Sam Marotta made all the big stops as Merrimack won at Vermont to open the 2013 Hockey East schedule. - John Quackenbos

Hockey East: Merrimack opens New Year league schedule in win; Success over ECAC continues

Boston University and UMass-Lowell defeated ECAC opponents with one-goal wins on Friday night, while Boston College held on for a solid tie of Yale. Maine continued its recent success with a third consecutive win, defeating Mercyhurst in Portland.

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Hockey East: Merrimack wins 1st league game of '13

Merrimack 4, Vermont 1
The Merrimack Warriors put together a strong road effort to open the 2013 portion of the season schedule in beating the host Vermont Catamounts in Burlington by a three-goal margin. With their fifth conference win of the season, the Warriors jump above .500 and sit in fifth place in the Hockey East standings with one game in hand on Providence for the fourth and final home-ice position. The Blue and Gold certainly has had UVM's number in recent years as it improved to 9-0-3 in the last 12 games in the head-to-head series, including a 4-0-2 mark on the road. Sophomores Connor Toomey and Kyle Singleton put the game away early as they scored two goals in a span of just over five minutes in the middle stages of the opening period. Junior Sam Marotta finished the game with 23 saves as he earned his fourth win of the season for the Warriors, allowing a single goal to rookie Jacob Fallon on a power play 6:56 into the second period. In the losing effort, rookie Brody Hoffman continued his workhorse mentality with 19 saves for the Catamounts. On a different note, Merrimack senior Kyle Bigos took a roughing call late in the 14th minute of the third period to tie Tom Costa '96 for most penalty minutes in school history with 400. That mark is just four shy of the Hockey East conference mark set by Northeastern's Rico Rossi '88. Merrimack returns home to J. Thom Lawler Arena next weekend for a pair of important league home games against Boston University and Maine, while UVM hosts a pair of games against UMass-Lowell.

New Hampshire 5, RPI 2
Eight different Wildcats scored goals and sophomore Casey DeSmith made 20 saves as the Engineers were dropped by a second consecutive Hockey East opponent in front of the Whittemore Center crowd. UNH improved to 13-3-2 on the season, using three goals from the blue line and a pair of assists from third-liners Dan Correale and Jay Camper to pace the offense. RPI sophomore Curtis Leonard scored both goals as he was the lone visitor to solve DeSmith in UNH's second victory in as many games. As far as forwards were concerned, a pair of good ones led the offense for the Wildcats as senior John Henrion and junior Jeff Silengo found the back of the net past New York native and sophomore Scott Diebold. The No. 4 Wildcats will be the eyes of Hockey East next weekend as they face No. 2 Boston College in a home-and-home series, which begins on Friday in Chestnut Hill.

UMass-Lowell 6, Clarkson 2
Senior Riley Wetmore found the back of the net twice as the River Hawks put together a much more complete effort at Cheel Arena to complete a weekend sweep of the ECAC foe Golden Knights. With the win, UML enters next weekend's series at Vermont with a 9-7-1 record, including a five-game winning streak that dates back shutting out Northeastern on Dec. 8 at Tsongas Center. Additionally, junior defenseman Chad Ruhwedel posted a multi-point game of his own as he scored shorthanded just 3:44 into the first period and assisted on Wetmore's goal just 17 seconds into the middle frame. In his fifth win of the season and second in as many games, junior Doug Carr was strong as he posted 21 saves to lead the 'Hawks. UML, which also scored a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes of Friday's 5-1 victory, extended its streak of 23 straight and 29-of-30 successful penalty kills with a 3-for-3 outing.

Mercyhurst 5, Maine 2
Sophomore Connor Leen scored his team-best fifth goal of the season as the Black Bears returned to the home confines of Orono's Alfond Arena in a disappointing loss to the Mercyhurst Lakers, just a night after Maine opened the series with a 2-1 win in Portland. Rookie Matt Morris dropped his first-career game, despite making 28 saves between the Maine pipes. Junior New Yorker Daniel O'Donoghue was a thorn in the side of the Black Bear defense as he posted a hat trick and factored into the other two goals with assists. Maine travels to the Bay State next weekend for games at Northeastern and Merrimack.

Bentley 6, Northeastern 3
Junior Cody Ferriero posted two more goals for the Huskies, but the visiting Falcons rallied for three goals in the third period to tie the all-time series between the teams at 2-2 with a victory at Matthews Arena. The Essex, Mass. native, who was able to solve stellar Bentley junior Branden Komm (45 saves) twice, has now scored six goals in his last two games after starting with just one over the first ten games of the season. Junior Robbie Vrolyk also scored in the loss, while the Falcons were paced by a pair of tallies from senior Brett Hartung and a pair of helpers from Division I scoring leader Brett Gensler in the contest. NU senior Chris Rawlings made 26 stops in the defeat and is now just six short of Brad Thiessen '09 for second all-time.

Minnesota State 4, Providence 0
The Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn. was not a happy place for the Friars this weekend as they were shut down by the host Mavericks, falling for the second straight night in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Ridgefield, Conn. native and senior Russ Stein made his third consecutive start in the Friar net and turned in a career high 33 saves, while senior Tim Schaller led the offense with seven shots on goal. Zach Palmquist posted two assists to pace the MSU attack. The Friars return to action in a home-and-home set with UMass next weekend.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. Bentley final score: Falcons win 6-3

BOSTON - NCAA Division I hockey's most prolific offense struck gold in the third period as the Bentley Falcons exploded in the third period to propel ahead of the host Northeastern Huskies for good, skating to a 6-3 victory on Saturday at Matthews Arena in Boston.

Despite defeat, NU was able to out-shoot the opponent for just the fifth time this season, keeping a 48-32 advantage, including 18-12 in the final period.

The Huskies fell to 6-10-1 on the season, as they were unable to follow an impressive 5-1 victory over Harvard last Saturday with a second in a row against a non-league foe from the state of Massachusetts. On the flip side, the Falcons redeemed themselves from a late loss in Lowell last Sunday by improving to 7-9-1.

After losing much of the momentum by allowing two late goals in the second period, the Huskies came back with a pair of quick goals of their own to tie the game in the first eight minutes of the final stanza.

Just 0:53 into the proceedings on a new sheet of ice, junior Cody Ferriero used a bit of puck luck to get his second of the contest, bouncing a puck off the shoulder of Bentley junior Branden Komm and into the net along the right post.

Junior Robbie Vrolyk beat Komm on a second-chance backhander at the 5:14 mark to knot the score, fighting for a loose puck on the crease for his fifth goal of the season.

The Falcons jumped back on top very quickly as rookie Derek Bacon flipped a loose puck under the five-hole of NU senior Chris Rawlings at 7:27, before senior Brett Hartung netted his second of the contest 10:51 in with a great effort off a pass from junior linemate Andrew Fitzstephens.

To ice the game, junior Zach Marginsky posted his first-collegiate goal from center ice with 1:50 left in regulation.



Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. Bentley score update: 3-1 Falcons after two

BOSTON - After killing off a penalty in the final five minutes of the second period, the Bentley Falcons used a pair of late goals to take a 3-1 lead on the host Northeastern Huskies at Matthews Arena. NU's shots on goal edge in the stanza was a bit slimmer at 14-11, but still holds a ten-shot edge for the game overall.

Junior Brett Gensler, who leads Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau and all of NCAA Division I in scoring with 1.69 goals per-game, posted another assist at 14:42 as he fed senior Brett Hartung with the cross-ice pass to beat Huskies senior Chris Rawlings.

The Falcons made it a two-goal lead at 19:06 as Fitchburg, Mass. native Justin Breton streaked past a couple NU defenders, all the way down the ice, before beating Rawlings with a top-shelf backhander on the right post.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. Bentley update: 1-1 after one at Matthews

BOSTON - In just the fourth all-time meeting between the Northeastern Huskies and Bentley Falcons at Matthews Arena, the two Massachusetts non-conference foes played to a very entertaining first period that saw each side find the back of the net once. The Huskies were the first to score in the contest and also held a 16-9 advantage in shots on goal over the first 20 minutes.

The Huskies jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead at 3:05 as junior Cody Ferriero continued his torrid scoring pace with a rebound goal right on the crease of Benley junior Branden Komm. Stellar rookie Kevin Roy took the intial shot on goal through traffic, but Ferriero was on the spot to lift the puck into the goal for his fifth goal in 41:43 of game time.

Bentley's prolific top line responded to knot the score just over three minutes later as junior Brett Gensler fed sophomore Alex Grieve in front for the one-time - his seventh goal of the season, which also extended his point streak to four straight games.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East holds on for two more vs. ECAC Friday

Boston University 3, RPI 2 (OT)
Sophomore Cason Hohmann lit the lamp at 2:56 of overtime as the Terriers came back from a goal down twice to edge the visiting Engineers to open 2013 at Agganis Arena. With its fifth win in seven games, BU improves to 11-6-0 on the season and will face Beanpot foe Harvard on Wednesday night. Freshman Sean McGuire won his fourth straight start and third in a row to begin his home career, posting 27 saves for BU. After the Engineers took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Ryan Haggerty at the midway mark of the first period, senior Ryan Santana netted his first goal of the season to tie the score off an assist from Mike Moran, a Marshfield, Mass. native, who had yet to score a collegiate point. C.J. Lee put the visitors up in the 15th minute of the second, but junior Sahir Gill knotted the score yet again off a feed from Hohmann to set up the winner in extra time. The game marked the 66th meeting between the storied institutions and former ECAC rivals since first meeting on March 14, 1953, but was the first in three games that the Terriers have won in their newest home in the series.

Boston College 3, Yale 3 (OT)
After a slow start, the No. 2 Eagles and No. 17 Bulldogs played to an entertaining final two periods en route to a stalemate in the 55th all-time meeting between the programs at Kelley Rink. The Eagles did not post more than seven shots in a period, while allowing a season-most 48 chances on net to the visitors. Senior netminder Parker Milner made stops on 45 of those shots, establishing a new career-high by topping his mark of 41 set in the Hockey East-title winning victory over Maine to close the 2011-12 season at TD Garden. Despite taking a five-minute major penalty and misconduct at the end of the second period, rookie Michael Matheson posted three assists to pace the offense in the contest. Senior Steven Whitney scored the equalizing goal at 16:33 of the second stanza, weaving a shot through traffic from the high slot. The Eagles return to the ice in Chestnut Hill for a big one next Friday night, hosting the second-place New Hampshire Wildcats in the first NESN league broadcast of the season.

Maine 2, Mercyhurst 1
Freshman Ryan Lomberg continued his hot stretch by scoring the game-winning goal at 13:54 of the third period, lifting the Black Bears to a third consecutive victory on Friday at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. Junior Martin Ouellette was outstanding, stopping 25 of the 26 shots that he faced in improving to 3-5-2. Mercyhurst, which received a strong 35 saves from junior Jordan Tibbett in the series opener, dropped to 0-5-1 against Maine in the all-time series in their first action since 2007. Lomberg, an Ontario native, started slow much like the team in the early going, but has now posted a goal in each of the last three games. At 9:02 of the opening frame, senior Joey Diamond scored his fourth goal of the campaign.

UMass-Lowell 2, Clarkson 1
Newcomers Christian Folin and Michael Colantone had goals for the River Hawks as they defeated the host Golden Knights at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, N.Y., behind a 25-save effort from Hockey East December Goaltender of the Month Connor Hellebuyck. The win boosted UML over .500 for the first time on the season as it heads into the series finale with a 8-7-1 record. Lowell has now won the last five head-to-head meetings between the teams since 2001, but could not do so until coming back from an early first goal of the season from Andrew Himelson. With a 4-for-4 effort on the penalty kill, the River Hawks have now also staved off 19 consecutive opponent power plays.

Minnesota State 4, Providence 3 (OT)
Despite 31 saves from senior Russ Stein in just his second-career start, the Friars dropped the opener of their weekend series in Mankato's Verizon Wireless Center on an overtime goal from Chase Grant. With the loss, the Friars fall to MSU for the first time in program history and is now 7-7-3 on the season. The Mavericks were able to hold senior Tim Schaller off the scoresheet for the first time in four games as he saw a 2-4=6 streak come to a close, while sophomore Ross Mauermann posted two assists in the first period.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. Yale score update: 3-3 tie in Chestnut Hill

CHESTNUT HILL - After a slow start to the contest, the No. 2 Boston College Eagles and No. 17 Yale Bulldogs picked up the pace in the latter half, going to overtime and finishing in a 3-3 tie on Friday night. Despite the draw, the Bulldogs held a massive 48-22 shots advantage in the game - a mark which was just tied for their second-highest total of the season.

Eagles senior Parker Milner set a new career-high with 45 saves in the game, topping his previous high of 41 from the 2012 Hockey East title game against Maine last Mar. 17 at TD Garden. The Pittsburgh native is now 12-3-2 on the season, bouncing back from an 8-1 loss last Sunday at Minnesota.

Neither side generated much offense in the final period, before a late flurry at both ends in overtime, despite a 17-9 combined shots advantage for the visitors during the final 25 minutes. Bulldog senior Jeff Malcolm was also stellar between the pipes as he stopped 19 Eagle shots, including a pair from close range in the overtime period, to maintain his record at 6-3-2.

The Eagles return to action next Friday when they host New Hampshire in a key Hockey East battle.



Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. Yale score update: Eagles, Elis 3-3 after 2

CHESTNUT HILL - The Yale Bulldogs' road dominance continued at Kelley Rink as they allowed a goal at the beginning and end of the stanza to finish the second period in a 3-3 tie.

The Eagles doubled their lead at 5:31 of the stanza as freshman Brendan Silk beat Yale senior Jeff Malcolm with a beautiful goal that will surely end up on the season-ending highlight tape. The Wakefield, Mass. native led the right wing rush and followed up his own initial shot with a sweet backhand from the goal line.

Things went south for the hosts in the second period as senior Parker Milner allowed three consecutive goals, putting Yale on top 3-2. Senior Colin Dueck had the first tally of the contest for the Elis and his first of the season at the 5:48 mark, firing a long shot that found the back of the net through a screen.

Ryan Obuchowski scored his first-collegiate goal with 8:23 left in the stanza, taking advantage of a turnover and beating Milner low through his pads. Senior captain Andrew Miller put the visitors ahead at 7:10 left as he took the puck off a cross-ice pass and put his sixth goal of the year past Milner with a wicked snipe shot over the shoulder.

BC closed the period by tying the score at 3-3 with 3:27 left as senior Steven Whitney fired a shot from the high slot that deflected off a stick in front to beat Malcolm.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. Yale score update: Eagles up 1-0 after 1st

CHESTNUT HILL - In front of a quiet but very respectable winter break crowd at Kelley Rink, a pair of nationally-ranked New England foes faced off on Friday night as the No. 2 Boston College Eagles and No. 17 Yale Bulldogs looked to avenge losses last Sunday in their 56th all-time meeting.

Despite trailing by a 1-0 score after twenty minutes, the Elis held a 16-7 shots advantage.

After a quiet start to the contest on both sides, the Eagles, as they so often do, grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 15:46 mark of the stanza on a great effort from junior Bill Arnold. The Needham, Mass. native drove hard to the net to follow up a point shot from rookie Michael Matheson, roofing the rebound over the shoulder of Yale senior Jeff Malcolm for his eighth tally of the season.

On a late penalty to Eagle sophomore Danny Linell, the Bulldogs were able to pepper senior Parker Milner with a flurry of shots, including a pair of nice wristers from sophomore Tommy Fallen, but he was able to get the glove on each of the 16 that headed in his direction.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: New Year kicks off with busy slate

With the calendar flipped to 2013, Hockey East gets back to work with two nights chock full of non-conference games, as well as a single league game on Saturday night at Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Leading the way is a Top 20 battle as ECAC foe and No. 17 Yale meets its toughest challenge yet - the No. 2 Boston College Eagles on Friday night at Kelley Rink. The Eagles will be without the services of sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (Team USA in World Junior Championships) and senior defenseman Patch Alber (tore meniscus last Saturday), but seek their third win in five games.

The teams met on Nov. 26, 2011 at Ingalls Rink in New Haven and current New York Rangers product Chris Kreider scored the game-winner to beat the 'Dogs, 3-2. BC handily leads the all-time series, 43-11.

Kenny Agostino and Antoine Lagainere each posted a point in last year's meeting for the Bulldogs and now lead the team in scoring with a combined 33 points. Junior Gus Young of Dedham is the lone Massachusetts native on the roster, while rookie Rob O'Gara is a Milton Academy product and Boston Bruins prospect.

In the lone league game of the weekend, Merrimack returns to Burlington to face UVM on Saturday after competing in last weekend's Catamount Cup. Vermont took down the pair of ECAC schools - Union and Princeton - to capture the title for the third time in five years. Rookie Brody Hoffman made 44 combined saves on the weekend to win Defensive Player of the Week honors in Hockey East, while three forwards, including sophomore MVP Jacob Fallon, were named to the All-Tournament Team.

UMass-Lowell and Providence are each away for weekend excursions to conclude their respective non-conference schedules. Following a 3-2 win over Bentley on Sunday, the River Hawks head to Potsdam, N.Y. for a pair with ECAC foe Clarkson, while the Friars see action for the first time since Dec. 20 at No. 14 Minnesota State.

Lowell will be facing the Golden Knights for the first time since 2004 as they begin a four-game road swing (which also hits Vermont next weekend) and seek a fifth straight win in the all-time series. For his shutouts of Northeastern and Harvard in December, rookie Connor Hellebuyck was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month as he stopped 55 shots.

PC will commence its series with Mankato for the first time since 2003 and will meet the Mavericks for just the fifth time as a pair of games kick off on Friday in Verizon Wireless Center.

Freshman Jon Gillies is also at World Juniors, so senior Russ Stein will likely get the chance to follow up the career-high 28 saves he made in the 4-4 tie with Vermont. Senior Tim Schaller carries a four-game scoring streak (2-4=6) into the weekend, which is PC's first in Minnesota since 2010.

Junior Cody Ferriero and Hockey East Rookie of the Month Kevin Roy both re-wrote the Northeastern record books in last Saturday's 5-1 win over Harvard as the pair combined for five goals and four assists. The Huskies return to Matthews Arena to host Bentley this week.

Ferriero posted the second natural hat trick of his career in the contest, while Roy became the first NU skater since 2005 to post five points in a single game. Each were named to the league's weekly honor roll on Wednesday with Ferriero, an Essex, Mass. native, taking home a share of Player of the Week honors.

The Big Red Freakout travels north for the weekend as RPI brings its show to No. 9 Boston University and No. 4 New Hampshire for a pair of games. The Engineers are in the midst of four of their next five games on the road.

Things will look a bit different for the Scarlet and White on Friday. as senior captain Wade Megan and sophomore Alexx Privitera will both be absent from the line-up. Rookie Wes Myron will take Megan's spot on the top unit, while junior Jake Moscatel will make his BU varsity debut. For Saturday, the Wildcats seek a second straight victory after coming back to beat Bemidji State in overtime on Monday.

After taking back the Florida College Classic title, the Maine Black Bears will use to different venues to host Mercyhurst this weekend as the teams meet at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Friday, before returning to Alfond Arena for the finale. Hockey East Co-Rookie of the Week Matt Morris made 22 saves in Saturday's tournament title game as he improved to 2-0-0 for his career with a 6-4 victory over No. 11 Cornell.

Friday, January 4
Yale at Boston College (7 p.m.)
Mercyhurst vs. Maine (7 p.m. at Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland)
UMass-Lowell at Clarkson (7 p.m.)
RPI at Boston University (7:30 p.m.)
Providence at Minnesota State (8:30 p.m.)

Saturday, January 5
Mercyhurst at Maine (7 p.m.)
Bentley at Northeastern (7 p.m.)
RPI at New Hampshire (7 p.m., WBIN)
UMass-Lowell at Clarkson (7 p.m.)
Merrimack at Vermont (7:30 p.m., CBSSN)
Providence at Minnesota State (8 p.m.)

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UMass upsets Dartmouth, wins tourney

Massachusetts 3, Dartmouth 2
On Monday evening at Thompson Arena, the visiting Massachusetts Minutemen broke the seven-game home winning streak of the No. 8 Dartmouth Big Green in a 3-2 win to capture the Ledyard National Bank Classic title. The victory was just UMass' second-ever tournament title in program history with the first coming at the 2007 Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla. Junior Branden Gracel was named the Tournament MVP as he scored four points in the wins over Bemidji State and the Big Green over the holiday weekend, while scoring the title game-winner on a power play just 15 seconds into the third period. In the opening stanza, the Minutemen solved a Dartmouth penalty kill that had previously shaken off 32 consecutive infractions as Melrose, Mass. native and junior Conor Sheary scored at the 3:04 mark - a man-up tally of his own. The special teams theme continued as senior Eddie Olczyk netted his first of the season on the shorthand 9:50 into the second period. The Green scored both of its goals in the first period - a man-down score from rookie Brett Patterson and top shelf snipe on sophomore Kevin Boyle (27 saves) off the stick of stellar Dartmouth senior Dustin Walsh. ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Month Cab Morris was solid between the pipes, despite his second loss in eight decisions, as he made 25 saves. The Minutemen return to action on Jan. 11 as they face Providence in the start of a home-and-home at Mullins Center.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UNH wins on Monday at Ledyard Classic

New Hampshire 3, Bemidji State 2 (OT)
After taking a bow to No. 8 Dartmouth on Sunday, the New Hampshire Wildcats bounced back in the consolation game of the 24th annual Ledyard National Bank Classic, but needed overtime to take down the Bemidji State Beavers by a 3-2 score at Thompson Arena. The game was the first all-time meeting between the teams. With the win, the Wildcats stop a two-game losing skid and improve to 12-3-2 on the campaign. A UNH face-off win was tipped to sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk and he fired the winning goal past BSU second-year netminder Andrew Walsh (33 saves) at the 2:08 mark - his sixth tally of the season. Van Riemsdyk finished with a goal and an assist in the contest, while classmates Jay Camper and Matt Willows each registered multi-point efforts as well. Sophomore Casey DeSmith continued his very strong season with 18 saves between the pipes, improving to 11-3-2, heading into a Saturday match with former ECAC foe RPI at Whittemore Center.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UVM, UMass, UML win Sunday games

Vermont 6, Princeton 3
For the third time in five years, the Catamounts captured their own trophy, scoring five of the last six goals in the contest en route to an easy victory over the visiting Tigers at Gutterson Fieldhouse. 11 different players recorded at least one point in the victory as UVM scored five unanswered tallies to close 2012 with a bang. Freshman Robert Polasello and senior Brett Bruneteau were named to the Catamount Cup All-Tournament Team, while fellow freshman Jacob Fallon posted another goal and an assist to earn Most Valuable Player honors. With another assist, sophomore Kyle Reynolds now has six points in his last four games to pace the Catamount offense. Mike Ambrosia and Andrew Calof each had multiple points in defeat for the Tigers, but rookie Brody Hoffman was too tall in net with 20 saves for his sixth win. UVM now leads the all-time series by a 38-14-2 count and has won four straight over the Tigers, dating back to before the teams split from the same conference in 2005. After capturing the Cup for the fourth time ever and competing for the title for the sixth time in the last eight years, UVM welcomes Merrimack back to Burlington for a league contest next Saturday on CBS Sports Network.

Massachusetts 4, Bemidji State 3
The Minutemen rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first period with three goals in the second period and never looked back, stealing a one-goal victory in the opening game of the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Ten members of the Mass Attack registered at least one point in the contest, including two assists from junior Branden Gracel and the first-collegiate (and game-winning) goal from classmate Zack LaRue at 9:01 of the final stanza. UMass sophomore Kevin Boyle stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced against the Beavers as he improved to .500 on the season at 6-6-2. In defeat, BSU senior Brance Orban led the attack with a goal and an assist. The Minutemen improved to 6-9-2 with the victory and will face Dartmouth in the tournament title game on Monday night, while the Beavers face No. 2 New Hampshire.

Dartmouth 4, New Hampshire 1
The No. 10 Big Green scored twice in the first period and cruised along to the title game of their own Ledyard National Bank Classic, defeating in-state rival and the No. 2 Wildcats at Thompson Arena. UNH used a goal from senior Austin Block for some momentum in the first minute of the second period, but first-collegiate strikes from Nick Bligh and Ryan Bullock were too much for the Wildcats to overcome as they faced Dartmouth for the first time in Hanover since 2000. Sophomore Casey DeSmith made 27 stops for UNH, including 13 in the first period, falling to 10-3-2.

