Before we dive into this past weekend’s games, I’d be doing things wrong if I didn’t start with an introduction about Light The Lamp, what it’ll be all about, and what readers can expect from this blog.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why, of all sports, did I decide to start a blog dedicated to college hockey? Well, the answer is simple: after working in Colorado for USA Hockey this past year and spending my final two years as a beat writer for the men’s team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (the REAL UMass, but that’s an argument for another day), I figured I would take the knowledge I have of the sport and put it to use. Also, college hockey as a whole deserves more coverage, so here I am.
Next question: what exactly will LTL consist of? First, there will be weekly previews taking a look at who the top teams are playing, as well as recapping how they did over the weekend. One of the more exciting ideas I’ve had with this blog is conducting weekly Q&A’s with some of the top players in the NCAA (first one is already in the works) and any other general thoughts I have throughout the week.
Finally, this is being started from scratch, so any help getting the word out to fellow college hockey fans would be greatly appreciated!
OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk some #CawlidgeHawkey and take a look at how the top 20 teams fared:
- Talk about a rough opening weekend for schools from Boston. Life after David Quinn got off to a rocky start for the No. 8 Boston University Terriers and new head coach Albie O’Connell, dropping two tightly-contested games on the road against 11th-ranked Minnesota State. The other half of The Battle Of Commonwealth Avenue traveled to Madison where things could’ve gone juuuust a bit better for No. 12 Boston College. Jerry York’s squad was outscored 10-5 by unranked Wisconsin, with all five coming in Saturday’s 7-5 defeat.
- Minnesota Duluth took care of business on the road against No. 19 Michigan Tech, bouncing back with a sweep after starting their 2018-19 campaign with a tie and loss to sixth-ranked Minnesota.
- Ohio State, St. Cloud State, Denver, Northeastern, Penn State and Western Michigan joined Duluth and Minnesota State as the other ranked teams to record sweeps.
- In an early matchup of two top ranked teams, No. 2 Notre Dame flexed its muscles in a 3-0 victory over No. 4 Providence to win the 2018 Ice Breaker Championship.
Unranked teams that gained the most from the weekend:
- UMass: No, this isn’t me being a homer. Sweeping a home-and-home is never easy, but the Minutemen did just that versus RPI, defeating the Engineers 6-1 and 3-1. Led by sophomore sensation Cale Makar (4 points in the first game), fans of UMass should cherish the time Makar spends in Amherst because this year will surely be the last.
- Wisconsin: As mentioned above, they took care of business at the Kohl’s Center, knocking off BC twice to record the program’s first season-opening sweep since 2013.
- Union: Moved to 2-0-1 on the season after a 1-0-1 weekend versus Omaha.
Play Of The Week: Fine, this is a bit biased but Makar showed once again why he was the 4th overall pick in 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Enjoy, Avs fans.
P.S. I’m not the only one feeling the UMass love.
Women’s College Hockey
- A quick shoutout to Wisconsin women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson, who recently became the winningest coach in NCAA women’s hockey history. Congrats, Mark!
So that’s what a weekend round up will mostly look like. Obviously a work in progress as this is the first of hopefully many, many posts. Keep a lookout for a post examining the newest USCHO polls, including who benefitted the most and who suffered a drop.