There are currently major battles going on throughout every conference in college hockey. Separation may come over the next few weeks, but it hasn't happened yet.
"It's always about the weekend," Umile said. "It's always tough with the parity to win two games, especially against a team as good as UMass. So it was a good weekend for us."
UNH (13-6-1, 9-4-1 Hockey East) came back from down a 2-0 deficit on Friday, then rolled through the weekend. The play that kick-started things was a goal from freshman phenom
"Huge," Umile said of the freshman's performance. "Two-nothing, he comes out and makes a move one-on-one and gets a huge goal. And then he scored another highlight one on Saturday."
When vanRiemsdyk left for the World Juniors, Umile moved freshman
"Just to put him [vanRiemsdyk] in the middle of the ice. He can play well defensively," Umile said. "Center is a lot of work defensively. He understands the game. He only practiced it a couple of days. But being in the middle of the ice, he sees the puck more often, and we thought it would be a good thing. It gives us more depth in the top two lines."
New Hampshire is
• Since we previously quoted scouts questioning the motivation of vanRiemsdyk, it's only fair to emphasize how well he's played since returning from the World Juniors. VanRiemsdyk was the No. 2 overall pick in last year's NHL Draft by Philadelphia, and it would be easy for him to coast through the year knowing a big payday awaited. And some accused him of that, but he looks like a force right now.
"People are entitled to their opinions, but I'm definitely here because I wanted to be here. I wasn't forced to be here. I was working my hardest to help the team," vanRiemsdyk said. "That's one of those things that's always something I wanted to do. It's not like someone was holding a gun to my head. I wanted to come here because I think it would help me as a hockey player in the long run, and to get an education, and I'm really happy with my decision to come here."
The Flyers, he said, have no intention of calling him up as the Islanders did with Minnesota's
• It took more than half a season, but Western Michigan finally had a game where it had more power-play opportunities than its opponent. That includes a game on Nov. 16 against Notre Dame in which the Irish had 11 opportunities while the Broncos only had one. Coach
It's hard to tell what's worse -- another mistake by a WCHA referee or another
Of course, in both cases this year where the WCHA sent out a letter of apology, it had to do with the same referee:
The problem here is that Schmidt apparently got confused by a strange clock glitch at Denver's Magness Arena. The tape, if you looked at only a small piece, was confusing. And that's apparently what Schmidt did. Lots of blame to go around here.
First place in the CCHA conference is on the line this weekend when Notre Dame is visits Michigan for a pair of games. It's bigger for Notre Dame, which is coming off a one-point weekend against Michigan State. Also, Saturday's game is being played in The Palace at Auburn Hills, creating an even bigger setting.
It's not often that a Boston University-Boston College matchup (Saturday) isn't the highlight of a Hockey East weekend, but the bigger deal right now is BC's game on Friday at Massachusetts-Lowell, followed by Lowell's game Saturday against Massachusetts. Lowell is two points behind BC for third in the Hockey East dogfight.