After Tuesday night, we are again reminded that on any given night any team around the country can beat any other. This weekend, Hockey East teams will embark on a crucial weekend of non-conference games, which go a long way in determining the end of season Pairwise rankings. Hockey East teams will play 11 non-conference games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Even though no conference games will be played this weekend, this weekend is one of the most important weekends of the season, for Hockey East Teams.
Alabama-Huntsville at UMass-Lowell
Alabama Huntsville will continue on its tour of Hockey East as they visit the Tsongas Center, in Lowell. The River Hawks had an up and down weekend as they lost to UNH 5-0 on Friday but rebounded against Umass winning 4-0.
The River Hawks need to stay on track against Huntsville. Huntsville enters their game against UML 0-12-1, after a loss to Merrmack on Wednesday night. The winless season for Huntsville should bring a hungry team to Lowell and the River Hawks need not look further than a Yale loss to winless Sacred Heart on Tuesday for motivation to come hungry.
Providence at Miami (OH)-Denver Cup
The Providence Friars play another crucial non-conference game on Friday night when they make the long trek to Denver for the annual Denver Cup tournament and a matchup with the Miami Redhawks.
Miami came into the season highly touted, but faltered out of the gate going 2-6-0 in their first eight games. Miami enters this tilt undefeated in six games and looks to continue its recent tear, which has been led by a resurgence in net from Cody Reichard. In the last 3 weeks, he has allowed just under two goals a game to opponents.
Providence enters the game winner of four out of their last five games. In their last contest, the Friars lost a tough 5-2 game to Northeastern, on home ice. In the game, Providence goalie, Alex Beaudry, got pulled after just 7 minutes of play. He gave up two goals on two shots. Beaudry should start this game and will need a big rebound from last Saturday’s porous performance.
Colgate at Vermont
Vermont enters the weekend on a bit of high note, winning only their second game of the year on Tuesday against Umass. Vermont will look to build on this win against a Colgate team that has already achieved some success on the young season.
Colgate, out of the ECAC, is off to a fast start. At 8-4-1 the Raiders already have impressive nonconference wins against Miami and Nebraska Omaha.
On Tuesday, Vermont received a rare defensive effort in allowing only 19 shots and one goal against Umass. This effort had to be a step in the right direction for Vermont, which is allowing a bloated 4.10 goals a game. Vermont will look to receive another impressive performance from its defense and goaltender, Rob Madore.
Northeastern at Michigan
Also on Friday night, the Northeastern Huskies head to the always venerable Yost Arena for a tough test against the Wolverines.
After beginning the season 1-7-2, the Huskies enter this weekend on a two game winning streak. This is the first nonconference game of the season for Northeastern and the Huskies will look for a better start to nonconference play. Chris Rawlings had an impressive weekend last weekend making 62 out of a possible 65 saves, in two games. He should be the starter for Northeastern on Friday against Michigan.
Michigan enters the game at 7-5-2 but has been held winless in their past four games and five out of six games. Michigan should start senior Goalie Shawn Hunwick who has an impressive 2.10 GAA on the season.
UMass at Quinnipiac
UMass is currently winless in three games and have dropped two consecutive games to the bottom of the league, in Northeastern and Vermont. Massachusetts will look to rebound against annual non-conference foe, Quinnipiac.
The Minutemen have not won on the road this season and will look to change their fortunes against the Bobcats. As the Minutemen continue to falter on the road, so does the young defense and goaltending. The three goalie system in the UMass net has proven largely unsuccessful this season, especially on the road. Only Toot Cahoon has an idea of who he is going to start on Saturday.
Qunnipiac has two stout goalies who give up less than 2.20 goals a game. Dan Clarke is 5-3-0 on the season with a 2.20 GAA, based on his record he should receive the start.
Boston College at Yale
Boston College comes into the game against Yale on a season high two game losing streak, while Yale comes into Saturday on a low note losing to winless Sacred Heart, on Tuesday. This game is huge for both teams, especially Yale, in the Pairwise.
After his botched overtime mishandle of the puck, Parker Milner will get the opportunity to rebound while his counterpart Jeff Malcolm will also look to rebound after giving up five goals on seven shots Tuesday.
The last time these teams met, Boston College won a wild one in the northeast regional final, in March 2010, by a score of 9-7.
Providence vs. Princeton (Denver Cup)
Providence finishes off its trip to the Denver Cup with a tilt against Princeton. The Denver Cup will hopefully springboard Providence into new heights on the season.
Princeton is stumbling into this weekend with a record of 2-6-1 while Providence is coming into this weekend after a tough loss to Northeastern.
Providence should start Alex Beaudry in net both games this weekend. Sophomore, Sean Bonar, has started seven of nine games for Princeton and has given up 2.86 goals a game. He should receive the start for Princeton, on Saturday.
Alabama-Hunstville at New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the weekend off a tough loss to Harvard on Tuesday night, 7-6. The Wildcats began the game on a high outscoring the Harvard Crimson 4-0 in the first but finished the game on the lowest of lows, giving up seven goals in the final two periods.
If UNH is going to be successful, they are going to need to perform defensively and get quality goaltending. One should not be surprised to see Jeff Wyer in the crease against Huntsville, but if Di Girolamo gets the start he will need a huge rebound game after his performance Tuesday at Harvard.
Clarkson at Maine (Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland)
Maine plays its annual game in Portland against Clarkson. The Black Bears enter the game on a five game winless streak with four losses and a tie.
As the season has gone on, Maine has continually struggled between the pipes. Dan Sullivan has started the last two games for the Black Bears and had a good outing last Saturday giving up two goals in a 2-2 tie against UMass. Look for Dan Sullivan to again get the nod in net over Martin Ouellette in Portland. Clarkson will counter with Paul Karpowich, who has started every game on the season and gives up just under two goals a game.
Cornell vs. Boston University (MSG, New York City)
Boston University heads to New York City to play Cornell in the semi-annual Red Hot Hockey. This game will be huge for Boston University as they look to build upon recent conference success and look to improve their positioning in the Pairwise rankings.
After a one game suspension against Vermont last Friday night Kieran Millan gave the Terriers a rock solid effort against New Hampshire giving up one goal on 34 shots, including 23 in the third period alone. He will be in net at Madison Square garden and will be countered by Andy Iles who has had an impressive season for Cornell, starting all eight games and giving up 2 goals per game.
Dartmouth at Vermont
Vermont hosts their second ECAC opponent in three days as the Big Green will make the hour and a half trek north to visit Gutterson Fieldhouse. Vermont needs to continue its recent success against UMass, on Tuesday, to get their season going in the right direction.
Rob Madore should start the finale of the weekend for Vermont. He has been relatively inconsistent on the year but had his strongest performance on Tuesday against the Minutemen. Dartmouth enters the game with a bit of a goalie battle, as James Mello is having a senior funk giving up nearly three goals a game while Jody O’ Neill has started the last two games giving up two per game.