Hockey East Power Rankings: 12/5/12

Posted by: Scott McLaughlin

For the first time since Oct. 24, we have a new No. 1. In case you forgot, I had Lowell first to start the season. Swing and a miss. Anyway, let’s get right to it.

1. New Hampshire (11-1-2, 8-1-1 HE) — Last week: 2
UNH had been knocking on the door for weeks, and this weekend BC cracked it open just enough for the Wildcats to squeeze through. They swept Lowell with a pair of 5-2 wins, completing the season sweep in the process. Grayson Downing tallied two goals and two assists on the weekend, while Dalton Speelman, Kevin Goumas, Nick Sorkin and Jeff Silengo all had three points. UNH now leads the conference in offense, defense and special teams net.

2. Boston College (11-2-0, 9-2-0 HE) — Last week: 1
The Eagles had their 10-game winning streak snapped by BU on Friday, but they bounced back with a 5-2 win over their archrivals on Saturday. With the victory, Jerry York tied Ron Mason’s all-time wins record. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist on Friday before having his 15-game point streak snapped on Saturday. The second line of Kevin Hayes, Bill Arnold and Brendan Silk combined for three goals and three assists on Saturday.

3. Boston University (8-5-0, 6-4-0 HE) — Last week: 3
The Terriers beat BC 4-2 on Friday before falling to the Eagles on Saturday. Wade Megan, Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues all had three points on the weekend, while Matt Nieto and Garrett Noonan each had two. Penalties were the Terriers’ biggest problem on Saturday, as they went to the box eight times and surrendered four power-play goals. Saturday marked the first time Matt O’Connor has allowed more than three goals.

4. Providence (7-6-1, 5-4-0 HE) — Last week: 4
The Friars split with Merrimack, winning 3-2 in overtime on Friday before losing 2-1 on Saturday. Tim Schaller had two goals and an assist in the series and now has five points in his last five games after getting off to a slow start. Jon Gillies had another strong weekend and has now allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of 14 starts. PC struggled on the power play, going 1-for-12.

5. Merrimack (5-7-2, 4-4-1 HE) — Last week: 6
The Warriors move up one spot after splitting with Providence. Saturday’s win snapped a five-game winless streak. Sam Marotta was saddled with his third straight loss on Friday, while Rasmus Tirronen continued his hot streak by stopping 34 of 35 shots on Saturday. He has now gone five straight games without allowing more than two goals. Mike Collins and Connor Toomey each had multipoint weekends.

6. Massachusetts (5-6-2, 4-6-1 HE) — Last week: 7
The Minutemen picked up a split against Northeastern, losing 1-0 on Friday before bouncing back with a 6-3 win on Saturday. K.J. Tiefenwerth and Branden Gracel each had three points on Saturday, while Rocco Carzo, Steven Guzzo and Joel Hanley all had two. Friday marked the first time the Minutemen have been shut out this season. They went 0-for-8 on the power play in the series.

7. Vermont (3-7-3, 3-5-3 HE) — Last week: 8
The Catamounts move up one spot after taking three of four points at Maine. They won 2-1 on Friday and tied 2-2 on Saturday. Brody Hoffman stopped 67 of 70 shots on the weekend and now has a .951 save percentage over his last three game. Chris McCarthy and Jacob Fallon each had two points in the series, while Robert Polesello scored what proved to be Friday’s game-winner midway through the third period.

8. Massachusetts-Lowell (4-7-1, 2-6-1 HE) — Last week: 5
Just when it looked like the River Hawks were starting to turn things around, they get swept by UNH in a series that wasn’t even close. Home ice might still be within reach if they can figure things out, but it’s getting harder and harder to imagine them coming anywhere close to the levels they reached last season.

9. Northeastern (5-8-1, 3-7-1 HE) — Last week: 9
The Huskies ended a seven-game winless streak in conference play by beating UMass 1-0 on Friday, but then they lost on Saturday. Chris Rawlings earned his second shutout of the season on Friday, but then gave up five goals on Saturday. The Huskies managed to draw just three power plays in the series.

10. Maine (2-10-2, 1-6-2 HE) — Last week: 10
Dropping three of four points at home to Vermont isn’t going to do much for the Black Bears’ hopes of climbing out of the basement. Martin Ouellette continues to be a bright spot, though — he still hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a start. Joey Diamond scored two goals in the series, ending an eight-game goalless stretch.

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