Ice Hockey, Sports

Men’s Hockey East Power Rankings

1) Boston College (8–1, 7–1) 

After last weekend’s wins over then-No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 11 Boston University, BC cemented itself as the top team in the nation. The Eagles have recovered from a surprising loss to Northeastern University in their first game and have won eight straight contests. Led by arguably the best top-two forward lines in Hockey East, BC leads the league in scoring offense with 3.33 goals per game. Thanks to three talented freshmen defensemen and strong play from goaltender Parker Milner, BC has the No. 2 defense in the league, allowing only 1.89 goals per game.

2) University of New Hampshire (6–1–1, 4–1–1) 

UNH sports the best defense in the conference, allowing only 11 goals in its eight games this season. A big part of this is the strong play of sophomore goaltender Casey Desmith, who leads the conference with a .953 save percentage in his eight starts this season. However, the Wildcats have gotten the job done on offense as well. They are second in Hockey East with 3.25 goals per game. Senior forwards Austin Block and Kevin Goumas have been a big part of that effort, as they lead the conference in goals per game (0.88) and assists per game (1.12), respectively.

3) Boston University (5–3, 4–2)

The Terriers are coming off a tough loss to rival BC over the weekend. But for a team that has an average of seven freshmen in its lineup per game, they boast a strong 5–3 record. The team’s losses have all come against teams ranked among the top 10 in’s Division I rankings, including No. 1 BC, No. 5 UNH and No. 6 North Dakota. Freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor (.938 save percentage) has provided stability in goal for the Terriers while sophomore forwards Cason Hohmann (3g, 7a) and Evan Rodrigues (1g, 5a) have each made a big jump and stabilized the top line.

4) University of Massachusetts (3–4, 2–4)

The gap between teams 4–8 narrows in Hockey East, but UMass has been the best of the teams in the middle of the pack this season. It has had a very tough schedule to start the season, having faced BC and BU twice and UNH once in its seven games. However, it has kept six of those seven games within a goal, and even handed UNH its only loss of the season on Nov. 2. Its record may not be spectacular, but watch out for UMass to jump up in the standings during the next month when it has an easier schedule.

5) Merrimack College (4–5–1, 3–2–1)

Merrimack had been among the top teams in Hockey East until this past weekend.  A surprising loss to the University of Connecticut after a loss to BU drops the Warriors in the power rankings. Still, the Warriors are tied for the league lead in goals on the season in part thanks to junior Mike Collins (5g, 8a). If goaltenders Rasmus Tirronen and Sam Marotta can continue to play well as a tandem, Merrimack could maintain its No. 4 spot in the Hockey East standings.

6) Providence College (4–4–1, 3–3)

Like the Terriers, the Friars are a very young team. Providence had nine freshmen in its starting lineup in its loss to UMass on Friday. Its entire second line consisted of freshmen. The Friars’ youth has made them one of the most inconsistent teams in Hockey East, but they took No. 4 Miami University to overtime twice early in the season before going on a three-game winning streak. Freshman goalie Jon Gillies has stood out early this season, sporting a .924 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average.

7) University of Massachusetts Lowell (2–4–1, 1–3–1)

Lowell has been the biggest disappointment of all Hockey East teams this season, as it was projected to be among the league’s best teams prior to the season. The Riverhawks have lost to some tough opponents, such as No. 1 BC and No. 2 Denver University. But they also tied the University of Vermont and lost to the University of Maine on Saturday. They are eighth in the conference in scoring offense (1.86 goals per game) and defense (2.71 goals per game). They will need more out of sophomore Scott Wilson (1g, 0a), who was last year’s Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year.

8) Northeastern University (4–4–1, 2–4–1)

After starting the season well with wins over Merrimack and BC, the Huskies went on a five-game winless streak. Freshman Kevin Roy (3g, 6a) has led the way for the Huskies in terms of scoring, and both Chris Rawlings (2.02 GAA, .929 save percentage) and Brian Mountain (1.92 GAA, .947 save percentage) have good numbers in goal. However, the loss of freshman forward Cam Darcy to the USHL could hurt Northeastern as the season continues.

9) University of Vermont (1–3–2, 1–3–2)

The Catamounts have only won a single game on the season, but they have tied twice and have been tougher to beat than expected before the season. However, the team has struggled to score goals, as it has only scored a total of 10 goals in six games this season. No Vermont player has scored more than a single goal on the season, and its leading scorer, senior Chris McCarthy, only has four points on the year. At this point, Vermont looks to be among one of the bottom two teams in Hockey East this season.

10) University of Maine (2–9, 1–5)

The Black Bears are in for a long season if the year keeps going this way for them. Maine has the worst offense (1.36 goals per game) and defense (3.18 goals against per game) in Hockey East. To make matters worse, senior captain and last year’s leading goal-scorer Joey Diamond was injured on Friday. Things look bleak for Maine this season, but freshmen Devin Shore (1g, 4a) and Ben Hutton (1g, 3a) have performed well early on.

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