With all due respect to Massachusetts sophomore defenseman Conor Allen, who picked up a hat trick against Holy Cross on Friday night, a few other players around the league have managed a better few games over the last few weekends. This list includes one of Allen’s teammates and an opponent of his next Saturday.
Joe Cannatta, Senior, Goaltender, Merrimack
Friday’s win over Boston University capped an 8-0-1 start and gave the Warriors the win over the Hockey East powerhouse it needed to legitimize itself in the eyes of some. In the win, Cannatta made 36 saves and overcame a pair of first period goals allowed. Through eight games played this season, Cannatta is 7-0-1 with .940 save percentage and a 1.48 goals-against average. Many wondered if the Warriors would be able to build on least year’s best season in program history. Through nine total games, the undefeated Warriors look better than they did a season ago, and Cannatta is a big reason for that.
Matt Ferreira, Senior, Forward, UMass Lowell
The River Hawks followed their 7-1 win over Boston University with a pair of wins in Orono this weekend. While many expected David Vallorani and Riley Wetmore to be the primary contributors for UML this season, Ferreira has been fantastic in his first eight games. Most recently, he’s managed two multi-point games in his last three, scoring two goals and assisting on four others in that time.
T.J. Syner, Senior, Forward, Massachusetts
When people talk about UMass, they talk about youth. They talk about inexperience, and they talk about the future. Syner will play no role in that future and wants his final season in Amherst to be a memorable one. In his 10 games this season, he has recorded a point in at least nine and is currently second in the league in scoring with five goals and 10 assists.
Drew McKenzie, Senior, Defenseman, Vermont
This is less an indictment of McKenzie than the entire UVM defensive unit, but the senior captain has to take some of the blame. The Catamounts have been awful defensively, allowing 4.57 goals per game — good enough for 57th in the country. Their penalty kill has been equally useless with opponents converting 35.3 percent of their chances. Last week, the finger pointed at Rob Madore, who allowed four goals against New Hampshire on Saturday and saw his goals against average improve. This week, it’s McKenzie as little has changed in Burlington.
Vinny Saponari, Junior, Forward, Northeastern
There have been times this season where Saponari has looked like Northeastern’s best player. There have also been times where he looked completely lost with his new club. The BU transfer hasn’t scored a goal since the Huskies second game of the season at Maine and is pointless in three consecutive games. The Huskies haven’t won a game since Oct. 14, and unless they get some help from their most gifted players, that isn’t going to change.
Dan Sullivan/Martin Ouellette, Sophomores, Goaltenders, Maine
Choosing one of Tim Whitehead’s sophomore netminders as the problem really isn’t fair, so we’ll go with both. Neither has been good enough to help the Black Bears win games. Each has played in six, combined they have an .874 save percentage and a 3.26 goals-against average. Sullivan made 26 saves against Providence on Oct. 29 as the Black Bears completed a weekend sweep of the Friars. At this point, it looked like Maine was ready to make a run, but four consecutive losses have made that quite unlikely.