Hockey East Power Rankings – December 8, 2009

Another week in the books in Hockey East, and it was a very good one for BC. The Hockey East picture is beginning to clear up as the teams approach winter break. Find out how Eagle Insider thinks the teams stack up.

Men's Power Rankings

1. UMass-Lowell (9-5-1, 5-4-1 Hockey East)
Last week: L @ UNH, 2-1, W vs. UMass 5-3
Next week: Fri & Sat vs. Princeton
The Riverhawks broke out of a three-game skid with a big win over rival UMass on Saturday. Despite their bump in the road, they will contend for the league title. They're third in the league in goals scored (52) and second in goals allowed (37).

2. Boston College (8-3-2, 6-3-2 Hockey East)
Last week: W @ UMass 3-1, W @ BU 4-1
Next week: Wed @ Harvard, Sat @ PC
Everyone knows the Eagles have been lighting up the scoreboard. But the biggest surprise is that BC has allowed the fewest goals in Hockey East (36). Parker Milner and John Muse were both impressive in net this weekend, with Milner backstopping BC to a win at UMass and Muse earning #1 star against BU.

3. New Hampshire (7-6-3, 7-2-2 Hockey East)
Last week: W @ Lowell, 2-1, W @ UVM 5-2
Next week: Fri @ PC
Somehow, UNH has risen from the abyss of an 0-4-1 out-of-conference record to lead Hockey East with a 7-2-2 mark in-conference. They are on a six game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) since November 13.

4. UMass (9-5-0, 5-4-0 Hockey East)
Last week: L vs. BC, 3-1, L @ Lowell, 5-3
This week: Sat vs. Merrimack
The bad news for UMass is that they've lost three in a row and fallen from second to fifth in the conference standings. The good news is that those three losses were all against good teams in Quinnipiac, BC, and Lowell. The Minutemen had a strong game against BC on Friday and should still be favored for a home-ice spot in the Hockey East tournament.

5. Maine (8-7-1, 6-4-1 Hockey East)
Last week: W vs. PC, 3-1, W vs. PC, 3-1
Next week: Sat vs. NU
With a weekend sweep of Providence, the Black Bears quietly crawled into third place in Hockey East. They've won four in a row and are 7-2-1 since their 1-5 start to the season.

6. Vermont (6-6-2, 4-5-2 Hockey East)
Last week: T @ BU, 3-3, L vs. UNH 5-2
Next week: Sat vs. St. Lawrence
Vermont has been the biggest disappointment in Hockey East this year, dropping from a preseason top 10 ranking and two big early season wins against Denver and BC to a team struggling to stay over .500. Only NU and Providence have scored fewer goals than the Catamounts this year.

7. Merrimack (7-7-0, 4-5-0 Hockey East)
Last week: W vs. NU, 3-1, L @ NU, 2-1
Next week: Sat @ UMass
The Warriors have developed a formidable home ice advantage, skating to a 7-1 record at cozy Lawler Arena. Away from North Andover, however, they've yet to win a game.

8. Boston University (4-8-3, 2-7-2 Hockey East)
Last week: T vs. UVM, 3-3, L vs. BC 4-1
Next week: Fri vs. RPI
Despite their considerable talent, BU may well have dug themselves a hole too deep to get out of for both Hockey East home ice and a chance at an at-large NCAA berth. But they've looked slightly better in recent weeks, and played even with if not better than BC through two periods on Saturday.

9. Northeastern (6-7-1, 4-6-1 Hockey East)
Last week: L @ Merr., 3-1, W vs. Merr. 2-1
Next week: Sat @ Maine
The Huskies continue to gut out wins at home. Saturday's 2-1 victory over Merrimack was their third one-goal win of the year at Matthews Arena, where the Huskies have gone 5-2-0 so far. Their goaltending has been okay despite the loss of Brad Thiessen to the pros, but they've been anemic on offense, scoring just over two goals per game.

10. Providence College (7-7-1, 2-5-1 Hockey East)
Last week: L @ Maine 3-1, L @ Maine 3-1
Next week: Fri vs. UNH, Sat vs. BC
Losers of three in a row, the Friars could be in for a tough weekend with high-flying UNH and BC coming to town. They will need goalie Alex Beaudry (2.25 GAA, .929 SV%) to remain hot to have a chance.

Women's Power Rankings

Note: Hockey East records list Wins, Losses, Ties, and Shootout Wins

1. UNH (10-2-4, 5-1-1-0 Hockey East)
Amazingly, UNH suffered its first ever home Hockey East loss on Saturday vs. Providence.

2. Northeastern (10-4-2, 6-3-2-1 Hockey East)
Their 3-2 OT loss at BC on Friday was only the second time all year they've given up more than two goals in a game.

3. BU (7-6-7, 4-4-3-2 Hockey East)
They are underachieving relative to the talent they have on the roster, and need to get on a hot streak if they're going to contend for an NCAA berth.

4. Providence (5-7-6, 4-3-3-2 Hockey East)
The Friars are known as strong finishers, going on late runs almost every season; their win @ UNH could be a launching point for a good second semester.

5. Boston College (5-6-6, 4-3-3-3 Hockey East)
After a step back against Minnesota-Duluth on Thanksgiving weekend, BC took a huge step forward with an upset OT win over Northeastern. They face a huge test on Tuesday when UNH comes to town.

6. UConn (8-5-4, 2-3-4-1 Hockey East)
Their sweep over BU last weekend gives them four wins in a row.

7. Maine (5-9-5, 3-5-3-1 Hockey East)
Their large number of ties shows how close they are to breaking into the playoff picture in Hockey East. They have two prolific senior scorers in Jenna Ouellette (7-15—22) and Taryn Peacock (7-9-16).

8. Vermont (5-10-1, 1-7-1-0 Hockey East)
Maine swept the Catamounts last weekend, showing that UVM remains a step behind Maine at the bottom of the standings.

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