Category Archives: Hockey East

UMass Lowell Comes Out On Top in Nailbiter

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(WORCESTER)–The Boston College Eagles may have comfortably found their way into the NCAA New England Regional Championship after a 6-2 victory, but the UMass Lowell Riverhawks had to fight tooth and nail to get the 2-1 victory over the Minnesota State Mavericks on Saturday night at the DCU Center.

Joe Pendenza was first to score for UML. The senior forward scored what turned out to be the lone goal for most of the game when he took advantage of a turnover at the blue line when his team was short-handed. All alone, Pendenza skated in and poked the puck between the pads of Minnesota State  goaltender Cole Huggins (33 saves).

The score gives a clear image of who won the game, but does not give the story of how hard both teams fought to skate with each other or describe the clinic that both goaltenders put on during the contest. The Riverhawks capitalized on an opportunity early on and after that, all credit goes to Connor Hellebuyck (35 saves) and the incredible luck that UMass Lowell had.

Throughout the entire game, both teams had their fair share of scoring opportunities and rebound shots in front of the net. The only other goals in the contest both came with less than a minute to play in the game. Zack Kamrass scored an empty-net goal for Lowell with forty seconds left on the clock, but Zack Stepan answers with a power-play goal for the Mavericks. In the end, its the Mavericks who come up short and UMass Lowell is going to the New England Regional Championship.

With the victory, the Riverhawks will take on state-rival Boston College at 5PM tomorrow night at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Be sure to follow Patrick Cavanaugh on Twitter (@pcava12) for updates from the 2014 NCAA Northeast Mens Ice Hockey Regional.

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BC Starters Shine in 6-2 Victory Over Denver

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(WORCESTER)–The line of Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold, and Kevin Hayes was unstoppable on Saturday evening as they went on to defeat the Denver Pioneers by a score of 6-2 at the DCU Center in Worcester.

It all started just 35 seconds into the game when defensemen Scott Savage and forward Kevin Hayes set up Johnny Gaudreau out in front and got the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.

It did not take long for BC to strike again as just minutes later, Hayes lit the lamp himself after being fed a pass from Bill Arnold. The Eagles were dominating the Pioneers early on and kept the scoring streak going.

Gaudreau found the back of the net again late in the opening period on the rebound after an initial shot by Michael Matheson. This goal gave BC a two goal lead over Denver, but that was not big enough.

Five minutes into the second period, Hayes picked up another point after he fired a shot past Sam Brittain. The crowd went crazy after BC’s next goal which gave Gaudreau his first career hat trick, and it was televised nationally on ESPNU.

Denver countered with a goal at the conclusion of the second period. Ty Loney centered Trevor Moore who fired the only shot that got past Eagles’ goaltender Thatcher Demko (18 saves).

With the exception of a Denver goaltender change and a handful of penalties, the third period cruised along. With just thirteen seconds left on the clock, Evan Janssen scored for Denver.

At the final horn, the Boston College bench cleared to celebrate the 6-2 victory with their goaltender. The Eagles will play tomorrow night against the winner of the UMASS Lowell/Minnesota State game.

The DCU Center is still rocking as there is one more game to be played in Worcester tonight. UMASS Lowell will take on Minnesota State
at approximately 7:35 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

Follow Patrick Cavanaugh on Twitter (@pcava12) for updates from the NCAA New England Mens Ice Hockey Regional.

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The Comm. Ave. Hockey East Bloggers: Talking Terrier Playoffs with Matt Dresens

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON — BSU18 continued the “Comm. Ave. Hockey East Bloggers” series with The BU Hockey Blog‘s Matt Dresens as the Terriers welcomed rival Merrimack to Agganis Arena to open the 29th annual tournament quarterfinals.

Click below to listen:

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New England College Hockey ‘Stick Salutes’: QU still No. 1, Yellow Jackets buzzing down the stretch

With every save, AIC's Nova Scotian senior Ben Meisner is climbing up the NCAA all-time record books. His Yellow Jackets are peeking at the right time with the Atlantic Hockey playoffs only a couple weeks away (Photo/EliteProspects.com).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

1. Quinnipiac: For the first time in program history in any sport, the Bobcats earned a No. 1 national ranking last week and maintained that this past Monday, despite seeing their NCAA-best 21-game unbeaten streak snapped to St. Lawrence at home on Friday, 2-1, at the High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center. However, QU bounced back and reversed the same score on Saturday night against Clarkson as it now sits at 15-1-2 in the ECAC. Even with Friday’s loss, the ‘Cats were able to clinch the league’s Cleary Cup regular season title and earn a bye in the first round of the conference tournament for the first time since joining the league in 2005. With his 22nd win of the season on Saturday, senior Eric Hartzell broke QU’s school record for wins in a single campaign, passing J.C. Wells’ mark in 1998-99. Aside from Hartzell’s outstanding 28-save effort, Bryce Van Brabant and Connor Jones both scored first-period goals to lead the offense to the win. This weekend, the ‘Cats will welcome a pair of regional league rivals to Hamden as they host No. 9 Yale on Friday in the 11th Annual Heroes Hat Game, before Saturday’s Senior Night against Brown.

