Eagles travel up to New Hampshire and Connecticut for a pair of tough road games. Meanwhile Boston University will gets a tough test after holding serve with Providence, welcoming #12 Michigan to town for two games.

National Rankings

Providence – #1 (1)

Boston College – #2 (2)

UMass Lowell – #5 (5)

Boston University – #10 (11)

Notre Dame – #16 (18)

Others receiving votes:

Massachusetts – 24

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