Minnesota 8, Boston College 1
A night after capturing a historic victory for coach Jerry York, the Eagles were flat from the outset as the host Golden Gophers captured the Mariucci Classic title for the 13th time in 22 years with an astounding triumph to improve to 12-3-3 on the season. The hosts scored the first seven goals of the game, bouncing BC senior Parker Milner from the cage after making 25 saves in 44:13, and were led by a two-goal, two-assist effort from Nick Bjugstad. The game marked the first time the Eagles allowed eight goals in a game since falling at UMass-Lowell, 8-4, on Jan. 12, 2002. Senior Steven Whitney scored the lone Eagle goal at 13:40 of the final period, beating tremendous rookie Adam Wilcox (32 saves). The Eagles return to Kelley Rink to face

UMass-Lowell 3, Bentley 2
In a wild and wacky hockey game at Tsongas Center, the River Hawks jumped from behind in the final five minutes to topple the Atlantic Hockey foe Falcons for the fifth time in as many all-time meetings between the two programs. With the victory, the Red, White, and Blue jumped to the .500 mark (7-7-1) for the first time this season. After the nation's leading scorer Brett Gensler beat UML junior Doug Carr just 3:33 into the contest, the home team scored three of the next four in the game for their third victory in a row, including a pair from rookie Ryan McGrath. The Missouri native now has three goals and five points in his last three games, dating back to a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Dec. 8. After allowing the early goal, Carr settled in and posted 24 saves in his fourth victory. UML returns to action next Friday night as they open a two-game set at Clarkson - their first action against the Golden Knights since 2004.

Union 4, Merrimack 1
Freshman Brian Christie's goal at the midpoint of regulation was all the offense the Warriors could muster as the No. 14 Dutchmen successful achieved revenge from an early-season home loss in Sunday's Catamount Cup opener at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Daniel Ciampini netted the game-winning goal for Union with 6:30 remaining in the final period as he beat strong Warrior sophomore Rasmus Tirronen (26 saves) for the second of four unanswered scores to conclude the game. The Warriors, which return to action in Burlington next Saturday night for a match-up with host UVM, lost only their second game since 2009 when entering the third period with a lead as they were previously 48-1-3 in that scenario.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. Bentley final score: 'Hawks come back, 3-2

LOWELL -- The UMass-Lowell River Hawks came back from 2-1 down in the final five minutes of the third period to steal a 3-2 decision from the Bentley Falcons on Sunday afternoon at the Tsongas Center to bounce to the .500 mark for the first time this season at 7-7-1.

UML has now won three straight and five of its last seven games, dating back to a pair of shutouts over Beanpot foes Northeastern and Harvard before the break. On the flip side, the Falcons are 6-9-1 and sit in the midst of a five-game winless streak as they head into a Saturday night date at Northeastern's Matthews Arena next week.

Rookie Andrew Gladiuk put the Falcons on top at 4:25 of the final stanza as he beat UML junior Doug Carr high from the left side for his tenth goal of the season, which ranks second on the team.

The River Hawks had two quick answers within 11 seconds to steal the victory as sophomore Stephen Buco cut through the defense and beat Bentley's Branden Komm into a virtually open net, who was caught off guard on the play. At 15:49, McGrath flicked the wrister under the crossbar for his second of the game.

Carr bounced back from an early goal off the stick of Falcon junior Brett Gensler in the first period and delivered a fine performance with 24 saves, including nine in the first and third periods. He improved to 4-6-1 on the season, starting over freshman Connor Hellebuyck for the first time since Dec. 1.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. Bentley score update: 1-1 tie after two

LOWELL -- The UMass-Lowell River Hawks scored just 42 seconds into the second period to tie the score 1-1 with the Bentley Falcons at the Tsongas Center. UML again dominated the stanza territorially, holding a 15-6 shots advantage (26-18 overall) and a 2-1 ratio in total chances.

Freshman Ryan McGrath was the goal scorer on the power play as he slipped a wrist shot past Falcon junior Branden Komm. The goal was assisted by junior Chad Ruhwedel as he led the rush up the ice from the blue line en route to the O'Fallon, Mo. native's third goal of the season.

From that point on, the teams seemed to feel each other out without getting anything else on the scoreboard before the buzzer sounded. When tied after two periods, each side has been able to pull out one win on the season thus far.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. Bentley update: Falcons lead 1-0 after one

LOWELL -- The Bentley Falcons scored in the early stages of the first period to take a 1-0 lead on the host UMass-Lowell River Hawks on Sunday afternoon at the Tsongas Center. UML does hold a 12-8 shots advantage despite trailing.

The Falcons took an early lead at 3:33 of the stanza as junior Brett Gensler continued his torrid scoring pace on the season with his 11th goal of the season, banging a rebound past UML junior Doug Carr, off an initial shot from sophomore linemate Alex Grieve.

From the naked eye, UML looked to have tied the game with 6:33 to play in the period as Derek Arnold cut through the Bentley defense and fluttered a pretty wrist shot past junior Branden Komm. After a lengthy review, it was determined that freshman Ryan McGrath was impeding Komm's play of the puck, forcing the goal to be overturned.

In the final 90 seconds of the period, McGrath hauled down Falcon junior Justin Breton going in on a breakaway and was stoned by the pad of Carr on the ensuing penalty shot.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: York breaks record; Maine, NU explode

MINNEAPOLIS - Jerry York is king.

The top-ranked Boston College Eagles scored three times in the first period en route to their head coach's record-setting 925th coaching victory - a 5-2 triumph over Alabama-Huntsville in the first round of the Mariucci Classic early Saturday evening and the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

The 41-year veteran, who began his career at Bowling Green and Clarkson before moving on to his alma mater, tied Ron Mason's record with a 5-2 win over archrival Boston University on Dec. 1, but had to wait over a tie the following week at Providence in order to finish the job.

A trio of Eagles, including freshman Brendan Silk and sophomore Danny Linell, posted a goal and an assist in the contest to lead the offense, while senior Parker Milner stopped 26 shots in his 12th win of the season. Second-year skater and Hingham, Mass. native Cam Spiro was the third member of that bunch and his goal marked a career first, coming less than three minutes into the proceedings.

Senior assistant captain Steven Whitney also made a bit of history in the contest as his goal at 9:08 of the third period marked his 100th-career point in a BC uniform.

However, even with all the pomp and circumstances, things were not all good for the Eagles as they likely lost senior defenseman Patch Alber for the season after suffering a torn meniscus before the game while playing soccer during pre-game warmups.

BC returns to action on Sunday evening as it faces a much more formidable test in tournament host and No. 4-ranked Minnesota. The Eagles are now 4-3-0 all-time in the annual tournament in which they have competed in four times.

Maine 6, Cornell 4
The Black Bears fell behind 3-0 after one period in the Florida College Hockey Classic championship game at Germain Arena, but they never looked back as they became the first-ever team in 13 years to capture the title in back-to-back years with the victory over the fellow host Big Red. Senior Kyle Beattie and sophomore Connor Leen each had a goal and two assists in the contest, while rookie Matt Morris made 22 saves as he improved to a perfect 2-0-0 on the season. After scoring his first-collegiate goal in Friday's 1-0 win over Minnesota-Duluth, rookie Ryan Lomberg iced the victory with an empty-netter with 43 seconds remaining. Beattie was named the Shawn Walsh Most Valuable Player, while Morris and rookie Devin Shore (who scored a goal) were each named to the All-Tournament Team. Now riding a two-game winning streak, Maine returns north for a pair of contests next weekend against Mercyhurst, including a Friday date at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

Northeastern 5, Harvard 1
On the strength of four goals from junior Cody Ferriero and five points from rookie Kevin Roy (both career-highs), the Northeastern Huskies trounced the host Crimson for their first win in Bright Hockey Center since Jan. 12, 1978, but their fourth in the last five of the all-time series. After rookie Brian Hart scored just 4:25 in for the Crimson, the Huskies never looked back as Ferriero scored a natural hat trick of power play goals in the second period, before closing the scoring at 7:41 of the third period. Roy factored into the scoring on each goal, including four assists, becoming the first Husky to record a five-point game since Mike Morris and Jason Guerrero each did so in an 8-3 win over UMass on March 5, 2005. He was also the first skater since last Dec. 2 at Notre Dame (Ludwig Karlsson) to dish out four assists. Despite the mess of scoring, senior Chris Rawlings made the lead stand up as he improved to 6-5-0 with 34 saves in net, including double-digit markers in the second and third periods. The Huskies host Bentley next Saturday in their first Matthews Arena home game of 2013.

Vermont 2, Union 1
Freshman Robert Polasello and sophomore Kyle Reynolds each scored a goal in the first period as the host Vermont Catamounts posted an upset of the No. 13 Union Dutchmen at Gutterson Fieldhouse. With the win, UVM improves to 5-8-4 on the season and is now 2-0-1 in its last three games, including a 5-2 road win at fellow former ECAC foe St. Lawrence on Dec. 15. Freshman Brody Hoffman was outstanding between the pipes for the Green and Gold as he posted 24 saves in the contest, helping to sputter UC's winless streak to five games. The Catamounts are now 12-4-1 under head coach Kevin Sneddon, who served five seasons at the helm of the Union program, in the Catamount Cup. UVM will renew acquaintances with Bob Prier and Princeton on Sunday evening to close the tournament.

Merrimack 2, Princeton 2 (OT)
In the opening game of the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup at Gutterson Fieldhouse, the Merrimack Warriors came from two goals down to salvage their third tie of the season with an ECAC opponent. Sophomore Justin Mansfield and junior Shawn Bates scored goals in quick succession in the opening five minutes of the second period to account for all the offense Merrimack would need to hold up a strong 18-save performance from junior Sam Marotta. The Bridgewater, Mass. native allowed early goals in the first period to a pair of the Tigers' Ontario natives - junior Andrew Calof and senior Rob Kleebaum - but bounced back to stop all 12 shots he faced through the remainder of the contest. The Warriors open the second day of the tournament on Sunday when they face Union in a re-match of a season-opening victory.

Denver 6, Boston University 0
Despite entering the contest with an 0-5-3 mark in its last eight games before the break, the No. 14 Denver Pioneers trounced over the visiting and No. 6-ranked Terriers in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game at a sold-out Magness Arena. The loss was BU's first in shutout fashion since Chris Rawlings turned the feat in Matthews Arena 125 games ago on Nov. 6, 2009. Freshman Danny O'Regan led the Terrier attack with five shots on goal, despite a -2 rating in the contest. Each of UD's three centers - Nick Shore, Shawn Ostrow, and Quentin Shore - posted a goal and an assist, while Juho Olkinuora improved to 4-1-3 with 29 saves in the Pioneer goal. The Terriers return to Agganis Arena next Friday to host RPI.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC's Jerry York earns NCAA record 925th win

Boston College defeated Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 on Saturday night, and the win gave head coach Jerry York his 925th for his career. York is now the all-time winningest college hockey head coach.

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Harvard vs. NU final score: Huskies dominate, 5-1

The Northeastern Huskies fell behind in the first period, but that was the last time they would play from behind as they trumped the host Harvard Crimson, 5-1, on Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge, Mass. With the win, the Hounds improve to 6-9-1, while the 4-5-1 Crimson drop under the .500 mark for the first time this season.

NU also held a shots on goal edge for the first time since Nov. 18 at Vermont, 38-35, in the contest. The count for the final period also favored the Huskies, 14-12.

The win was NU's fourth in five games in the all-time series and marked its first in Cambridge since Jan. 12, 1978.

At 5:31, freshman Kevin Roy made a great move to the net, wheeling around the defense and beating junior Raphael Girard in tight space off an assist from sophomore Josh Manson.

Junior Cody Ferriero already posted a natural hat trick in the second period, but made it a four-goal game to set a new career-high in points, as he took the feed from Roy and beat Girard (24 saves) under the bar at 7:41.

In addition to Ferriero, Roy also had himself a night as he posted four assists as well as his goal. The Lac-Beauport, Quebec native is the first Husky to record a five-point game since Mike Morris and Jason Guerrero turned the trick in the same game - an 8-3 win over UMass on March 5, 2005.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Harvard vs. NU update: Ferriero scores 3x in 2nd

After falling behind by a goal early in the first period, the visiting Northeastern Huskies changed the flow at Bright Hockey Center in the second as they scored three times - all off the stick of junior Cody Ferriero - on their first three power plays to take a 3-1 lead over the host Harvard Crimson.

The performance was Ferriero's first multi-point game of the season and also secured second-career hat trick. He also turned the trick in an 8-3 win at Vermont last Jan. 27.

The Huskies have a 24-23 shots on goal advantage for the contest, despite trailing 15-13 in the period.

Just 1:22 in (and on a 5-on-3 advantage), he took a pass from senior captain Vinny Saponari, before firing a slick wrist shot over the blocker-side shoulder of Girard for just his second goal of the season and first since Nov. 16 at Providence.

After rookie Kevin Roy's shot on the crease was denied, Ferriero was there to clean up the mess for the rebound goal at 3:02.

His third of the stanza and contest came at the 10:21 mark as he was on the spot in the center slot, just getting a piece of the puck off the end of his stick to deflect Ludwig Karlsson's shot from the point.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Harvard leads NU; York's record win

The 61st annual Beanpot Tournament is still over a month away, but that did not stop the Northeastern Huskies and Harvard Crimson from squaring off for the 99th time and for the first time in over a decade at Bright Hockey Center.

Despite holding a 11-8 shots on goal disadvantage, Harvard led 1-0 after the first period of play.

The Crimson immediately cashed in on the first of Northeastern junior Cody Ferriero's two penalties as freshman Brian Hart took the feed from his defensive teammates Brendan Rempel and Desmond Bergin to beat senior Chris Rawlings low at the 4:25 mark.

RECORD-SETTING NIGHT IN MINNEAPOLIS

On Saturday afternoon at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, Boston College's Jerry York became the all-time winningest coach in Division I college hockey history as his Eagles earned a 5-2 victory over Alabama-Huntsville.

Sophomores Danny Linell and Cam Spiro and rookie Brendan Silk each had a goal and an assist to lead the offense, while senior Parker Milner made 26 saves for his 12th win in goal. The Maroon and Gold scored the first four goals of the game, including one from Spiro and Silk within the first three minutes of the first and second periods.

The 41-year veteran tied the record with a 5-2 win over archrival Boston University on Dec. 1, but the Eagles were unable to turn the trick the following Friday as they tied at Providence.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Maine shuts out UMD in Florida

Maine 1, Minnesota-Duluth 0
The Black Bears were able to score just once in Friday night's contest at Germain Arena, but junior Martin Ouellette made it stand up for good as Maine advanced to the finals of the Florida College Hockey Classic with a 1-0 victory over the Bulldogs in Estero. Freshman Ryan Lomberg dashed out of the penalty box off a spring feed from classmate Steven Swavely and beat UMD rookie Matt McNeely (21 saves) on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:26 of the second period for the game's only goal. Freshman Bill Norman looked to have iced the game with an empty-netter in the final minute, but the goal was waved off as it hit quickly bounced off both posts and out of the net. Stellar between the pipes, Ouellette made saves on each of the 31 shots he saw on the night, including 12 in the second period alone, to improve to 2-5-2 on the season and earn his second-career shutout, though it was his first since topping Providence as a freshman on Dec. 4, 2010. With the victory, the Black Bears improve to 3-11-2 on the season and will face fellow tournament host and No. 11 Cornell on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Maine and the Big Red have each ventured to Florida following the Christmas holiday for 13 straight years with the Black Bears having won four of the five head-to-head meetings. Maine will be making its eighth appearance in the title game and has earned the victory in four of those contests.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Back from the holidays this weekend

With Christmas complete, the Hockey East season is back in full swing! In addition to the usual slew of holiday tournaments that several teams travel to participate in, fans can also enjoy a pair of contests in the Boston area as well as two more big ones on television.

Most important on the schedule is the Jerry York record watch as his top-ranked Boston College Eagles head to Minneapolis for the prestigious 22nd annual Mariucci Classic at the University of Minnesota. He tied the record with his 924th win on Dec. 1 against Boston University, but the Eagles drew at Providence the following week to set up the historical scenario this weekend for dates with Alabama-Huntsville and Minnesota.

UAH (3-14-1) will be meeting BC for the first time ever as it looks to top a No. 1 opponent for the second straight this season. The Chargers have won three of the last eight, after an 0-9-1 start, including a weekend sweep at the hands of Northeastern at Matthews Arena in November.

On the other hand, No. 4 Minnesota has lost just once since Nov. 9 (6-1-3), including a road weekend sweep of Vermont, and is led by Finland native and junior whiz Eric Haula (14 assists, 22 points).

A pair of Hockey East teams take to the annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt. as well as the Ledyard National Bank Classic in Hanover, N.H. - both annual destinations for Vermont and Dartmouth's fellow local squads.

Originally known as the Auld Lang Syne, Dartmouth's tournament has been quite successful for Hockey East teams as the league has won six titles since its inception in 1978, including Northeastern and Boston College in two of the last three. This year, the Big Green welcome No. 2 New Hampshire, UMass, and Bemidji State to Thompson Arena.

UNH has lost just twice since the start of November as it enters the weekend with a stellar 11-2-2 record, nearly doubling their up-to-date win total from last season. For the first time since 2000, the Wildcats and Big Green will be moving their rivalry away from the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester and to a campus site. UMass, which is led by junior Branden Gracel and his 13 points, have skated just once against the Beavers in 2008.

UVM welcomes Hockey East foe Merrimack, along with old ECAC friends Princeton and Union, to Gutterson Fieldhouse for this weekend's annual clash. The Green and Gold have captured their own title twice in the last four years and four times in its 17-year history.

Led by junior Mike Collins, who runs away with the team lead with 19 points, the Warriors can ensure a winning December with a victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon. The Warriors will face the No. 14 Dutchmen for the second time this season, after beating them in Schenectady, N.Y. to open the season Oct. 6.

Reigning Hockey East Player of the Week junior Chris McCarthy and the 4-8-4 Cats have a tough test in the opening game as they take on Union before the opponents switch. UVM is coming off a 4-4 tie at Providence last Thursday, Dec. 20, which saw McCarthy tie the game late.

For the 13th year in a row, Maine brings its sandals and skates south to Estero to take on a field of Minnesota-Duluth, co-host Cornell, and Ferris State in the Florida College Classic, which begins in primetime Friday night.

With just a 2-11-2 record and no player having scored more than seven points on the entire season, the Black Bears - led by rookie Devin Shore, a Dallas Stars draft pick - have struggled mightily but will look to upset and capture their fifth tournament title.

No. 6 Boston University heads west to No. 11 Denver for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game on Saturday at Magness Arena in a return trip from last October's 4-3 Terrier win in Agganis Arena. Freshman Matt O'Connor makes the start as he looks to help BU extend its narrow two-game edge in the all-time series. The Terriers have won four of the last five games, including two against the nation's No. 1 team and via shutout from Sean Maguire.

It is not the Beanpot, but that will not stop rivals Northeastern and No. 20 Harvard from hooking up on Saturday night as the Huskies head across the riverside to take on the Crimson at Bright Hockey Center, searching for their fourth win in the last five meetings in a series that has never seen a tie. Thanks to Luke Grenier's third-period goal last Feb. 13, the Crimson captured third place in the 60th-annual tournament, but Jim Madigan's Huskies look to keep the strong recent history going.

In its first action since Dec. 10 in a 5-0 win at Harvard, UMass-Lowell welcomes Bentley to the Tsongas Center for a Sunday afternoon affair. Falcon junior Brett Gensler is the national leader in point production with 1.73 per-game, while River Hawk rookie keeper Connor Hellebuyck has pitched two shutouts in a row.

Friday, December 28
Florida College Classic - Estero, Fla.
Maine vs. Minnesota-Duluth (7:30 p.m.)

Saturday, December 29
Northeastern at Harvard (7 p.m.)
Boston University at Denver (9 p.m., Root Sports Colorado/NESN)
Gutterson Fieldhouse Catamount Cup - Burlington, Vermont
Merrimack vs. Princeton (4 p.m.)
Vermont vs. Union (7 p.m., WCAX)
Mariucci Classic - Minneapolis, Minn.
Boston College vs. Alabama-Huntsville (5 p.m.)
Florida College Classic - Estero, Fla.
Maine vs. Cornell/Ferris State (4 or 7:30 p.m.)

Sunday, December 30
Bentley at UMass-Lowell (4 p.m.)
Ledyard National Bank Classic - Hanover, N.H.
Bemidji State vs. Massachusetts (4 p.m.)
New Hampshire at Dartmouth (7 p.m.)
Mariucci Classic - Minneapolis, Minn.
Boston College at Minnesota (8 p.m., Fox Sports North/NESN)
Gutterson Fieldhouse Catamount Cup - Burlington, Vermont
Merrimack vs. Union (4 p.m.)
Vermont vs. Princeton (7 p.m., WCAX)

Monday, December 31
Ledyard National Bank Classic - Hanover, N.H.
New Hampshire vs. Bemidji State/Massachusetts (4 p.m.)
Massachusetts at Dartmouth/vs. New Hampshire (4 or 7 p.m.)

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UVM battles to 4-4 tie at PC

Providence 4, Vermont 4 (OT)
In the final regular-season meeting between the teams, the Providence Friars and Vermont Catamounts played a back-and-forth affair before ultimately settling for a 4-4 tie on Thursday night at Schneider Arena. The sides both posted a goal in each of the first two periods, before a combined four-goal stanza in the third to equal the final score. Both teams scored their inaugural goals of the game in the latter stages of the opening period, coming from UVM rookie Jonathan Turk and his counterpart Nick Saracino, who scored to tie Boston College in PC's previous game 13 days ago. After trading in the second, the Friars jumped ahead by two goals in the opening half of the third as sopohomore Stefan Demopoulos and rookie Steven McParland (shorthanded) beat UVM's Brody Hoffman (32 saves). However, just as the Catamounts looked to have been outdone, H.T. Lenz and Chris McCarthy found the back of the net to salvage the draw. With the tie, the teams evenly split their series with a 1-1-1 record and enter the break with a hard-earned point in the league standings. With PC stellar freshman Jon Gillies on the road with Team USA for the World Junior Championship, senior Russ Stein made 28 saves between the pipes as he earned the decision in his first-career start. Because of the teams splitting the points in the game, they close the first half with just two points separating each other in the league standings. The Friars entered the contest with two straight wins over UVM at home, but even with the tie, were able to extend their unbeaten streak to five games (2-0-3).

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Friars, Catamounts face-off Thursday

In the official conclusion to Hockey East's first half, the Vermont Catamounts and Providence Friars meet in a crucial league contest on Thursday night at Schenider Arena, which will also conclude the three-game conference season series between the teams. The game will be televised across southern New England in Cox Sports in Rhode Island with Mike Logan and Bob Bellemore on the call.

Each side captured a victory in a weekend series to open November at Burlington's Gutterson Fieldhouse, which included a 2-0 shutout for UVM in the finale. Rookie Brody Hoffman made 24 saves as he posted his first-collegiate shutout, while veterans Matt White and H.T. Lenz found the back of the net to pace the Cats to a win.

The key storyline in the game is the absence of stellar Friar freshman goaltender Jon Gillies, who was selected to the inital Team USA roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship, which begins next Wednesday in Ufa, Russia. Head coach Nate Leaman will announce either senior Russ Stein or rookie Dylan Wells to make their first start of the season.

PC enters the contest with a 7-6-2 (5-4-1 HE) record, but is 0-1-1 in its first two December games. A win by the Friars on Thursday night would secure the season series versus Vermont for a second straight year, marking a first in UVM's history in the conference. The Friars had a four-game winning streak in the all-time series (which stands 24-19-6 for UVM) in the most previous meeting.

In their last game, the Black and White came back from two goals down in the third period to tie top-ranked Boston College, 3-3, in front of a sold-out home crowd two Fridays ago. Freshman Nick Saracino knotted the game for good with 11 seconds left in regulation as PC pulled its goalie for the extra skater.

