BF’s Benchmark Monday – Polls, Accolades and Awards

Given the limited Hockey East action that took place over the weekend, there wasn’t much shuffling in the national polls.

From a national perspective, Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth remain 1 and 2 respectively in both the USA Today and USCHO polls while Ohio State remains in the upper echelon (#4 in both USA Today and USCHO) led by freshman sensation, Ryan Dzingel. Union played a terrific hockey game Saturday at Lawler arena in beating Merrimack which propelled the ECAC squad to #10 in both charts.

As far as Hockey East was concerned:

  • Although the Eagles didn’t play a game last week, they jumped a spot in the USA Today poll to #3. The Eagles merely sat back in relative anonymity and watched their green line rivals from down the street simply implode as 2 of BU’s top players left the program (Cory Trivino- in tragic fashion).
  • Merrimack continues their march back to normalcy as they are starting to play more like the ‘good’ not great team we all expected and are proving many of the pundits and prognosticators correct. Perhaps the relative ease of Merrimack’s early season schedule was the impetus behind their red hot start; although I must say, Joe Cannata might just be the best goalie in the country and certainly can’t be blamed for the Union loss on Saturday.
  • I am sure we are all aware of the trials and tribulations that afflicted the BU program last week so to say that the #9 ranking in both polls will be a temporary measure is a resounding understatement. The exodus of Cory Trivino and Charlie “my grades were fine, I just want to focus on hockey”Coyle has left BU in shambles and quite frankly not even the highest form of solidarity will allow this team to fully recover and compete nationally. Please check out all of the BU blogs on my blog roll for some insightful and in depth analysis on both the Coyle and Trivino situations.
  • UMass-Lowell recieved votes in both polls and in my opinion should be a few slots higher given their resume over the first half of the season. For more on the disrespect perpetually shown to the Riverhawks, visit the Ice Is Life Blog, which is one of the most well written blogs in the league.
  • Northeastern may just be the hottest team in HE as we head into the second half and recieved 29 votes in the USCHO poll. For the best NU coverage on the Internet check out the Husky Hockey Blog.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll
December 19, 2011

No. Team (First-place votes) Points Last Wk.
1. Minnesota Duluth (34) 510 1
2. Minnesota 474 2
3. Boston College 426 4
4. Ohio State 418 3
5. Colorado College 340 7
6. Notre Dame 332 6
7. Merrimack 306 5
8. Western Michigan 254 8
9. Boston University 216 9
10. Union 214 12
11. Colgate 168 10
12. Ferris State 166 11
13. Cornell 82 15
14. Michigan State 72 14
15. Denver 54 13

Also receiving votes: UMass Lowell 34, Lake SUperior State 8, Air Force 2, North Dakota 2, Yale 2. Poll
December 19, 2011

No. Team (First-place votes) Points Last Wk.
1. Minnesota Duluth (48) 998 1
2. Minnesota (1) 920 2
3. Boston College 879 3
4. Ohio State (1) 865 4
5. Notre Dame 721 6
6. Colorado College 716 7
7. Merrimack 682 5
8. Western Michigan 631 8
9. Boston University 596 9
10. Union 571 11
11. Ferris State 508 10
12. Colgate 482 12
13. Cornell 391 13
14. Michigan State 327 15
15. Denver 259 14
16. Lake Superior State 254 16
17. UMass Lowell 247 17
18. North Dakota 107 18
19. Yale 68 19
20. Michigan 60 20

Also receiving votes: Quinnipiac 52, Northern Michigan 50, Northeastern 29, Air Force 26, Miami 18, Clarkson 12, Providence 10, Harvard 9, Nebraska-Omaha 8, Robert Morris 4.

Hockey East Weekly Awards Dec. 19th

Player of the Week:

 #4 NICK BRUNETEAU, VERMONT (Sophomore Defenseman; Omaha, Neb.) – Bruneteau scored his first goal of the season on the power play against St. Lawrence on Saturday and recorded two shots on goal for the Catamounts.

Defensive Player of the Week:

#35 JOE CANNATA, MERRIMACK (Senior Goaltender; Wakefield, Mass.) – Cannata made 31 stops against No. 12 ranked Union, including 12 with his team shorthanded, in his 100th career game for the Warriors on Saturday night at Lawler Arena.

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