Apparently the NHL came back this week, but I'm just glad to have Hockey East hockey back in full swing, personally.
First Star: Flames Prospects
While Jon Gillies was busy letting in way too many goals (four) to an offensively challenged UMass squad on Friday night, Johnny Gaudreau was shining in Chestnut Hill. Gaudreau had a highlight-reel goal and two even better assists in BC's 5-2 victory over UNH on Friday, while Gillies stopped 26 of the 30 shots that he saw against the Minutemen. But on Saturday, it was a different story - Gillies didn't let a single one of the 44 shots he saw get past him, and Gaudreau was hardly endearing for fans of either BC or UNH.
Second Star: Lowell's offense
Vermont isn't exactly a defensive stalwart, but Brody Hoffman has been solid this year, and Lowell put up eight goals in just over 100 minutes against the Catamounts' backstop. We all knew the Riverhawks would find their groove eventually, and it looks like they're finally on their way.
Third Star: UNH's Special Teams
Sure, their power play only went one-for-the weekend, but it scored a power play goal when it most needed one, to break a tie with Boston College and earn two points on Saturday night. And Boston College's power play, the nation's best, was silenced on five opportunities throughout the weekend, which is a bit more impressive. In 20 games this season, UNH has allowed just four power play goals, and only two of those goals have come in their 13 conference games.
First Scar: Johnny Gaudreau
I'll remember two things from Gaudreau's performance Saturday night: how he tried to beat Casey DeSmith with the same move he used a night before and didn't, and how he took a splendid fall when he and John Henrion collided at the BC blue line. Johnny Hockey, as they're apparently calling him in Chestnut Hill, looked about as solid on his skates as PK Subban. And that's not a compliment.
Second Scar: Maine's offense
One goal in 125 minutes of play isn't exactly anything to write home about, but it's not that far off the pace that Maine has set for itself this season. The Black Bears are averaging 1.25 goals per conference game, and still have just one win in conference play through
Third Scar: Vermont's discipline
The Cats had been defending pretty well heading into the weekend, but allowed six power play goals to a resurgent Lowell squad. Of course, giving the RiverHawks 18 man-advantage opportunities in two games wasn't exactly the greatest idea they've ever had, either.