Commentary

Maine's Flynn gets top honors

Updated: February 23, 2010, 12:10 PM ET
By Mike Eidelbes and Joe Gladziszewski | Inside College Hockey

Flynn
Maine Athletics Brian Flynn ranks second for Maine in scoring, with 15 goals and 36 points.

BRIAN FLYNN
Maine
So. | F | Lynnfield, Mass.

His Statistics: 2 GP, 6-2-8, GWG, +6 rating vs. UMass Lowell

His Impact: Everyone knows about Maine's other dynamic sophomore scorer, Gustav Nyquist, but Flynn is proving to be a valuable sidekick and had a career weekend for the Black Bears in a split with UMass Lowell.

Flynn's Friday performance included five goals and two assists in Maine's 8-4 victory. Flynn scored the first two goals of the game, assisted on a third before the period ended. He completed his hat trick early in the second and added two more in the third, including the game-winning goal. The Black Bears couldn't complete the four-point weekend Saturday, but Flynn added another goal in a 4-2 loss. He ranks second on the Black Bears in scoring with 15 goals and 36 points. All six of his goals on the weekend came at even strength.

Flynn posted 12 goals and 25 points last year as a freshman, second to Nyquist in team scoring. Maine is still positioned to earn a home-ice playoff series in Hockey East, currently in third place, two points behind Boston College and two ahead of Boston University.

Runners Up: Dan Bakala, Bemidji State; Eric Delong, Sacred Heart; Scott Greenham, Alaska; Brett Hextall, North Dakota; Broc Little, Yale.

Stick Salute

Half of the nation's six conference regular-season champions have been decided, with RIT (Atlantic Hockey) and Bemidji State (College Hockey America) joining Miami (CCHA) on the pedestal this past weekend. For RIT, it's the third league title in the past four seasons, while Bemidji State won its third straight CHA crown.

Bench Minor

The INCH feedback grapevine was recently inundated with notes from Minnesota Duluth fans who were particularly vocal regarding our placement of North Dakota in the INCH Power Rankings. Bulldog observers, understandably, were going on a strict interpretation of the order of the WCHA standings. Our analysis and placement of North Dakota -- which closely mirrored other national polls -- saw the Sioux's overall potential and upside, something they demonstrated with a weekend sweep of none other than Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs are having a very good year, but since winning four straight games against Minnesota State and Colorado College in mid-January, UMD is just 2-6-0.

Say What?

"KESLER SCOOOORES!!!"

Obviously, Sunday's U.S. win over Canada in the pool play portion of the Olympic hockey tournament doesn't approach the magnitude of the U.S. upset of the Soviet Union three decades ago in Lake Placid, but veteran broadcaster Mike Emrick's call of former Ohio State star Ryan Kesler's sprawling empty-net goal is an instant classic. And, by the way, does anyone love his job more than Emrick? We keep expecting to hear him say, "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this," during a lull in the action.

The longtime voice of the New Jersey Devils, Emrick earned a master's degree in radio and television from Miami and a Ph.D in communications from Bowling Green, hence his nickname, "Doc."

Rankings Outrage

We mentioned Vermont last week in this space and once again we'll shine a light on the Catamounts. UVM is currently ninth in Hockey East and wouldn't be a part of the league's playoffs if they started today. A loss and tie at New Hampshire was the most recent weekend result for Vermont, and yet they received 95 total points from a panel of 50 voters in the USCHO.com poll, checking in at 18th. We acknowledge that the Catamounts had some good non-league wins earlier this year, but right now we're just not seeing it.

Tweet Of The Week

@MurphysLaw74 Just ordered under "Ron Francis" in a Panera in Greensboro, N.C., and not one person looked up when they called my order! No Canes fans here?

Perhaps James Murphy, a Boston-based writer who covers the NHL for a variety of outlets including NESN.com and NHL.com, was firing a shot across Gary Bettman's bow when he noted that no one recognized the name of the former Hurricanes star in a crowded restaurant during lunch. Sure, Greensboro is 80 miles from the 'Canes' home base in Raleigh, but Francis is the best player in the franchise's history and ranks fourth on the NHL's all-time points list. We doubt the same stunt would fail to generate a response in, say, Hartford.

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