UVM (4-8-3, 3-5-3 HE) has posted a clean split of its first three games in the year's final month, including an impressive 5-2 victory over storied ECAC conference rival St. Lawrence on Saturday night at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y. Hoffman made a career-high 39 saves in the contest, while four Catamount skaters posted multi-point efforts, including a goal and two assists from sophomore Kyle Reynolds.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UVM win, future stars shown Saturday

Vermont 5, St. Lawrence 2
Freshman Brody Hoffman made a career-high 39 saves and the Catamounts scored three goals in the second period en route to their first victory in Canton, N.Y.'s Appleton Arena since 2006. Vermont, which killed off each of its six penalties (now 54 of the last 60), had a season-high five different scorers on its five goals. Senior Tobias Nilsson-Roos skated in his 100th-career game, becoming the second Catamount player to reach the century mark this season, but did not factor into the scoring. However, sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds did factor onto the sheet as he scored his first goal of the season at 3:52 of the second period, while also adding an assist on an empty-netter by junior Matt White that closed the offense in the final 90 seconds of the game. Hoffman made double-digit saves and played the duration for UVM, while SLU junior Matt Weninger (five saves) was replaced for the first time this season after allowing three goals in 27:43. Freshman Kyle MacDonald, a Hanover, Mass. native and Xaverian Brothers product, took over and made nine saves on the final ten shots he faced for the Saints in his first action. The series is UVM's second-longest running against any opponent, trailing only New Hampshire by 13 contests, and has been played since 1971. The win lifted UVM to a 4-8-3 record on the season as it returns to action on Thursday night at Providence's Schneider Arena with hopes of capturing an important season series.

Malden Catholic 5, Delbarton Prep (NJ) 1
This weekend marked the official opening to the high school hockey season around New England and the two-time defending MIAA Super 8 champions started off on the right note in an impressive victory over the visiting Green Wave at Harvard's Bright Hockey Center in the annual Frozen Catholic Challenge. Backboned by senior Connor Maloney's strong goaltending performance, the Lancers cruised ahead with goals early and often, ultimately coming within just 3:28 of a shutout. Junior Tyler Sifferlen (UMass-Lowell) and senior captain Mike Iovanna (UMass) hold up one of the most dynamic lines in the state, while sophomore defensive anchor Casey Fitzgerald (Boston College) rung the post in the second period, missing his first goal of the season. Sifferlen assisted on MC's second goal - by sophomore John McLean - with 11:45 left in the middle stanza, while Iovanna iced the victory with a long shot for a goal in the waning minute. The Lancers - and their future Hockey East trio - open the home schedule against Andover High School at Valley Forum II on Wednesday night.

Listen to post-game interviews with two future Hockey East faces: Malden Catholic captain Mike Iovanna and junior assistant captain Tyler Sifferlen.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UVM at SLU on Saturday night

In the lone game of the weekend for any Hockey East team, Vermont heads to Canton, N.Y. on Saturday evening to take on longtime rival St. Lawrence at Appleton Arena. In its final non-conference contest before the holiday break, UVM looks to avenge a loss in its last contest - a 3-1 loss to fellow former ECAC rival Dartmouth on Dec. 5. SLU represents the Catamounts' second-longest standing rival in hockey with Saturday's contest marking the 87th all-time meeting between the teams.

The only other school UVM has faced more often than SLU is New Hampshire - a series that has commenced exactly 100 times previously. The Saints have a 46-37-3 edge in the series, including a 28-15-1 mark at home.

In the nationally televised loss to Dartmouth, freshman defenseman Yvan Pattyn netted both goals for Vermont, scoring once in the first period and again in the third. Rookie goaltender Brody Hoffman was rarely tested in the contest as he made just 13 saves, falling to a tough-luck 3-8-3 on the season.

Senior Tobias Nilsson-Roos will become the second current Catamount to play in his 100th-career game when he next takes the ice. The Malmo, Sweden native enters the contest with 12 goals and 25 total points.

The Saints enter their match with UVM as losers of four of their last five games for the third straight season. Senior captain Kyle Flanagan, who is a Canton, N.Y. native and longtime friend of fellow townman and Boston University captain Wade Megan, ranks fourth in the nation with 25 points in just 16 games. He also leads the SLU offense with 16 assists. UVM is nearly assured to see senior Matt Weninger in net as he has appeared in every game this season, sporting a 2.61 goals-against average and .971 save percentage.

SLU will be playing its fifth and final Hockey East game of the season. It traveled to the first four, which included two victories at Maine and one at Northeastern.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UML, 'Mack post midweek wins

Merrimack 4, Army 2
Led by 22 saves from sophomore Rasmus Tirronen to improve to .500 in goal, the Warriors picked up their first home win since Nov. 3 over Northeastern, defeating the Black Knights from West Point at Lawler Arena for the second straight year. Army sophomore Rob Tadazak was very impressive between the pipes, despite his second defeat in as many years at Merrimack, as he hit double-digit saves in each period for a game total of 42. In front of a large contingent of fans, Needham, Mass. native Mac Lalor scored both goals for the visitors in the tenth minute of the third period to bring them back to a tie that would eventually be outdone with MC rookie Vinny Scotti's game-winner at 12:06. For Merrimack, freshman Justin Hussar scored a goal at 4:22 of the middle period and assisted on the clinching tally. Junior Mike Collins also posted his sixth point in seven games, icing the victory with an empty-net goal with 3.3 seconds to play. With the win, the Warriors improve to 12-0 against Army in North Andover and capture their 14th consecutive in the series. MC returns to action on Dec. 29 as it opens the Catamount Cup with Princeton in Burlington, Vt.

Yale 4, Massachusetts 2
For the first time in the modern era, the host and No. 15-ranked Bulldogs doubled up their border rival Minutemen on Tuesday night at Ingalls Rink in New Haven. Sophomore Steven Guzzo and senior Rocco Carzo scored for UMass, while sophomore Kevin Boyle made 22 saves in falling below .500 to 5-6-2 on the season. The Mass Attack has yet to beat an ECAC foe as its first four games have resulted in a tie and three consecutive losses, including two to Colgate this past weekend. Senior Jeff Malcolm made 27 stops for the Bulldogs as he improved to a solid 6-2-1, while junior Kenny Agostino led the attack with two assists in the contest. At 5-9-2, UMass returns to the ice on Dec. 30 against Bemidji State in the opening round of the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Dartmouth.

Monday: UMass-Lowell 5, Harvard 0
Freshman and reigning Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honoree Connor Hellebuyck pitched his second shutout in as many games as the River Hawks trumped the No. 18 Crimson on the road at Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge, Mass. Hellebuyck stopped 30 shots, while his defensive teammates accounted for three of the team's five goals in the contest. Entering the winter break, Hellebuyck rides a shutout streak of 122:45 and has not allowed a goal since the third period of a Nov. 30 loss at New Hampshire. Dmitry Sinitsyn's goal just 6:01 into the proceedings was all UML would need, but sophomore defenseman Jake Suter made it a commanding 3-0 game at 14:01 of the second, scoring his first-collegiate goal. Falling to 4-4-1 on the season, junior Raphael Girard made 27 saves in the goal for Harvard. The River Hawks enter the semester split with a 6-7-1 record and will return to action on Dec. 30 when they host Bentley at the Tsongas Center.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: U.S. Under-18 Team rallies to tie UNH

U.S. Under-18 Team 2, New Hampshire 2 (OT)
Sophomore Casey Thrush and junior Kevin Goumas each tallied a goal over the first two periods on Sunday afternoon at the Whittmore Center, but the visiting U.S. Under-18 Team completed a "three-point weekend" against Hockey East with two third-period goals in a 2-2 tie with the top-ranked New Hampshire Wildcats. Reading, Mass. native and junior Jeff Wyer made the start in the exhibition contest, stopping 28 of the 30 shots he faced, including 13 over the third period and overtime. With Wyer pitching a shutout through 40 minutes, the visitors scored two goals in less than 40 seconds in the middle stages of the final stanza off the sticks of CCHA commits Anthony Louis (Miami) and Tyler Motte (Michigan). After an impressive Saturday showing in a 3-1 win at Merrimack, uncommitted Californian Thatcher Demko made 35 saves as the Stars and Stripes extended their unbeaten streak to 12 straight games, with an overall record of 15-6-1-3. UNH enters the break in second in the league standings and returns to the ice at rival Dartmouth on Dec. 30 as part of the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Thompson Arena.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BU, Lowell win Sat. league home games

Boston University 1, Maine 0
Junior defenseman Garrett Noonan scored the lone goal of the game just 7:13 into the contest as the Terriers edged visiting Maine during their only visit of the season to Agganis Arena. Rookie Sean Maguire made 28 saves en route to his second shutout in as many games for the Scarlet and White, which returns to the ice following the semester break, on Dec. 29 at Denver. Maine had a great chance late as BU senior Ben Rosen was called for a five-minute major, but the Black Bears were unable to capitalize and get the game-tying goal in support of junior Martin Ouellette as he fell to 1-5-2 on the season. With the win, the Terriers enter the holidays as one of just three Hockey East teams to have reached the ten-win plateau in the first half of the season. The all-time series between the two storied rivals has seen 11 total shutouts, with seven coming from the BU net. The Black Bears fell to 2-11-2 with the loss and face Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 28 at the Florida College Classic in Estero.

UMass-Lowell 2, Northeastern 0

Colgate 5, Massachusetts 2
Adam Phillips scored for a third straight game for the Minutemen, but it was not enough as the Raiders completed a series sweep on Saturday in Amherst. The 6'6" junior from Michigan scored just 6:06 into the game as he registered his fifth point of the weekend, while classmate Branden Gracel tied a career-high with his seventh goal of the season at 12:41. Colgate senior Kurtis Bartliff scored twice against sophomore Kevin Boyle (18 saves) in the third period, pacing the visiting offense. UMass makes a quick Tuesday trip to Yale to close the pre-holiday schedule.

U.S. Under-18 Team 3, Merrimack 1
Despite a goal from rookie John Gustafsson, the Warriors fell in an afternoon exhibition contest to the USA Hockey National Team Development Program's Under-18 Team at Lawler Arena. Each of the Warrior goalies saw a period of action, with senior Nick Drew making his first-career start. New Hampshire recruit and Longmeadow, Mass. native Tyler Kelleher scored USA's first goal just 98 seconds into the game. Merrimack hosts Army on Tuesday.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. NU final score: 'Hawks win big one, 2-0

The UMass-Lowell River Hawks entered the third period of Saturday's Hockey East contest with Northeastern at the Tsongas Center with a -9 goal differential in the final stanza this season, but they were able to add another tally to the board en route to a 2-0 victory in the first meeting of the season between the teams.

NU held a slight 15-14 edge in third period shots, but was unable to capitalize on the scoreboard in support of senior Chris Rawlings, who made 27 saves in falling to an even 5-5-0 on the season.

With the victory, the River Hawks leap into a tie for the eighth position in the league standings and now sit at 3-6-1 with seven points. Freshman Connor Hellebuyck posted 25 saves as he earned his first-collegiate shutout as well as the first by a River Hawk since Doug Carr turned the trick at Merrimack last Feb. 10. UML's five-game unbeaten streak in the all-time series was extended, dating back to Feb. 4, 2011.

After NU senior captain Vinny Saponari's early shot was somehow stopped by Hellebuyck as he fell on his front side and was able to push the puck away, keeping the game scoreless.

At 6:57, freshman Ryan McGrath picked up his second goal of the season (after assisting on Colantone's in the second period), taking a pass from senior captain Riley Wetmore to beat NU senior netminder Chris Rawlings under the five-hole.




Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. NU score update: River Hawks lead after 40

Neither team showed a strong advantage over the first 40 minutes of Hockey East action at the Tsongas Center, but UMass-Lowell used a late goal on Northeastern to take a 1-0 lead. The River Hawks held their second consecutive shots advantage in the period at 9-5.

Rookie Michael Colantone scored his fourth goal of the season and third in the last four games at the 16:38 mark of the period, taking the assist from fellow rookie linemate Ryan McGrath for the low screened shot in front of NU senior keeper Chris Rawlings.

River Hawk freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was announced as the starter during the pre-game team introductions and has had a strong night, pitching a shutout thus far with ten saves.

UML has enjoyed much success when leading after two periods in each of the past two seasons, having compiled a remarkable 23-1-1 record since the start of last year.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UML vs. NU score update: Scoreless first period

In the first meeting of the season between the teams, the Northeastern Huskies and UMass-Lowell River Hawks skated to a scoreless tie in the first period at the Tsongas Center. Neither team managed much sustained offense throughout the period as UML's shots on goal advantage was just 6-5.

NU senior Chris Rawlings and Lowell rookie Connor Hellebuyck were equal to the task at both ends of the ice, saving each chance that came their way. The same two teams also finished the first stanza with no score in their first meeting of the 2011-12 season on Dec. 10, 2011 at Matthews Arena with Doug Carr manning the River Hawk net for the entirety of the contest.

The best scoring chances of the period came in its middle stages as NU sophomore Adam Reid was stopped on a breakaway and UML junior Chad Ruhwedel hit the right post.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: PC, MC rally from behind to earn ties

Boston College 3, Providence 3 (OT)
Despite a pair of goals by rookie defenseman Michael Matheson and 34 saves from senior Parker Milner, the No. 2 Boston College Eagles were unable to set a new historic milestone as they salvaged a point from the host Friars in a tie at Schneider Arena. Rookie Nick Saracino's first-collegiate goal tied the score with just 11 seconds remaining in regulation for PC to break the Eagles' two-goal advantage and snatch head coach Jerry York's record-setting 925th win away. Led by a career-high goal and an assist from Johnston, R.I. native and rookie Noel Acciari, Providence snapped a 12-game losing streak against the Eagles and earned a crucial point in the Hockey East standings to take fourth place. Although PC's losing streak in the series was snapped, the Eagles still hold an impressive unbeaten streak of 17 games (14-0-3), dating back to a pair of defeats in Feb. 2008. For BC, Matheson recorded a game-high six shots and finished a game-high +2 on the night. On the Friar end, Jon Gillies made his 15th start in as many games to begin his rookie season and the South Portland, Maine native made 26 saves to remain one game above .500 at 7-6-2. The Eagles return to action following a 22-day break to take on Alabama-Huntsville in the first round of the Mariucci Classic at the University of Minnesota, while the Friars look to carry the momentum into a layoff before facing Vermont on Dec. 20.

Merrimack 2, Harvard 2 (OT)
In the first-ever meeting between the teams in North Andover, Mass., the Warriors and No. 20 Crimson skated to a draw. Tommy O'Regan and rookie Desmond Bergin scored goals just 29 seconds apart in the fourth minute of the second period, but the Warriors were able to rally for a pair in the latter half of the stanza to salvage the split. Junior Mike Collins netted the equalizer past junior Raphael Girard (36 saves) at 13:58 to close the scoring. Harvard sophomore and Needham, Mass. native Tommy O'Regan, whose freshman brother Danny plays at Boston University, netted a goal and an assist to equal his fourth career multi-goal game. The Warriors were up one man for the entire five-minute overtime, but the Crimson penalty kill finished strong with its sixth kill in as many attempts during the contest. For the Warriors, junior Sam Marotta made 22 saves in the contest to keep his record below .500, 3-4-1. With the tie, Merrimack now is 2-0-1 in the all-time series against a Crimson squad that set the NCAA record for draws with 11 last season. The Crimson return to action with their second of three consecutive contests against Hockey East opponents on Monday as they host UMass-Lowell in Cambridge, while senior Nick Drew makes his first-collegiate start for the Warriors in a Saturday afternoon exhibition with the U.S. Under-18 Team.

Colgate 6, Massachusetts 4
Led by a career-high goal and three assists from junior Adam Phillips, the Minuteman attack was alive and well, but could not muster enough in a loss to the pesky Raiders at Mullins Center. One game after ending a 30-game scoreless streak, Phillips posted a goal in his second consecutive game, while fellow junior Joel Hanley posted his third multi-point game in the past four contests with a goal and an assist. Sophomore Kevin Boyle made 19 saves on the night for UMass, despite falling to 5-4-2 in the opener of the weekend series. The Raiders posted their third six-goal explosion of the season, led by rookie Kyle Baun's two goals and four points, becoming the fourth CU player of the season to turn the feat.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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PC vs. Harvard final: Crimson win big, 8-1

Senior Jillian Dempsey completed a hat trick (and then some) with two goals in the third period at Bright Hockey Center as her No. 4 Harvard Crimson dismantled the visiting Providence Friars by an 8-1 score on Friday night. Senior Laura Bellamy fell just 10.1 seconds short of a 16-save shutout as he allowed a goal on a long shot by senior Jessica Vella in the slot.

The Crimson, which head up to Durham, N.H. to face the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon, finished the contest with a 44-14 shots on goal advantage, including 12-2 in the third period.

With the victory, Harvard improves to 9-1-0 on the season and rides a six-game winning streak into Saturday afternoon's contest at New Hampshire. The Crimson also defeated Hockey East foe Northeastern, 3-1, at Matthews Arena on Nov. 27.

At 10:48, the Crimson upped their lead to 6-0 as senior Kelsey Romatoski scored her second of the contest and third of the season as she took a low wrist shot from the left point through heavy traffic in the slot. Sophomore Samantha Reber was camped out in front of PC junior keeper Nina Riley as the puck changed directions into the net.

Dempsey added her third and fourth goals of the contest at 11:10 and 16:01, finishing her first hat trick and third multi-goal game of the season, while also continuing her unprecedented point streak of 24 games.

Romatoski chipped in with two goals and added an assist, while junior Kailey Armstrong tallied assists on two of Dempsey's goals.


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PC-Harvard women: Crimson lead 5-0 after 2nd

The No. 4 Harvard Crimson exploded for four goals in the second period and took a commanding 5-0 lead on the visiting Providence Friars at Bright Hockey Center in Boston. After a 15-5 shots edge over the beginning stanza, Harvard more than doubled its output in the middle period with a 17-17 advantage.

After coming out of the penalty box from a tripping call a little earlier, senior Kaitlin Spurling scored her third goal of the season on the doorstep of PC junior Nina Riley's crease at the 7:19 mark of the stanza, giving the Crimson a 2-0 lead.

Senior Jillian Dempsey, a Winthrop, Mass. native and product of The Rivers School, scored twice in less than the next three minutes to double the offensive output of the Crimson in the contest. At 7:38, junior linemate Kailey Armstrong found the captain in the pretty wrist shot through the pads of Riley. Dempsey and Armstrong connected again at 9:59 as she buried another nifty wrist shot under the five-hole.

At 17:26, New York, N.Y. native Miye D'Oench potted the third goal of her rookie campaign, taking a pass from veteran Kelsey Romatoski for the backhand goal in front.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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PC-Harvard women: Late goal lifts Crimson in first

The No. 4 Harvard Crimson used a late goal from senior Kelsey Romatoski to take a 1-0 lead on the visiting Providence Friars after 20 minutes of play from the Bright Hockey Center in Boston. Despite more than 19 minutes of scoreless hockey, the hosts dominated most of the stanza and finished with a 15-5 advantage in shots on goal.

Romatoski's goal was her second of the season, coming on a power-play with just 40.3 seconds remaining in the stanza. After an assist from sophomore Samantha Reber, the Woodbury, Minn. native fired off a shot from the point that scooted through traffic and past PC junior Nina Riley.

The Crimson defense ranks second in the nation to unanimous top-ranked Minnesota and had a very strong stanza, just allowing the five shots.

Anchoring the unit is senior captain Laura Bellamy, who got the start in goal, for the sixth time this season, over freshman Emerance Maschmeyer in Harvard's third contest of the season against a Hockey East opponent.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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York goes for record; Harvard faces Hockey East

Boston College head coach Jerry York goes for history tonight as his No. 2 Eagles make a Friday trip south to Providence's Schneider Arena to face the Friars with hopes of their fifth victory in as many games against them. With a victory, York would surpass the legendary Ron Mason for first all-time with 925 wins as a Division I coach.

The Eagles dominated the series between the teams last season, outscoring the Friars, 18-3, including a victory in the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden. However, BC has yet to face stellar freshman Jon Gillies, who has started every game thus far for Providence. He and fellow Hockey East foe Brody Hoffman of Vermont are the lone rookie stoppers in all of college hockey to have started every game for his team so far this season.

The Harvard men's and women's squads have enjoyed solid starts near the head of the ECAC Hockey standings as both teams enter a weekend which features a slew of Hockey East opponents. The Crimson men are ranked 20th in the nation and trek to Merrimack on Friday for the first time ever.

MC is 1-0-1 against teams from the ECAC this year and look to ride the hot goaltending of sophomore Rasmus Tirronen, who has made a 1.56 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in his last five starts. The Warriors will also host the U.S. Under-18 Team on Saturday and Army on Tuesday before the holiday break concludes.

The Crimson, which are in action for the first time since Nov. 17, also take on UMass-Lowell on Monday night at Bright Hockey Center. Rookie Jimmy Vesey, a North Reading, Mass. native led the team with three goals and five points to earn ECAC Rookie of the Month honors for November.

On the women's side, the Crimson host Providence on Friday in Cambridge before the second half of their weekend (to be televised on Fox Sports Atlantic) at New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon. Each of Harvard's opponents hold a healthy advantage in the all-time series, but the 8-1-0 Crimson look to lengthen their unbeaten streak, which currently sits at five games.

After a crucial win on Thursday at New Hampshire, their second against a top-ranked team in seven days, No. 7 Boston University welcomes a reeling Maine squad to Agganis Arena on Saturday for a nationally televised contest. Junior Sahir Gill scored a goal and an assist, while senior Wade Megan and freshman Sam Kurker also scored last night in support of rookie Matt O'Connor's latest victory. Maine enters the weekend at 2-10-2 overall with junior Martin Ouellette playing solid goal with starts in seven games thus far.

Saturday's contest between Northeastern and UMass-Lowell at the Tsongas Center will be extremely crucial, pitting the eighth and ninth teams in the Hockey East league standings against one another for the first time this season. UML won the season series between the teams last season with two wins in a home-and-home series as current junior Derek Arnold scored the overtime winner last Jan. 21.

UMass faces ECAC foe Colgate in a pair of weekend contests at Mullins Center, looking for a winning streak after beating Northeastern last Saturday in Boston.Sophomore Kevin Boyle has made the start in four straight games for the Minutemen, having posted a league-best 1.67 goals-against average.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: On road, BU knocks off top-ranked UNH

Boston University 3, New Hampshire 2
The visiting Boston University Terriers knocked off their second No. 1-ranked opponent in seven days as they made a Thursday night trek to Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H., posting a massive 3-2 win over host UNH. The Terriers scored the first three goals of the contest, all within 25 minutes, before the Wildcats (which went just 1-for-9 on the power play) posted two in the latter half against stellar rookie stopper Matt O'Connor, who made 31 saves on the night and improved to 7-3-0. Junior Sahir Gill scored a goal and an assist, while senior Wade Megan and freshman Sam Kurker also scored the visiting Terriers as they salvaged final game of the Hockey East season series between the teams and handed UNH its first loss on home ice (and just its second overall) this year. Kurker's second tally of the season at 8:03 of the second period proved to the game-winner, as goals from senior John Henrion and junior Kevin Goumas were not enough. Sophomore Casey DeSmith, who was named Hockey East's November Goaltender of the Month on Tuesday, made 24 saves for UNH. With the victory, BU has a 12-10-5 record at the Whittemore Center since it opened in Durham in 1995. No other Hockey East team has a winning percentage on UNH's home ice. The Terriers return to Agganis Arena on Saturday night for a nationally televised contest with Maine on CBS Sports Network, while the U.S. Under-18 Team pays a visit to New Hampshire for an exhibition game on Sunday afternoon.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Dartmouth tops former ECAC rival UVM

Dartmouth 4, Vermont 2
Rookie Yvan Pattyn's pair of goals was not enough as the visiting Vermont Catamounts saw their four-game winning streak against the No. 10 Dartmouth Big Green snapped in a 4-2 decision on Wednesday night at Thompson Arena. The rookie from St. Anne, Manitoba was responsible for both UVM goals as it fell to Dartmouth for the first time in four games in what has been an annual meeting since 1977 between the two former ECAC rivals, travel partners, and Interstate 89 institutions. Each of the last 11 meetings in the all-time series, which now sits 47-23-5 for the Cats, have been decided by two goals or less. The visitors nearly doubled up the shot chart with a 32-17 advantage, however, the Green was able to improve to a perfect 6-0-0 on home ice in Hanover, N.H. this season. DC got on the board first as senior captain Mike Keenan, a Catholic Memorial product and South Weymouth, Mass. native, scored just 2:33 into the contest, but senior and Montreal Canadiens draft choice Dustin Walsh scored twice on his own in the next three goals to secure the victory and a second-career multi-goal game. Opposing UVM rookie Brody Hoffman (13 saves) in the Big Green net was fellow freshman Charles Grant, who made 30 saves, including 12 in the final period, for his third win in the first five decisions. UVM takes ten days off before getting to work in Canton, N.Y. one week from Saturday against St. Lawrence.

