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Archrivals BC and BU took the ice at Fenway in a college hockey version of the Winter Classic last Friday night and the Teriers took the victory. The Eagles loss was their third in a row after a hot stretch before the holidays and dropped them five spots from seven to 12 in the latest USCHO.com Division I Men’s Hockey Poll. The Eagles are still the top rated Hockey East program, however, the league owns the bottom portion of the poll with five other teams following Boston College. UMass-Lowell is ranked 15, Maine is 16, and Vermont, UMass, and New Hampshire round out the final three spots of the Top 20. There is a new number one in college hockey as Denver and Miami flip-flopped at the top. Denver took 45 of 50 first place votes and Miami got three. Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Yale each moved up one spot to round out the top five with the Sioux earning the final two top votes.
BU and BC had all the headlines this week with their years-in-the-making game on the Fenway Ice, which went to BU 3-2. However, there were other games too. Conference leading UNH split a pair with UMass-Lowell and crushed UMass in a busy week. Northeastern dropped two games, one each to the River Hawks and Minutemen, and Maine beat Merrimack.
A couple teams have crossed the halfway mark on the conference season and the rest are about to turn the corner, so nearly halfway through, UNH sits atop the standings with 21 points. Maine is now in second at 17 and the Eagles are right behind at 16 points. UMass-Lowell and UMass each have 14 and Vermont and BU, surging in the standings, are knotted at 10. Northeastern has nine, Merrimack eight, and Providence five.
New Hampshire plays only once this week, a non-conference matchup at Dartmouth. Maine travels south to play at BC and Providence, who also play each other this coming week. The Friars continue a busy week by playing BU as well, while the Terriers will also face off with Merrimack. Finally, UMass-Lowell and UMass play a home-and-home over the weekend and Northeastern takes the ride into ski country for its two games with Vermont.