2. Merrimack: The Warriors sit 17th in the national picture this week and become the first Hockey East squad to clinch a playoff berth, after a three-point weekend that included a dramatic overtime victory over Boston College on Friday night at Lawler Arena. With a 12-6-3 league record, Merrimack, which is 7-1-2 in its last ten games, has never sat atop the pack in Hockey East this late in a season since it joined the league in 1989. Since the league expanded from eight teams, a Merrimack senior class had never advanced into the playoffs in four consecutive years. Sophomore Connor Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) scored Friday’s winner on the power play with 31.7 seconds remaining, handing BC just its fifth loss after February 1 over the last four seasons. In that four-year span, the Eagles’ senior class, which won Beanpot titles each February of their careers, is just 1-4 in North Andover. On Sunday, rookie Vinny Scotti scored both goals for the Warriors. Junior Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Monday as he made 63 saves in the two games and continues to lead the league with a 2.01 goals-against average and .931 save percentage overall. 

3. Harvard: Led by ECAC Player of the Week senior Marshall Everson, the Crimson bounced 29-time Beanpot winner Boston University to fourth place for the second time in three years and gained three valuable league points on the weekend. Harvard opened the week with a 7-4 win over Boston University at TD Garden and was paced by senior Luke Greiner, who scored the Beanpot Tournament’s second hat trick in as many weeks. Everson, a Edina, Minn. native, scored twice in that contest and also found the back of the net on two occasions in a 4-1 win over Colgate on Friday. After one goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Cornell, he finished the week a +3 rating and four goals, tying him with rookie Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, Mass.) for the team lead with ten this season. Rookie Peter Traber earned his first-career victory in the Beanpot consolation game, making 43 saves, while sophomore Raphael Girard bounced back with a strong weekend that included 38 stops in Saturday’s draw. For the penultimate week in the ECAC regular season, Harvard makes the long weekend trek to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

4. UMass-Lowell: For the second year in a row, the River Hawks swept their Alumni Cup rival UMass Minutemen in the three-game Hockey East set between the Bay State’s two Division I hockey-playing institutions. Freshman Connor Hellebuyck earned his seventh and eighth victories in a row, making 49 saves over the two contests in 6-3 and 3-2 decisions. Junior Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.) was named league Player of the Week as he registered three goals, five points, and seven shots on goal in the series, including two goals and an assist in Friday’s road victory. In his last seven games, the former Foxboro High School Warrior has posted a strong six goals and eight points, while rookies Ryan McGrath (5-11=16) and Christian Folin (3-12=15) have led UML’s strong youth movement over the last 15 games (17-13=30).

5. American International: Despite struggling mightily for most of the year, the Yellow Jackets have rattled off a six-game unbeaten streak in Atlantic Hockey play to pull within two points of tenth-place Army. AIC used 4-0 and 9-1 decisions in a home-and-home series to “sting” Sacred Heart, keeping the Pioneers winless on the year at 0-26-2 – a streak that was broken with a 7-3 win over Holy Cross on Tuesday. Senior Ben Meisner started both games and turned out to be the victor for the Jackets as he saved 43 of the 44 shots he faced on the weekend, including 18 in his second shutout of the year on Friday. Meisner, a Nova Scotia native, has now set school and Atlantic Hockey league records with his 3,459 career saves – 25th all-time in NCAA Division I. On the offensive side, senior Adam Pleskach and junior Jon Puskar each posted two goals and two assists over the set. AIC looks to keep up the momentum on Friday and Saturday as it takes on fellow Bay State foe Holy Cross for a home-and-home duel.

n the 11th Annual Heroes Hat Game
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New England College Hockey Stick Salutes: Potting All the Beans from Two Mondays at TD Garden

NU freshman Kevin Roy scored five goals over his first two Beanpot games for Northeastern to earn MVP honors in defeat (Charles Krupa/AP).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON – The second Monday of February has just passed and the Boston College Eagles continued their recent dominance in the Beanpot Tournament, beating the Northeastern Huskies, 6-3, for the title in the 61st annual rendition at TD Garden.

