Hockey East Power Rankings: 10/31/12

Posted by: Scott McLaughlin

At the end of the season’s first month, some teams are right where we thought they’d be, while others have started faster or slower than we expected. One thing we know for sure is that there will continue to be some surprises in November. Here’s how the teams stack up heading into the new month.

1. Boston College (4-1-0, 4-1-0 HE) — Last week: 1
The Eagles swept Lowell, winning 1-0 on Friday and 6-3 on Sunday. Parker Milner made 38 saves Friday to earn his second straight shutout and steal two points in a game in which BC was outshot 38-20. The offense certainly picked it up Sunday, though. The second line of Kevin Hayes, Bill Arnold and Destry Straight combined for four goals and four assists, and freshman defensemen Teddy Doherty and Michael Matheson combined for five assists. The power play went 3-for-5 in the game.

2. New Hampshire (4-0-1, 2-0-1 HE) — Last week: 2
The Wildcats remained undefeated with a 4-3 win over Northeastern on Friday, followed by a thrilling scoreless tie on Saturday. Kevin Goumas and Austin Block each had a goal and an assist in Friday’s win, and John Henrion scored the game-winner with less than a minute to go in regulation. Casey DeSmith saved all 34 shots he faced Saturday to earn his first shutout of the season. The Wildcats did a great job avoiding the penalty box, as they gave Northeastern just two power plays all weekend.

3. Boston University (3-1-0, 3-1-0 HE) — Last week: 4
The Terriers swept UMass, winning 5-2 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday. Danny O’Regan had a breakout series with two goals and two assists on the weekend, while Cason Hohmann continued his strong start with two goals and an assist on Friday. Matt O’Connor got both starts in goal and stopped 62 of 66 shots. He now has a conference-best .945 save percentage on the season. BU’s power play went 3-for-9 in the series.

4. Providence (3-2-1, 2-1-0 HE) — Last week: 5
The Friars ended a three-game winless streak by sweeping Maine, earning a 3-2 win Friday and 3-0 win Saturday. Jon Gillies earned the shutout Saturday and stopped 53 of 55 shots in the series, and he now ranks second in the league with a .938 save percentage. Drew Brown and Myles Harvey each had a two-point game Friday, while Shane Luke and Paul de Jersey did the same Saturday.

5. Massachusetts-Lowell (1-3-1, 0-2-1 HE) — Last week: 3
The River Hawks played well Friday, but fell 1-0 to BC as they couldn’t find a way to beat Parker Milner. Then they got totally outplayed Sunday, losing 6-3. That was the first game this season in which Doug Carr has allowed more than one goal, so there’s no reason to really be concerned about him. Scoring goals remains the biggest problem, although potting three on Sunday was at least a step in the right direction for an offense that had just five in its first four games.

6. Northeastern (2-2-1, 2-2-1 HE) — Last week: 6
The Huskies watched a 3-1 lead turn into a 4-3 UNH win on Friday, then played to a scoreless draw on Saturday. Chris Rawlings got pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots Friday, and Bryan Mountain used the rest of the weekend to make a very strong case for more playing time. He stopped 62 of 63 shots, including all 44 he faced Saturday.

7. Merrimack (2-3-1, 1-1-1 HE) — Last week: 9
The Warriors ended a three-game losing streak by taking three of four points from Vermont, winning 6-3 on Friday before tying 2-2 on Saturday. Mike Collins registered two goals and three assists on the weekend, while Rhett Bly, Kyle Singleton and Brendan Ellis contributed three points apiece. Sam Marotta stopped 29 of 32 shots Friday and Rasmus Tirronen saved 31 of 33 Saturday. Merrimack went 4-for-9 on the power play in the series.

8. Massachusetts (1-3-0, 0-3-0 HE) — Last week: 7
The Minutemen lost to BU 5-2 on Friday, then let a 2-0 lead slip away Saturday to cap off the sweep. That marked the second time in three games that UMass led by at least two goals at home, only to end up losing. Steve Mastalerz struggled in net Friday, while Kevin Boyle stopped 32 of 35 shots Saturday to give him a .933 save percentage in two starts. Rocco Carzo scored on Saturday to give him three goals in four games.

9. Vermont (0-1-2, 0-1-2 HE) — Last week: 8
The Catamounts drop a spot after mustering just one point at Merrimack. Brody Hoffman gave up five goals on 31 shots Friday, but bounced back with a strong performance Saturday. Jonathan Turk, Nick Bruneteau and Kyle Reynolds all had two points in Friday’s loss. The penalty kill gave up four goals on nine chances, but did kill a penalty in overtime on Saturday to preserve the tie.

10. Maine (1-6-0, 0-2-0 HE) — Last week: 10
Make it a four-game losing streak for the Black Bears, who got swept by Providence over the weekend. They’ve scored more than two goals just once this year, and they’ve allowed three or more goals in each of their last five games. Maine finally scored a power-play goal on Friday, but is still just 1-for-36 (2.8 percent) on the season.

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