Here’s your daily dose of knowledge to get you going in the morning, with a focus on New England hockey and connections to it.
1. What is going on in the prep space?
Sure, it’s early, but we’ve had a few notable upsets so far in prep boys hockey. First, we had powerhouse Kimball Union lose to upstart Kent at the Exeter Invitational over the weekend, which helped Kent break into the top 10 of our weekly Coaches Prep Poll. Then, heavy favorite Thayer Academy was clipped 2-1 by Phillips Andover on Wednesday. Even more surprising about the Thayer loss was that it came in their sparkling-new arena. Colin Marks (two goals) and goalie Charlie Archer were the big stars for Phillips Andover, coming up with big performances on the road. The schedule will only intensify with holiday play and tournaments, so we’ll see if this upset train keeps steaming ahead. “It’s impossible for high school kids to be perfect, and with the depth of our league, most teams can beat most teams with their best effort and a little luck,” said Loomis Chafee head coach John Zavisza. “With that reality, it’s hard to be a top team because they’re likely going to see the best effort of every team they play, whether it be another contending for the top or one that’s sub-.500. I don’t think that they’re upsets as much as they are inevitabilities.”
2. Puck struggle after Primeau’s first NHL win
Cayden Primeau, the son of former NHLer Keith Primeau and product of Northeastern University, recorded his first NHL win as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators in overtime on Wednesday. Primeau, 20, made an impressive 35 saves in his second NHL start. He also faced 35 shots in his first NHL start, a 3-2 loss to the high-flying Avalanche. After the win, none other than the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk (who played a season for Boston University and is, of course, son of Keith Tkachuk of Melrose, Mass.) tried to swipe the souvenir first puck, but Carey Price was having none of it, chasing down Tkachuk as he left the ice. “Honestly, I didn’t even know it was his first-win puck,” Tkachuk said after the game, adding he played with Primeau at the U18 Worlds. Mmm-hmm.