What we learned from a wild weekend of men’s college hockey upsets and sweeps

This week’s men’s ice hockey agenda used to be completely loaded, that includes a slew of extremely ranked matchups. It delivered.

No. 13 UMass swept No. 1 Denver; seventeenth-ranked UConn disenchanted No. 11 Ohio State and No. 15 Providence took down No. 7 Northeastern.

Here’s what we learned — and what is subsequent — after a wild slate that still incorporated 3 top-10 matchups with No. 3 North Dakota internet hosting No. 8 Quinnipiac, No. 4 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 5 Minnesota Duluth and No. 6 Michigan welcoming No. 9 Boston University to Ann Arbor.

Don’t put out of your mind about UMass

Chris Tucci
UMass men's hockey celebrates a goal against Denver

All the hype used to be round Denver getting into the season. and rightfully so. The No. 1 Pioneers, now not simplest had the convenience of being the protecting nationwide champions, but additionally returned but some other robust, deep roster. Meanwhile, 2021 champion UMass got here into the season ranked 10th ahead of shedding to No. 13 after a season-opening loss, however the Minutemen reminded us that they are nonetheless a contender after sweeping Denver this weekend. 

OH HOW SWEEP: How UMass close out No. 1 Denver for the weekend sweep

UMass appears a lot, a lot other than the squad that received in Pittsburgh two years in the past, however there are a couple issues that experience at all times remained constant. First, they appear to at all times get just right goaltending, and up to now that appears to be true as soon as once more as sophomore Luke Pavicich has had a great get started as the end man in web. Secondly, and possibly most significantly, they will nearly by no means beat themselves. Greg Carvel at all times has his crew able to play, and groups making ready for the Minutemen know they are going to face their best each sport. UMass would possibly not at all times land the flashy recruits like a Michigan or a Minnesota, however boy, do they get probably the most out of the ability they’ve. 

They beat Denver each which means this weekend, discovering luck at the energy play, the penalty kill (particularly on Friday) and at even power, whilst getting the saves they wanted. A bit of puck success did not harm both.

The Minutemen must have the ability to deal with upcoming conferences with Union and Merrimack, however they will face some just right checks towards Providence and BU subsequent month. It will likely be fascinating to look how this previous weekend’s collection with Denver affects the polls. 

Minnesota State made a commentary

It’s simple to have a look at the No. 5 Mavericks’ roster and marvel how they will deal with some of the huge departures over the offseason. Hobey Baker-winning goaltender Dryden McKay graduated, as did peak scorer Nathan Smith, amongst others. But up to now, it is been trade as same old at MSU. 

STATE OF HOCKEY: How Minnesota State swept Minnesota Duluth

After combating to a cut up with No. 2 Minnesota to open their season, the Mavericks welcomed No. 4 Minnesota Duluth to Mankato and had their means with the Bulldogs in a wire-to-wire sweep. Minnesota State outscored UMD 8-1 at the weekend, and close out the Bulldogs for just about all of the collection, preserving them off the board throughout the first 104:22 of motion. 

Freshman goaltender Alex Tracy very a lot appeared the phase for Mankato, incomes the shutout in his collegiate debut ahead of following up with some other forged day trip Saturday. The Mavericks were not greatly busy in their very own finish, however Tracy used to be robust when he had to be. 

On peak of that, Minnesota State were given well timed scoring after they wanted it from guys they are counting directly to fill giant footwear. Brendan Furry can have a robust 12 months as anticipated, however scorching begins for gamers like Akito Hirose, Jake Livingstone, Sam Morton and David Silye is what has been key for the Mavericks up to now. Mike Hastings’ crew appears set for but some other robust season. 

There is not a lot keeping apart the end groups, up to now

Kayla Shiao
Providence men's hockey celebrates a win against Northeastern

I mentioned it ultimate week, however it is laborious to bear in mind a season in college hockey the place such a lot of groups appear so robust, no less than within the early going. 

You had No. 17 UConn protecting No. 11 Ohio State to a 0-0 draw on Friday ahead of the Huskies cruised to a 5-1 win the next evening. Quinnipiac proved it might stay up offensively within the No. 8 Bobcats’ 5-5 tie with No. 3 North Dakota two nights in the past, and they adopted up with a 6-2 win on Saturday. Seventeenth-ranked Providence beat Northeastern at their very own sport in their very own space, cashing in with some well timed objectives whilst letting their netminder stand tall in a 2-1 win. Although, PC publish 51 pictures, so they did not precisely sit down again both. Meanwhile, Michigan upended BU on Friday evening, to mention the least, with a 9-2 win the place it gave the impression preferred the whole thing went improper for the Terriers, who replied with a gutsy, comeback 3-2 victory on Sunday with out their peak goaltender.

LATEST RANKINGS: Click or faucet right here for the newest USCHO Division I men’s hockey ballot

That’s all with out citing UMass sweeping the reigning nationwide champions, or Mankato making gentle paintings of Duluth. In general, agenda noticed all however favourite lose between Denver, UND, UMD, Northeastern and the Buckeyes

Of direction, the end 5 groups will separate themselves ultimately, however presently, it sort of feels like there are a ton of reliable sleepers. We’ll see the way it shakes out over the following few weeks. 

Michigan appears in point of fact bad

That’s the ultimate time I depart Michigan out of some match predictions.

Maybe the Wolverines learn Friday’s piece, or perhaps they did not. Either means, they passed BU a disastrous loss with a 9-2 ultimate Friday. The Terriers got here unglued with two overlapping 5 minute majors within the first, serving to Michigan leap out to an insurmountable lead after the Wolverines withstood a push from BU within the first short time of the sport. 

HOBEY BAKER: Click or faucet right here for a way-too-early watchlist for the Hobey Baker Award

Brandon Naurato’s crew were given contributions from up and down the lineup, in particular from the inexperienced persons as freshman forwards Ruger McGroarty (1g, 3a) and Adam Fantilli (4a) each and every had four-point weekends, whilst T.J. Hughes had two objectives and an help. Sophomore ahead Dylan Duke additionally chipped in two tallies and a helper. In objective, junior Erik Portillo had high quality begins in each video games, even with Friday’s lopsided end result, making 26 saves in Game 1 ahead of giving his workforce a probability to win on Sunday with 31 stops. 

They’ve were given a robust crew of complimentary gamers to move in conjunction with a couple of very early Hobey Baker applicants in Fantilli and Hughes. 

Good on BU for bouncing again Sunday, however the Wolverines are firing on all cylinders presently.

Even if it is nonetheless early, it could possibly get overdue temporarily

UConn Athletics
UConn men's hockey celebrates a goal against Ohio State

So much of those early season highs and lows include the caveat that it is just 3 weeks into the men’s hockey season, but if the stretch run rolls round in February, many groups at the fringes of match competition steadily in finding themselves cursing the ones one or two pesky non-conference losses in October. 

FROZEN FOUR: Click or faucet right here for way-too-early Frozen Four predictions

The first few weeks of the season supply groups the chance to paintings via early struggles and in finding an id, the PairWise stays all essential. As simple as it’s to jot down it off and say, “it’s only October,” a workforce combating to creep into the top-10 like Ohio State may just in finding themselves lamenting their 0-1-1 collection with UConn in the event that they in finding themselves at the out of doors of an at-large bid. 

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