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Hockey East Love/Hate

Hockey East will celebrate it's 25th season this year. Since the league's inception in 1984, Hockey East has grown to become one of best college hockey leagues in the country. I was going to do a preview of each team, but you can find that anywhere. So, instead of pretending to know something about the 3rd line center from UMass Lowell or the incoming freshman class at Merrimack, I decided to give you reasons to love and hate each one of the Hockey East teams. Teams appear in the order of the Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll.

#1 Boston College

Things to Love
- Jerry York is a class act and one of the best coaches in college hockey
- Cute Irish Catholic girls
- Without BC who would BU fans have to hate?

Things to Hate
- A seemingly never-ending supply of pesky, undersized goal scorers
- Those tools that wear the matching "Super Fan" t-shirts
- Every uneducated, casual sports fan in Boston adopts BC teams as "their team"

#2 Boston University

Things to Love
- Jack Parker and the rich hockey tradition at BU
- They own the Beanpot
- State of the art new facility

Things to Hate
- 85% of BU students could care less about hockey
- Is anyone really afraid of a terrier?
- Does anyone else miss the atmosphere of the old Walter Brown arena?

#3 UNH

Things to Love
- Dick Umile is a New Hampshire icon
- They always seem to be in the hunt for the Hockey East title
- The dude from Granite State Challenge calls their games for a public broadcast channel (if you live North of Boston, you know what I am talking about).

Things to Hate
- Their stupid Olympic-sized rink
- They have a new mascot named Gnarlz and Wild E. Cat is pissed that he has to share the limelight.
- Their lame fans always seem to buy up all the Hockey East tournament tickets at The Garden regardless of if their team is going to be playing or not.

#4 Northeastern

Things to Love
- Play their home games at the original home of the Boston Bruins
- Greg Cronin seems to have this team heading in the right direction
- They are the perennial underdog in the Beanpot

Things to Hate
- They never seem to be able to get it together enough to compete in Hockey East
- A more consistently competitive NU team would make for a better college hockey scene in Boston

#5 Vermont

Things to Love
- Passoniate fan base
- Old time hockey barn
- They experimented with kick ass two-toned helmets last year

Things to Hate
- "UVM"? It's not the University of Ver Mont.
- "The Elephant Walk"
- They play in Vermont

#6 UMass Amherst

Things to Love
- Toot Cahoon has really built the UMass hockey program from nothing
- UMass' hockey tradition can be traced all the way back to 1908

Things to Hate
- Shameless "Operation 8K" promotion
- Who wants to be called a "Minuteman"?
- They always seem on the cusp of being a Hockey East contender, but can't seem to make the jump from the middle of the pack.

#7 UMass Lowell

Things to Love
- A good underdog story: the state of Massachusetts almost pulled the plug on their funding
- Shawn McEachern is an assistant coach
- They no longer wear those New York Ranger ripoff jerseys

Things to Hate
- They have one of the nicest rinks in college hockey and they struggle to draw fans
- They play in Lowell

#8 Providence

Things to Love
- They return 22 players from last year's team
- Coffee milk is delicious

Things to Hate
- Their logo is a creepy triangularly shaped priest with a hockey stick

#9 Maine

Things to Love
- Passionate fan base with virtually no other source of entertainment
- They named 16 players to Hockey East's All-Academic Team
- Named Bob Corkum as Associate Head Coach

Things to Hate
- Looks like a re-building year with 19 freshmen and sophomores and only 5 seniors
- They play in Orono, ME

#10 Merrimack

Things to Love
- Merrimack made some big strides last year, but Mark Dennehy still has his work cut out for him
- Lawler Arena is a great place to watch hockey. You are always close to the action and can always get tickets.

Things to Hate
- Hockey should be the only sport that matters at Merrimack, but no one seems to care
- Their roster always seems filled with 21 year old freshmen. They only have one player under the age of 20 and 5 players age 23 or older.