The biggest thing the University of Maine Black Bears needed this weekend wasn’t only the four points they earned against Providence College, but secondary scoring. The line of Spencer Abbott-Brian Flynn-Joey Diamond might be one of the best in Hockey East. After that there are some question marks and if a team shuts down the to line, you shutdown Maine.
Matt Mangene – a junior and a converted defenseman – had an outstanding weekend. He had a goal and four assists in two games. If he can build off this weekend’s performance, it gives the Black Bears another weapon on the back end they need.
Up front, Adam Shemansky had a good weekend, scoring a goal and adding two assists. He had a very good freshman year in 2009-2010 with nine goals and 12 assists in 38 games. Last year he didn’t have a true sophomore slump, but had an injury plagued season on appearing in 19 games recording five points.
The question mark still remains in goal for the Black Bears. Martin Ouellette allowed four goals Friday night, but Dan Sullivan was stellar Saturday night only allowing one goal.
For Providence, it was another weekend where they only earned one point as Friday nights content ended 5-4 overtime loss I don’t think its anything to worry about just yet because they are in these games and the bounces just haven’t gone their way just yet.
They are getting consistent efforts from freshmen trio Ross Mauermann, Stefan Demopoulos and Damian Cross who all have six points. If the upperclassmen produce, watch out for the Friars.
Boston University vs. Massachusetts
The Terriers continue to be there Jackal and Hyde self. When goaltender Kieran Millan played well enough to earn the victory on Friday night only allowing two goals, the offense only could muster up two goals of their own to earn the tie. On Saturday night the offense came through scoring five goals in the 5—4 victory in overtime. The good news is the sophomore class is starting to heat up. Charlie Coyle, Matt Nieto, and Sahir Gill each all had multiple point weekends.
For the Minuteman they still earned two points on the weekend with the tie and the overtime loss. They are getting balanced scoring so far and not relying on one player. They have two young goalies and they are still trying sort out who will get the majority of the starts.
Merrimack vs. Vermont
The Warriors continue to keep rolling early on defeating the Catamounts 4-1 and 4-2 this weekend. Senior Jesse Todd had a solid week with two goals and two assists. Ryan Flanigan had a second straight multiple point games. Edmonton prospect Kyle Bigos had three points from the blue line and senior netminder Joe Cannata earned two wins.
For the Catamounts, you have to like your key guys are getting on the scoresheet. Guys like Sebastian Stålberg, Brett Bruneteau, and Connor Brickley are doing their job, now it’s the defense job to keep the pucks out of the back of the net.
UMass-Lowell vs. Boston College
The top team in the nation continues to roll with 4-2 and 6-3 victories over the Riverhawks. New York Rangers prospect Chris Kreider had a dominating weekend with two goals and an assist on Saturday night. Steven Whitney had a goal and assist in both games. Parker Milner continues to be steady in net.
For Lowell, it’s time to move forward and forget about this weekend. The sophomores had a good weekend by providing the offense. The team will take it lumps the first half of the season, but they will probably be a spoiler in somebody’s playoff push in the second half of the season.
Northeastern vs. New Hampshire
After New Hampshire upset Union 2-1 in overtime on Friday they have a winning streak going as they defeated the Huskies 5-2 Saturday. Eveyone got in the act for the Wildcats this weekend where no one player was relied on which I think is a good thing for this team. I think they just thought the upperclassmen would do all the work the first few weeks of the season and it wasn’t a good start.
Justin Daniels continues to be steady for the Huskies recording another point. It leaves a bitter taste in Northeastern’s mouth as it was the lone game of the weekend for them. It will be a must be a must win situation next weekend after losing twice last weekend.
Four Stars of the Week
Freshman of the Week: Johnny Gaudreau F (Boston College): He had a goal in both wins over UMass-Lowell.
Sophomore of the Week: Matt Nieto F (Boston University): He had five points this weekend including two goals.
Junior of the Week: Matt Mangene D (Maine): He has really been well at the backend when he came to Maine as a forward. He had a goal and four assists this weekend.
Senior of the Week: Joe Cannata G (Merrimack): Had two wins this weekend with a 1.50 goals against average and a .923 save pecentage.
Predictions: 7-2-1 this weekend; 14-4-3 overall