Thursday night in Hockey East, new No. 1-ranked New Hampshire hosts No. 7 Boston University at Whittemore Center at 7 p.m. The Wildcats already clinched the season series with a 3-1 win at Agganis Arena on Nov. 18 and will seek just their second-ever sweep of the always tightly contested set, first since 2007-08. After splitting with previously top-ranked Boston College last weekend, BU will be facing the nation's No. 1 in in three straight games for the first time since defeating Michigan State in a best-of-three series in East Lansing in the 1990 NCAA quarterfinals.

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Hockey East: Busy Tuesday news notebook

A Tuesday this full of news during the college hockey season is very rare, so it is time to clean out the notebook after a busy day from around the local scene.

BUSY DAY FOR "MATTY GRIZZ" AND "JOHNNY G" - AWARD WINNERS & TEAM USA SELECTIONS

Boston College sophomore forward Johnny Gaudreau and Boston University rookie defenseman Matt Grzelcyk were each honored by Hockey East with monthly awards, while also receiving a spot on the initial Team USA roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Gaudreau and Grzelcyk will be joined by Providence rookie goaltender Jon Gillies as Hockey East representatives on the roster, while Harvard freshman Jim Vesey (North Reading, Mass.) is also a member of the preliminary 27-man team.

Gaudreau scored seven goals and 14 points in the month of November to earn Player of the Month honors. The Carneys Point, N.J. native tallied at least one point in all seven games during the month, while posting four multi-point contests. In a 6-3 victory over Dartmouth on Nov. 24, Gaudreau scored a career-high five points, including a pair of goals.

Grzelcyk, a Charlestown, Mass. native, was named Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Month after totaling eight points in eight games. Just two of those points came from goals, but both of his tallies were obtained against archrival Boston College at Agganis Arena.

After setting a new UNH program record shutout streak, sophomore Casey DeSmith was the obvious Goaltender of the Month choice in the league this month. The Rochester, N.H. native went 5-1-1 in November, posting a very solid .951 save percentage in the process.

The 27 World Junior hopeful players will attend Team USA's training camp Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. before the roster is cut to 23 just before Christmas.

CISSÉ DEPARTS BU PROGRAM

The news was not all good for the Scarlet and White as redshirt sophomore Yasin Cissé left the program to "pursue other hockey endeavors in his native Canada," according to a press release from BU hockey sports information director Brian Kelley.

Sources have told College Hockey News that he will likely head to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he was a fifth-round draft pick of the Moncton Wildcats in 2008. The Westmount, Quebec native, who was a 2010 NHL draft selection of the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets), scored just two goals and five assists in 39 career games for the Terriers.

READY FOR MIDWEEK HOCKEY

In a nationally televised NBC Sports Network contest (with Steve Schlanger and Pierre McGuire in the booth), Vermont makes the trek to its twin-state rival and former ECAC travel partner Dartmouth on Wednesday night. After a three-point weekend in Maine, the Catamounts return the favor to the Big Green with hopes of continuing a four-game win streak in the series.

UVM rookie Brody Hoffman was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Black Bears. The Saskatchewan native stopped 67 shots on the weekend, including 36 in Saturday's 2-2 tie.

Top-ranked New Hampshire and No. 7 BU meet in a crucial league contest at Whittemore Center on Thursday, which is the second of three between the teams this season. The teams feature the pair that shared Hockey East's Player of the Week honors released on Monday - sophomores Grayson Downing and Evan Rodrigues.

Downing scored two goals in Friday's 5-2 win over UMass-Lowell, while adding two assists in the victory that completed the sweep the following night at Tsongas Center. Rodrigues scored twice in a weekend sweep of BC.

The 11-1-2 Wildcats earned the top spot in the USCHO.com & USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls for the first time since Jan. 29, 2007. UNH is also the lone team remaining in all of college hockey with less than two losses on the season.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Sox seek more "Frozen Fenway" games

According to a College Hockey News report published Sunday night, the Boston Red Sox are interested in hosting another "Frozen Fenway" event at the 100-year old ballpark in 2014. If plans were to be finalized, this would be the third such event that has been hosted on Yawkey Way since 2010.

"We are deep into the planning phase for the possibility of a return of Frozen Fenway in 2014," Red Sox Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer Sam Kennedy said in his interview with CHN. "We will need to secure proper city approvals and complete our negotiations with the many teams who are interested in competing before we will have any formal announcement."

Sources told CHN's Mike McMahon that the headline of Hockey East's main event would be a "Holy War" match between Boston College and Notre Dame, which joins the league as its 11th member in time for next season.

UMass-Lowell, Providence and Merrimack are the only three of the conference's teams that have not skated outdoors as part of the event, so two of those three schools seem to be a natural fit to make up the second half of the doubleheader.

Previous outdoor Hockey East games at Fenway were scheduled around the 2010 NHL Winter Classic (Northeastern/New Hampshire women and Boston College/Boston University men) and as part of a two-week ice extravaganza last winter (UMass/Vermont, New Hampshire/Maine, Boston College/Northeastern men).

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East on Saturday: BC's York ties record

Boston College 5, Boston University 2
Junior Bill Arnold scored two goals on the man-advantage and Jerry York tied Ron Mason's NCAA Division I coaching record with his 924th career victory as the Eagles bounced back for a weekend split of the Terriers at Kelley Rink. Following BU's 4-2 win on Friday, the teams split their weekend home-and-home series and BC clinched the Hockey East season series, thanks to a victory on the road on Nov. 11. As a team, the Eagles scored on four of their eight power plays, while junior Kevin Hayes' three assists and senior Parker Milner's 21 saves topped the club on the night. Additionally, freshmen Teddy Doherty and Brendan Silk tallied their first goals of their collegiate careers. Sophomores Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues scored goals for the Terriers and Matt O'Connor made 31 stops in the net. York needs just one more win to break the record that was said to be unbreakable and the entire college hockey world will be on Providence's Schneider Arena next Friday to see if that will be the site of the milestone. BU returns to the ice at Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. on Thursday, before hosting Maine in a special 8 p.m. start two nights later.

Read Gethin Coolbaugh's feature on the milestone.


Massachusetts 6, Northeastern 3
Huskies rookie Kevin Roy scored twice on home ice, but two from Minuteman senior co-captain Rocco Carzo helped propel the visitors to their first win in Matthews Arena since Jan. 10, 2010. With the victory, the Minutemen improved to just one game below .500 at 5-6-2 on the season overall as they picked up just their third win in the last six games. UMass sophomore Kevin Boyle picked up his fifth win of the season, making 32 saves, including 15 in the second period. In their highest scoring output and first road victory of the season, the Minutemen were also highlighted by freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth, who scored his first-collegiate goal (with 20 seconds left in the first period) and added two assists. The Huskies, now 5-8-1 on the season, look to get back on the winning track at UMass-Lowell next Saturday, while UMass welcomes Colgate to Mullins Center for a weekend series.


Merrimack 2, Providence 1
Sophomore Josh Myers scored the game-winning goal at 7:16 of the third period to lift the Warriors to a crucial road victory over the Friars at Schneider Arena, earning a split of the weekend series with both teams winning away from home. After resting in Friday's overtime loss in North Andover, sophomore Rasmus Tirronen made this start and posted a career-high 34 saves as he earned his second victory of the season. With the victory, which also saw Brian Christie score for the first time in his career, the Warriors improved to 3-0 when leading after 40 minutes of play. It also marked the first time Merrimack had earned a victory at the appropriately-nicknamed "Coffin" since Mar. 5, 2010 - a 5-0 shutout. Next Friday, the Blue and Gold welcome Harvard Crimson to Lawler Arena for the first time in program history, while Providence hosts Boston College.

New Hampshire 5, UMass-Lowell 2
Junior Dalton Speelman scored a pair of goals, thanks to assists from sophomore Grayson Downing, to pace the offense for the No. 2 Wildcats in another victory, this time over the River Hawks at Tsongas Center. The win improves UNH, which now rides an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) into a Thursday night match with Boston University, to 11-1-2 overall and 7-1-1 in Hockey East. The one loss is the fewest by a UNH team in program history through 14 games and the Wildcats are now the lone team in the nation with one loss or less on the season. Junior Shayne Thompson and freshman Michael Colantone were the lone River Hawks to beat sophomore Casey DeSmith (34 saves) of the Wildcats in the game.

Vermont 2, Maine 2 (OT)
Black Bear senior Joey Diamond scored the equalizing goal just 71 seconds into the first period as Maine was able to salvage a single point from the visiting Catamounts in the weekend series at Alfond Arena. Despite allowing the New York native's third goal of the season (and one to freshman Ben Hutton in the second period), UVM rookie Brody Hoffman was spectacular with 36 saves in net. Hoffman has made at least 30 saves in four consecutive games as his squad wrapped up a grueling stretch of seven games in 16 days. With senior alternate captain Tobias Nilsson-Roos netting his first goal of the season, Vermont has had 15 different goal scorers this season in 13 games.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. UMass final score: Minutemen win 6-3

After two pretty even periods, the visiting UMass Minutemen pulled away in the final stages of the contest, taking a 6-3 victory over the Northeastern Huskies on the road at historic Matthews Arena. With the victory, the Minutemen improved to just one game below .500 at 5-6-2 on the season overall as they picked up just their third win in the last six games.

The Minutemen took care of three of the period's four goals, while holding a 16-9 shots advantage in the final period and 46-35 for the game overall.

Questionable officiating doomed the Huskies (on a missed boarding penalty) at the 5:28 mark of the stanza as junior Adam Phillips' puck beat NU senior Chris Rawlings high over his shoulder for his first goal of the season. The Minutemen scored once again at 6:54 as fellow junior defender Joel Hanley collected a loose puck in the slot for a 5-2 edge.

After senior Robbie Vrolyk put the Huskies within two goals at the 14:24 mark, stuffing a low rebound under the pads of UMass' Kevin Boyle. The Mass Attack put the game away with its sixth goal as senior Michael Pereira iced one into an empty net to seal their first victory on Huntington Avenue since Jan. 10, 2010.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU-UMass update: Minutemen lead 3-2 after two

Northeastern's Kevin Roy and UMass' Rocco Carzo each scored their second goals of the game in the second period, but the visiting Minutemen have a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play at Matthews Arena in Boston. Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Huskies held a 16-11 shots advantage in the stanza to pull within 30-26 for the game.

The Huskies were first to turn the trick as Roy buried the puck again at 11:35, taking the cross-ice pass from classmate Michael McMurtry for the easy goal. UMass' Kevin Boyle was committed to the initial shot, making way for the Quebec native to tap it into a virtually-open cage.

With that second goal, Roy completes his fifth multi-point game of his rookie campaign on Huntington Avenue.

Before one could blink an eye, co-captain Rocco Carzo of the Minutemen countered with his seventh of the season, forcing a turnover and beating NU senior Chris Rawlings on a weak five-hole score at the 13:58 mark. Redshirt sophomore Steven Guzzo assisted on the goal, connecting with Carzo, an Ontario native, for the second time in the game.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU-UMass update: Minutemen score two late in 1st

While Commonwealth Avenue rivals Boston College and Boston University met for the second half of their weekend series, another pair of rivals - although in a series that is a little less legendary - UMass scored two late goals in the first period to take a 2-1 lead over host Northeastern at historic Matthews Arena.

The Huskies wasted no time getting on the board as rookie Kevin Roy lit the lamp (and commenced the "Teddy Bear Toss," a hockey tradition for teams to support local charitable organizations) with his team-leading sixth goal of the season - and third in the last four games - just 6:06 into the contest.

He took a textbook cross-ice pass from junior linemate Braden Pimm and beat UMass sophomore netminder Kevin Boyle with an over-shoulder snipe from the face-off circle.

In the later half of the stanza, at 15:07, the visitors squared the score at 1-1 when co-captain Rocco Carzo scored his sixth of the season as he took a pass from his centerman Steven Guzzo after winning the face-off back.

It seemed only fitting that the Minutemen would take the lead into the intermission as they dominated the shot chart with a 19-10 advantage. Freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth scored his first-collegiate goal with just 20 seconds remaining on a rebound goal on the weak side of NU senior goalie Chris Rawlings.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East roundup: BU downs rival BC, and more

Boston University 4, Boston College 2
For the first time since Jan. 17, 2009, the host and No. 9 Terriers downed their Commonwealth Avenue foe at Agganis Arena as they doubled up the Eagles and broke their ten-game winning streak. Rookie Matt O'Connor made an impressive 35 saves in the BU goal, including 18 in the first period alone in his sixth win of the season. BU wasted no time comforting its lead in the third period as Charlestown, Mass. native Matt Grzelcyk scored his second-career goal (both against BC senior Parker Milner, who made 30 saves in his squad's second loss), lifting the Terriers to their first win over a top-ranked squad since a 4-3 win at Kelley Rink on Jan. 27, 2006. BU never trailed in the game as junior Garrett Noonan scored 9:04 into the second period, while senior captain Wade Megan scored a goal and an assist in the contest. BC sophomore Johnny Gaudreau also posted a goal (his tenth of the season) and a helper on senior Pat Mullane's late second-period tally. The Eagles hope head coach Jerry York will be able to tie Ron Mason for the NCAA Division I wins record (924) on Saturday night in Chestnut Hill.


New Hampshire 5, UMass-Lowell 2
Sophomore Grayson Downing scored twice as the No. 2 Wildcats, thanks to 34 saves from sophomore Casey DeSmith, downed the River Hawks at Whittemore Center to take the season series. With the victory, UNH improves to 10-1-2 on the season and rides a seven-game unbeaten streak into Saturday's game at Tsongas Center. Unlike the season's first meeting, UML was able to crack the scoreboard against DeSmith as junior Shayne Thompson and rookie Michael Colantone scored in the final 21 minutes of the contest. Junior Doug Carr made 21 saves for the visitors, but was replaced by rookie Connor Hellebuyck in the third period. After winning last year's season series against the Wildcats with a series sweep on Dec. 2-3, 2011, Lowell looks to avoid a sweep.

Northeastern 1, Massachusetts 0
The Huskies were able to capture an elusive first road victory of the season as sophomore Adam Reid scored the game-winner on the shorthand at the 17:13 of the second period at Mullins Center. Of Reid's seven career goals - this one assisted by rookie Dustin Darou, three have ultimately decided the game. Reid's goal was also the first by an NU skater in the second period of any Hockey East league game this season. Senior Chris Rawlings' 31-save effort was enough for his third-career shutout of the Minutemen and NU's first road win since toppling Vermont last Jan. 28. NU and UMass, which was led by three players with four shots on goal in the series opener, close out the weekend on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

Vermont 2, Maine 1
Freshmen Yvan Pattyn and Robert Polesello each scored their first-career goals for the Catamounts as they escaped Alfond Arena with their first victory over the host Black Bears in four games. With Pattyn and Polesello each lighting the lamp, UVM has now collected goals from 14 different scorers this season in support of fellow first-year Cat Brody Hoffman, who made 31 saves in his third win of the year and the team's second in five games. Maine senior captain Joey Diamond has seemed to struggle, but lit the lamp for just the second time this season at 16:53 of the first period to open the scoring. After pulling junior Martin Ouellette (31 saves) for an extra skater, sophomore Jake Rutt's game-tying goal in the final eight seconds was disallowed due to a crease violation.

Providence 3, Merrimack 2 (OT)
Senior Tim Schaller scored in the final minute of overtime at Lawler Arena to propel the visiting Friars to their first win on the road in extra time since Jan. 13, 2007. Jon Gillies made his 13th consecutive start in the Friar net and turned aside 25 shots in his seventh win of his rookie season, while sophomore Drew Brown scored PC's first goal in addition to adding an assist on the opener by Johnston, R.I. native Noel Acciari. Schaller became the seventh different Friar to score a game-winning goal this season as he led the squad to its first overtime win since Dec. 2, 2011 (also a road upset of the Warriors). Captain Jordan Heywood led the Warriors with six shots on goal, while Rhett Bly and Connor Toomey scored their goals. The Friars can take their second series sweep in as many years on Saturday as the rematch heads to Schneider Arena.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU final score update: Terriers win 4-2

The host Boston University Terriers were not content with just scoring for the 122nd game in a row (a new NCAA Division I record) as they beat the archrival and top-ranked Boston College Eagles at Agganis Arena for the first time since Jan. 17, 2009 with a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

BC held an 11-8 shots edge in the period, but was at a 37-34 disadvantage for the contest overall.

With the victory, the Terriers were able to snap the Eagles' ten-game winning streak that dates back to an Opening Night loss on Oct. 13 at Northeastern. BC head coach Jerry York was also unable to tie the legendary Ron Mason for first all-time in NCAA Division I with his 924th victory.

BU's outstanding rookie blue liner Matt Grzelcyk put the Terriers ahead by a comfortable margin just 1:46 into the third period as he posted his second goal of the season, both of which have come on the road at the hands of Parker Milner and the Eagles.

The Charlestown, Mass. native and Boston Bruins prospect led a rush down the left wing with senior captain Wade Megan and beat Milner on the crease as he leaned against his right post.

Alexx Privitera was called for a double minor with less than two minutes remaining in the period, but the Terriers were able to tally the empty-netter on the shorthand as Megan took a pass from sophomore Cason Hohmann for the winner.

BC sophomore Johnny Gaudreau beat O'Connor on a rebound with 24 seconds remaining, but it was not enough.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU score update: Terriers, 2-1, after two

After a scoreless first period, the host and No. 9-ranked Boston University Terriers came out flying in the second and finished the stanza with a 2-1 lead on the visiting and No. 1 Boston College Eagles on Friday at Agganis Arena as the goals came in a big bunch in the waning minutes.

The Terriers took 12 of the 20 shots on goal during the stanza to tie the count at 26-26.

With a goal from Norfolk, Mass. native and Terrier junior defenseman Garrett Noonan, the Terriers scored a goal for the 122nd straight game to set a new NCAA Division I record. Northeastern senior Chris Rawlings was the last goaltender to shut down the Terrier offense, doing so by a 1-0 score at Matthews Arena on Nov. 6, 2009.

BU took the lead on the visitors for the first time this season at the 9:04 mark of the middle stanza as Noonan was on the spot to the right of Parker Milner's goal for the rebound.

The Terriers doubled the lead at 16:04 as sophomore Evan Rodrigues took a nifty drop pass from rookie Danny O'Regan, a Needham, Mass. native, for the snipe over Milner's shoulder.

However, BC would not make things so easy for the hosts as they were sure to spoil Matt O'Connor's shutout bid at some point. Senior captain Pat Mullane banged in his seventh of the season with an emphatic "slam dunk" on the crease.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU score update: 0-0 after one at Agganis

When top-ranked Boston College and No. 9-ranked Boston University match in an athletic event, the sides certainly do not share game plans. Neither team seemed to have a problem figuring out the opposite side in the first period of Friday's 260th all-time meeting at Agganis Arena as they played to a very entertaining scoreless stanza.

Goaltending was the unquestionable story as BC senior Parker Milner and BU rookie Matt O'Connor matched each other save-for-save. The Eagles held a 18-14 shots advantage in the period.

After the sides felt themselves out for the first five minutes or so, the final 15 of the stanza were pretty impressive at each end as the pucks flew towards goal. Neither side was able to find the back of the net, thanks to some stifling defense that saw six blocked shots for each team.

The best chance of the contest came off the stick of BU sophomore Alexx Privitera as he whistled a shot from the slot off Milner's right post in the final minute.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BC/BU, full slate highlight weekend

When the calendar gets ready to hit December, it is safe to say that the college hockey season is revving into high gear and every game begins to mean that much more. The contenders and pretenders (and the playoff picture, if you can believe it) will be even clearer as this weekend draws to a close.

This weekend's Hockey East slate is highlighted by the second and final regular-season installments of "The Battle of Commonwealth Avenue" between top-ranked Boston College and No. 9 Boston University on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Mike "Doc" Emrick and Pierre McGuire will call the national broadcast for NBC Sports Network on both nights.

The two Green Line rivals met just 19 days ago at Agganis Arena, where Friday's game will take place, with BC earning a 4-2 win. The Eagles have enjoyed success in the league's other Comm. Ave. establishment, having won or tied ten of the 12 meetings between the teams in the arena's history.

Friday's contest marks the 260th in the all-time series and could see another chapter added to the series' history as BC head coach Jerry York would tie Ron Mason's NCAA Division I all-time record (924) with another road victory.

Thanks to his 21-save shutout of St. Lawrence on Saturday, Sean Maguire was named Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week, becoming the third Terrier to earn the honor this year. Senior Wade Megan (five goals, one assist) and junior Matt Nieto (three goals, three assists), who both rank in the top five on the team in scoring, each have six career points against BC.

The Terriers have won four of their last six games with the two losses coming against the nation's top two teams currently - the Eagles and New Hampshire on consecutive Sundays, Nov. 11 and 18.

Suffering its first scare in some time at the hands of No. 11 Dartmouth, the top-ranked Eagles rallied for a dominant third period in a 6-3 home win on Saturday. Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau posted a career-high five points in the contest, becoming BC's first five-point scorer in a single game since 2007.

The top line of Gaudreau and seniors Steven Whitney and Pat Mullane accounted for the only three goals of the third period, as well as 12 points in the game, to lead the offense in their tenth victory in as many games.

Riding a six-game unbeaten streak and a win last Saturday at then-No. 2 Denver, New Hampshire faces UMass-Lowell in a home-and-home set, beginning Friday at Whittemore Center. Sophomore Casey DeSmith's 23 saves lifted the 'Cats to a 3-0 win in the first meeting of the season series on Nov. 16.

UNH's 6-4 victory over the Pioneers saw junior Kevin Goumas, the reigning Hockey East Player of the Week, and sophomore Grayson Downing each record hat tricks.

UML has won three of its last five games, including a combined score of 11-3 in its last two wins at UMass and against Princeton. River Hawk sophomore Scott Wilson has come into a zone of late with six points over the previous pair of contests.

Cellar-dwelling Maine continues and concludes its three-game homestand with a pair of key league bouts with Vermont at Alfond Arena this weekend. Friday's 8 p.m. game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network with Eric Frede and veteran National Hockey League scout Dave Starman on the call. There is a lot on the line for a pair of sides that have struggled quite a bit this season, having scored at an average clip well below two goals per-game.

The Black Bears own a 7-1-1 record in the last nine head-to-head bouts with the Catamounts, including four wins in a row, but the teams have split the last six meetings in Orono.

Maine will see its first action since a 2-2 tie with UMass on Nov. 16. Senior captain Joey Diamond enters the weekend with goals in four straight games against the Catamounts, while rookie Devin Shore's five assists and six points top the team.

UVM battled hard in a pair of close losses to No. 3 Minnesota last weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse as sophomore Jacob Fallon and senior Brett Bruneteau scored goals. In addition, the Catamounts have killed off 36 of their last 40 power plays and were 8-of-9 against the Gophers' sixth-ranked attack last weekend.

Providence and Merrimack are separated by just a single point in the league standings as the sides set for battle in a weekend set. The Friars are riding high after rookie Jon Gillies paced the squad with 35 saves in a 7-0 shutout of Brown on Saturday, while the Warriors look to break a four-game winless streak as they oppose a squad that took the season series with two victories last season.

MC hosts the series opener and its final Hockey East league game of the calendar year on Friday night. Junior Mike Collins still leads the conference with 12 points on four goals and eight assists in league play this year.

With a Husky career-best point streak of seven consecutive games intact, senior Vinny Saponari and Northeastern face UMass in a vital series that begins at Mullins Center on Friday. Including a 5-2 loss to St. Lawrence on Black Friday, NU has lost its last three games and will seek its first league win since beating Boston College on Oct. 13.

The Minutemen were 1-0-1 last week, beating UVM last Tuesday before drawing with Quinnipiac this past weekend. Junior Conor Sheary scored the second shorthanded goal of the campaign for the Mass Attack in the 2-2 tie as his team looks to get ahead of NU, after a 1-1-1 season set last year.

Friday, November 30
Northeastern at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. (CBS3)
Providence at Merrimack, 7:30 p.m.
Boston College at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
UMass-Lowell at New Hampshire, 7:30 p.m. (WBIN)
Vermont at Maine, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)

Saturday, December 1
Vermont at Maine, 7 p.m. (The CW Bangor)
New Hampshire at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Merrimack at Providence, 7 p.m.
Massachusetts at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Boston University at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

Wednesday, December 5
Vermont at Dartmouth, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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College Hockey ranking: Boston College still No. 1

Boston College was once again the No. 1 team in the latest USCHO.com men's college hockey poll.

