For our third Hockey East Power Poll, we have a change at the top: BC is #1 on all but one ballot (including that of Shep, resident token BU fan). However, things get pretty confusing after the first few as it seems like much of the league is mediocre. Where did our panel come down?
#1: Boston College (8-1-0, 3-0-0 HEA) - 59 points, 4 first place votes. Last BCI Poll: #2
As one voter said, "Demko is a brick wall and you can tell the guys are extra motivated to back him up." Hard to summarize it any better than that. BC is on a crazy/historic defensive run right now.
#2 UMass Lowell (6-1-2, 2-0-2 HEA) - 54 points, 1 first place vote. Last BCI Poll: #1
UMass Lowell just swept UVM in an important weekend series, continuing their strong start to the season. They're getting improved goaltending last year, which is key. The two ties to Merrimack were a little weird, but Merrimack looks to be better than expected.
#3 Providence (6-0-1, 0-0-0 HEA - 51 points. Last BCI Poll: #3
#1 in the national polls... #3 here. I think these three teams are pretty much a toss up at this point but in the long run I expect their losses from last year's team to catch up to them as they enter the teeth of the schedule.
#4 BU (5-3-0, 3-2-0 HEA) - 44 points. Last BCI Poll: #4
Unsurprisingly, BU looks a lot better in the few games since Matt Grylzyx* returned to the lineup. I personally kind of forgot he was still around and out at the beginning of the year. Watching him play in person on Saturday, he looks like he's probably already better than a number of players the Bruins run out on their blue line. Can't he go pro already?
*This is how you spell it correctly imo
#5 Notre Dame (4-2-2, 2-0-0 HEA) - 41 points. Last BCI Poll: #6
We're entering the "I mean, I guess?" phase of the poll. Notre Dame is coming off a weekend split with Minnesota and is a few weeks removed from a pair of ties with a solid Minnesota Duluth team.
#6 Merrimack (5-1-2, 1-1-2 HEA) - 34 points. Last BCI Poll: #8
In a story that seems to repeat often, Merrimack is off to a surprisingly good start to the year but is still staring at the teeth of their schedule. That said, they did get their home and home with UML out of the way and it went quite well for the Warriors, tying both games.
#7 UNH (3-4-1, 1-0-1 HEA) - 27 points. Last BCI Poll: #12
Just to further demonstrate the cluster that is HEA, the team that was DFL in the last poll moves up to #7 here despite coming off a weekend in which they were beat pretty soundly by a mediocre Michigan State team.
#8 Vermont (2-6-1, 1-2-1 HEA) - 24 points. Last BCI Poll: #5
Vermont is clearly more talented than their record would indicate, but are they veering in to "can't figure out how to put it together" territory? With an oddly low 7.2% shooting percentage, I expect to see them improve in the coming weeks.
#9 UMass (6-2-1, 2-1-1 HEA) - 23 points. Last BCI Poll: #11
Well, UMass's early unbeaten run came to an end when they were pulverized on back to back games by Yale and BC. But they bounced back for a weekend sweep of #icebus, which, though it's just UConn, was still pretty impressive given that it was UMass's first four point weekend since 2011 (!). I do expect some serious regression for UMass, whose goal differential is even (36 GF, 36 GA) despite their positive record.
#10 UConn (3-6-0, 1-5-0 HEA) - 14 points. Last BCI Poll: #9
Despite a revival of last year's #icebus trends in their home game against BU, the Huskies seem to be having a harder go of it this season, losing the rest of their league contests including a pair to UMass.
#11 Northeastern (1-7-1, 0-3-1 HEA) - 10 points. Last BCI Poll: #7
When last we left NU they were coming off being swept by Bentley despite dramatically outshooting them, and we figured they'd eventually start putting the puck in the net. They haven't. They are six games below .500 despite playing a weak schedule (SOS ranking is #57 in the country). Even if NU puts it together they may have already dug themselves too deep a hole... same story, different season.
#12 Maine (0-6-3, 0-2-0 HEA) - 8 points. Last BCI Poll: #10
#60 in the nation in offense, but, perhaps #1 in spearing penalties.
|Joe Gravellese||Laura Berestecki||Grant Salzano||Arthur Bailin||Shep Hayes|