With the win, the Eagles clinched the championship for the fourth year in a row and for the 18th time in history. NU’s 26-year title drought will have to wait another year to see an end, despite a 3-2 semifinal win over Boston University – its opponent during its last title in 1988 – last Monday, Feb. 4.

As BC head coach Jerry York stated, the Beanpot “takes two ordinary Monday nights in February and makes them special. With that in mind, here are some interesting storylines and stats, as penned from high above the ice (the ninth floor) on Causeway Street:

1. Kevin Roy

This rookie’s performance was certainly hard to top. The Huskies’ stunning freshman scored his first-career hat trick in the semifinal and two more goals in the championship defeat en route to earning Tournament MVP honors. College hockey’s top scorer among freshmen lit the lamp five consecutive times over the two weeks for NU, including a goal in each period of the semifinal win to account for all of the team’s scoring. According to long-time historian Tom Burke, that mark is believed to be a Beanpot first since BC’s Mike Powers tickled the twice five times in a row in a 9-8 win over Northeastern in 1973. As far as his MVP honor was concerned, it was the first in a defeat for his team since BU’s Sean Fields in 2004. He was also NU’s first MVP since goaltender Bruce Racine in 1988 and the seventh rookie in Beanpot history to take home the award.

2. Gaudreau leads Eagles, seniors to ‘Pot four-peat

With this Monday’s victory over NU, the Eagles earned their fourth consecutive Beanpot title, sending their senior class – Patch Alber, Brooks Dyroff , Milner, Pat Mullane, Patrick Wey, Steven Whitney and manager Tom Maguire – out with a perfect career record in the tournament. Leading the way was sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, who was named Tournament MVP last year, as he added two goals and an assist just one week after being shut off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to Harvard. With his goal and two assists in the title game, Whitney, a Reading, Mass. native, tallied at least one point in seven of his eight games to finish his career with six goals and 12 points. With the victory, the Eagles improve to 73-49 all-time in the Beanpot, including 33-9 against the Huskies.

3. Luke Greiner and Harvard’s compete in consolation

Harvard’s veteran centerman was very impressive on the ice in both games, capping off the consolation game with a shorthanded empty-netter with eight seconds to play for the tournament’s second hat trick in as many weeks. The Faribault, Minn. native has scored a goal in 18 of his 113 career games and no more than a single tally in any previously. In the 7-4 win to knock BU to fourth place for the second time in three years, the Crimson set a new season-high in goals, all after falling behind 2-0 in the first 12 minutes of the game. In his final Beanpot game, fellow senior Marshall Everson potted two goals for Harvard, one each in the second and third periods (like Greiner). Rookie Peter Traber was vital in the Crimson victory as he made 43 saves in his first-career win. Despite falling 4-1 to BC in the second semifinal, Harvard bounced back for their second win over the Terriers this season.

4. BU’s seniors shutout of title

For the first time since 1965, the Terriers’ senior class was held short of winning at least one Beanpot title in their careers. In fact, this group lost to Harvard in the consolation game in two of their final three seasons. BU has won nearly half (29) of the titles in the tournament’s 61-year history, but has now finished fourth five times, including in two of the last three years. BU tied a season high with 47 shots on goal in this past Monday’s defeat, but dropped its third game in a row, dating back to a 5-1 drubbing at UMass on Feb. 1. Harvard has compiled just a 2-13-2 mark since beating No. 10 Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. on Nov. 16, 2012, but its two wins have both come against BU. In its last seven games this season, the Terriers stand at just 1-5-1 – their worst stretch since ending a skid of equal length on Nov. 21, 2009.

Odds and ends: Entering the tournament, Boylston, Mass. native and NU senior Robbie Vrolyk was the lone current Husky with a goal in his Beanpot career. At its conclusion, Roy had five goals and fellow senior Vinny Saponari added one in the title game. … Jim Madigan became the first NU head coach to lead the Huskies to a first-round Beanpot win in his second year behind the bench. … Harvard’s leading scorer Jimmy Vesey, a rookie from North Reading, was held from the point column in the opening round vs. BC and did not dress in the consolation win. … Half of BU’s four points in the semifinals came from Massachusetts native freshmen as Danny O’Regan (Needham) and Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown) found the scoresheet in their first twirl on TD Garden. … BC’s win over Harvard continued a ten-game Beanpot win streak since the 1999 consolation game, while BU’s 15-game streak over the Huskies, which dates back to NU’s last ‘Pot title in 1988, was snapped.

