It was a weekend of “character wins” for Northeastern and UMass, the two teams currently sitting at the top of a wild Hockey East race to date.
Northeastern made one of the season’s biggest statements with a home-and-home sweep of Providence, surging to a 4-1 Saturday night win. As a result of a 10-1-1 run and their first perfect weekend against the Friars since 2009, the Huskies will at least enter its holiday break of more than a month as the league’s first-place team.
UMass earned four out of a possible six standings points against rival UMass Lowell, finishing the weekend with a 3-2 win in Amherst. The Minutemen and River Hawks will both be among the last Hockey East teams to play league games — and move atop the standings — this week, though the calendar year’s remaining conference action will be in the books by Saturday.
Both teams maintained their recent strong play while dealing with significant injuries, but key players have emerged up and down the lineup.