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.

About jkummins

Joshua Kummins, a senior honors student at Malden High School, is the Associate Editor for www.BostonSportsU18.com. He joined BSU18 in August 2010 and also serves as the Co-Head of Sports for the award-winning newspaper at MHS, The Blue and Gold. Under his leadership, the sports section placed first for "Excellence in Sports Writing" as part of the Sufffolk University Greater Boston High School Newspaper Competition. Kummins is a veteran Hockey East reporter and has covered multiple Frozen Fenway events, Beanpots and conference tournaments. He is also a frequent contributor to the site’s baseball coverage as he covers the Red Sox, minor leagues, and college games throughout the season. Each season, he is proud to cover the Cape Cod Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s North Shore Navigators. He also thinks that the CCBL and NECBL provide some of the best baseball in the country, truly showing “how the game should be played.” Contact him via e-mail at [email protected] and follow him @JoshuaKummins on Twitter.
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