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New England College Hockey Weekly “Stick Salutes” – The First of February

Maine captured a stunning sweep at Boston College last weekend and will look for its first home wins of the season against Providence and UML (Photo/GoBlackBears.com).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

So it begins…February is here and that means the final push to the playoff in college hockey. Here are the best five teams of the week gone by from around New England:

1. Maine: For the casual fan, Team of the Week Maine sweeping a series in Hockey East play may sound like nothing new. However, this season has been a struggle to say the least, but the Black Bears still pulled one out. But to pull it out at No. 3 Boston College in straight sets seemed virtually impossible entering the weekend. Junior Jon Swavely led the attack en route to earning Co-Player of the Week honors, scoring two goals and an assist in the sweep, including a pair in Saturday’s 3-1 victory. The victories, both for junior goaltender Martin Ouellette, were Maine’s first two consecutive at Kelley Rink since January 1993. Freshman Ryan Lomberg has four career goals and three of which have been game-winners, after scoring the deciding strike for a 4-1 win to open the weekend. Lomberg and his freshman classmates accounted for eight of Maine’s 15 points in the series – a group led by Will Merchant, who has scored both of his career goals against the Eagles. Looking to capture more momentum and continue its chase into the league playoff race, the Black Bears welcome Providence and Maine to Alfond Arena.

**After last Tuesday’s late victory over UConn, Quinnipiac remains second in both national polls released on Monday to remain the highest-ranked team in New England. The Bobcats received the most first-place votes in program history in both polls, collecting 33 combined, including 22 in the USCHO.com ranking – a mark that narrowly trails Minnesota.

2. UMass-Lowell: Despite dropping a point in a 4-4 tie on Friday, the River Hawks continued an 11-game unbeaten streak with an exciting three-point weekend against the Northeastern Huskies to take the season series, thanks to the opening meeting of the season on Dec. 8, 2012, which was won in a 2-0 shutout. On Saturday, UML trailed 4-1 in the first minute of the third period and battled back with three third-period goals, followed by freshman Christian Folin’s emphatic winner in overtime for a 5-4 win. The Gothenburg, Sweden native also posted an assist in the series opener at Matthews Arena to earn league Rookie of the Week honors. The River Hawks are approaching their Division I-era record for consecutive games unbeaten, previously set during an 11-0-3 stretch from 2004-05. Junior Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) tallied a goal and four assists on the weekend, including one in the final stanza of Saturday’s comeback win, which was played in front of a Tsongas Center all-time record crowd of 7,013. This weekend brings the nation’s No. 12/13 squad to Merrimack and Maine for Friday and Sunday road games.

3. Boston University: The No. 9/11 Terriers, which have won six of their last seven conference road games, jumped into a second-place tie with New Hampshire in the Hockey East league standings, after capturing a win and a tie against Providence in a tight home-and-home set. Rookie Danny O’Regan (Needham, Mass.) is the nation’s leading scorer over the past three weeks as he has posted four goals and 11 points in six games, while leading a line with Matt Nieto and Evan Rodrigues that has tallied 28 total points in that span. In Friday’s 3-2 win at Schneider Arena, BU continued an impressive streak of having allowed two goals or less in each of its 13 victories this year. Sophomore Cason Hohmann is fourth in the nation in plus-minus at +17, while Matt Grzelyck (Charlestown, Mass.) leads all Hockey East defensemen with 14 assists.

4. Brown: The Bears split their third-consecutive set in ECAC play last weekend, improving to 3-3-2 over their last eight league games. In a loss at Colgate on Friday, sophomore Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, Mass.) scored in the third period, but it was not enough in a 2-1 defeat. Things changed the following night at Cornell as senior Jeff Ryan began the charge en route to a 3-0 shutout of the Big Red in Ithaca. Senior Anthony Borelli, a New York native, stopped all 23 shots he faced in what became his first-career shutout – the team’s first over CU since 1991. This weekend, the Bears face No. 2 Quinnipiac and Princeton this weekend in the first league games of the season between the two at Meehan Auditorium.