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Hockey East: Big night vs. ECAC, for UNH out west

Boston University 4, St. Lawrence 0
Four different Terriers scored goals and rookie Sean Maguire made 21 saves for his second win of the season as No. 10 BU snapped the Saints' eight-game unbeaten streak against Hockey East opponents with the shutout at Agganis Arena. After SLU opened its weekend against former ECAC rivals, it was held to just 21 shots in comparison to a season-high 47 for the Terriers. Rookie Sam Kurker, a St. John's Prep product and Reading, Mass. native, extended the lead for the home team with 1:06 left in the second period to break the backs of the visitors as they dropped to 5-4-2 on the season and fall for just the second time this year in non-conference action. On the other end, SLU senior Matt Weninger was outstanding as he made an astounding 43 saves, including 21 in the second period alone. BU senior captain Wade Megan opened the scoring at 11:15, while the Terriers held Saints senior Kyle Flanagan (a high school teammate of Megan's and a Canton, N.Y. native) and junior Greg Carey scoreless for the first time since a loss at Yale on Nov. 10. The Terriers return to the ice next Friday night when they host archrival Boston College for the second and final time this season.




Boston College 6, Dartmouth 3
Led by a 12-point third period from the line of sophomore Johnny Gaudreau and seniors Pat Mullane and Steven Whitney, the Eagles posted their tenth victory in as many contests by doubling up the No. 11 Big Green in a matinee contest at Kelley Rink. With the victory, BC improved to 10-1-0 for the first time since 1978-79 when Len Ceglarski led the bench. Senior goaltender Parker Milner made 29 saves to capture the victory - the 52nd of his career and the 29th in the last 30 for the Eagles. Gaudreau led the charge with two goals against Dartmouth rookie Charles Grant, who made 25 saves in his first loss of the season, and three assists. The five points for Gaudreau marks a career high, surpassing his previous career high of four points in his second-ever game with the Eagles at North Dakota on Oct. 8, 2011. Mullane also posted a new career-high with two goals and four total points, smashing the previous mark he set at UMass on Oct. 19. For the Big Green, junior Matt Lindbland led the charge with two assists.

New Hampshire 6, Denver 4
Junior forward Kevin Goumas had three goals and two assists and sophomore forward Grayson Downing also had a hat trick as the Wildcats rallied to become the second New England foe to win in Magness Arena in consecutive nights. With the win, the third-ranked Wildcats certainly completed a Rocky Mountain high after earning a 4-4 tie at Colorado College on Friday. The host and second-ranked Pioneers held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play, but Downing and Goumas scored all of UNH's goals in the final stanza to propel it to a sixth consecutive victory. Downing scored his fifth of the year just 79 seconds into the final periods, before Goumas, a Long Beach, N.Y. native, posted all three of his goals in the final stanza to turn the trick himself. The win was UNH's first over the Pioneers since 2001 and just the fourth in 13 all-time meetings between the teams. Wildcat sophomore Casey DeSmith made five saves in the first period, before junior Jeff Wyer concluded the final 50 minutes of the contest with 18 saves and a victory. The Wildcats return to the home confines of Whittemore Center for a contest next Friday against UMass-Lowell.

Providence 7, Brown 0
The Providence Friars drove across town to Brown's Meehan Auditorium and drove out the host Bears, stealing away the Mayor's Cup outright for the 15th-ever time with one of the series' most convincing victories. Junior Kevin Hart led the offensive attack from the blue line with a goal and three assists in the contest, while freshman Jon Gillies made his 12th straight start and turned in a career-high 35 saves for his second shutout of the season. The performance by the South Portland, Maine native included the most saves by a PC goaltender since Alex Beaudry's 42-stop effort on Feb. 12, 2011 at UMass. Seven different Friars scored goals in the game, including the first-collegiate goal by Tom Parisi with just about four minutes remaining in the second period. Brown's Marco DeFilippo, a native of Italy, was handed the loss but made 32 saves as the Bears fell to 2-4-2, heading into a date with Holy Cross tomorrow. The Friars return to Hockey East league play at Merrimack's Lawler Arena on Friday.

UMass-Lowell 3, Princeton 1
The River Hawks used a sudden eruption of offense in the late stages of the second period, scoring all they would need to top the Tigers in their first visit to UML's Tsongas Center since 2009. After Princeton clanked the crossbar and the post, UML begun its stretch of three transition goals off the stick of sophomore Terrence Wallin at 18:05, followed quickly by rookie Michael Colantone and junior Joseph Pendenza. All three goals were surrendered by Tiger senior Mike Condon, a Needham, Mass. native, who made 33 saves, including 12 in each of the final two stanzas. UML rookie Connor Hellebuyck evened his record to 1-1-0 with a 22-save performance, allowing just a score to sophomore Aaron Kesselman. The River Hawks are back in Hockey East action on Friday as it heads north to New Hampshire.

Minnesota 3, Vermont 1
It was a weekend of firsts for Gopher forward A.J. Michaelson as he posted his first-collegiate assist in the series opener and followed that up by shooting in the game-winner on Saturday, at 3:59 of the second, to lift the No. 4 team in college hockey to a weekend sweep of the hungry Catamounts at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Jacob Fallon was the lone UVM skater to provide offensive support to rookie Brody Hoffman's 30-save effort as he scored at 4:15 of the final period, beating UM's Adam Wilcox. Senior defenseman Anders Franzon skated in his 100th career game on Saturday, registering three shots on goal, but the Cats were unable to muster enough to spoil the conclusion to Minnesota's first-ever trip to Burlington. UVM travels to Maine next Friday to meet the Black Bears for the first time this season.

Quinnipiac 2, Massachusetts 2 (OT)
The Minutemen scored a pair of goals on special teams opportunities, including a shorthanded strike from Conor Sheary late in the second period of a Mullins Center draw against the Bobcats. Also for the host Minutemen, junior Joel Hanley assisted on both goals. Mike Dalhuisen's unassisted goal against UMass sophomore Kevin Boyle (24 saves) equaled the final score at 7:34 of the third. Eric Hartzell turned in another strong performance against a Hockey East foe after shutting down Providence on Tuesday, turning aside 27 shots. The Minutemen return to league play for a crucial home-and-home with Northeastern next weekend.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BU vs. SLU score update: Terriers 2-0 after two

In a period that was dominated by SLU senior netminder Matt Weninger and his defense, the No. 10 Boston University Terriers doubled their lead in the final 90 seconds of the middle stanza to take a 2-0 lead over the visiting Saints at Agganis Arena.

The Terriers held a 39-15 shots advantage following the second period, including an astounding 22-7 edge in the stanza alone. However, the Terriers have been unable to cash in on any of their three power-play chances in the contest and are scoreless in each of their last 14.

Weninger, who also made 21 saves to beat Northeastern at Matthews Arena on Friday, faced 32 total chances in the period, while five shots were blocked on their way in.

As for the goal, Reading native and St. John's Prep alumnus Sam Kurker scored his first tally as a Terrier with 1:06 to play in the stanza as he cashed in on the back end of a 2-on-1 with junior Sahir Gill, beating Weninger low on the five-hole.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BU vs. SLU score update: BU leads 1-0 after one

The St. Lawrence Saints continued their weekend of facing former ECAC rivals in Boston on Saturday night, heading across town to Agganis Arena to take on No. 10 Boston University for the first time since 2008.

BU scored the lone goal of the first period to take a 1-0 lead on a 17-8 advantage in shots on goal. In his first start of his collegiate career, freshman Sean Maguire turned aside each of the eight fairly-routine chances he saw.

Just as Northeastern did on Friday night at Matthews Arena, the Terriers jumped ahead with an early goal on SLU senior Matt Weninger at 11:15 of the first. Terrier senior captain Wade Megan, who hails from the home of the Saints in Canton, N.Y., made his hometown team pay with his seventh goal of the season.

After taking a pass from rookie defenseman Ahti Oksanen, Megan fired a ripper from the high slot that clanked off the post and got just enough inside to take the lead.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East roundup: UNH, 'Mack tie; UVM, NU fall

St. Lawrence 5, Northeastern 2
After an even first period at Matthews Arena, things went way downhill for the Northeastern Huskies as they dropped their first non-conference match of the season to the visiting Saints in the first meeting between the teams in ten seasons. With the win, the Saints move within one win of a tie in the series between the teams and was their first over the Huskies since Dec. 30, 2000. Each of SLU's goals came from different scorers as it remained unbeaten in its last eight contests against Hockey East opponents, including 3-0-0 so far this season, heading into Saturday's game at Boston University's Agganis Arena. Westwood, Mass. native Gunnar Hughes was one of three Saints with a goal and an assist, while Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey turned the same feat and finished the night in a tie atop the national scoring lead with 21 points apiece. Despite a heavy fall, the Huskies opened and closed scoring in the contest, thanks to junior Ludwig Karlsson and Dax Lauwers' first as a Husky. In his fourth start of the season for NU, senior Bryan Mountain played well, but surrendered five goals on 39 shots. Senior captain Vinny Saponari extended his point streak to a career-high seven games, assisting on Karlsson's goal. Northeastern was held to just 23 shots on goal by SLU senior Matt Weninger, who improved to 6-3-2.



Minnesota 5, Vermont 1
Eleven different Minnesota Golden Gophers notched points and five different players scored goals as they defeated the host Vermont Catamounts in the first of two games in their first-ever visit to Gutterson Fieldhouse. After allowing the first goal of the game to Seth Ambroz, senior Brett Bruneteau had the answer with UVM's lone goal of the contest at 15:26 of the opening period. With an 8-2-2 mark, the No. 4 Gophers pushed their unbeaten streak to five games and out-shot the opponent for the 11th time in 12 games this season, by a 35-23 count. Rookie Brody Hoffman stopped 30 shots for the host Catamounts, including 14 in the second period. In the team's first East Coast trip since (opening Agganis Arena in) 2003, rookie netminder Adam Wilcox improved to 7-1-2 with 22 saves. The teams return to the Burlington ice at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.

New Hampshire 4, Colorado College 4 (OT)
The No. 3 Wildcats scored the first four goals of the contest, but the host and No. 14 Tigers, despite a heavy disadvantage in shots on goal, scored four unanswered to earn a tie with the nation's best defensive team at World Arena. Sophomore Casey Thrush scored a pair of goals for the Wildcats, coming within the first 121 seconds of the first two periods. The Wildcats also received a multi-point effort from junior Kevin Goumas as he dished out a pair of assists to Thrush and sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk. Second-year stopper Casey DeSmith made 25 stops in the draw as he slipped to a still-stingy 8-1-2 on the season for the Wildcats. After Josh Thorimbert allowed each of UNH's goals, Joe Howe came in and closed the door to UNH's offense with 27 saves in the final 34:58. The Tigers' senior now sits at 3-2-1 on the season after the miraculous comeback. The tie also marked the first time UNH allowed multiple goals in a game since Oct. 26 vs. Northeastern - a slim 4-3 win at Whittemore Center. The Wildcats head back on the bus for a Saturday contest at No. 2 Denver, which was upset on Friday night by visiting Yale in an exciting overtime game at Magness Arena.

Merrimack 1, Colgate 1 (OT)
For the second time in as many years, the Warriors and Raiders skated to a draw with each side scoring a goal apiece at Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. Junior Mike Collins continued his strong stretch, scoring the Warriors’ lone goal (his seventh of the season) at 7:19 of the first period. The only other goal of the contest came less than five minutes into the middle stanza, from ‘Gate sophomore Joe Wilson as Warrior sophomore Rasmus Tirronen and Raider rookie Spencer Finney combined for a strong day between the pipes, combining for 44 saves. The two teams skated to a 1-1 tie in Hamilton, N.Y. on Dec. 11, 2011. Merrimack, which returns to Hockey East action next Friday against Providence, now holds the 8-7-2 edge in the all-time series between the teams.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. SLU score update: Saints lead 3-1 after two

Just as the Northeastern Huskies seemed to have been controlling St. Lawrence senior captain Kyle Flanagan, the nation's leading point scorer entering the night, things changed in the second period as the Saints scored twice in the second period for a 3-1 lead at Matthews Arena.

After a clear 11-5 advantage in shots for SLU in the first period, it came back for a 16-11 lead in the middle stanza (27-16 overall through two periods).

The Huskies took their second penalty of the contest as rookie Dustin Darou went off for interference at 8:40 and the visiting Saints took the lead for the first time in the game just 16 seconds late on the third goal of the season from sophomore Gunnar Hughes, a Westwood, Mass. native and Salisbury School product.

The power-play goal came on an easy open-net rebound after NU senior Bryan Mountain made a great cross-crease save and landed flat on the ice.

Flanagan added to the SLU lead at 13:05 as he took a great between-the-legs pass from sophomore Patrick Doherty for an open goal - his ninth of the season. With an assist on Hughes' goal, he and Carey are currently tied for the national lead with 21 points.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. SLU score update: 1-1 tie after one period

The Northeastern Huskies and St. Lawrence Saints played to a back-and-forth first period in their first meeting since 2002, finishing tied 1-1. SLU ended the stanza with a 11-5 edge in shots on goal.

Despite the Saints having control of the opening minutes of the period, including the game's first four shots on goal in quick succession, the Huskies drew first blood at 13:25. For his sixth goal of the season, sophomore Ludwig Karlsson took a pass from classmate Dan Cornell, dropped into the right circle and beat screened SLU senior Matt Weninger.

Senior captain Vinny Saponari was credited with the secondary assist on the tally, extending his point streak to seven games in a row.

The Saints would not go down without hitting the scoreboard as a pair of juniors connected at 19:07. Greg Carey - the nation's third-leading scorer, behind Bentley's Brett Gensler and teammate Kyle Flanagan - took a feed in front from Jeremy Wick, deked around the Huskies defense and beat NU senior Bryan Mountain into an open right side of the cage for his ninth goal of the season.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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League play on hold in busy Hockey East weekend

When Thanksgiving dinner is in the rear view mirror later Thursday afternoon, Hockey East shifts its focus to the annual slate of post-holiday action, which features a healthy portion of non-conference games this weekend. Highlighting the schedule is Vermont's two-game series with perennial power Minnesota at Gutterson Fieldhouse, while Boston College hosts regional rival Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon.

UVM welcomes the Golden Gophers for the first time ever to close out a hectic stretch of five games, four at home, in nine days. The Catamounts dropped a close battle to UMass on Tuesday, but used a pair of goals from junior Chris McCarthy and more strong goaltending from rookie Brody Hoffman to oust Northeastern 3-2 on Sunday.

Minnesota took three of four points from WCHA border rival Wisconsin last weekend and heads to the East Coast for the first time since opening Boston University's beautiful Agganis Arena in the first week of Jan. 2005. In Saturday's 3-1 win over the Badgers, dynamic sophomore Kyle Rau sealed the win with an empty-netter as the team improved to 7-0 when he records a point - meaning the forward has notched a point in every win this season, but not in any loss or tie.

The consensus No. 1 Eagles host the No. 11 Big Green at Kelley Rink in the first meeting between the two teams since 2008 with a chance to extend their outstanding winning streak to double-digits. BC enters Saturday's contest with a full week off since beating Merrimack at Kelley Rink last Friday, thanks to a pair of goals from senior alternate captain Steven Whitney, including the game-winning strike from sophomore Johnny Gaudreau.

The ranking is Dartmouth's best in the USCHO poll since it was marked in that same spot to begin 2004. Young sophomore Tyler Sikura leads the Green with seven assists and 12 points and is tied for fifth in the nation with 1.5 goals per-game.

Additionally, junior Eric Robinson, a local product from Foxboro, Mass., leads Dartmouth with eight goals and is the nation's lone player averaging one goal per-game.

Off to its best start since 1968 with a 8-1-1 record, No. 3 New Hampshire heads west to face No. 14 Colorado College and No. 2 Denver in a pair of later games. The 'Cats are led by surging sophomore netminder Casey DeSmith, who has allowed just three goals in five November games.

After going 7-3-0 over the first ten games, the Tigers lost both games in a home-and-home series with the rival UD Pioneers last weekend. CC has six different players with double-digit points, led by senior William Rapuzzi with 14 points. Junior Nick Shore, a Los Angeles Kings prospect, is Denver's leader with five goals and 11 assists.

Led by two of the nation's most prolific scorers in senior Kyle Flanagan and junior Greg Carey, St. Lawrence makes the trek to Boston where the Saints make stops to former ECAC rivals Northeastern and Boston University. However, the Saints will look to disrupt a four-game winless streak, which stretches back to the opening of November and a series with Alabama-Huntsville.

The Huskies dropped two more road games at Providence and Vermont this past weekend and will still be searching for their first win away from Matthews Arena on Nov. 30. On the flip side, the Terriers look to break a quick 1-2-0 skid with the services of Matt Grzelcyk leading the charge as the nation's leading scorer amongst rookie defensemen with a goal and nine assists in ten games.

After falling victim to its third shutout in four games, Providence heads across downtown to meet rival Brown in the annual Mayor's Cup. Junior Derek Army posted his first-career hat trick in a 6-2 win over Northeastern on Friday, but the Friars fell to Quinnipiac in a rare Tuesday contest.

UMass-Lowell visited the Mullins Center on Sunday night and led by senior Riley Wetmore's hat trick, the River Hawks left with an easy 8-2 victory. On Tuesday, junior Branden Gracel cracked the goal column twice in a 3-1 UMass win over visiting Vermont. This weekend, the Minutemen see Quinnipiac make the trip to Amherst, while the River Hawks welcome Ivy foe Princeton for the third time ever.

Friday, November 23
Colgate at Merrimack, 4 p.m. (WBIN)
St. Lawrence at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Vermont, 7:05 p.m. (NESN)
New Hampshire at Colorado College, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 24
Dartmouth at Boston College, 4 p.m.
Princeton at UMass-Lowell, 4 p.m.
Providence at Brown, 4 p.m.
St. Lawrence at Boston University, 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac at Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Vermont, 7:05 p.m. (NESN)
New Hampshire at Denver, 9 p.m.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UMass edges UVM; PC blanked again

Massachusetts 3, Vermont 1
Following an 8-2 loss at the hands of UMass-Lowell on Sunday, the Minutemen bounced back and derailed visiting UVM from the winning track with a 3-1 win at Mullins Center. Led by junior Branden Gracel's two goals, including the game-winner at 3:57 of the second period, UMass improved to 4-5-1 on the season and leapfrogged its opponent and into a fifth-place tie with Merrimack with seven points. Sophomore Kevin Boyle returned to the crease, making 24 stops in his fourth victory of the season. For UVM, junior Anthony DeCenzo scored his first goal of the year 11:20 into the proceedings as rookie Brody Hoffman made 28 saves in the tough-luck loss, falling to 2-5-2 in his ninth consecutive start. Four of the last six meetings between the Catamounts and Minutemen, which have met two days before Thanksgiving in every year since 1996, have been decided by a goal. The Catamounts wrap up a stretch of five games in nine days this weekend as No. 4 Minnesota visits Burlington for the first time ever. UMass keeps a four-game homestand running against Quinnipiac on Saturday.

Quinnipiac 2, Providence 0
For the second time in three games, the Friars were held off the scoreboard as they fell to the visiting and 18th-ranked Bobcats at Schneider Arena. Quinnipiac senior Eric Hartzell made the save on all 21 Friar shots for his second blanking of the season, while junior Connor Jones scored two goals, both on second-period power plays, to lead the Bobcats to their fifth consecutive victory and eighth in 12 games. Despite holding the shots advantage in two periods and holding a 25-24 lead for the game, the Friars were unable to lift rookie Jon Gillies (23 saves) to a third win in five games. The South Portland, Maine native fell back to .500 with his (and the team's) fifth loss of the season in what was his tenth full contest between the pipes over his first 11 collegiate games. With the defeat, the Friars dropped their first home game of the year, while also falling to the visitors from Hamden, Conn. for just the second time in five contests all-time. The Friars return to the ice on Saturday afternoon as they make the ten-minute trek through downtown to Meehan Auditorium to meet archrival Brown, another ECAC foe, in the annual Mayor's Cup.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East on Tuesday is pre-Turkey Day tradition

Who said college hockey had to be saved for the weekend?

In an annual tradition, border rivals UMass and Vermont meet on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in a key game in the Hockey East league standings. Additionally, Providence hosts Quinnipiac at Schneider Arena in a battle between a pair of up-and-coming programs in the southern half of New England.

After hosting and emerging victorious in the first match last season, the Catamounts return the favor and visit Mullins Center for the 7 p.m. start. The teams enter the contest coming off of polar opposite results, however, as UMass took a Sunday contest on the chin to UMass-Lowell at home, while UVM disposed of visiting Northeastern with a late goal.

The Minutemen have grabbed both of their league wins at home, beating New Hampshire and Providence, but stand just 3-5-1 overall. Both of UVM's wins have come in November as it currently stands at 2-4-2, after starting just 0-1-2.

Despite dropping the holiday contest last Thanksgiving week, the Minutemen were victorious in the last meeting between the teams on Jan. 20 as UMass alum Danny Hobbs netted his first and only hat trick as a Minutemen to lead the offense in a come-from-behind 4-3 win at Mullins Center. Junior Conor Allen scored the game-winner in the final four minutes of the contest.

Thanks to a pair of goals from junior Chris McCarthy and 33 saves from rookie Brody Hoffman, UVM edged Northeastern by a 3-2 count in Sunday's game, snapping a four-game losing streak to the visitors.

The Friars and No. 18 Bobcats will be meeting for just the fifth time in history at Schneider Arena where the host squad looks for its fourth win in as many home games this season. On Friday, junior Derek Army scored a hat trick to lead PC to a 6-2 win over Northeastern and earn a share of the Hockey East Player of the Week award with UMass-Lowell senior Riley Wetmore.

In the last head-to-head meeting between PC and Quinnipiac, Army had a goal and an assist as part of a 5-2 win on Dec. 11, 2010.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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College hockey rankings 2012: BC still No. 1

Boston College is still No. 1 in the USCHO.com men's hockey poll, but the Eagles did lose a few votes.

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Hockey East Sunday evening roundup: UML, UVM win

UMass-Lowell 8, Massachusetts 2
The River Hawks offense entered the evening in the bottom half of the nation, but certainly broke out at Mullins Center as they erupted for eight goals in a blowout of the rival Minutemen. Senior captain Riley Wetmore buried three goals over the first 35 minutes of the contest, becoming the first UML skater to turn the trick since David Vallorani on Dec. 5, 2009. After hitting the seven-goal mark twice last season, the River Hawks posted an additional score for the first time since doing so in a win over Bentley on Jan. 25, 2011 at Tsongas Center. Additionally, junior Joseph Pendenza posted two goals for UML and sophomore Scott Wilson doubled his previous point total so far this season with a goal and two assists. UMass scored two of the final four goals in the contest, beating junior Doug Carr (24 saves) off the sticks of junior Michael Pereira and senior Rocco Carzo. Following the beating, the River Hawks return to Tsongas Center next Saturday afternoon for a post-holiday date with ECAC Hockey foe Princeton. UMass has a quick turnaround with its annual Tuesday match with Vermont, taking place in Amherst.

Vermont 3, Northeastern 2
Junior alternate captain Chris McCarthy scored twice in two periods and rookie netminder Brody Hoffman made 33 saves as the Catamounts toppled the visiting Huskies in the 50th all-time meeting between the two teams at Gutterson Fieldhouse. With the win, UVM snaps a four-game losing streak in the series, but has still dropped at least one point to the Huskies in five of the last seven games. Freshman Kevin Roy was the offensive star for the visitors as he scored both NU goals in the final four minutes of regulation, while senior Bryan Mounain made 22 stops in his third start and loss of the season. After Roy cut the deficit to one at 15:20, Catamount senior Brett Bruneteau buried a breakaway goal past Mountain less than 90 seconds later for the winner, lifting UVM to its second win of the year. The Huskies look for their third non-conference win in as many attempts as St. Lawrence visits Matthews Arena on Friday in the first head-to-head meeting in ten years.

Earlier today, New Hampshire beat Boston University for the second time this season with a 3-1 win at Agganis Arena. Junior Kevin Goumas scored twice for the Wildcats.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BU vs. UNH final score: 'Cats top Terriers again

The fifth-ranked New Hampshire Wildcats cruised from start to finish on Sunday at Agganis Arena, breaking the program's shutout record less than two minutes into the first period and scoring twice in the same stanza to earn a 3-1 victory over the host and No. 11 Boston University Terriers for the second time this season.

UNH posted wins in each of its previous three games without allowing a single goal and set a new program-record shutout streak of 204:40 with just an additional 92 seconds to open the Sunday matinee. Sophomore Casey DeSmith made an impressive 45 saves in the contest and was in goal for 203:32 of the shutout streak to set an additional school benchmark. The Rochester, N.H. native made double-digit saves in each period, including 17 in the third, to keep the Wildcats ahead for good.

