I’ll have a post up tomorrow on the latest release of the USCHO rankings, but first I wanna discuss this past weekend’s action, which included the number one team in the nation suffering its first defeat of the season.
How the top 20 fared:
Let’s discuss the top of those rankings, shall we?
It’s getting hard to hide my bias, but holy shit, what a weekend for #NewMass. Yes, I am aware that they lost the second game versus former No. 1 team Ohio State, but going on the road to Columbus and splitting a series against the top ranked team in the nation in which they narrowly lost the second one is pretty damn successful in my book. It was UMass‘ first win over a No. 1 team since 2012, and was spearheaded once again by a three-point night from Cale Makar. The Buckeyes rebounded on Saturday night to salvage the split thanks to two goals from Tanner Laczynski, but only led for a total of 1:22 over the course of both games. Minutemen fans, get excited.
Keeping it in Massachusetts, let’s take a live look-in at fans of Boston University and Boston College:
Both the Terriers and Eagles fell to 0-3 this year following weekend defeats, marking the first time since, wait for it, 1933-34 that each team is winless through its first three games. BC was shutout by Quinnipiac 1-0, while BU was also kept off the scoresheet one night after defeating the US U-18 Team in an exhibition, losing to Merrimack 4-0.
Now for the staggering stat of the day:
The Eagles haven’t won a non-conference game since Nov. 2016. That is WILD. Looking ahead, BC has one final non-conference contest (St. Cloud State) this weekend before beginning Hockey East play, so a win there would be a massive confidence boost for Jerry York’s squad.
Moving further out to Michigan, I was spot on in my prediction for the Michigan vs. Western Michigan series, as each team was victorious on home ice in a pair of games where defense was optional. Following a 6-5 loss to the Wolverines on Friday, the Broncos rebounded nicely in front of their own fans with a 5-4 win, with five different WMU players finding the back of the net.
As for my other predictions, I’d like to apologize to all Union fans out there. I didn’t give the Dutchmen a chance on the road against Northeastern, but I was proven wrong after Union swept the series, including a dramatic 4-3 OT victory over the Huskies last Friday. Northeastern almost completed its mission of keeping Dutchman forward Cole Maier in check, but the captain delivered in the biggest moment of game one, scoring the OT winner for a Union victory. Game two belonged to senior Sebastian Vidmar, scoring two of the Dutchmen’s three goals on Saturday night to complete the sweep.
I get half credit for my series prediction between North Dakota and Minnesota State after the Fighting Hawks were unable to handle the Mavericks’ offense in game one, losing 7-4 in a game where three goals were scored in the first three minutes of the opening period. Five of Minn. St.’s seven goals came from two players, receiving a hat trick from senior Max Coatta and two more from junior Parker Tuomie in the Mavericks’ first victory in Grand Forks since 2006. UND rebounded nicely in game two, though, knocking off Minn. St. 4-3 thanks to a three-point night from Cole Smith for their first win of the season.
As I mentioned above, I’ll have a post tomorrow examining the rankings that were released earlier today. Plenty to unravel as there’s a new number one in town.