T-5. Bentley, Holy Cross split:In a home-and-home series between a pair of in-state Atlantic Hockey rivals, the Falcons and Crusaders fought to a split with each side winning on the road. Led by three assists from the league’s January Rookie of the Month Andrew Gladiuk, the Falcons were 4-1 winners in the opening contest Friday at the Hart Center. The White Rock, British Columbia native, who also assisted on the lone goal in Saturday’s 2-1 loss, is second on the team with 26 points and is tied with Northeastern’s Kevin Roy for tops in the nation among rookies at 1.18 goals per-game. Cross senior Evan Zych netted his first-career tally to win the Saturday contest in Watertown, while rookie Castan Sommer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) posted a goal and an assist in the two contests.

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January 26 in Hockey East: Lowell soars in front of record crowd vs. NU; Maine completes BC sweep

UML senior captain Riley Wetmore scored the game-tying goal with 56 seconds left (Photo/Bob Ellis).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

UMass-Lowell 5, Northeastern 4 (OT)
Being down 4-1 in the early stages of the third period did not phase the River Hawks as they scored four unanswered goals to topple the Huskies in overtime – in front of a record crowd of 7,013 fans at Tsongas Center – and take three of four crucial points on the weekend in Hockey East play. Freshman defender Christian Folin scored 3:07 into the extra frame to cap the run for UML’s first overtime victory since Zack Kamrass extended last year’s quarterfinal series with Providence, also extending the team’s unbeaten streak to 11 games. With the defeat, the Huskies became the first team to hit ten losses in conference play, despite the first-career multi-point outing from senior Steve Morra with a goal and an assist. Morra’s backhander past UML junior Doug Carr (13 saves) gave NU a 4-1 lead just 48 seconds into the third period, but Carr’s junior classmate Joseph Pendenza scored the next goal and assisted on two of the final three, including Folin’s winner, to pace the offense. The River Hawks, which face a challenging contest at Merrimack on Friday, pounded NU senior Bryan Mountain for 38 shots in 63:07 as he remained winless at 0-5-2 on the year. The Huskies look to pull off an upset at Matthews that night as they host UNH in a re-match of a scoreless tie that Mountain pulled on Oct. 27, 2012.

Maine 3, Boston College 1
The Black Bears scored the first three goals of the game and never looked back, missing a shutout by 9.8 seconds en route to capturing the series sweep of the No. 3 Eagles at Kelley Rink with a 3-1 victory. Maine junior Jon Swavely scored twice – once in the first and third periods – against BC sophomore and Brunswick, Maine native Brian Billett (26 saves) as he was making his first start since Jan. 21, 2012 at Maine. With their third win in league play, the Black Bears improved to 7-14-4 overall on the season and captured their first weekend sweep of the Eagles on road ice since 1993. Junior Patrick Brown scored the lone BC goal, beating Martin Ouellette (24 saves) in the final ten seconds of the contest. With hopes of turning around a stretch of four losses in five games, the Eagles welcome Vermont to Kelley Rink on Friday.

Boston University 3, Providence 3 (OT)
Freshman Danny O’Regan lit the lamp with 6:39 remaining in the third period to lift the Terriers into a tie with the visiting Friars at Agganis Arena, eventually claiming a point to take five of six from them on the season and remain in a second-place tie with New Hampshire. After senior Ben Rosen opened the scoring at 17:34, the Friars answered on scores by Myles Harvey and Steven McParland to take a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the middle stanza. Shane Luke put the Friars back ahead at 0:39 of the final period, answering Matt Nieto’s seventh of the year on the power-play at 13:58 of the second to take away PC’s second lead of the game. A pair of strong freshmen were between the pipes as BU’s Matt O’Connor and PC’s Jon Gillies posted 26 and 28 stops, respectively, in the draw. The tie was BU’s first in nearly 15 months and first since Oct. 28, 2011 at UMass, where the Terriers travel on Friday.

New Hampshire 6, Merrimack 2
The Wildcats were convincing victors in the Battle for the RiverStone Cup XII at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. on Saturday night as sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk assisted on four goals to earn Most Valuable Player honors. UNH improved to 15-6-2 overall and matched its win total from last season, while earning its tenth win in Hockey East. Ten ‘Cats factored into the scoring, including a goal and two assists from sophomore Grayson Downing and Collin MacDonald’s first-career goal. ?Sophomore Casey DeSmith earned the win with 32 saves for UNH, despite allowing rookie Ben Bahe and sophomore Dan Kolomatis to score MC’s goals. The Wildcats return to action on the road on Friday at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.