Junior Kevin Goumas put the visitors on the board 11:34 into the game as he collected the puck off a turnover and beat Matt O'Connor, who ultimately dropped just his second game of the season, despite making 33 stops between the pipes. Wildcat rookie Maxim Gaudreault doubled the lead by depositing a loose rebound in front for his first-collegiate goal at the 14:10 marker.

The Terriers would be the offense to stop UNH's record-breaking streak, however, as a pair of the team's outstanding rookies combined for the score at 4:40 of the second period. Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk carried the puck into the offensive zone and around the masterful Wildcat defense, only to see his shot stopped, but Needham's Danny O'Regan was on the spot in the slot for the rebound.

Things were quiet until the final tick of the game as Goumas iced the visitors' fourth-consecutive victory and eighth of the season with an empty-netter with literally 0.1 seconds remaining, accounting for the final two-goal margin.

BU recorded 17 shots in both the second and third periods and held a 46-35 advantage in the game overall, but went 0-for-7 on its final two stanzas of power plays and was unable to find the tying goal.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East roundup: Close wins and comebacks

Boston College 4, Merrimack 3
Senior alternate captain Steven Whitney scored twice, including the game-winning goal at 12:38 of the third period as the Eagles came back from three goals down to top the Warriors at Kelley Rink in the first contest of the season between the two squads. Merrimack scored three times within 4:38 in the second period after a scoreless opening stanza, but the Eagles responded with three of their own in 5:14 to tie the score before sealing the deal in the third. Whitney, a Reading, Mass. native, potted the first and last goals of the contest for the Maroon and Gold, including the game-sealer at 12:38 of the third. Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau has at least one point in all ten games so far this season as he notched a pair of helpers to Whitney. Highlighting the Warrior offense was freshman John Gustafsson's first-collegiate goal, opening the scoring 3:15 into the middle stanza. Warriors junior Sam Marotta recorded a season-high 38 saves in the losing effort, while Parker Milner earned his ninth win in a row with 23 saves for the Eagles. BC, which returns home next Saturday afternoon to host Dartmouth, improved to 24-0-2 in its last 26 home games against Merrimack. The Warrior senior class did not earn a victory over four years at BC as the remaining two games of the season series come at Lawler Arena in North Andover and have not emerged winners from Chestnut Hill since Oct. 31, 1997. The Eagles enter next week's contest with a nine-game winning streak and wins in 28 of the last 29 since January.



New Hampshire 3, UMass-Lowell 0
Sophomore Casey DeSmith made 23 stops between the Wildcat pipes as he blanked the host River Hawks at Tsongas Center for his third shutout in as many games - a first by UNH since 1928-29 - and his fourth of the season. Sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk posted a goal and an assist for UNH as he paced the offense in its third consecutive win, improving to 7-1-1. DeSmith, the Granite State boy from Rochester, has a streak of 178:52 of scoreless hockey and needs just under four minutes more of shutout hockey to break the program record, previously set in 1968-69. Sophomore Grayson Downing and senior Austin Block scored goals for the 'Cats in the final nine minutes of regulation to equal the final score against UML junior Doug Carr (23 saves). Both teams are in action away from home on Sunday with UML traveling west to Amherst and UNH heading into Boston's Agganis Arena for an afternoon contest.

Providence 6, Northeastern 2
Junior Derek Army posted his first-career hat trick and freshman Mark Jankowski scored a goal and two assists as the Friars handily downed the Huskies at Schneider Arena, snapping a five-game winless streak (1-2-3) in the series. Army became the first PC skater to post three goals in a game since Tim Schaller on Nov. 4, 2011 against Vermont, scoring all three of his goals in the final 40 minutes. Two of the North Kingstown, R.I. native's three goals came in the third period, completing the first hat trick of the season in Hockey East. Senior Chris Rawlings (10 saves) and junior Clay Witt (17) each surrendered three goals for the Huskies, while junior Cody Ferriero and senior Vinny Saponari posted a pair of power-play goals. Saponari is in the midst of a career-best five-game point streak as a Husky. Additionally, Senior center Garrett Vermeersch assisted on each of the Husky goals in his first multi-point contest of the season. Former Husky recruit Jon Gillies did in his original squad with 22 saves as he improved to a respectable 5-4-1 on the season. The Huskies continue a busy weekend of travel with a Sunday night contest at Vermont, while the Friars have the rest of the weekend off before a quick turnaround to play Quinnipiac on Tuesday.

Boston University 6, Vermont 2
Six different goal scorers hit the back of the net and rookie Sean Maguire made 29 saves in his first-collegiate victory in the opener of UVM's two-game weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Senior Wade Megan and sophomore Alexx Privitera each recorded a goal and an assist with Megan's strike with 1:29 left in the opening period proving to be the game-winner. Junior Garrett Noonan and sophomore Cason Hohmann both continued their strong starts with a pair of assists each to pace the BU attack. Vermont received a combined 19 saves from rookie goaltenders Brody Hoffman (10) and Billy Faust (9), while Chris McCarthy and Pete Massar posted the Catamount goals in their fourth defeat of the campaign. The Catamounts stay in Burlington on Sunday for their first match with Northeastern this season.

Massachusetts 2, Maine 2 (OT)
Junior Conor Allen provided a flair for the dramatic as he knotted the score with 1:08 remaining in regulation at Alfond Arena. With an extra attacker on, Allen secured a point for the Minutemen after falling down by two goals less than halfway through the first period, thanks to senior Mark Nemec and sophomore Jake Rutt. Redshirt sophomore Steven Guzzo also scored his third of the season for the Minutemen and is also tied for the team lead with six points. Neither team was able to score during the five-minute overtime period as the teams settled by splitting the two crucial Hockey East points in the first meeting between the border rivals this season, with two more to come to close February at Mullins Center.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. Merrimack score update: 3-3 tie after two

Merrimack came out firing to open the second period with the first three goals in less than six minutes, but the top-ranked Boston College Eagles found that little challenge as they came back to tie the score at 3-3 after 40 minutes. BC held a 16-7 shots edge for the period in order to extend it to 30-21 for the entirety of the game.

Just 1:15 into the proceedings, Swedish rookie John Gustafsson capped off a 2-on-1 play with classmate Brian Christie for his first goal as a Warrior to put the visitors ahead with the opening goal of the contest.

Senior defenseman Kyle Bigos was quick to follow up that strong effort from a pair of freshmen as he ripped a one-time slap shot from just inside the blue line to give Merrimack its second of the night and the second of the year for the California native.

The Warriors showed no sign of letting up as Boston native and junior Mike Collins beat BC senior Parker Milner by jamming a loose puck over the goal line without any assist at 5:51.

After Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy elected for a timeout, the Eagles began the comeback trail when senior alternate captain Steven Whitney finally solved junior Sam Marotta with a wrister from the high slot at 7:39 to put the hosts within two goals.

Senior Patrick Wey and sophomore Danny Linell went rapid fire to tie the score, each posting their inaugural goals of the season in just over a minute. At 11:50 (on the power play), Wey picked up the puck in the right circle for an open shot on cage after Marotta fell to his backside while playing the puck.

On the third marker for the Eagles, Linell made a great play for his score at 12:53, firing a nifty backhand shot from the right post.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. Merrimack score update: Scoreless first

Kelley Rink has been a real house of horrors for the visiting Merrimack Warriors over approximately the past decade as the current No. 1 Boston College Eagles are 23-0-2 in the last 25 contests when taking on their Catholic school brethren. For the first time in the 2012-13 Hockey East season, the teams matched up on Friday night in Chestnut Hill and played to a pretty even stanza, finishing in a scoreless tie.

Additionally, the teams finished the stanza with a 14-14 tie in the shots on goal department.

The Warriors dominated the opening half of the period, while the Eagles came back with the better of the opportunities in the latter portion. BC senior Parker Milner and Merrimack junior Sam Marotta were strong at each end of the ice to turn away all they faced.

Perhaps the best chance came in the early moments as Warrior senior defender Kyle Bigos rang the post behind Milner as he settled into his crease early. Marotta, a Bridgewater, Mass. native, saw some strong shots of his own in finishing the period without a blemish.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East schedule: Rare pre-holiday weekend

With Thanksgiving now under a week away, Hockey East takes a slight break with a lighter weekend schedule before next week's holiday. All ten teams will be in league action on Friday, preceding an idle Saturday and contests on Sunday and Tuesday.

Top-ranked Boston College plays just one game this weekend, hosting Merrimack on Friday at Kelley Rink in the first meeting of the season between the two Catholic league rivals. Following a 3-1 loss at Northeastern on Oct. 13, the Eagles have rattled off eight consecutive games, including a pair last week against fellow ranked opponents and archrivals Notre Dame and Boston University.

Eagle sophomore Johnny Gaudreau was named Hockey East Player of the Week after three goals, including two in Friday's 3-1 victory over the No. 8 Irish and both game-winners. Senior Parker Milner was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week following a 44-save weekend to post his eighth and ninth victories, including 25 in a 4-2 win on Sunday evening at Agganis Arena.

Merrimack saw its four-game unbeaten streak snapped with a pair of 3-1 losses to BU and future conference foe Connecticut at Lawler Arena last weekend. The defeat to UConn on Sunday was the Warriors' first to an Atlantic Hockey foe since 2006.

Things will not get easier as junior Mike Collins leads Merrimack into Kelley Rink, where it is 0-23-2 in its last 25 games and the team's senior class has yet to earn more than a point. Collins, a Catholic Memorial product and Boston native, saw an impressive seven-game point streak snapped on Saturday. Junior captain Jordan Heywood is tied for the national lead for goals by a defender with four and is also tied in Hockey East with eight points.

Vermont hosts a pair of Beantown opponents at Gutterson Fieldhouse this weekend, welcoming in Boston University and Northeastern for Friday and Sunday contests to open a very busy stretch of five games in nine days.

The No. 11 Terriers own a 5-0-1 edge in recent meetings with UVM and seek their fourth road victory of the season in Burlington. Currently, sophomore Cason Hohmann is tied for third in the nation with a +9 rating, while Rookie of the Week Matt Grzelcyk is one of just three defensemen in college hockey with at least one point per-game.

Focusing on Sunday's match, the Huskies, who will also take on Providence on Friday at Schneider Arena, seek their fourth in a row over the Catamounts after sweeping last year's season series.

NU hit .500 on the season with two victories over Alabama-Huntsville this past weekend at Matthews Arena. The Huskies saw sophomore assistant captain Ludwig Karlsson break out of the minus with three goals in the series, while senior Chris Rawlings posted his tenth-career shutout in a 3-0 win on Saturday to break Brad Thiessen's previous school record in a career.

The Friars return home from a 1-2-0 road swing to host the Huskies on Friday in the first meeting between the teams since a pair of ties last February in Boston. However, the Huskies have a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3) over Providence. It will be NU's first look at Friar rookie Jon Gillies, who decommitted from the Huskies this winter, and has since made 26 or more saves in six of nine games.

Following its long trek to UVM, BU returns to Agganis Arena on Sunday to host No. 6 New Hampshire in a rematch of UNH's 4-1 win at home on Oct. 20. Entering their Friday game at UMass-Lowell, the Wildcats stand at 6-1-1 following a 4-0 victory over Vermont on Saturday at Whittemore Center and are off to their best start since 2003.

Wildcat second-year stopper Casey DeSmith has already posted three shutouts on the season and the second in as many games came on Saturday as he became the first UNH netminder to pitch back-to-back blankings since Kevin Regan in the 2007 Hockey East quarterfinals.

UMass has a busy weekend of travel with a Friday game at Maine and a Sunday date with UMass-Lowell at Mullins Center. Kevin Boyle is off to a great start in his sophomore season between the pipes, sporting a 1.59 goals-against average and .940 save percentage - the sixth-best marks in the nation and the second in Hockey East. Friday's 4-0 shutout of Providence was Boyle's first for the Mass Attack, despite making just 17 saves.

Coming off a 4-3 win at Tsongas Center on Saturday, the Black Bears will be facing UMass for their only game of the weekend with a winning streak in sight. They tied a season-high with four goals in the contest, while three of five golas in the weekend split came from freshmen. Junior Martin Ouellette seems to make solidified the starting role after posting his first win in over one full year on Saturday, playing strong all weekend.

The River Hawks won five of their six combined meetings over their two weekend opponents and are coming off last weekend's split, which included a 2-1 win on Friday. UML had not won a game when scoring less than three goals since Mar. 12, 2010 and looks to junior Josh Holmstrom to keep up his team-leading offensive output.

Following the late-ending weekend, a pair of games will take place on Tuesday night, including the annual match between UMass and Vermont two nights before Thanksgiving. Providence also plays host to Quinnipiac at Schneider Arena as it only plays one game during the weekend.

Friday, November 16
Merrimack at Boston College, 7 p.m.
Massachusetts at Maine, 7 p.m.
New Hampshire at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Northeastern at Providence, 7 p.m. (Cox)
Boston University at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, November 18
New Hampshire at Boston University, 1 p.m.
UMass-Lowell at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. (CBS3)
Northeastern at Vermont, 7:05 p.m. (WCAXtra)

Tuesday, November 20
Vermont at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. (CBS3)
Quinnipiac at Providence, 7 p.m.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Two local schools targeted in AHA league expansion

According to U.S. College Hockey Online columnist Chris Lerch, the Atlantic Hockey Association is currently in contact with four schools that have expressed interest in joining the conference following Connecticut's departure to compete in Hockey East for the 2014-15 season.

St. Anselm, Rhode Island, Navy, and Alabama-Huntsville are the main targets being considered, while other schools have inquired preliminarily if those do not work out.

The "St. A's" Hawks seem to be the most interested in joining the AHA, which was established in 2003 by nine charter members.

"We have met and the ball is in their court right now," said conference commissioner Bob DeGregorio. "They would make a great addition to the league. They have a great facility and tradition. The women’s program would also be a great addition to [College Hockey America]."

URI, based in Kingston, has formed a committee to look at costs associated with moving both genders of hockey to the Division I level and is interested in the move, despite understanding the commitment that would be needed financially. The Rams currently run one of the finest American Collegiate Hockey Association club teams in the nation and would a very formidable contender.

"We’ve drawn up an 11-team schedule and an 11-team playoff structure [for the time being]," DeGregorio said. "Another team can come sooner or later. We’ll be ready."

Joshua Kummins is the college hockey beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU final score update: Eagles win, 4-2

With a third-period offensive onslaught, the top-ranked Boston College Eagles took the opening round of college hockey's greatest rivalry with a 4-2 victory over the archrival Boston University Terriers on Sunday night at Agganis Arena.

The teams skated close to two full periods without a goal being scored after BC went up in the opening minute of play, but it scored a pair in quick succession in the late stages of regulation in the third period to grab a seventh consecutive victory and two more Hockey East points to keep command of the top spot in the standings.

BC extended its lead to 2-0 with 8:59 remaining as junior Kevin Hayes had his original shot blocked, but followed it up with a goal banked off the back of BU's Matt O'Connor, who finished with a solid 20 saves. A short while later with 7:37 left, stellar sophomore extended his team-leading goal count to seven, burying a cross-ice pass off an assist from senior Steven Whitney.

After falling victim to BC's hot senior goaltender Parker Milner once again, a freshman was able to pot his first-collegiate goal and get the host Terriers off the schneid with 4:40 remaining. Dorchester native Matt Grzelcyk saw his first shot blocked, but his rebound bounced over the line for the score.

With O'Connor pulled at 18:02, junior Bill Arnold iced the puck from his own blue line and into an empty cage to make the score 4-1. However, the Terriers were not done as sophomore Alexx Privitera beat Milner with a wrist shot through traffic from the high slot.

Post-Game Press Conferences



Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU score update: Still 1-0 after 2 periods

The top-ranked Boston College Eagles and No. 11/12 Boston University Terriers played to a very even first period, but the visitors to Agganis Arena took an early 1-0 lead. That trend continued into the second as the teams played back-and-forth but could not add to the scoreboard for another full 20 minutes.

Each team took six shots on goal in the period, but the Eagles hold a 16-12 advantage in the game overall.

Although the scoring chances were aplenty at both ends of the ice, neither team was able to crack the scoreboard as BC's Parker Milner and BU's Matt O'Connor - a pair of stellar goaltenders in Hockey East - were equal to the task in keeping the score within one.

There was little in the way of game flow as the referees created a parade to the penalty box, resulting in a very choppy stanza. Neither team has been able to muster any scoring on the man-up chances and are a combined 0-for-8.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BC vs. BU score update: Eagles lead on early goal

A rivalry game always brings out the best in any team. For the Boston College Eagles, that has been evident in recent years in their biggest games of the season against the archenemy Boston University Terriers.

However, as hard as it is to believe, their best contests in the head-to-head series have actually come down the road at Agganis Arena, where the 2012-13 opener of the series is taking place on this Sunday night.

The Eagles were able to jump ahead just 43 seconds into the game on a strong follow through effort by the Eagle offense to beat BU rookie Matt O'Connor. Sophomore Destry Straight was able to score his third goal of the season, punching in a wraparound attempt by junior Kevin Hayes.

BC senior Parker Milner stopped all six BU shots he faced in the period, while his counterpart, BU freshman Matt O'Connor made ten stops at the other end of the ice.

The Eagles held a 10-6 shots advantage and took three minor penalties in the stanza, killing off each one with relative ease. When the second begins, BC will also have 1:38 of 5-on-3 time as the Terriers took a pair of minor stick penalties late in the stanza.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BC, BU set to test streaks at Agganis

A pair of impressive streaks will be on the line on Sunday evening as No. 11/12 Boston University hosts archrival and top-ranked Boston College for the first time this season at Agganis Arena to help conclude an exciting weekend in Hockey East.

The Commonwealth Avenue rivals have met 258 times with the Terriers holding a 127-114-17 advantage, having won close to 53 percent of the time. BC holds a narrow 15-13-2 advantage in the last 30 head-to-head meetings in the series.

Last season, BU held a 2-1 advantage in the Hockey East regular-season series, but the Eagles were able to knot the full score with a victory in the Beanpot title game as junior Bill Arnold scored the overtime winner for a 3-2 win.

BU has not seen an opponent appear more on its schedule than the Eagles in the long and storied history of the program with Northeastern the next closest at 215 meetings to date. In fact, BU began hockey competition in 1917-18 and its lone game came against BC - a stunning statistic that speaks volumes to the rivalry dubbed as "The Battle of Comm. Ave."

The Terriers have won four of their last five games, including three during the team's four-game road swing that concluded on Friday with a 3-1 win at Merrimack. BU has been unable to upset Boston College with a No. 1 ranking since Jan. 27, 2006 - a close 4-3 win at Kelley Rink.

Sophomore Cason Hohmann has had quite a start for BU and has already eclipsed his point total from all of last season with three goals and nine total points, as well as holding a tie for the national lead with a +10 rating.

One of the most "feel good" stories in the league this year is that of Terrier rookie blue liner Matt Grzelcyk, who hails from Dorchester and is a Boston Bruins draft pick following his time with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He is the only freshman in the nation that is averaging at least an assist per game and is tied with teammate and Needham, Mass. native Danny O'Regan for second in the league in points by a rookie with seven.

However, the real story has been between the pipes with another rookie Matt O'Connor, who has solidified himself as a legitimate top choice with a perfect 5-0-0 record. No other goaltender in college hockey has as many wins without a setback as the Toronto native and he has already been named co-Rookie of the Month after his first as a collegian.

On the flip side, the Eagles come in defending their national championship from April and holding wins in each of their last seven games and 26 of the last 27 contests. The nation's top-ranked squad took on its greatest challenge to date with a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame on Friday at Kelley Rink. With a 7-1-0 record, BC has not lost since opening the season with a 3-1 setback at Northeastern.

Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau scored two more goals in the contest, including the game-winner at 16:30 of the second period, and now leads the team with six on the season. Additionally, senior captain Pat Mullane was named October's conference Player of the Month with a league-best eight points in five games.

After carrying the Eagles to a national title last season, senior Parker Milner has been very strong again out of the gate with a 1.86 goals-against average and .934 save percentage - both among the top four marks in Hockey East.

As a team, BC holds a tie for the conference lead in offense with 3.25 goals per-game, while its defense is tied for fourth in the nation and has allowed less than two scores on average. The Eagles are also owners of the nation's best power play (32.3 percent) and combined special teams rate.

Face-off is set for 5 p.m. Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley will have the call for the New England Sports Network's live television coverage.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: UNH, NU pitch shutouts; Maine wins

New Hampshire 4, Vermont 0
There has been no such thing as a sophomore slump for UNH's Casey DeSmith as he turned in another stellar performance to top the border rival Catamounts at Whittemore Center. The Rochester, N.H. native posted 27 saves in net, while senior Austin Block scored twice to pace the Wildcats to their sixth win in eight games this season. Block, a Thousand Oaks, Calif. native, has established a career-high with seven goals in his final campaign, topping off an output which has been upped each year. With the victory, DeSmith and the Wildcats post their second blanking in as many games as it comes off the heels of another by the same score last Sunday at Maine. DeSmith has posted back-to-back shutouts in net for the Wildcats, marking the first time that feat has occurred since Kevin Regan blanked Providence in straight games during the 2007 Hockey East quarterfinals. He also posted his first-career assist on the opening goal by classmate Grayson Downing 5:27 into the proceedings. The Wildcats head back on the road next Friday for the start of a four-game road swing, beginning at UMass-Lowell. UVM looks to return to winning ways when it hosts Boston University and Northeastern next weekend.

Northeastern 3, Alabama-Huntsville 0
Sophomore Ludwig Karlsson scored twice and senior Chris Rawlings pitched his tenth-career shutout with 20 saves in a much-needed victory over the winless Chargers at Matthews Arena, curbing the Huskies’ five-game winless streak. With the win, Rawlings passed Brad Thiessen and took over the school’s all-time shutout record with ten. Additionally, the Huskies also surpassed the 50-shot plateau for the first time since Jan. 17, 2004 at Providence. Karlsson’s two goals, coming at 17:13 of the first and 5:57 of the third, gave him points in just the second game of his season, all in the last three games. Junior Braden Pimm scored NU’s first goal on a nifty backhand just 13:06 into the game, beating a stellar UAH fourth-year goaltender John Griggs (51 saves). The victory came in the first head-to-head meeting between the Huskies and Chargers and was the first win against a first-time opponent for NU since defeating Quinnipiac in 2002. The teams return to the rink on Sunday to conclude the series, after the Huskies were able to pick up a victory in just their second non-conference opener in the last six tries.



Maine 4, UMass-Lowell 3
Bowdoinham, Maine native and freshman Kyle Williams redirected Mike Cornell's shot into the back of the net for his first-collegiate goal at 11:10 of the third period as the Black Bears finally earned their first conference win of the season on road ice at the Tsongas Center. Maine, which now stands at 2-9-0 on the season (1-5-0 Hockey East) snapped a seven-game slide with the victory to avenge UML's 2-1 win on Friday. Junior Derek Arnold of the River Hawks scored the first goal of the contest on a man-advantage redirect play with Joseph Pendenza 10:09 into the first period. Rookie Devin Shore, a highly touted Dallas Stars draft pick, gave Maine a two-goal lead at 8:42 of the second period - the first of his career, coming on a rebound in front of junior Doug Carr's net. However, the River Hawks were not done as senior Riley Wetmore and Pendenza scored to tie the score in the latter half of the middle frame, before Williams was the hero for junior Martin Ouellette (27 saves) and the Black Bears. Maine looks to carry the momentum into next Friday's home date with rival UMass at Alfond Arena, while UML welcomes New Hampshire to town on Friday as well.

Connecticut 3, Merrimack 1
The future Hockey East foe Huskies scored two late goals in the third period in a statement victory over the Warriors at Lawler Arena. Senior Sean Ambrosie notched the game-winning goal at 3:50 of the third, while adding an assist earlier in the period. Merrimack drops to 23-2 in the lifetime series with UConn, losing for the first time since 2005. MC broke through with the first goal of the game at 11:26 of the middle frame as sophomore Kyle Singleton followed up an initial shot with his second of the season on a delayed penalty call. However, that was all the Warriors could muster off of comeback winner Garrett Bartus, who made 30 saves in just his second triumph in seven early decisions during his senior season. Sophomore Rasmus Tirronen was the hard-luck loser as he made 21 saves in falling to 1-3-1. With its first loss to an Atlantic Hockey foe since Oct. 24, 2006 (Holy Cross) headed to the rear view, Merrimack returns to action next Friday at Boston College's Kelley Rink.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UAH vs. NU score update: Huskies still up 2-0

The second period at Matthews Arena was more of the same for the Northeastern Huskies as they held a 15-6 shots on goal edge in the stanza and kept their 2-0 lead going into the final intermission. For the game overall, the Huskies carry a 38-12 advantage.

