Down To The Wire In Hockey East


For the second year in a row, the Hockey East race comes down to two teams who face each other on the final weekend. And for the second year in a row those teams are Boston College and New Hampshire. Last year UNH got the one point it needed to take home the Hockey East crown. During this year’s home and home series the Wildcats need a win out of the two games to retain their Hockey East title.

The two teams have met only once this season, with UNH taking a 2-1 win at Conte back on November 5th. Matt DiGirolamo made 31 saves in the win, and he will need to stand tall yet again this weekend. DiGirolamo is third in Hockey East in save percentage with a .923 mark, bested only by Chris Rawlings at Northeastern and Boston College’s John Muse, who has a .927 mark.

You can bet that the offenses will shine this weekend as well, as this series features the top two scorers in Hockey East in UNH’s Paul Thompson (26-22-48, 1.5 PPG) and BC’s Cam Atkinson (24-19-43, 1.34 PPG). Boston College definitely has the edge in the secondary scoring department as Brian Gibbons, Jimmy Hayes and Joe Whitney, among others, are all having fine seasons for the Eagles. They also have the best scoring defense in the conference, though a lot of that appears to be from the play of Muse rather than the defensive play in front of him. BC has a lot of talent on the blueline, most notably Brian Dumoulin, Patrick Wey and Phil Samuelsson, but they have been giving up a ton of shots per game all year, and it is something that Jerry York will want to fix going forward.

Because they only need one win (or two ties), I am leaning towards picking the Wildcats to bring home the Hockey East regular season title this year, but Boston College has been one of the nation’s best teams all year, and betting against them seems like a dumb idea as well. In any event, it is fitting that the Hockey East race, too close to call all year, comes down to a series between the top two teams, and it is too close to call.