Vermont 3, Massachusetts 2
Sophomore Kyle Reynolds scored a pair of goals in the first period and rookie Brody Hoffman collected 36 saves to help the Catamounts gain a weekend split of the UMass Minutemen and snap a five-game losing streak at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Reynolds now has six goals in six career games against the Mass Attack (five of which have been decided by one goal between the teams), including a pair of multi-goal games at home. Hoffman, a Wilkie, Sask. native, finished the weekend with 70 stops for UVM and has eclipsed the 30 mark on 11 occasions this year. UMass dominated the second and third periods with a 25-14 shots on goal advantage as juniors Michael Pereira and Branden Gracel scored goals.

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January 25 in Hockey East: ‘Mack, Maine lead way in night of parity

The Warriors pulled their first upset against a top-five national opponent since 2010 on Friday night at Lawler Arena (Photo/Walter Rossini).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

Merrimack 3, New Hampshire 2
Junior Mike Collins continued his stellar season for the Warriors, scoring twice and factoring into rookie Brian Christie’s strike in the third period in an upset of the No. 4 Wildcats at a sold-out Lawler Arena. With the victory, the Warriors tie Providence for fourth place in the Hockey East standings and posted their first defeat over a national top-five opponent since beating Boston College on Oct. 30, 2010. UNH dropped its sixth game of the season and are in the midst of their first Hockey East losing skid, due to a hard home loss last Saturday to Providence. After Collins scored with a minute left in the first period, junior Eric Knodel and sophomore Casey Thrush beat Merrimack’s Sam Marotta (29 saves) in the second to lift the Wildcats ahead by a 2-1 count. Collins responded with a weak-angle bouncer from the goal line to re-tie the game less than 30 seconds later, before he set up rookie Brian Christie with a wobbling pass through the slot seven seconds into the third stanza to beat UNH netminder Jeff Wyer (32 saves) in a career-best effort.

Maine 4, Boston College 1
In college hockey, victory or defeat can come when it is least expected, so just take Friday’s game at Kelley Rink for example. The visiting Black Bears scored the first three goals of the game and never looked back en route to their first road victory on Chestnut Hill since Oct. 2005. Senior Joey Diamond put the guests on the board just 3:11 into the proceedings, before rookie Ryan Lomberg beat BC senior Parker Milner (27 saves) with 20 seconds remaining in the opening stanza for the game-winner. Maine junior Martin Ouellette was tremendous between the pipes as he made 34 saves, including 20 in the second period alone, in his fourth win of the year. Senior alternate captain Steven Whitney was the only Eagle to light the lamp in the weekend opener as he broke through on the power play at 13:05 of the third.

Boston University 3, Providence 2
The Friars jumped ahead in front of the home crowd at Schneider Arena, but sophomore Evan Rodrigues erased the deficit by his lonesome in a collective span of seven minutes and junior Sahir Gill scored the winner with 12:46 to play in BU’s tenth league win of the season against stellar rookie Jon Gillies (22 saves) of the Friars. Ross Mauermann and Brandon Tanev were the goal scorers for PC in the opening stanza as the pair of underclassmen beat Terrier rookie Sean Maguire (32 saves) for his lone blemishes of the night. Mauermann has led the offensive attack of late with four goals and nine points in eight games, while also joining senior defender Alex Velischek as the team’s leading scorers against BU. The win clinched a substantial season series for the Terriers in Hockey East, thanks to a 4-2 win on Oct. 13, 2012 at Agganis Arena, where the third and final meeting between the sides takes place on Saturday.

Northeastern 4, UMass-Lowell 4 (OT)
Huskies freshman Kevin Roy scored twice in the second period, but his team lost a two-goal lead in the third and settled for a stalemate at Matthews Arena in the opener of a weekend home-and-home. Senior Steve Morra scored his first-career goal for NU just 91 seconds into the third period, but juniors Daniel Furlong and Derek Arnold beat NU senior Bryan Mountain (41 saves) to knot the score and keep UML’s unbeaten streak alive at ten games (9-0-1). With an assist to Morra, junior Cody Ferriero continued a career-best six-game point streak (7-3-10). Roy scored twice in a six-minute span for the Huskies in the middle stanza, securing the third two-goal contest of his career and first since Dec. 1, 2012 vs. UMass. Following Friday’s results, the Quebec native is tied with Bentley’s Andrew Gladiuk atop Division I scoring among rookies at 1.19 points per-game.

