Once the Beanpot champion has been crowned on the second Monday in February, it means the college hockey regular season is quickly wrapping up. Still, this only gives the remaining games added significance before the real fun starts: conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament. Teams that win the Beanpot and even the consolation game often cite how it’s a significant moment for their team moving forward and we can already see that with Harvard (2013 Beanpot consolation game winner); the Crimson are unbeaten in their last four games (2-0-2). The same can’t be said for Boston College - the 2013 Beanpot champs - which lost to Merrimack and tied UNH this past weekend.
1. Boston College (17-8-3 overall, 12-7-2 in Hockey East; No. 4 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 2-1 at No. Merrimack in OT on Friday; Tied No. UNH 4-4 on Sunday
Next games: At Merrimack on Sunday; Host UMass-Lowell next Tuesday
The Eagles had seemingly gotten back on track at the Beanpot after struggling for a few weeks. That’s what makes this past weekend so mystifying. The Warriors are the surprise leaders of Hockey East and the Wildcats are one point behind the Eagles for third-place so they are great teams in their own right. Still, it’s weird that BC could find themselves on the big stage of the Beanpot then lose it so fast. Maybe it’s just because they played some bad teams (Harvard, Northeastern) in the Beanpot.
2. Boston University (14-12-2 overall, 11-7-2 in Hockey East; No. 15 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Tied Maine 3-3 on Friday in Orono, Maine; Won 5-4 in OT against Maine on Saturday in Orono
Next games: Host UMass-Lowell on Friday; At UMass-Lowell on Saturday; Host Merrimack on Tuesday
The Terriers’ season was going off the rails for all to see at the Beanpot, but big credit to them for picking up three points at Alfond Arena against an improving Maine squad. Saturday’s win snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2) for BU. The Terriers are in a real fight for home-ice in the Hockey East playoffs as they sit tied for fourth-place with Providence with three weekends left in the regular season. The home-and-home series with the River Hawks are BU’s toughest remaining games so they’ll have to play even better to earn more points.
3. Harvard (7-15-3 overall, 4-12-2 in ECAC)
Last week: Beat Colgate 4-1 on Friday; Tied Cornell 2-2 on Saturday
Next games: At St. Lawrence on Friday; At Clarkson on Saturday
Last season, the Crimson used a win in the Beanpot consolation game to make it all the way to the ECAC tournament final. Nobody is predicting that for Harvard this season but at least with the last few weeks’ results, that remains a possibility. The Crimson only have four games left in the regular season (ECAC ends one week before Hockey East) so this couldn’t come at a better time. Their last road games of 2013 are this weekend and they lost to both St. Lawrence and Clarkson a month ago in Cambridge.
4. Northeastern (8-16-3 overall, 4-13-3 in Hockey East)
Last week: Lost 2-1 to Vermont on Friday; Lost 3-1 to Vermont on Saturday
Next games: At Providence on Friday; Host Providence on Saturday
The Huskies appeared to gain some momentum from a fine showing in the Beanpot (losing 6-3 to BC in the Beanpot championship), that is until they were swept by the Catamounts last weekend to further sink into last place in Hockey East. Scoring two goals over two games at Matthews Arena is hard to explain. Northeastern is four points behind eighth place UMass-Amherst heading into next weekend, only the top eight teams qualify for the Hockey East playoffs so the Huskies have their work cut out for them.
Star of the week
Harvard senior forward Marshall Everson
Everson was a big reason why the Crimson beat Colgate and tied Cornell last weekend at the Bright Center. He scored a pair of goals against the Raiders and added another goal against the Big Red. They were all timely too since the pair against Colgate made it 3-1 and he put the Crimson ahead 2-1 against Cornell. He is tied for the team-lead with 10 goals this season.
Quote of the week
From USCHO.com’s Brian Sullivan
“I think that we’re getting more guys involved and we’ve got more guys who are starting to hit their stride a little bit, so it’s a good time of year to do it,” Harvard head coach Ted Donato after his team’s 4-1 win against Colgate on Friday.