There are no NHL games in November with the Winter Classic set to be cancelled any second now, so it’s time to devote your hockey-related attention to the NCAA. All four of the Beanpot teams were in action last weekend and collectively, they went an impressive 5-1-1. What’s more, each squad is currently ranked in the Top 15 in the latest USCHO.com Top 20 poll: Boston College is No. 1, Boston University is No. 12, Harvard is No. 13 and Northeastern is No. 15. With social media’s rapid popularity and more weekly television coverage than ever, there is no excuse not to get into this wonderful sport.
1) Boston College (4-1-0; No. 1 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Won 1-0 at UMass-Lowell on Friday; Beat the River Hawks 6-3 on Sunday
This week: at Maine on Friday; host UMass-Amherst on Sunday
It seems like months ago that the Eagles lost their season opener. Since then, they’ve won four in a row and they seem to get better in each outing. The national media has noticed too since the defending NCAA champions are back in the top spot. Last week’s victories show that they can win low-scoring, tight contests or shootouts. Beware Hockey East and the rest of the country.
2) Boston University (3-1-0; No. 12 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Beat UMass-Amherst 5-2 on Friday; Won at UMass-Amherst 3-2 on Saturday
This week: at North Dakota Friday and Saturday
It was an impressive weekend for the Terriers who successfully got the home-and-home sweep of the Minutemen. Scoring eight goals against any Hockey East opponent is also something to remember. They will need all that firepower and confidence as they make a long road trip to face the No. 6 Fighting Sioux (2-1-1) who are always one of the top teams in college hockey. Any positive result, even a tie would show that BU is really going places this winter.
3) Harvard (1-0-0; No. 13 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Beat Bentley 5-0 on Saturday
This week: vs. Brown on Friday; vs. Yale on Saturday
The Crimson kicked off their 2012-13 campaign with a whitewashing of the Falcons in Cambridge. They have a chance to make some moves early in the season with five straight games at the Bright Center. Two games against ECAC foes this weekend should be a good barometer and tell us more about what to expect from them.
4) Northeastern (2-2-1; No. 15 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 4-3 at UNH on Friday; Tied UNH 0-0 on Saturday
This week: vs. Merrimack on Friday; at Merrimack on Saturday
There is no reason to panic yet but we can admit that the Huskies have struggled in recent weeks (winless in three straight). On the positive side, they were right there in both games against the Wildcats, it’s not like they got run off the ice. Needless to say, they need at least one win against the Warriors to start to feel better about themselves.
Star of week
Boston College senior goaltender Parker Milner
One of the keys to the Eagles’ NCAA title in April, Milner is making sure his senior year will be memorable as well. He stopped 63 of the 66 shots (.955 save percentage) he faced last weekend against UMass-Lowell including a season-high 38 saves in the 1-0 shutout (his 2nd of the season) on Friday.
Quote of week
“A real good start propelled us to victory,” said BC coach Jerry York. “I thought it helped playing at home . . . despite the approaching hurricane, we got a good crowd.”-After Friday’s win to the Boston Globe