Northeastern returned to its somewhat undisciplined form in the period, taking two more penalties. On the flip side, the Huskies have been unable to cash in on any of its five power-play chances.

UAH senior John Griggs and Northeastern counterpart Chris Rawlings each pitched perfect stanzas in the goal, keeping the score locked at two. Griggs, an Illinois native, has continued to stand on his head for the visitors, posting 15 more saves to total 37 for the contest.

On a bizarre note, none of Northeastern's 16 goals have come in the middle stanza so the Huskies will have to wait another contest (Sunday night vs. UAH) to change that oddity.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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UAH vs. NU score update: Huskies in command, 2-0

In the first period at Matthews Arena, the host Northeastern Huskies took charge of the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, scoring twice to take a lead into the locker room for the first time in three games.

NU was in control for the duration as it held a 22-6 shots advantage. Huntsville senior stopper John Griggs was very impressive, despite falling into an early hole as he made several key stops to keep his Charger squad in the contest.

The Huskies used a very pretty play to jump ahead in the contest as junior Braden Pimm made a great individual play to find open space and give his squad a 1-0 lead. At 13:06, classmate Cody Ferriero streaked down the right side of the offensive zone and dished a pretty cross-ice pass for Pimm to deke to his forehand and bury his second goal of the season.

At 17:13, sophomore Ludwig Karlsson made it a 2-0 lead as he took a centering pass from rookie Kevin Roy in front. The Swedish alternate captain did the rest, redirecting the puck past Griggs.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BC, BU pull out wins; More Maine woes

Boston College 3, Notre Dame 1
The top-ranked Eagles held on for a close win in their toughest test of the season to date, topping the rival Irish at Kelley Rink to capture the John "Snooks" Kelley-Charles "Lefty" Smith Trophy for the first time since 2009. Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau scored twice for the Eagles, including an empty-net sealer with 3.3 seconds to play. Senior captain Pat Mullane opened the scoring at 4:41 of the middle stanza, netting his fourth of the year. A pair of defensemen, senior Patrick Wey and rookie Michael Matheson, added helpers on the Eagles’ second-period goals, respectively. Notre Dame third-year goaltender Steven Summerhays dropped his third game of the season, making 19 saves, including ten in the second period. BC senior Parker Milner allowed a single goal on the 20 shots he saw, improving to an impressive 7-1-0. With the win, the Eagles crack the win column for the seventh-consecutive game and the 26th in the last 27. Rookie Thomas DiPauli scored the lone goal for the Irish at 7:10 of the third. The Maroon and Gold carry its perch atop the national rankings into Sunday’s mega-rivalry game with Boston University at Agganis Arena. With a victory to conclude the weekend, Milner would earn the 50th triumph of his career.



Boston University 3, Merrimack 1
Senior captain Wade Megan paced the offense with a goal and two assists as the Terriers posted their second consecutive victory on enemy soil at Lawler Arena. Freshman Matt O’Connor continued his stellar rookie campaign for the Scarlet and White, making 34 saves to tie a career-high in improving to a perfect 5-0-0. Fellow rookie Matt Grzelcyk added two more assists to bring his season total to seven, while Ahti Oksanen scored his second goal of the year just 1:22 into the middle period to open the scoring. Senior John Heffernan was quick to pot for the Warriors, doing so for the second time this year with a power-play strike 14 seconds into the third period, that that was all they could muster against O’Connor. Between the Merrimack pipes, junior Sam Marotta was respectable in a 22-save performance, while falling to 3-2-0. The Warriors conclude a three-game homestand on Saturday night as they host Connecticut in North Andover.

UMass-Lowell 2, Maine 1
The River Hawks continued the struggles of the Maine Black Bears as junior Doug Carr made 24 saves in his second win of the season at Tsongas Center. Despite taking its show on the road, Maine dropped its seventh decision in as many games while falling to a dismal 1-9-0 and for the first time in the last five games in Lowell. Things were not all down for the Black Bears as Ben Hutton open the scoring with his first goal as a collegian – a power-play strike with five seconds remaining in the opening period. With Maine's struggles have come a nearly-anemic special teams unit as it had converted on just one of its first 44 attempts through nine games. Carr would only allow one blemish, however, as the offense posted a pair early in the second period, thanks to senior captain Riley Wetmore and junior Josh Holmstrom. Maine junior Martin Ouellette was strong in net with 23 saves, but fell for the third time. The two teams complete the weekend on Saturday. UML looks to capture the season series for the second time in as many years with another victory, which would be its fourth win over Maine in the last five meetings.

Massachusetts 4, Providence 0
Sophomore Kevin Boyle made an easy 17 saves in his first-career shutout at Mullins Center, while junior Michael Pereira also burst back onto the scoresheet with a goal and two assists for the Minutemen. With the loss, Providence was blanked for the second game in a row and for the first time against UMass since 2004. Pereira's tally opened the scoring at 4:27 of the second and extended the Minutemen's streak to seven straight games with a power play goal, matching the program's longest such streak since 2003-04. Freshman Jon Gillies fell to 4-4-1 and made 28 saves in the loss as the Friars, which were considerably out-shot, 32-17, while losing 42 of 66 face-offs.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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ND vs. BC score update: Eagles score twice in 2nd

After a scoreless first period at Kelley Rink, things were turned up a notch during the middle stanza as the Eagles jumped ahead by a two-goal margin heading into the intermission. Notre Dame did not register a shot before the 9:00 mark of the stanza as BC held a 12-2 lead in the period, extending it to 16-11 through 40 minutes.

The teams were whistled for matching penalties at the 4:33 mark, creating a 4-on-4 sheet of ice for the speedy squads to work with. It was the home team that struck the board first as captain Pat Mullane netted his fourth of the season, depositing a low shot under the five-hole of Notre Dame's Steven Summerhays just eight seconds later. Senior defenseman set up the play with his fifth helper of the campaign.

Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau doubled the BC lead at 16:30 as he converted an odd-angle shot from the goal line over Summerhays' top shelf, assisted by rookie Michael Matheson.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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ND vs. BC score update: Scoreless after one

In a highly-anticipated contest between a pair of long-standing rivals, No. 1 Boston College and No. 7/8 Notre Dame played to an extremely entertaining first period that resulted in a scoreless stalemate. The Irish had the better of the chances in the early going and on a late 5-on-3 advantage, ending the stanza with a commanding 9-4 shots on goal lead.

Both goaltenders were exceptional in the stanza as Irish junior Steven Summerhays and BC senior Parker Milner matched each other save for save, keeping the sides off the scoreboard.

Although the score read 0-0, each side had some strong scoring chances, but no better stop than Milner had during the final minute. A scrambling BC defense of just three skaters left Notre Dame junior Jeff Costello wide open on the crease, but Milner sprawled across to deny the goal.

Additionally, a star-studded press box line-up features NESN Bruins announcer Jack Edwards, who is preparing to call Sunday's Eagles game at Boston University.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BC ready for rivals; UML, Maine meet

After a very structured weekend of league games in the rear view mirror, Hockey East takes a break from that but embarks on a challenging slate over the course of the next three evenings. If one does seek highlight games in the bunch, however, they will be easily apparent as the nation's dominant squad will play in a pair of must-see contests.

The top-ranked Boston College Eagles are in the midst of a six-game winning streak and will face their toughest challenge yet in No. 8 Notre Dame on Friday at Kelley Rink. For the 14th time since 1995-96, the hockey squads will tangle on the eve of the much-anticipated Holy War football match-up. This year's match will break a tie in the historical series between the programs as the squads are 7-7-1 when meeting in Chestnut Hill.

BC owns the nation's best power play at 40 percent and is tied with Union (5-0-1) for the nation's longest unbeaten streak. Senior Steven Whitney and sophomore Johnny Gaudreau each enter the weekend with seven-game point streaks on the line.

The Irish, which join Hockey East as its 11th member next season, currently lead the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings with a 3-1-0 record (6-0-2 overall). After finishing behind junior T.J. Tynan last season, junior winger and team captain Anders Lee leads UND with five goals, nine points, and 30 shots through eight games.

Following Friday's match-up, focus shifts to the other end of Commonwealth Avenue where the Boston University Terriers will await their Green Line foes following their Friday shuttle to Merrimack's Lawler Arena.

Rookie Matt O'Connor leads No. 11/12 BU into his Friday night start with the conference's only unbeaten record at 3-0-0. Senior captain Wade Megan has scored in five of the previous six games, while classmate and fellow New Yorker Sean Escobedo assisted on the tying and winning goals (by junior Matt Nieto and freshman Matt Lane, respectively) in a 4-2 win on Saturday at North Dakota.

The Warriors host a pair of games this weekend at Lawler Arena as another future Hockey East foe makes its way to North Andover for the second consecutive year in the Connecticut Huskies. In the last four games, junior Mike Collins has been on an absolute tear as the Boston native and Catholic Memorial product has posted a league-best ten points, including seven assists.

Merrimack is 4-for-4 in its last four meetings with the Huskies, including a 5-0 shutout on Oct. 22, 2011. Junior Sam Marotta, a Bridgewater, Mass. native, made his first-career start in that game and made 25 saves.

UMass-Lowell returns from close to a two-week hiatus to face a struggling Maine team twice at Tsongas Center this weekend. The River Hawks scored at least four goals in each of last year's wins over Maine and look for some of that offensive surge to continue, led by junior Josh Holmstrom. UML had not beaten Maine on the road in consecutive games since 1985, but the Black Bears used 35 saves from now-junior Dan Sullivan to earn a 2-1 win on Feb. 11.

Maine has lost eight of its first nine games and is currently in the midst of an uncharacteristic six-game losing skid. The Black Bears have scored just ten goals on the season, but they have come from nine different scorers. Sophomore Connor Leen has scored twice, while senior Joey Diamond's goal and three assists for four points also lead the team.

After suffering a tough Sunday loss at BC, UMass will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts Providence on Friday at Mullins Center. The Friars, which are set to finish a three-game conference road trip, are unbeaten in their last six games with the Minutemen.

PC also captured last year's season series between the two sides, 2-0-1. Senior defenseman Myles Harvey has dished out seven assists to lead the Friar team so far this season, while classmate Tim Schaller is coming off of skating in his 100th-career game.

Another border rivalry meets for the first time this season on Saturday night as Vermont looks to form a winning streak as it takes on No. 9 New Hampshire at Whittemore Center in a match-up that features a pair of strong goaltenders in the early going.

Catamount rookie Brody Hoffman posted a 24-save performance in Saturday's 2-0 home win over Providence - the first shutout of his career. In UVM's split, Hoffman stopped 45 of 48 total shots to earn co-Rookie of the Week honors with BU's O'Connor.

On the other end, sophomore year has been stellar for UNH's Casey DeSmith as he has posted a league-high 197 saves while leading the Wildcats to a 5-1-1 record and two shutouts. The Rochester, N.H. native has captured Defensive Player of the Week honors from Hockey East in each of the last three weeks, thanks to a season-high 42-save shutout at Maine on Sunday.

As a team, the 'Cats are a perfect 4-0 thus far at Whittemore Center and will be taking the home ice just twice in November. UNH is also off to its best start since 2007-08 when its record was identical through seven contests. Led by senior Connor Hardowa's eight assists, the defense corps is third in the nation and has allowed just 1.57 goals per-game.

For the first time in Northeastern program history, the Huskies will take on Alabama-Huntsville twice at Matthews Arena this weekend. The Hounds are winless in their last five games and will look to break that trend in stepping away from league play for the first time this year. Freshman Mike McMurtry posted his first-career multi-point game in Saturday's 4-2 loss at Merrimack, while sophomore Ludwig Karlsson scored his inaugural goal of the year in Friday's 5-2 home setback.

Friday, November 9
Providence at Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
Maine at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Notre Dame at Boston College, 7 p.m.
Boston University at Merrimack, 7:30 p.m. (WBIN)

Saturday, November 10
Maine at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Vermont at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
Alabama-Huntsville at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Connecticut at Merrimack, 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 11
Boston College at Boston University, 5 p.m. (NESN)
Alabama-Huntsville at Northeastern, 7 p.m.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NCAA Hockey rankings: Boston College still No. 1

The Boston College Eagles remained No. 1 in the latest USCHO.com men's hockey poll.

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Hockey East roundup: BC, UNH earn Sunday victories

Boston College 3, Massachusetts 2
The Eagles fell behind early in the third period, but scored a pair of unanswered goals in the middle to latter stages en route to another win for the nation's premier squad at Kelley Rink on Sunday, also capturing the season series. BC has emerged victorious in six straight contests and 25 of the last 26. This was the fourth consecutive one-goal game between the two rivals as BC beat UMass twice in the Hockey East quarterfinals in March, before it earned a 5-4 overtime victory on Oct. 19 in Amherst. Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson tied the game at 2-2 - with his first-collegiate goal - at the 9:13 mark of the stanza, while junior Patrick Brown delivered the heroics with his first of the season at 16:23. Senior Steven Whitney and sophomore Johnny Gaudreau assisted on Matheson's goal to extend their point streaks to seven games each. The Eagles went 4-for-8 on the power-play during the weekend, which included a Friday victory at Maine. The Eagles are converting 40 percent (10-for-25) of their man-up opportunities this season and lead all of Division I college hockey in that category. Senior Parker Milner earned his sixth win in seven decisions, stopping 29 shots, while his Minuteman sophomore counterpart Kevin Boyle made 28 saves between the pipes, including 14 in the opening stanza, despite falling back even to 2-2. Also on the visiting side, UMass junior Troy Power opened the third period with a goal - just 1:42 into the stanza, while assisting on sophomore Steven Guzzo's first-period goal. The Eagles return to action next weekend with a pair of archrivals providing the opposition. Friday's game at Kelley Rink welcomes No. 7 Notre Dame for the first time since 2008-09. UMass

New Hampshire 4, Maine 0
Things saw much less dramatics in Alfond Arena as sophomore Casey DeSmith made 42 stops for the third shutout of his career in an easy Wildcat win over the rival Black Bears in the matinee contest. The win was UNH's first in Orono since Dec. 10, 2010 and marked the first time it had blanked Maine from the scoreboard since Jan. 17, 1998. In addition to DeSmith's standout performance, senior Austin Block scored a pair of goals to pace the offense and match his career-best mark as the Wildcats improved to 5-1-1 overall. Additionally, sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk and senior Connor Hardowa posted a pair of assists from the blue line. Junior Dan Sullivan made 41 saves between the Maine pipes as he dropped to 0-6-0 on the season in the team's eighth loss. Maine's anemic offense was paced by rookies Ben Hutton and Will Merchant, who both posted five shots on goal. The Wildcats are back in action in less than a week as they take on another border rival in the Vermont Catamounts next Saturday at the Whittemore Center. Maine looks to break its six-game losing streak in a weekend series at UMass-Lowell on Friday and Saturday.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Merrimack, BU, PC grind out wins

Merrimack 4, Northeastern 2
The Warriors scored four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to come back and defeat the visiting Huskies to capture the season series and earn a sweep of the weekend pair at Lawler Arena. Eight different Warriors recorded at least one point during the victory, including three freshman skaters. Senior captain Vinny Saponari and rookie Michael McMurtry each posted their first goals of the season in the latter half of the opening stanza, while junior Mike Collins took over Hockey East’s point-scoring lead as he potted a second-effort goal past NU senior Chris Rawlings (29 saves) with 28 seconds remaining in the second period. Merrimack’s winning goal came off the stick of junior captain Jordan Heywood at 16:32 of the third as he took a drop from Collins to beat Rawlings low for his third goal of the series. Espoo, Finland product Rasmus Tirronen made 24 saves, including ten in the middle stanza to lead the Warriors in the first win of his collegiate career. The Warriors, which will entertain Boston University and Connecticut next weekend, jumped above .500 on the season and now stand at 4-3-1. On the flip side, the Huskies look to right the ship from a five-game winless stretch next weekend in a two-game series against Alabama-Huntsville at Matthews Arena.




Boston University 4, North Dakota 2
The Terriers were sure not to exit Grand Forks empty handed as they scored three times in less than four minutes late in the third period to upend UND in Ralph Engelstad Arena. After junior Matt Nieto tied the game with 5:21 left, freshmen Matt Lane and Danny O'Regan found the back of the net in the final two minutes to earn the win. Fellow rookie Matt O'Connor improved to a perfect 4-0-0 with a 26-save performance, sending BU to its first win ever in Grand Forks in eight tries. Additionally, senior Sean Escobedo posted a pair of assists, distributing the wealth to the rest of the attack. Host netminder Zane Gothberg, who is also a Boston Bruins draft prospect, posted 29 saves for UND as the Terriers held a 33-28 shots edge in the contest.

Vermont 2, Providence 0
Rookie Brody Hoffman made 24 saves in his first-collegiate shutout pacing the Catamounts to a Saturday victory over the visiting Friars, salvaging a weekend split at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Junior Matt White's goal just 10:06 into the contest proved to be all the offense the Green and Gold would need in its first regular-season victory of the year. The Friars fired 56 total shots in the losing cause, including 18 were blocked by the Vermont defense. UVM's second-period goal came off the stick of junior captain H.T. Lenz - also his first of the season. The Catamounts return to the ice next Saturday when they visit rival New Hampshire for the first time this season, while the Friars continue league play Friday at UMass.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. Merrimack score update: Tied 2-2 after two

The host Merrimack Warriors fell behind by two goals to the visiting and 15th-ranked Northeastern Huskies after the first period of play at Lawler Arena and climbed back all the way back into a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes of play in the final Hockey East game of the season between the teams.

After finishing the first period in a shots on goal tie, MC held a slight edge in the second period to take a 19-18 lead for the game overall.

Merrimack cut its deficit in half at 2:51 of the second period as Shawn Bates scored his first goal of his junior season on a great individual play down ice. Bates took the puck coast-to-coast and followed up his own shot with a rebound that dribbled past Huskies senior goaltender Chris Rawlings, who was making his first start in over a week.

Junior Mike Collins tied the game for the Warriors with 28 seconds remaining in the stanza as he buried a rebound from rookie Vinny Scotti's shot in the right circle.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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NU vs. Merrimack score update: Huskies lead 2-0

The Northeastern Huskies fell behind by a solid margin early in the first period of Friday's Hockey East contest against Merrimack at Matthews Arena, but they made sure not to do the same a night later as the scene shifted to Lawler Arena in North Andover.

The visitors in red and black dominated the majority of the first period and took a 2-0 lead to the first intermission. In that span, the teams tied 10-10 in shots on goal.

For the first time on the weekend, the Huskies earned themselves a lead, taking control of the scoreboard at 12:05 of the opening stanza. Captain Vinny Saponari got credit with his first goal of the season, also surpassing the 20-goal plateau early in the senior year of his career.

At 18:32, NU doubled its lead when freshman Michael McMurtry tipped in a one-time shot from classmate Kevin Roy for his first goal as a Husky, which also completed his first-ever multiple-point contest.

Additionally, the period was played in a very clean fashion as just one penalty was assessed on each side - both coming in the final five minutes.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: MC blows past NU; UMass, BC win late

Merrimack 5, Northeastern 2
The Warriors evened the season series with the host Huskies, using five goals from defensemen to earn the win at Matthews Arena. Junior captain Jordan Heywood led that charge with a pair of first-period goals – within a span of about ten minutes – to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Heywood became the first Merrimack defenseman to score two or more goals in a game since Karl Stollery recorded a hat trick at RIT on Jan. 1, 2011. Huskies sophomore Ludwig Karlsson also cracked the goal column for the first time this year, tying the game with a power play, one-time strike at 17:54 of the opening period. Rookie Kevin Roy’s pesky play around the goal all night long paid off with a score at 14:17 of the third period – his third of the season for the Hounds. In his second straight start, senior Bryan Mountain made 27 saves for NU, including double-digit totals in the first and third stanzas. Merrimack junior Sam Marotta turned aside 23 shots and earned his fourth victory of the season in five decisions. With the series shifting to Lawler Arena on Saturday, the Blue and Gold look to take the set against the Huskies with another victory.



Massachusetts 2, New Hampshire 1 (OT)
Senior defenseman Darren Rowe scored the game-winning goal on the power play at 3:08 of overtime to lift the Minutemen to the home win at Mullins Center, handing UNH its first loss of the season as it fell to 4-1-1 and 2-1-1 in league play. Five different UMass players tallied the teams' six points, including two assists for junior Conor Allen. Rowe's goal - a wrist shot off an assist from freshman West Roxbury, Mass. native Shane Walsh - was his third of the season and was the only special teams goal in the contest from either side. Sophomore Kevin Boyle's 25 saves were enough to lift the Minutemen and earn himself a second win, while fellow second-year netminder Casey DeSmith of the Wildcats made 34 saves and was the tough-luck loser. Both teams return to action on Sunday afternoon as UMass heads to Boston College and UNH is on the road at Maine.

Boston College 4, Maine 2
The Eagles used late-game heroics from sophomore Johnny Gaudreau as he scored the game-winner on a power play with 4:52 left at Alfond Arena. Senior alternate captain Steven Whitney potted an empty netter with 11.4 seconds remaining to seal the victory, which snapped a three-game losing streak in Maine's building and was the Eagles' first at Orono since Nov. 30, 2009. With goals on the evening, Gaudreau and Whitney have each posted at least a point in all six games, while senior captain Pat Mullane – the Hockey East October Player of the Month – saw his scoring streak snapped at five games. BC posted three man-advantage goals on six chances, marking the second consecutive game the Eagles have scored three times in that situation. Maine was paced by freshman Will Merchant and sophomore Connor Leen, who posted second-period goals in the defeat. BC senior Parker Milner posted an 11-save second period and 28 total stops in the contest to improve to 5-1-0 on the season. Maine junior Martin Ouellette's 19 saves were not enough as he fell to his second loss.

Providence 3, Vermont 2
At 4:19 of the third period, rookie phenom Mark Jankowski netted the game-winning goal to propel the visiting Friars past the Catamounts to open a two-game weekend series at Gutterson Fieldhouse – their third win in as many games and their first away from Schneider Arena this season. The win lifted PC to a four-game winning streak over Vermont for the second time ever and the first since 1969. With Brandon Tanev netting the first goal and assist of his career, 13 different Friars have at least one goal on the year and 18 Friars have notched at least a point – an impressive number this early in the season. In what was UVM's home opener in Burlington, freshman Jacob Fallon and junior Connor Brickley scored power-play goals to pace the Catamount offense. Jon Gillies made his seventh consecutive start in the Friar net and posted his first career road win, stopping 23 shots. Fellow rookie Brody Hoffman one-upped Gillies in the Vermont net, but suffered a loss.

North Dakota 4, Boston University 2
Despite goals from freshmen Danny O'Regan and Ahti Oksanen, the Terriers dropped the weekend opener to perennial national power No. 5 North Dakota at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D in front of 11,589. Connor Gaarder scored each of UND's first three goals, while Rocco Grimaldi's empty-net strike sealed the win for the hosts. Junior Clarke Saunders posted 20 saves in its goal for North Dakota, quieting the Terrier offense in their first road game at a WCHA foe since Minnesota on Jan. 3, 2004. The Terriers are 0-6-1 in their last seven meetings with UND on the road but hope to turn that fate around in the series finale Saturday.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Merrimack leads Northeastern 2-1 after two

After Merrimack jumped ahead with Jordan Heywood's second goal of the night late in the first period, the Warriors and 15th-ranked Northeastern Huskies played scoreless hockey in the middle stanza at Matthews Arena.

The teams each had strong chances throughout the stanza but NU senior Bryan Mountain and Merrimack junior Sam Marotta were equal to the challenge with 15 saves between the two. The Huskies held a 9-6 advantage in shots on goal, after losing that battle in the opening period, as well as taking over the lead in total chances with a 24-18 stanza.

At the conclusion of the period, NU took a pair of penalties, including a five-minute major to junior Braden Pimm, so the Warriors will have 4:44 of power play time when the third period begins. 1:23 of that time will be 5-on-3 as sophomore Joseph Manno was called less than 30 seconds earlier.

