1. Notre Dame
4. St. Cloud State
5. Ohio State
6. Minnesota State
Not a ton of changes this week in the top-10, but a ton of great hockey was played. As we get down to remaining weeks of the season, these games finally start to mean something. From conference play to getting an at large bid for the tournament, a majority of the games at this point mean something.
So, let’s start with #1 Notre Dame, who welcomed #6, now #5 Ohio State to their barn this weekend. The teams split a weekend series, with the Irish winning on Friday night 2-1 and the Buckeyes winning on Saturday night 5-1. Both good games with Friday night getting some national TV action and a very telling game on Saturday, when Ohio State spanked the Irish 5-1 in their own barn. The best team in the country doesn’t lose a game like that to just anyone.
If this week proved anything to us, it is what I have been preaching all season. Ohio State is good. Real good. Let’s not forget who had them in the top-10 far before anyone else. With Sean Romeo on the back end, and stud forwards Tanner Laczynski and Mason Jobst, I fully anticipate Ohio State making a deep playoff run. Like I have said many times, I have always been a Michigan fan. So it pains me to give Ohio State such praise. But they can play and are going to make some noise.
#3 Cornell and #7 Clarkson skated to a scoreless tie on Friday night. What a bore. What supposedly was a good back and forth game, even made it through overtime without a goal. Every game matters from here on out for both teams who at one point have been ranked as the top team in the country and sit atop the ECAC. Clarkson followed up Saturday night with a tie to a strong Colgate team while Cornell beat St. Lawrence 1-0.
#8 Northeastern had a tough weekend on Friday night, falling to UConn 4-2. But I’m sure there were bigger things on their mind. Like ending a 30-year Beanpot drought. The Huskies brought their 5th Beanpot title to Huntington Ave on Monday night, winning over BU 5-2. In front of a packed TD Garden, Canucks draft pick Adam Gaudette put on a show, scoring a hattrick in front of his home town crowd. I originally had dropped Northeastern to #9 after their loss to UConn, but after the display of hockey they put on Monday night, there is no way I could drop them. I even considered moving them up.
#10 Minnesota rejoins the top-10 this week. I don’t know what it is with this team. Sometimes they look like the best team in the country, sometimes they can’t get out of their own way. I’ve said it once though and I’ll say it again, this team has too much talent to not make a tournament run. They’ll need an at large bid, unless they can somehow find a way to come out of the Big10. But that would involve taking down either Notre Dame or Ohio State which could happen, but it would be very tough. The 18-13-1 Gophers swept Wisco this weekend, winning 4-2 and 7-1. If the Gophers can keep this going and can gain some steam next week against Ohio State or the week after against Penn State, this whole season could have a different outlook for the Gophers.
Goal of the week:
We welcomed Nolan Stevens to the hands team this week. The Blues 5th round draft pick scored this bad boy in front of a packed TD Garden in the Beanpot championship for Northeastern on Monday night.
Celly of the week:
Celly of the week has to go to Adam Gaudette and the NU Huskies who broke a 30-year Championship drought on Monday night. Gaudette, a Briantree, Massachusetts native scored a hatty in front of his friends and family to help bring the Huskies their 5th title and first since 1988. Gaudette also said after the game he’d rather win the Beanpot than be at the Olympics. Only kids from Boston….