1. Boston College Eagles: (12-6-0) (L, 3-2 UML)
The Eagles went into the holiday break with the most wins and goals scored in Hockey East. Boston College will face a tough test on Thursday as they play Michigan without star forward Bill Arnold, who is playing for the United States in the World Juniors.
Next: 12/29 vs. Michigan, 12/30 vs. Michigan State/Michigan Tech
2. Merrimack Warriors: (10-3-2) (W, 5-2 UVM, T, 1-1 Colgate, L, 3-1 Union)
The break came at the right time for the Warriors who have struggled of late, going 1-3-1 in their last five after starting the year 9-0-1. Merrimack has received very balanced scoring so far, with nine players registering at least seven points.
Next: 12/30 vs. SLU, 12/31 vs. HC/Dartmouth
3. Boston University Terriers: (10-5-1) (W, 2-1 UNH, W, 5-1 ME)
The good news for the Terriers is that they have won seven out of eight and have propelled themselves to second place in the conference standings. The bad news is that they will play the rest of the year without two of their top forwards, Corey Trivino who was dismissed after criminal charges, and Charlie Coyle who left BU to play in the QMJHL.
Next: 12/31 @ ND
4. UMass Lowell River Hawks: (10-5-0) (W, 3-2 BC, L, 3-2 NU)
Arguably the most surprising Hockey East team in the first half of the season, the River Hawks entered the break winning five out of six. UMass Lowell appears to have found a reliable goalie in Doug Carr, who is 9-2 with a .934 save percentage.
Next: 12/29 vs. RPI, 12/30 vs. UConn/Army
5. Northeastern Huskies: (7-7-2) (W, 3-2 UML)
The Huskies went into the break on fire, winning six straight games, which is the longest current streak in the nation. Forward Cody Ferriero is a big reason for Northeastern’s recent success, as the sophomore has registered eight points in the last six games.
Next: 12/30 vs. Princeton, 12/31 vs. Minnesota/Niagara
6. Providence Friars: (8-7-1) (OFF)
New Providence head coach Nate Leaman had a very solid first half of the season, winning eight games with a team who only won eight games all season in 2010-2011. A big reason for the Friars resurgence has been freshman forward Ross Mauermann who has 13 points in 16 games.
Next: 1/1 vs. Brown
7. Maine Black Bears: (6-7-2) (L, 5-1 BU)
The Black Bears had won three games in a row before an ugly home loss to Boston University on December 10th. Spencer Abbott has registered a point in exactly half of Maine’s 46 goals this season (10-13-23).
Next: 12/29 vs. Clarkson, 12/30 vs. UMass/Cornell
8. Massachusetts Minutemen: (5-7-3) (W, 3-1 Yale)
The Minutemen have been dominant at home (5-0-3) and terrible on the road (0-7-1) so far this season. Senior forward T.J. Syner continues to be one of the most underrated forwards in the league, posting 20 points in just 16 games.
Next: 12/29 vs. Cornell, 12/30 vs. Clarkson/Maine
9. New Hampshire Wildcats: (6-9-2) (L, 2-1 BU)
The break was a welcome reprieve for the Wildcats who have lost five out of six. New Hampshire needs a much better second half from goaltender Matt Di Girolamo, who has an .885 SP so far.
Next: 12/30 vs. Brown
10. Vermont Catamounts: (3-12-1) (L, 5-2 MC, L, 3-1 SLU)
The Catamounts are 1-9-1 in conference play and appear destined to miss the conference playoffs for the first time since they came into Hockey East in 2004. Vermont will try to begin to turn their season around as they play host to Lake Superior State in the semi-final of the Catamount Cup.
Next: 12/29 vs. LSSU, 12/30 vs. FSU