It was a particularly quiet week for the four local Division 1 college hockey teams in Boston as their coaches obviously let them take some time to spend with their families and celebrate Thanksgiving. Just kidding - Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern all had one game apiece last weekend so it’s doubtful that many of them got to catch a flight home to see their families and friends since many hail from far away locations. Harvard was the only squad that got to enjoy the best day for eating of the year with no worries and a clear mind.
1) Boston College (10-1-0, 8-1-0 Hockey East; No. 1 in USCHO.com poll, 49 of 50 1st place votes)
Last week: Beat Dartmouth 6-3 on Saturday
This week: At BU on Friday (NBC Sports Network); Host BU on Saturday (NBC Sports Network)
Ranked 11th in the country, the Big Green are a very formidable opponent but they turned out to be no match for the Boston College Cyborgs, I mean Eagles. It was actually tied 3-3 at Conte Forum heading into the 3rd period but that’s when BC’s top forward line went to work. Pat Mullane (2 goals, 2 assists) and Steven Whitney (1 goal, 2 assists) scored goals before Johnny Gaudreau (2 goals, 3 assists) added an empty-net goal. When Jerry York chooses to put those three dynamic players together, I dare you to find a better trio in college hockey this season.
2) Boston University (7-4-0, 5-3-0 in Hockey East; No. 9 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Beat St. Lawrence 4-0 on Saturday
This week: Host BC on Friday; Travel to BC on Saturday
Like BC, BU faced a worthy opponent from the ECAC and they came out on top. St. Lawrence isn’t currently ranked but they’ve received votes in the Top-20 poll so they are clearly no pushover. The Terriers couldn’t have been more balanced as they scored one goal in the first and second periods then two in the third to wrap it up. Even better, the goals were scored by their four different forward lines. Jack Parker had to be pleased as his team faces Boston College for the second and third time this season this weekend. Last time, the Eagles won 4-2 on November 11 on their home ice.
3) Harvard (4-3-0, 3-3-0 ECAC; No. 19 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: No games
This week: Off until December 7
Since they didn’t play at all last weekend, the Crimson were dropped two spots in the rankings. Expect them to probably tumble out of the Top-20 next week unless a bunch of other ranked teams get upset. Out of sight, out of mind.
4) Northeastern (4-7-1, 2-6-1 Hockey East; not ranked but received 2 votes, really)
Last week: Lost 5-2 to St. Lawrence on Friday
This week: At UMass-Amherst on Friday; Host UMass-Amherst on Saturday
Needless to say, it wasn’t a Happy Thanksgiving on Huntington Avenue. The Huskies played a day earlier than the Eagles and Terriers and unlike their neighbors, they didn’t have nearly the same success against an ECAC team. The fact that they were down 5-1 to St. Lawrence and eventually lost 5-2 at home, to a team that was blanked 4-0 by BU the next night cannot be a good sign. By this weekend, it will be over a month since the Huskies picked up a point (0-0 vs. UNH on Oct. 27) in a Hockey East contest. The Minutemen (7 points) are only two points ahead of Northeastern in the Hockey East standings so they are certainly beatable.
Star of the week
Boston College sophomore forward Johnny Gaudreau
Nights like Saturday dot the resumes of guys that are nominated for the Hobey Baker award (college hockey’s top player) which is handed out in April at the Frozen Four. In just 11 games this season for the Eagles, Gaudreau has picked up nine goals and 10 assists. The performance against Dartmouth was the first time in 2012-13 that he’s notched over two points in a single game. I bet it won’t be the last time either, he’s also +15 thanks to a +5 vs. the Big Green.
Quote of the week
From USCHO.com’s Jim Connelly
Talking about BC’s top line: “I don’t think we had the answers, honestly, to matchup,” said Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet. “They’re so creative and they feed off of transition. When you lose the puck in the middle of the ice, it’s right back at you. They’re a dominant line.”