The NHL is still in full lockout mode, though there were at least some new developments in negotiations this week, but locally the college hockey season has started and it is a welcome distraction.
The three teams in Hockey East (Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern) were all in action last weekend while Harvard (which plays in the ECAC for hockey) doesn't start its regular season until next weekend.
There are certainly big expectations for each program with all four finding themselves in the latest USCHO.com Top 20 poll.
In case you didn't know, hockey is the most grueling season in college sports since the Frozen Four doesn't take place until early April. That is an insane stretch - a six month season. Thanks NCAA.
1. Boston College (0-1-0; No. 3 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 3-1 to Northeastern on Saturday
This week: at UMass-Amherst on Friday; host Northeastern on Saturday.
It was a rough debut for the defending NCAA champions as they were upset by the Huskies. There are few things you can count on in life but Jerry York's team being great is one of them.
2. Northeastern (2-0-0; No. 14 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Beat Merrimack 4-2 on Wednesday; won 3-1 at BC on Saturday
This week: at BC on Saturday
Jim Madigan's Huskies were the only team in Hockey East to play twice last week and they took advantage by knocking off two ranked teams that both made the NCAA tournament last season. Hence why Northeastern finds itself ranked this week.
3. Boston University (1-0-0; No. 11 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Beat Providence 4-2 on Saturday
This week: at UNH on Saturday
The Terriers looked good at Agganis Arena in their season opener and like BC, they always reload with talent. With extra attention rightfully given to Jack Parker's team's transgressions off the ice last year, it'll be interesting to see how they do this season.
4. Harvard (0-0-0; No. 17 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Didn't play
This week: exhibition vs. McGill on Friday and scrimmage vs. Brown on Saturday
The sons of former Bruin Ted Donato are young but expected to compete for an ECAC title after reaching the final in the conference tournament last winter (3-1 loss to Union). The Crimson had 11 ties last season so they'll need to win a few more of those games this season to stay in the rankings.
Star of week
Northeastern senior goaltender Chris Rawlings
He started both games last week for the Huskies so he was 2-0-0 with an impressive 1.50 goals against average (3 goals allowed) and 63 saves.
Quote of week
"It's an amazing experience, my whole life, I've always dreamed of playing college hockey in Boston. I always grew up watching Northeastern, BU and BC. Now to be at Northeastern and beat a team like BC, especially when they're No. 1, it's almost a dream come true.”
- Northeastern freshman forward and South Boston native Cam Darcy who had two assists in Saturday’s win to CollegeHockeyNews.com