Massachusetts 3, Vermont 2
The host Catamounts played tough in the opener of a weekend series, but veteran Conor Sheary scored on the power play at 5:30 of the third to lift the visiting Minutemen at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Senior Darren Rowe and junior Adam Phillips both had multi-point nights with two assists apiece. Rowe’s performance now gives him six points in four games – two in a row now wins for the Minutemen. Juniors Eric Filiou and Joel Hanley put the Mass Attack ahead by the 6:30 mark of the middle stanza, but Kyle Reynolds and Connor Brickley teamed up to snatch the lead away with goals in the second against Brody Hoffman in a 34-save performance. Sophomore Steve Mastalerz, a North Andover, Mass. native, totaled 19 saves en route to his second straight victory for Massachusetts, which looks for the weekend sweep on Saturday.

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New England College Hockey Weekly “Stick Salutes” – January 23, 2013

Led by Branden Gracel, UMass beat Boston College on the road Friday night (Dave Roback/The Republican).

by Joshua Kummins

**Quinnipiac remains the highest-ranked team in New England this week, checking in at No. 2 and trailing only Minnesota in both polls. The Bobcats were off this past weekend, but posted a 2-1 win over Nutmeg State foe UConn on Tuesday to extend their unbeaten streak to 17 games (15-0-2) as Connor Jones scored the late winner on a third-period power play.

1. UMass-Lowell: “Winning” has seemingly been the sole name of the game for the River Hawks of late as they have rattled off the longest current winning streak in the nation with nine in a row, dating back to a home win over Northeastern on Dec. 8, 2012. The Huskies play the opposition in a Hockey East home-and-home set this weekend, beginning Friday night at Matthews Arena. With one-goal victories over Providence and Boston University last week, UML tied its longest streak in Division I history and since the 2001-02 season. Junior Chad Ruhwedel has anchored the defensive corps for his entire career in Lowell and has posted four goals and seven points in the last five games, while the entire unit has accounted for eight goals and 26 total points in eight contests during the streak. In Thursday’s 2-1 victory at Tsongas Center, Hockey East Rookie of the Week Connor Hellebuyck scored his sixth straight with 31 saves.

2. Yale: It’s been a good stretch for the Bulldogs of late as they enter a North Country visit to Cornell and Colgate with wins in four consecutive games, including an Ingalls Rink sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth this past weekend. Senior Antoine Laganiere posted a five-point weekend, including a goal in each of the victories to earn ECAC Player of the Week honors. The Blue held the weekend edge by an 8-2 count with Laganiere, sophomore Trent Ruffolo, and senior captain Andrew Miller scoring twice. Senior and league Goaltender of the Week Jeff Malcolm stopped 48 of 50 shots in the Yale net on the weekend, including 21 in Friday’s 4-0 blanking of the visitors from Cambridge.

3. Merrimack: The Warriors completed a 2-0-1 season sweep of the Maine Black Bears with a three-point weekend at the venerable Alfond Arena. League Defensive Player of the Week Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) stopped 53 of 56 shots on the weekend, including 31 in Friday’s 1-1 stalemate. For the first time in program history, Merrimack was able to post points on consecutive nights in Orono after claiming a 3-2 Saturday win. Junior Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) continues to lead Hockey East with 1.57 points per-game in the league and posted assists in each of MC’s Saturday goals. The Blue and Gold, which face UNH in a two-game set at Lawler Arena and Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., respectively, have captured Hockey East points in five of the last six games and now sit just points out of third place in the standings.

T-4. Massachusetts: Hockey East’s Team of the Week, the Minutemen posted a 5-2 road victory over No. 2 Boston College on Friday at Kelley Rink – their first on Chestnut Hill since Nov. 17, 2007 – to snap the Eagles’ 18-game winning streak on home ice. Junior Branden Gracel, who shared league Player of the Week honors with Eagle stalwart Steven Whitney, scored twice and added an assist to earn the game’s top star and set new career highs. Second-year stopper Steve Mastalerz (North Andover, Mass.) made 21 stops in the contest as he earned his first victory of the season. Additionally, the Mass Attack was 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in the contest, while knocking off 11 straight and 20 of the last 22, dating back to Dec. 30, 2012 against Bemidji State. With a weekend in Vermont ahead, the Minutemen look to extend their three-game winning streak in the series, which dates back to a 3-1 home win on Nov. 20, 2012.

T-4. Providence:
Despite a 2-1 loss in Lowell on Thursday, the Friars bounced back in a big way and scored a 6-5 win at New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center on Saturday for their first since 2004 in Durham. Heading into a home-and-home with Boston University, PC’s 17-game winless streak against UNH (0-15-2) is also gone by the wayside. Junior Steven Shamanski posted three helpers in the contest for the first multi-point game of his career, despite entering the night with 13 points in three years.

