Skip to content

Back To Class: When surprise results aren’t exactly upsetting

Jan 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EST

Comments Off
Jon Swavely

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET as No. 12 Dartmouth takes on No. 19 Union College.

This weekend turned out to be a bad one if your favorite team was a Top 5 team in the polls. Friday night in particular was brutal as No. 1 Minnesota, No. 3 Boston College, No. 4 New Hampshire, and No. 5 North Dakota all suffered losses. BC wound up being swept by Maine while the others recovered to win or tie to salvage points.

Is that a sign of trouble to come? Not a chance.

As Joe Meloni at College Hockey News put it perfectly, there are no upsets in January. Surprise results, sure, but the grind of the college hockey season is all about getting things right for the run towards the NCAA tournament in March. Working through the bulk of the conference schedule can get, for the lack of a better word, boring for top programs. For those chasing them, they will take full advantage of gunning for the top dogs. That kind of situation makes surprise results more likely.

Think about it: Would you believe Boston College is in trouble while they’ve got some injuries on defense mid-season and coach Jerry York missed a handful of games after having eye surgery? If you’ve seen them steamroll through the Hockey East tournament and NCAAs in recent years, you know what the right answer is.

It’s all about being ready for the stretch run and getting the team in prime shape for the conference tournament and beyond. Dropping a game here or there mid-season is only a big problem for a team if they’re thinking short-term.

***

Likely No. 1 with a bullet: I’ve been tracking Quinnipiac and their red-hot play here almost every week and after this weekend’s results through the Top 5, they’re more than likely going to be the new No. 1 in the polls. Fans in the WCHA won’t like seeing an ECAC team atop the pile but keep in mind a couple things: A) Polls are pointless and crying about them is a waste of time. B) Go double-check the Pairwise Rankings and settle down. They’re at the top for a reason.

Penn State winning to get noticed: The Nittany Lions’ first season in Division I has been bumpy. They’ve had some awkward losses to the likes of Arizona State’s club team as well as to Division-III Buffalo State and Neumann College but they’ve shown progress by knocking off some big name schools. This weekend they took out Michigan State and they’ve also earned wins against Vermont, Ohio State, Air Force, and RIT. No one said making the jump to D-I would be easy, but coach Guy Gadowski will get that program rolling sooner than you think.

Bucking Broncos: Western Michigan isn’t a team you think about right away when it comes to college hockey, but Andy Murray’s team is on fire. Over their last 17 games, WMU is 11-3-3. Over the weekend they swept Red Berenson’s Michigan Wolverines sending them spiraling further down in the CCHA. With Notre Dame struggling lately, Western Michigan and Miami University are setting up for quite the rumble down the stretch. That is if the Alaska Nanooks and their polar bear of doom don’t take them all out.

(Photo: Hockey East Online)

Latest Posts
  1. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: The NHL gets the mumps

    Dec 25, 2014, 9:00 PM EST

    crosbyface

    Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry are just two of the players that have been inflicted by the NHL outbreak.

  2. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Slava Voynov’s domestic assault case

    Dec 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpte3nju0ywnmnjbkytrlmwjlmtu4mgixnzhhmdlhzme5 AP

    And the NHL’s swift, significant response.

  3. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Another Leafs collapse ushers in analytics era

    Dec 25, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Leafs practice Getty Images

    2014 was another painful year, but was it also one of progress?

  4. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: St. Louis forces his way out of Tampa Bay

    Dec 25, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Getty Images

    The perfect storm that led to a shocking trade deadline captains swap between two teams looking to make serious playoff runs.

  5. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment

    Dec 25, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    A major letdown in Sochi, followed by the Caps missing the playoffs.

  6. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canada dominates en route to Olympic gold

    Dec 25, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Carey Price Carey Price

    One of the best performances in international hockey history.

  7. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Quinn, Beliveau pass away

    Dec 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Jean Beliveau AP

    Hockey mourned the loss of two of its most respected individuals.

  8. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canucks and Flames brawl, followed by Torts losing his mind

    Dec 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    It wasn’t the reason he was fired, but it sure was memorable.

  9. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Teemu Selanne retires

    Dec 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    After 22 years, the Finnish Flash called it a day.

  10. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Winter Classic at the Big House

    Dec 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    Over 105,000 descended on Ann Arbor for an unforgettable experience.

  11. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Oshie’s shootout mastery in Sochi

    Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    Even a disappointing Olympic finish can’t erase a star-making moment.

  12. Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list

    Dec 24, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    David Poile AP

    Only Glen Sather is ahead of him.

  13. Overtime/shootout drama becoming the norm in Florida

    Dec 24, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    “It’s like a little miracle down here.”

  14. Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick

    Dec 24, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

    Nash goal

    The goal was initially credited to Martin St. Louis.

  15. Hextall impressed by Zepp, but cautious when predicting his future

    Dec 24, 2014, 5:54 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    Will he eventually earn a full-time NHL roster spot?

  16. Lightning returns top goalie prospect Vasilevskiy to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    Andrei Vasilevskiy Getty Images

    His stint with the Lightning was brief, but memorable.

  17. Video: PHT’s top five moments from 2014

    Dec 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Not surprisingly, the Kings feature prominently.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (3030)
  2. S. Crosby (2546)
  3. B. Elliott (2397)
  4. C. Perry (2396)
  5. J. Howard (2014)
  1. J. Schwartz (1954)
  2. S. Varlamov (1934)
  3. T. Johnson (1812)
  4. S. Mason (1805)
  5. S. Weiss (1780)