The ASN Eight: No. 2 Quinnipiac gaining on No. 1 Providence in hockey poll

Don’t look now, Providence, but Quinnipiac is gaining on you for the top spot in all polls.

The Bobcats (15-0-2) continue to answer every challenge thrown at them with authority, blanking Yale 3-0 in the Battle of Whitney Avenue and following it up with a 3-0 win over Brown.

That’s three consecutive shutouts for Quinnipiac and six on the season. Goalie Michael Garteig became the school’s career over the weekend with his 60th and 61st victories, most of any active goalie.

The Bobcats have now blanked ECAC powers Yale and Harvard (4-0).

The only other unbeaten team in men’s Division I hockey is No. 1 Providence, which swept No. 16 (USCHO poll) Merrimack to run its win streak to 18 games dating back to last season.

Beware of North Dakota, though. The line of Drake Caggiula, Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz now has 19 goals and 23 assists in the last eight games and earned the nickname “The CBS line.”

The Fighting Hawks are also getting healthy, as goalie Cam Johnson returned from injury to backstop the past two weekend sweeps, including last weekend’s over previous No. 8 Denver. Caggiula’s 13 goals rank second in the nation, Schmaltz is tied for the assists lead with 21 and freshman Boeser is tied for third in goals with 11.

North Dakota faces one of its stiffest tests this weekend when they travel to NCHC preseason favorite Minnesota-Dulluth, winners of four in a row.

Boston College needed a three-goal third period to stave off Northeastern, 4-3, one night after goalie Thatcher Demko staved off the Huskies’ furious rally for a 3-3 overtime tie.

Hockey is heating up heading into the holiday break!
The ASN Eight

Conference: Hockey East | Record: 11-0-3 | Last week: 1

Hosts two-win Brown on Thursday, then off till Dec. 28.

Conference: ECAC | Record: 15-0-2 | Last week: 3

Yale may not want to call them rivals yet, but Bobcats keep beating them and everyone else.

Conference: Hockey East | Record: 13-1-1 | Last week: 2

Saw 12-game winning streak end, but unbeaten streak reaches 14.

Conference: NCHC | Record: 14-2-2 | Last week: 5

Fans booing new nickname (Fighting Hawks) but cheering the hot start.

Conference: NCHC | Record: 12-3-1 | Last week: 7

Snapped 5-game losing streak against St. Cloud for road split.

Conference: NCHC | Record: 12-4-0 | Last week: 4

Hottest team in NCHC derailed by Omaha’s power play (3-for-5).

Conference: Hockey East | Record: 10-3-4 | Last week: 6

Swept by three-win UConn in first series since Friendship Four in Ireland.

Conference: NCHC | 7-5-3 | Last week: NR

Feasted NCHC’s bottom two teams last two weekends, now hosts conference leader UND.

Dropping out: Harvard (8)

Above: Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig relished beating Yale for his 60th career win, a 3-0 shutout,  as the “Beat Yale” sign indicates. (Courtesy of Quinnipiac Athletics)

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