November 4, 2011

College power ratings: BC tightens grip on top spot

Staff Report

Forward Bill Arnold (right) and Boston College secured their grip on the New England power ratings' top spot by sweeping UMass-Lowell last weekend. (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

Every Friday during the season, New England Hockey Journal will present its power ratings of the region's 20 Division 1 men's teams.

1. Boston College (7-1, 5-0 Hockey East)

There may come a weekend when someone can trip the Eagles up, but it was not last weekend, as the No. 1 team in the nation easily handled UMass-Lowell in a home-and-home sweep highlighted by two goals from league rookie of the week Johnny Gaudreau and another strong couple of outings from player of the month Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.)

2. Yale (1-0-1, 0-0 ECAC Hockey)

Goaltender Jeff Malcolm stopped 55 of 58 shots in two games at the Ivy Shootout.

3. Merrimack (6-0, 4-0 Hockey East)

The seventh-ranked Warriors’ first big road trip of the season was a happy hunting party, as they swept Vermont 4-1 and 4-2, with a 3-for-8 power play performance and Hockey East co-player of the week Ryan Flanigan scoring a goal and two assists with a plus-4 rating.

4. Quinnipiac (7-2, 1-0 ECAC Hockey)

The Bobcats have scored four or more goals in eight of their nine games.

5. Maine (3-2-1, 3-1 Hockey East)

The Black Bears proved the previous weekend’s win wasn’t a fluke but the start of a trend, sweeping upstart Providence at home in overtime Friday and in regulation on Saturday. Defenseman Matt Mangene led the way with a goal and four assists in the two-game set.

6. Boston University (3-2-1, 2-1-1 Hockey East)

It was a three-point weekend for the No. 12 Terriers. Still, having to come back from early deficits and some obvious turmoil gives one pause before declaring all to be well at BU.

7. Dartmouth (1-1, 0-0 ECAC Hockey)

Big Green’s season has started; their power play hasn’t -- 0-for-9 with the man advantage in two games.

8. UConn (3-2-1, 2-0 Atlantic Hockey)

In a battle between the New England heavyweights in the league, the Huskies knocked off Holy Cross to grab two points and bragging rights.

9. Holy Cross (2-2, 1-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Crusaders will look to bounce back with a pair of games at Niagara.

10. Providence (2-3-1, 2-2 Hockey East)

The Friars’ stumble continued over the weekend, and this time they got hit where it hurts – in the league standings. A pair of losses at Maine doesn’t scuttle the season by any means, but it brings Nate Leaman’s burgeoning squad back to earth for sure.

11. New Hampshire (2-4-1, 1-3 Hockey East)

The folks in Durham had to sit back and say, “finally,” as the Wildcats made a mark in the win column for the first time, slowing their early stumble with victories over Union in overtime and then, more convincingly, over Northeastern at home.

12. Northeastern (1-4-1, 1-4-1 Hockey East)

The Huskies only played one game over the weekend, and they couldn’t make it count for much, getting run over by UNH in just the Wildcats’ second win of the season (and only two weeks after handing them a 4-0 drubbing). They now find themselves on a three-game losing streak.

13. UMass-Lowell (2-3, 0-2 Hockey East)

It’s a tall order these days for any team to beat Boston College, let alone the rebuilding River Hawks, and while they kept BC goalie Parker Milner busy with a combined 76 shots over the two-game set, they were never really in either end of the sweep.

14. Brown (1-1, 0-0 ECAC Hockey)

Bears bump up a few spots in the ratings after beating Princeton in the Ivy Shootout. Harvard (0-0)

15. UMass (1-3-2, 0-3-2 Hockey East)

It was a little bit of déjà vu for the Minutemen, who on Friday night took a 2-0 lead and gave it up in a draw with BU, then Saturday went up 3-0 after 20 minutes against the Terriers, only to surrender it and fall in overtime.

16. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 ECAC Hockey)

Think Harvard will be ready to drop the puck for its opener tonight against Princeton? Crimson are last ECAC team to play a game that counts.

17. Vermont (1-3, 0-2 Hockey East)

The late-starting Catamounts got off to a bad start on their league schedule with a pair of losses at home to Merrimack, even after striking first in Saturday’s game.

18. Bentley (1-5-1, 1-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Highlight of slow start to this point was last weekend’s 3-3 tie with Clarkson.

19. AIC (1-6, 1-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Freshman forward Jason Popek scored twice in a 7-4 win over Sacred Heart.

20. Sacred Heart (0-6, 0-2 Atlantic Hockey)

Pioneers remain winless and will travel to Air Force looking for first win. Not a great situation to be in.

Hockeyjournal.com’s weekly Division I power ratings are comprised by college hockey writers Andrew Merritt, Dan Guttenplan, Allen Lessels and Mike Zhe. They can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.