The Beanpot Report: Local squads home for the holidays

Now that all four local college hockey teams are off for winter break until Dec. 29, it is a perfect time (since it is basically halfway through the regular season) to both look back and forward in 2012-13.

The marathon known as a college hockey regular season picks up again before New Year’s and doesn’t end until the beginning of March. Then the conference playoffs take place and the NCAA tournament is in mid-March. The Frozen Four is in early April. I feel exhausted just writing that so no doubt the teams are happy to unlace their skates for a few days. Happy Holidays everybody!

Power rankings

1) Boston College (11-2-1, 9-2-1 in Hockey East; No. 1 in poll, 35 of 50 1st place votes)

Last week: Tied PC 2-2 on Friday in Providence

Next games: Vs. Alabama-Huntsville on Dec. 29 at Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis; vs. Minnesota on December 30 at Mariucci Classic

Jerry York was denied his 925th career win, which would have made him the NCAA’s all-time winningest coach but things weren’t all bad at The Heights since the Eagles regained the No. 1 spot in college hockey thanks to UNH’s loss to BU on Thursday. The Eagles have been the best team in the country through the season’s first half and I certainly wouldn’t want to face them in March or April when their game always seems to ramp up another level. The Eagles will crush Alabama-Huntsville to set the record for York but then they get a juicy matchup with the No. 4 Gophers (in Minneapolis). 

2) Boston University (10-5-0, 8-4-0 in Hockey East; No. 6 in poll)

Last week: Won 3-2 at UNH on Thursday; Shut out Merrimack 1-0 on Saturday

Next game: At Denver on December 29 for Hall of Fame Game 

Jack Parker has to be extremely pleased with the way his team closed out the first half. They beat the top-ranked team on the road then returned home and blanked a Hockey East foe. Winners of four of their last five and seven of their last seven games, the Terriers are clearly trending up and they represent another squad that is perennially built for the Hockey East playoffs and the NCAA tournament. 

3) Harvard (4-4-1, 3-3-0 in ECAC; No. 18 in poll)

Last week: Tied Merrimack 2-2; Lost 5-0 to UMass-Lowell

Next game: Host Northeastern on Dec. 29

It was a very rough weekend for the Crimson and that has little to do with the aforementioned results. Three defensemen-Max Everson, Patrick McNally and Mark Luzar-left the program due to the academic scandal that has plagued student-athletes at the Ivy League school this year. This follows in the footsteps of goaltender Stephan Michaelk who left in November for the same reason. Since they are in season and due to NCAA rules, Ted Donato can’t replace those guys so it is going to be a real disadvantage moving forward as player’s roles change dramatically. 

4) Northeastern (5-9-1, 3-8-1 in Hockey East)

Last week: Lost 2-0 at UMass-Lowell on Saturday

Next game: At Harvard on Dec. 29

The Huskies have dug themselves (no pun intended) quite a hole after losing five of their last six games heading into the break. The second half will require quite an uphill climb since they are tied with UMass-Lowell for eighth-place in the 10-team Hockey East. Goal-scoring seems to be their main issue since they haven’t scored more than three goals in their past eight games. It’s impossible to win consistently when you put that much pressure on the defense and goaltender. More than any other team here, they need this break to re-evaluate what is going wrong and hopefully correct it before the season goes down the drain. 

Co-Stars of the week

Boston University freshmen goaltenders Matt O’Connor and Sean Maguire

Major props to Parker and his assistant coaches who somehow recruited not one but two good freshman goaltenders to come to BU at the same time. Yes, the future looks very bright in BU’s crease with O’Connor (7-3-1) and Maguire (3-2-0) around. O’Conner made 31 saves in Durham and he deserves extra credit based on the caliber of opponent. Macguire was just as outstanding with 28 saves as Maine couldn’t beat him even once. 

Quote of the week

From The Boston Hockey Blog’s (affiliated with BU’s campus newspaper) Tim Healey:

“For us to come up here and get a W is terrific,” said BU head coach Jack Parker after the Terriers upset No. 1 UNH, 3-2 in Durham, NH. “It’s really good for our confidence and obviously it’s great for the points. There isn’t a flaw on that team and the thing they really got going for them is that they’re working their system so hard.”


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.