As with every week in Hockey East, this week brings us some key matchups that will have some intriguing story-lines Looking for revenge, Boston College will host Northeastern, a week after a loss at Matthews Arena. Another key, early conference matchup will pit Boston University and New Hampshire. The rest of the conference will take part in important non-conference matchups. Here’s to previewing the weekend’s games around the conference:
Boston College at Massachusetts (Friday)
The Eagles will travel to UMass on Friday night to take on the Minutemen. This matchup is a rematch of a hard fought Hockey East Quarterfinal series last season that saw Boston College sweep UMass in two games. BC comes off a loss to Northeastern, while UMass comes off a win against UConn. During the regular season last year, UMass went 2-1 against BC. Both of their wins were at the Mullins Center and one should expect a raucous crowd on Friday night.
UMass-Lowell at Denver (Friday)
UMass-Lowell is coming off a disappointing tie against Vermont. Despite outworking and outshooting the Catamounts for the first 50 minutes of the game, the River Hawks were unable to hang on to a 1-0 lead and would settle for a tie.
This weekend should be a challenge for the River Hawks who want to be put with the elite around college hockey and no better place to start than Magness Arena. UML may have the advantage as Denver has yet to play an NCAA game yet, but travelling to Denver is no easy task for any team. Hate to start talking pairwise, but this weekend will be crucial for Lowell if they have hopes to be a high seed in the NCAA tournament.
St. Lawrence at Maine (Friday and Saturday)
Maine has had a disappointing start to the season going 1-2-0 in early non-conference action. An opening night loss against Quinnipiac, sent Maine’s offense looking for answers, while last Friday night’s loss at the hands of Notre Dame continued the quest. In their first two games Maine had scored just one goal. On Saturday, Maine scored three goals in three minutes against Army. The four goal output quadrupled their season total and the 54 shots sent towards the Army net were the most since 2004 for the Black Bears. St. Lawrence comes to Alfond off a weekend split at Western Michigan.
Providence at Miami (Friday and Saturday)
Providence will head to Oxford, Ohio for a key two game set against Miami. Miami has again retooled for this season and over the weekend swept Colgate by 3-0 and 5-1 scores. Providence defeated Sacred Heart 8-2 but lost to Boston University on Saturday 4-2. This weekend’s non-conference matchup should be a true test as to how far Providence has come along coming into the season.
Alaska Goal Rush: Merrimack at Alaska, Merrimack vs. Alaska Anchorage (Friday and Saturday)
Merrimack heads to Alaska for two games against the two Alaskan based College Hockey teams. Merrimack has seen mixed results so far this season in two road matchups. On opening night, the Warriors upset ECAC foe Union 4-1. Last Wednesday, Merrimack lost at Matthews Arena to Northeastern 4-2. Anchorage comes into the weekend 1-0-1 with a win against Cansius and a tie against Air Force. Alaska comes in with the same record against the same teams.
Northeastern at Boston College (Saturday)
Last Saturday night, Northeastern defeated Boston College 3-1. This weekend the Huskies will look to prove that last weekend was no fluke. Defeating Boston College on consecutive weekends will validate a strong start by the Huskies, who also defeated Merrimack College last Wednesday. The 2-0 conference start puts them in the early Hockey East lead with 4 points. Continuing strong performances by freshmen could bring Northeastern far. But even more emphasis should be placed with goalie Chris Rawlings, as he could bring the Huskies far with a consistent season. The Eagles will look for revenge and a better performance all around.
Boston University and New Hampshire (Saturday)
Boston University will travel to Durham on Saturday night to take on UNH. The Wildcats will look to avenge their quarterfinal loss last season, a series that saw two double overtime games.
UNH will look to build on a solid offensive weekend that saw them sweep and score 9 goals against St. Cloud. Boston University will try to improve to 2-0 in Hockey East early in the season. Boston University defeated Providence 4-2 last Saturday night.
UMass-Lowell at Colorado College (Saturday)
UML will continue their trip to Colorado and visit Colorado College on Saturday night. Two wins against two strong WCHA foes will be key for UML in terms of Pairwise later in the season. Colorado College comes into the weekend off a sweep of Clarkson.