6. Bentley:
Led by a five-point weekend from British Columbian native Andrew Gladiuk to earn Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week honors, the Falcons swept Canisius to move within a single point of sharing second place in the league standings. The AHA’s current two-team pack in second place consists of Mercyhurst and Holy Cross, trailing only No. 17 Niagara. Bentley has now won four of its last five games and is 4-2 since the break, including a win at Hockey East foe Northeastern. Sophomore Brett Switzer scored the winning goal in overtime on Friday as the Falcons edged the Golden Griffins for their first home win in the extra period since Mar. 6, 2004, 3-2. Three players scored twice, including Gladiuk, in Saturday’s 7-2 drubbing in Watertown. This weekend, BU faces its I-90 rivals Holy Cross in a home-and-home series, beginning at Hart Center on Friday.

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January 19 in Hockey East: PC, UML surprise two of league’s best; BC explodes at NU

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

Providence 6, New Hampshire 5
Paced by two goals from junior Derek Army, the Friars earned their first victory at Whittemore Center since March 2004 with an outstanding road effort to rebound from Thursday’s one-goal decision in Lowell and snap a 17-game winless streak in the all-time series. Six Friars scored at least two points in the game – a group that also included three assists from junior Steven Shemanski. Rookie Jon Gillies made 37 saves for his tenth win of the season for the Friars. In defeat, junior Kevin Goumas scored twice and John Henrion posted a goal and an assist to give himself a solid birthday present. After the victory propelled the Friars to a third-place tie in the Hockey East standings, they continue Hockey East play next weekend in a home-and-home series with BU, while UNH faces Merrimack twice.

UMass-Lowell 4, Boston University 3
The River Hawks extended their nation-long winning streak to nine games on Saturday at Agganis Arena as the visitors held on and staved off a furious BU rally in the third period. The Scarlet and White fell to 12-9-0 on the season and dropped its first set of back-to-back games this year, after a 6-5 loss to Northeastern on Friday. BU has now won twice in six games since returning from the holiday break. BU opened the scoring just over five minutes in the game when freshman Matt Lane scored, but Lowell scored the next four in a row, including a shorthanded winner from rookie Adam Chapie at 5:23 of the third period. Terrier stalwarts Evan Rodrigues and Wade Megan beat junior Doug Carr (29 saves) in the third period, but the Hanover, Mass. native was able to collect his seventh win.

Boston College 9, Northeastern 3
After a see-saw first period that saw three goals from each side, senior Steven Whitney and the No. 2 Eagles took control and scored six unanswered to annihilate the Huskies at Matthews Arena. Whitney, senior center Pat Mullane and junior left wing Johnny Gaudreau combined for four goals and 12 points in the victory, including the first hat trick of Whitney’s career. The Reading, Mass. native and Gaudreau (four assists) led the offensive way in BC’s first nine-goal outburst since Dec. 3, 2010 at BU’s Agganis Arena. NU junior Cody Ferriero set a career high, topping off a five-game point streak with an assist on junior Braden Pimm’s goal in the first period. The Essex, Mass. and Governor’s Academy product has accounted for seven goals and nine points in his last five appearances.

Merrimack 3, Maine 2
Surging junior Mike Collins assisted on each of the three Warrior goals to help Merrimack complete a three-point weekend and season series sweep (2-0-1) over the Black Bears at Orono’s Alfond Arena. With the win, Merrimack improves to 9-9-5 and leaves Maine with points on consecutive nights for the first time in Warrior hockey history. Junior Rhett Bly’s bouncing goal at 10:53 of the final stanza proved to serve as the game winner as classmate Sam Marotta made 22 saves en route to his sixth win of the season in what was the Bridgewater, Mass. native’s third consecutive start. For the hosts, which dropped to 5-14-4, senior Joey Diamond scored a goal and an assist for his first multi-point game since a 4-3 win over Army on Oct. 13, 2012.

Penn State 4, Vermont 2
Penn State received goals from four different players against Catamount freshman Brody Hoffman (28 saves), but the Nittany Lions posted their first-ever win over a Hockey East opponent, defeating UVM at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Three of PSU’s four goals came over the first 30 minutes of the contest, before freshman Robert Polasello scored on the power play at 11:08. Sophomore Kyle Mountain scored in the final 15 seconds of the contest, but it was too late to keep Matthew Skoff from his fifth win of the year. UVM returns to action next Friday for the start of a two-game series against UMass in Burlington.

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