The Beanpot Report: Eagles and Terriers are far from finished products
Like the Patriots, our four local men’s college hockey teams probably want to forget last weekend as soon as possible. Collectively, they went 2-7 (including Harvard’s loss last night at No. 19 Union) with both wins coming against fellow Beanpot teams (BC smoked Northeastern, 9-3, at Matthews Arena and Northeastern won, 6-5, at BU).
At this point, losses by Harvard and Northeastern aren’t exactly front page news but it does make you sit up and notice when BU gets swept at home and BC loses by three goals at home to unranked UMass Amherst. There will always be upsets and surprising results in conference play, especially when you are talking about a conference as deep as Hockey East. Still, BC and BU will certainly need to tighten things up if they want to do well in the Beanpot, the Hockey East playoffs and the NCAA tournament.
1) Boston College (14-5-2, 11-4-1 in Hockey East; No. 3 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 5-2 to UMass Amherst on Friday; Won 9-3 at Northeastern on Saturday
Next game: Host Maine Friday and Saturday
It’s hard to explain how the same team can be so lifeless one night but then absolutely steamroll another squad the next night. Nobody would have predicted that the Minutemen’s (5-8-1 in Hockey East) victory but with that said, it would be one of the biggest upsets nationwide this weekend if Maine (1-9-4 in Hockey East) beats BC in either game. With the warmup games against Maine then Vermont next weekend, the Eagles have a great chance to get their game back on track before the Beanpot which starts in less than two weeks.
2) Boston University (12-9-0, 8-6-0 in Hockey East; No. 11 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 6-5 to Northeastern on Friday; Lost 4-3 to UMass Lowell on Saturday
Next game: At Providence on Friday; Host Providence on Saturday
Losing a one-game goal is hard enough but doing it twice in a row, on back-to-back nights at home is the Hockey East version of waterboarding. Obviously, the Terriers won’t beat anybody when they allow 10 total goals in a weekend. Goal-scoring is not their issue since they’ve scored 3+ in their last five contests. It’s a big home-and-home weekend with the Friars who are currently tied with BU for third place (18 points) in Hockey East. These two games could go a long way to determining home ice in the Hockey East playoffs.
3) Northeastern (7-10-2, 4-9-2 in Hockey East)
Last week: Won 6-5 at BU on Friday; Lost 9-3 to BC on Saturday
Next game: Host No. 15 UMass Lowell on Friday; At UMass Lowell on Saturday
The Huskies picked up their best victory since October (really) on Friday, a gritty road win at BU. The emotional and physical letdown had to be expected the next night against BC although certainly losing by six goals is tough to swallow. Northeastern has been all over the map, they haven’t won or lost two games in a row since December. The River Hawks are the hottest team in college hockey (9 straight wins) so Northeastern will have their hands full this weekend.
4) Harvard (5-8-1, 3-6-0 in ECAC)
Last week: Lost 4-1 at Yale on Friday; Lost 5-2 at Brown on Saturday; Lost 4-1 at Union on Tuesday
Next game: Host Clarkson on Friday; Host St. Lawrence on Saturday
The wheels have fallen off Harvard’s season: they have lost four straight games and only scored five goals in that time. Thankfully for the Crimson, the road trip (1-6) from hell just ended with Tuesday’s loss at Union. Believe it or not, Friday’s game is Harvard’s first at the Bright Center in 2013 (Happy New Year!). Five of their last seven opponents have been ranked, the Crimson have a much cushier schedule heading into the Beanpot with three unranked teams on the docket.
Star of the week
Boston College senior forward Steven Whitney
The Reading native had a huge weekend with five points (4 goals, 1 assist) including a hat trick and assist in BC’s 9-3 whitewashing of Northeastern. For the season, he’s averaging over a point per game with 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 21 games. He has seven points on the power play (5 goals, 2 assists) and is a team-best +19.
Quote of the week
From USCHO.com’s Alex Faust
“We just didn’t come to play in the second period; I don’t know why, but it was the same start as it was in the first period,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan after Saturday’s 9-3 loss to BC. “We felt sorry for ourselves and just watched them.”