|Bruins Sign Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly||Connelly’s Top Ten: USA Women, Red Sox Bore Astros into Submission||Preparing for Another Year of Rebuilding for the Celtics||Red Sox Bullpen Sleeper: Matt Barnes|
BU beat UMass this weekend, 6-3 and 7-2, to preserve their top ranking. The scores may look like an effortless weekend, but BU trailed 3-0 early in the second on Friday night before switching goalies and storming back to win the game. BU cruised the Saturday game, however.
The Terriers captured 44 of the 50 first place votes with the remainder going to Notre Dame, who is still second. The rest of the top five is unchanged as well: Michigan, Northeastern, and Denver. The Huskies also swept their series with UMass-Lowell to retain a single point lead in the conference.
North Dakota and Vermont are each up two to sixth and seventh, respectively while Miami dropped one to eighth. New Hampshire cracks the top ten, at number nine, up three spots, while Princeton dropped four spots to close out the top ten.
UNH needed two one-goal victories over conference cellar dweller Merrimack to make its move and Vermont similarly edged Maine in each of its games by one. Boston College returns to the poll after a week out with a sweep over Providence.
Three of the six Division I College Hockey conferences completed their regular season this weekend and will turn to their playoffs as the tournament nears. The ECAC is one of those conferences and Harvard missed a bye by two points, earning the fifth seed instead, and will host Brown this weekend.
Hockey East still has one weekend of the regular season remaining with some jockeying left to go. Northeastern will face BC, BU will play Providence, UNH and Vermont square off, UMass-Lowell draws Maine, and UMass pairs up with Merrimack.
Heading into the final weekend, Northeastern has 37 points to BU’s 36. UNH and Vermont are tied for third with 32. Those four teams have clinched the home ice advantage for the first round series and either Northeastern or BU will win the regular season league title. The Terriers own the tiebreaker with an early season win as they tied the other two games a couple weeks ago (the Beanpot game is counted as a non-conference game).
UMass-Lowell is currently fifth with 26 points and BC is now just one back of them after gaining four points this weekend. UMass sits at 21 points, in seventh place, and Maine, who clinched the league’s final spot, currently sits in eighth. The Black Bears clinched the season series with Providence, who are four points behind Maine, and Merrimack occupies the basement with 13 points.