I have returned.
A combination of the holidays, my vacation and other vacations caused this blog to lie dormant for more than 14 days. My apologies for that. But I was in Texas, where it was 65 degrees on Christmas Eve. I make no apologies for this, considering it was 20-below here in the Great White North.
All that said, there is hockey being played Sunday and Monday. Well, technically, there was hockey played Thursday, Friday and Saturday, too, but it didn’t involve Bemidji State.
The Beavers are in Hanover, N.H., Sunday and Monday for Dartmouth’s Ledyard National Bank Tournament.
BSU got something of a fortunate draw in the first round. Instead of having to play No. 2 New Hampshire of No. 10 Dartmouth, the Beavers are set to take on Massachusetts-Amherst (not to be confused with Massachusetts-Lowell) at 3 p.m. Central time Sunday.
Like BSU, UMass is a middle-of-the-pack team in Hockey East. However, unlike BSU, the Minutemen are mired in a three-game losing streak which saw them get swept by No. 20 Colgate and lose another to No. 14 Yale.
The Beavers, meanwhile, are 2-0-1 in their last three games – including a 5-1 drubbing of then No. 10 Denver.
I previewed this weekend’s tournament for Sunday’s paper, so read that story here.
-Also of interest, the Brainerd Dispatch has a nice story about Brainerd native Reid Mimmack, who joined the Beavers Thursday and be in uniform this weekend (possibly… if Dugas or Walsh is scratched for some reason).
-Here’s another preview of the series from UMass hockey blog Fear the Triangle, breaking down all four teams in the tournament.
UMass is currently 5-9-2, with its last win coming Dec. 1 vs. Vermont.
-From the New Hampshire side of things, both the Concord Monitor and the Foster’s Daily Democrat have second-half previews of the No. 2 Wildcats. UNH is 11-2-2, with the only two losses coming to UMass (in overtime) and Boston University. They also tied Colorado College and Northeastern.
-Meanwhile, information on Dartmouth has been harder to come by – no idea why, but I guess Hanover is a bit isolated so they don’t have a full-time hockey beat writer? Not sure. Regardless, the Big Green do have the nation’s top penalty kill (39-for-40) and is undefeated on its home rink.
–IMPORTANT: We do not have a paper on Monday, but look for a little writeup from me on the Web after Sunday’s game. I’m not in New Hampshire (obviously), but I’m going to try and follow along online as best I can. I will try and Tweet a few updates, too. Just follow me @JackHitts.