The Huskies scored just their second power-play goal of the season in the opening period, but are still just 1-for-5 in the game. Merrimack is 0-for-4 but will have an extended try to open the third.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Merrimack vs. NU score update: Warriors lead 2-1

The Hockey East season has just hit its second month on the calendar, but the No. 15 Northeastern Huskies and Merrimack Warriors returned to Boston's historic Matthews Arena for the second time. Both teams went back-and-forth throughout the stanza and after the first period, the Warriors took a 2-1 lead for the first instance of the season set.

The Warriors took a 1-0 lead just 8:44 into the period as junior captain Jordan Heywood buried a one-time goal past Northeastern senior goaltender Bryan Mountain for his second goal of the young season. Heywood took the cross-ice pass from sophomore Connor Toomey for the one-time score.

Northeastern second-year forward Ludwig Karlsson was able to crack the scoresheet for the first time on the season as he beat Warrior junior Sam Marotta on one-timer through traffic, after taking a pass from rookie Colton Saucerman.

Merrimack was able to take a lead into the locker room as Heywood's point shot had eyes and found the back of the net with 38.5 seconds remaining.

The Warriors held a 12-9 shots advantage in the stanza.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: MC, NU home-and-home; BU out west

BOSTON -- Hurricane Sandy's storm through the Northeast is not going to stop Hockey East from embarking on its second three-day weekend in a row as eight conference games take place beginning Friday night, while Boston University is out of league play for a two-game series at perennial national power North Dakota.

Merrimack and No. 15 Northeastern highlight the weekend in local Hockey East action with a home-and-home series, commencing at Matthews Arena on Friday.

After dropping five of six points in last year's season series, the Huskies already have a lead head-to-head this year. NU begun its season by posting a 4-2 victory over the visiting Warriors on Oct. 10, thanks to the first-collegiate goal from highly touted freshman Kevin Roy to win the game.

Husky senior Bryan Mountain was impressive in last weekend's series with New Hampshire, stopping 62 of the 63 shots he faced, including his first-career shutout in Saturday's 0-0 tie - a 44-save effort, matching UNH sophomore Casey DeSmith toe-to-toe.

Junior Mike Collins, the league's reigning Player of the Week, posted three goals and five points in a weekend series with Vermont, which saw Merrimack claim a victory and a tie over the Catamounts. The Boston native has posted seven points in his last four games, including two goals in Saturday's 2-2 draw.

Led by a line featuring a pair of sophomores and senior captain Wade Megan, the No. 12 Terriers hit the road to Grand Forks for a pair of dates against No. 6 UND at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Friday's game begins at 8:30 p.m., before an 8:30 start on Saturday night. Both will be televised on NESN.

The series marks BU's first visit to a WCHA school since facing Minnesota on Jan. 2-3, 2004 and also marks the continuation of a four-game road stretch - its longest since 2005-06.

Megan and sophomores Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues have combined for a hot start with 15 total points together, going along with a +17 rating. Hohmann has three goals in his first four games, already upping his freshman total.

Megan, a Canton, N.Y. native, has scored BU's first goal in each of the last three games and is on a five-game point streak.

Boston College remains in the top spot of the national poll this week and travels north to Maine's Alfond Arena for a Friday bout with the Black Bears. Following the rematch of last March's Hockey East title game, in which BC earned a 4-1 win for its league-best tenth championship, both teams will have a day off before hosting games on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles are fresh off a 6-3 win over UMass-Lowell on Sunday, which swept a weekend series from the River Hawks. Juniors Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes and sophomore Destry Straight posted four goals and eight points combined in the contest.

Maine, which hosts border rival New Hampshire in Sunday's game, is just 1-6-0 to open the season and enters the weekend without a win in its last four contests. Despite that fact, it has been a pretty strong start for junior goaltender Dan Sullivan as he tied a career-best in posting 39 saves in Saturday's 3-0 loss at Providence.

The No. 10 Wildcats and UMass Minutemen will meet in a single game on Friday evening and will then head separately for Sunday's contest. UNH has earned season series wins over its border rival in the past two years, as well as an 11.

UMass is just 1-3-0 in the early going, but has seen five of its 12 goals come from defensemen, including four of five on the power-play. However, senior forward and captain Rocco Carzo leads the offense with three scores - his only points of the young season.

On Sunday, UNH junior Kevin Goumas puts his career success against Maine back to the test for the first time this season. In six games, he leads all Wildcats with four goals and eight points.

Co-Rookie of the Month Jon Gillies (joining fellow freshman goaltender Matt O'Connor of BU) and the Providence Friars are on the road at Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse for the weekend after sweeping Maine from a home series last week.

Gillies, a South Portland, Maine native, posted a 3-2-1 record during the first month of his Friar career, while he also earned weekly honors in the league with 53 saves in the two-game weekend. He made 26 saves to earn his first-career shutout in Saturday's 3-0 win of the Black Bears, leading PC to its first season series win over Maine since 2007-08.

UVM earned a point with Saturday's 2-2 tie at Lawler Arena as Pete Massar and Nick Luukko posted their first-collegiate goals against Merrimack freshman Rasmus Tirronen.

Friday, November 2
Boston College at Maine, 7 p.m. (WABI)
New Hampshire at Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
Merrimack at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Providence at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Boston University at North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)

Saturday, November 3
Northeastern at Merrimack, 7 p.m.
Providence at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Boston University at North Dakota, 8 p.m. (NESN)

Sunday, November 4
Massachusetts at Boston College, 4 p.m.
New Hampshire at Maine, 4 p.m.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: BC proves top billing in sweep of UML

CHESTNUT HILL - The top-ranked Boston College Eagles spread the wealth on offense as they defeated the No. 11 UMass-Lowell River Hawks on Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink, sweeping the weekend series with a 6-3 victory. With a pair of wins over three days, BC improved to 61-34-7 in the 102-game series between the teams, while Jerry York picked up his 917th-career victory behind the Eagle bench.

After opening the season with a loss at Northeastern on Oct. 13, the Eagles have now won their last four games to improve to 4-1-0 and close the weekend with a solid grasp of first place in the Hockey East standings.

BC jumped ahead just 4:23 into the proceedings as junior Bill Arnold's second goal of the season came off a tipped shot from freshman defenseman Teddy Doherty, who was credited with three assists on the afternoon.

The goal was just the begining of the offensive outburst for the Needham, Mass. native as he established a new career-high with an additional three assists. Last season, he posted three points on two separate occasions, but was unable to eclipse that mark.

Kevin Hayes doubled that lead at 18:41 of the opening stanza, banging a rebound past UML third-year netminder Doug Carr for his second of the season. The junior from Dorchester, Mass. was not done as he made it a 3-0 game with his second power-play goal of the afternoon at 5:33 of the middle period. Hayes also chipped in with the feed to Doherty on Arnold's goal to open the scoring.

River Hawk freshman Michael Colantone scored at 7:40 of the second to get the visitors on the scoreboard and break BC senior Parker Milner's shutout streak at 158:05, dating back to last Saturday night's 3-0 victory over Northeastern.

Junior Derek Arnold brought UML within one goal at 11:14, but the Eagles closed the period with goals from sophomores Johnny Gaudreau and Destry Straight.

UML's Scott Wilson returned to his form from a year ago as he scored his first goal at 4:39 of the third period, bringing his squad back within 5-3 on the power-play, but senior captain Pat Mullane posted his third of the season at the 16:25 mark of the stanza to equal the final score.

For the Eagles, Doherty and fellow freshman blue liner Michael Matheson each recorded their first career multiple-point performances. Matheson, a highly touted Florida Panthers product, had not previously cracked the scoreboard until assisting Hayes in the second period.

Despite seeing his scoreless streak snapped in the middle stanza, Milner posted a solid 25 saves. Carr fell to 1-2-1 thus far, making 13 of his 23 saves in the that same second period.

In the loss, UML was out-shot for the first time on the season and allowed BC to take advantage of three of its five power plays on the afternoon.

The Eagles return to action with hopes of their fifth straight win on Friday night as they make a long jaunt to Orono for their first meeting of the season with the Maine Black Bears. The game will be broadcast live (as is the case with many BC Friday games) on 98.5 The Sports Hub. UML has a week off before a two-game weekend series with the Black Bears at Tsongas Center.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East roundup: Two ties, two sweeps

Northeastern 0, New Hampshire 0 (OT)
For the first time in the all-time series between the two teams, the Huskies and Wildcats skated to a scoreless tie at Matthews Arena - NU's second home shutout in a row over New Hampshire. NU senior Bryan Mountain pitched his first-career shutout, making stops on all 44 shots he faced in his first start since Jan. 2010, while counterpart Casey DeSmith posted the first blanking of his second season (and the second of his Wildcat career) with 34 saves. Mountain, a Pennsylvania native, posted his first-collegiate shutout, making double-digit saves in each regulation period. Prior to Saturday, the Wildcats, which finish the first month of the season at 4-0-1, had not been a part of a scoreless draw since Jan. 5, 2001. On the other end of the spectrum, Northeastern has skated to just four scoreless draws in its 81-year varsity history with the most previous coming at Boston University on Jan. 6, 2007. NU junior Braden Pimm and UNH senior John Henrion led their respective offenses on the night, taking six shots on goal each. The Huskies return to action next Friday night when they host Merrimack, while the Wildcats remain on the road with a pair of games next weekend, beginning at UMass.



Merrimack 2, Vermont 2 (OT)
Boston native and junior Mike Collins scored both goals for the host Warriors as they took a third point on the weekend series from the visiting Catamounts at Lawler Arena. Merrimack improves to 8-0-3 against Vermont in their last 11 meetings, including a win and tie this weekend. With Collins' two goals, including the equalizer at 6:13 of the third, the Warriors were able to come from behind to capture at least a point for the second straight game. Despite falling short of his first-career victory, rookie Rasmus Tirronen posted a strong 31 saves for the Blue and Gold. UVM scored its two goals in less than a minute's time as junior Pete Massar and sophomore Nick Luukko beat Tirronen in the 15th minute of the middle period. Brody Hoffman, who made yet another start for the Cats, finished with 32 stops.

Providence 3, Maine 0
The Friars clinched their first season series victory over the Black Bears on the strength of Jon Gillies' first-career shutout - a 26-save effort for the Portland, Maine native - at Schneider Arena. With the win, PC captured a home sweep of Maine for the first time since Dec. 5-6, 1997 and dropped the visitors to an astounding 1-6-0 record. Freshman Paul De Jersey set up goals for sophomore Ross Mauermann (his fourth of the year, leading the team) and junior Kevin Hart to set his own career high with two assists. Freshmen John Gilmour and senior Tim Schaller extended their point streaks to three games after cracking the scoreboard for the Friars. Despite the loss, Dan Sullivan posted 39 saves in net for Maine.

Boston University 3, Massachusetts 2
Senior Sean Escobedo capped off his birthday with a rebound goal with 1:22 remaining in regulation, lifting the Terriers to a weekend sweep at Mullins Center. For the second consecutive night, rookie Matt O'Connor turned in an impressive performance with 34 saves, including stops on each of the last 25 he faced. BU fell behind with the first goal for the first time this season as West Roxbury, Mass. native Shane Walsh scored his first-collegiate goal on a power play at 16:49. The Minutemen converted their first penalty shot since Jeff Turner on Feb. 6, 2000 as senior captain Rocco Carzo scored past O'Connor at 1:06 of the second. Propelled by a 15-save second period, UMass sophomore Kevin Boyle posted 32 saves in his first loss of the young season.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Northeastern, UNH remain scoreless after two

The second period of play did not exactly calm down at Matthews Arena, but although there were many strong chances at both ends, the Huskies and Wildcats are still scoreless after 40 minutes. UNH holds a 32-21 shots advantage through the first two stanzas, including a 15-12 mark in the second period alone - a much closer margin than the opening stanza.

Additionally, the second period was played in its entirety without a penalty being assessed, despite a scuffle between the sides as time expired.

NU senior Bryan Mountain and UNH sophomore Casey DeSmith continued their stellar performances between the pipes as each has stopped all of the shots they have faced during the contest.

DeSmith, a Rochester, N.H. native, came up especially big late in the period for the Wildcats, stopping several close-range chances, including a backhander off the stick of senior captain Vinny Saponari on the left post in the final 45 seconds. While DeSmith has made 21 total saves in the contest, he has faced 48 total attempts, including 18 that were blocked by his defensive unit.

In the all-time series between the Huskies and Wildcats, which dates back to 1930, the teams have never skated to a scoreless tie, so history could be in the making as the third period gets underway.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Northeastern vs. UNH: Scoreless first at Matthews

With its perfect 4-0-0 record on the line, the New Hampshire Wildcats skated into Northeastern's Matthews Arena looking to make it five in as many games for the first time since for the first time since 1993. They stormed out of the gate with the majority of the chances in the opening few minutes, including the first five shots on goal of the stanza.

Through 20 minutes, the advantage extended to 17-9 for the visitors. UNH also held a 24-18 advantage in total shot attempts - an impressive ratio of quality shots on goal.

Things were fairly clean for the majority of the stanza in terms of penalties but play got a bit out of hand with six assessed infractions in the final four minutes.

The period's greatest chance came from Wildcat junior Kevin Goumas, who broke in alone on the shorthanded, but missed wide on NU senior goalie Bryan Mountain in the final minute. Mountain, a Pennsylvania native, entered the game in relief on Friday night, but had not made a previous start since Jan. 2010.

UNH sophomore Casey DeSmith posted eight saves on as many shots during his 20 minutes of work.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Exciting first Friday of Hockey East play

Boston College 1, UMass-Lowell 0

Senior Steven Whitney scored the lone goal of the game at 3:17 of the third period and classmate Parker Milner posted 38 saves as the Eagles blanked the host River Hawks at the Tsongas Center for their second consecutive shutout. John Muse was the latest BC goaltender to backstop his team to a 1-0 win, doing so in the clinching game of the quarterfinals at New Hampshire on March 14, 2009. Additionally, the Eagles had not pitched back-to-back blankings since sweeping through the NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. this past March. BC was outshot 38-20 in the contest, including a 12-4 edge in the first period and an 11-5 advantage in the final frame, but it was enough for the victory. UML's Doug Carr made 19 saves but suffered the home loss. The teams face-off in a Sunday afternoon rematch at Kelley Rink.

New Hampshire 4, Northeastern 3

Senior John Henrion scored with 53 seconds remaining in regulation as the Wildcats edged fellow ranked foe Northeastern in the weekend opener at Whittemore Center, helping his squad remain perfect at 4-0-0 so far this season. Second-year puckstopper Casey DeSmith, the reigning Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week, made 18 saves, including eight in the third period and two in the final 38 seconds while NU was playing with an empty net. Huskies junior Braden Pimm notched his first goal just 33 seconds into the game, while sophomore defenseman Ben Oskroba's first-collegiate point was a tally at 11:45 of the first, giving the Huskies a two-goal edge at the time. Senior Bryan Mountain made his first appearance in net since Feb. 25, making 18 saves in relief of senior Chris Rawlings (11 saves in 26:40). Northeastern is winless in its last seven trips to Durham, N.H. (0-6-1) and has not won on "Lake Whit" since 2007, but will look to post a victory at home on Saturday.

Merrimack 6, Vermont 3

A pair of three-goal periods sparked the Warriors as they came from two goals down to defeat the visiting Catamounts in Lawler Arena's home opener in North Andover. Junior blue liner Jordan Heywood scored his first game-winning goal of the young season with close to four minutes remaining in the final stanza, helping the Warriors to just their second win in five games. Vinny Scotti buried his first-collegiate goal with just over 22 seconds remaining in the second period, giving Merrimack a lead at the time. UVM's first goal of the game was also of the first-career variety as Jonathan Turk beat MC sophomore Sam Marotta (29 saves) at 15:03. Sophomore Josh Myers continued his solid start for the Warriors with his third goal of the season at 19:12 of the third, beating UVM rookie Brody Hoffman (26 saves) for one of three power-play goals scored in the contest for the home team. With the win, Merrimack improves to 8-0-2 against the Catamounts in their last 10 meetings and will look to sweep the weekend on Saturday.

Providence 3, Maine 2

The Friars scored twice in the opening stages of the third period to overtake the visiting Black Bears en route to victory at Schneider Arena. Goals from sophomore Drew Brown and freshman Steven McParland just over two minutes apart in the third period helped the Friars to their second home victory of the season and their first in Hockey East. Rookie Jon Gillies started his fifth straight game in goal, earning the victory with 27 saves. Senior defenseman Myles Harvey dished off assists on two of the three Friar goals to help the offense. Maine fell to 1-5-0 on the season with the loss, despite 24 saves from junior Martin Ouellette and goals from sophomore Connor Leen and senior Mike Cornell.

Boston University 5, Massachusetts 2

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East: Terriers post complete win vs. UMass

BOSTON – The visiting UMass Minutemen hung tough for the duration of Friday’s Hockey East match-up at Agganis Arena but could not catch up completely as they fell 5-2 to the No. 13 Boston University Terriers in the first head-to-head meeting of the season between the in-state rivals.

Despite the loss to fall to 1-2-0, the Minutemen held a shots on goal advantage in two of the three periods – 30-25 for the entirety of the contest.

The hosts stormed out of the gate in the opening half of the stanza and peppered UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz, a North Andover native, who was making his second start in as many games. At the conclusion of the period, however, the Mass Attack collected an 8-6 shots on goal advantage.

Following the first period, Parker was honored for the start of his 40th season behind the BU bench and was joined on the ice with over 80 of his former players for a special ceremony and presentation.

Things changed quickly in the second period as the host Terriers jumped up with two early goals in the middle period, before UMass cut the deficit headed into the second intermission. The Minutemen held a 12-8 shots advantage in the period and seemed to control the majority of the chances, despite trailing on the scoreboard.

The Terriers went on top at the 0:51 mark of the stanza, thanks to the second goal of the season from senior captain Wade Megan scored his second goal of the season. Megan took a nifty drop pass from sophomore linemate Cason Hohmann and did the rest, weaving his way through the UMass defense and goaltender Steve Mastalerz for the score.

At the 4:45 mark, BU doubled its lead with another even-strength goal as a pair of freshman hooked up on another strong passing sequence. Rookie blue liner Matt Grzelcyk gathered the puck off the feed from junior Sahir Gill and sent the puck forward for classmate Danny O'Regan to tip his first-career goal right in front of the net.

Senior Darren Rowe hit the crossbar with a point shot a few minutes later, but the Minutemen were able to crack the scoreboard for the first time in the contest at 14:57 as junior Branden Gracel beat BU rookie Matt O’Connor with the wrist shot from the left side, after creating a turnover by himself along the boards.

BU went up on a 5-on-3 advantage a couple minutes into the third period and capitalized to cushion the lead with a third goal and the second of the night from O’Regan, a Needham, Mass. native and St. Sebastian’s School product.

At the 4:33 mark, he took another solid pass from Grzelyck and put in his second of the night and of his career, this time on the power play.


At 9:27, the Minutemen clawed back within a 3-2 score with a man-advantage goal of their own. Junior Joel Hanley took a pass from junior Conor Sheary, beating O’Connor low off the shot from the right wing circle.

However, the Terriers were fast to respond at 10:10 as sophomore Cason Hohmann trickled a wrister past Mastalerz for his second goal of the year. Mastalerz, a North Andover, Mass. native, looked to have covered the low shot for a whistle but was unable to hold on, allowing the puck to trickle into the back of the net.

With Mastalerz pulled from the UMass net, Hohmann chipped the puck ahead of the defense and deposited an empty-netter with 50 seconds remaining, giving BU a 5-2 lead and their second win in the season’s first three games.

After just a trio of games, Hohmann, an Arlington, Texas native, has already scored more goals than he did in 35 games last season, including two in one game.

O’Connor earned his second win in as many decisions to open his freshman campaign, posting 28 saves, including 11 in the second period. Mastalerz fell to 0-2-0, despite making 17 stops.

The Terriers will look to win their first season series of the year on Saturday night as the weekend set shifts to Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. start.




Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BU vs. UMass score update: Terriers lead 2-1

After a scoreless first period, the Boston University Terriers buzzed out of the gate in the middle stanza and finished it with a 2-1 lead over the UMass Minutemen at Agganis Arena. The Minutemen held a 12-8 shots advantage in the period, as well as 20-14 through 40 minutes.

The Terriers jumped ahead less than one minute into the stanza as senior captain Wade Megan scored his second goal of the season, depositing the puck into a virtually open net. The Canton, N.Y. native took the nifty drop pass from sophomore linemate Cason Hohmann and did the rest, beating the UMass defense and goaltender Steve Mastalerz for the score.

At the 4:45 mark, BU doubled its lead with another even-strength goal as a pair of freshman hooked up on another nifty passing play. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk gathered the puck off the feed from junior Sahir Gill and sent the puck forward for fellow Massachusetts native Danny O'Regan to tip his first-career goal right in front of the net.

With 7:22 remaining, Minuteman senior defenseman Darren Rowe nearly cut the deficit in half with his third goal and point of the season as he beat Terrier netminder Matt O'Connor. The play was immediately whistled dead, but after replay, the puck was deemed to have not crossed the goal line.

UMass' fate changed as junior Branden Gracel made it a 2-1 game at 14:57 with his second tally of the young campaign. The Alberta native won the puck out of the corner on a turnover and set up a pretty wrist shot on the left side to beat O'Connor cleanly.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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BU vs. UMass score update: Scoreless first period

In the first meeting of the season between the two teams, the Boston University Terriers and UMass Minutemen played to a scoreless first period at Agganis Arena.

The hosts stormed out of the gate in the opening half of the stanza and peppered UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz, a North Andover native, who was making his second start in as many games. At the conclusion of the period, however, the Mass Attack collected an 8-6 shots on goal advantage. Neither team was able to cash in on their only power play opportunity of the period.

Terrier rookie Matt O'Connor got the starting nod for Jack Parker's squad and did not disappoint with eight saves on as many shots, as well as a strong flurry of Minuteman shots midway through.

Following the first period, Parker was honored for the start of his 40th season behind the BU bench and was joined on the ice with over 80 of his former players for a special ceremony and presentation.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Hockey East in full swing

Hockey East has a full slate of games scheduled for Friday night.

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Hockey East: Full league series slate this weekend

Hockey East is back in action for a full weekend of league games beginning on Friday night. The slate marks the first time this season that all ten conference teams will face-off in head-to-head competition in the same three-day span, through Sunday.

After returning to the top of the national rankings with two victories last weekend, the Boston College Eagles play arguably the most competitive clash of the weekend with a Friday-Sunday doubleheader with the No. 11 UMass-Lowell River Hawks. The Maroon and Gold captured two of three meetings in last year's season series, but UML earned a 3-2 victory in the most recent meeting on Dec. 9, 2011.

Doug Carr and the River Hawks enter the weekend off a 3-1 victory on Saturday at Colorado College, which saw the junior netminder from Hanover, Mass. make 27 saves in his first win of the year. The effort, which also included five saves in relief of freshman Connor Hellebuyck in Friday's 5-1 loss at Denver, earned him co-Defensive Player of the Week honors by the conference.

Carr's classmate Josh Holmstrom has worked his way onto the scoresheet in all three games this season, while freshman Ryan McGrath tallied his first point as a River Hawk with the go-ahead goal over the Tigers.

In BC's come-from-behind victory at UMass last Friday, senior captain Pat Mullane set a career watermark with two goals and an assist to pace the Eagles and earn his 100th-career point in the process. With the 5-4 victory in overtime, the Eagles came from three goals down to win for the first time since winning at Providence on Feb. 28, 2009.

Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, the reigning Hockey East Player of the Week, scored the winning goal and an assist in the win over UMass, while going off for the same amount in Saturday's 3-0 shutout of Northeastern at Kelley Rink.

The No. 15 Huskies and No. 12 New Hampshire Wildcats hook together for the first time this season with the teams moving in opposite directions. Heading into Friday's opener at Whittemore Center, the Wildcats are undefeated after handing BU its first loss to the tune of 4-1 on Saturday. BC senior Parker Milner's 26 saves stymied the Huskies in their first loss, 3-0.

UNH, which captured two of the three head-to-head meetings a season ago, has scored on the power play in each of its first three games this season and has killed off 14 of 15 penalties. In spite of the two victories, NU head coach Jim Madigan posted his first win behind the bench in a 4-0 decision over UNH last Oct. 14, which was also the only match-up at Matthews Arena.

The 'Cats are off to their best start since 2008 when they went undefeated through four games. They join just Holy Cross and Denver as the lone unbeaten and untied teams in all of college hockey. Sophomore Casey DeSmith is a co-conference Defensive Player of the Week after making 24 saves in Saturday's win, including 13 in the third period.

No. 13 Boston University welcomes rival UMass to Agganis Arena to begin the weekend on Friday, before trekking back to Mullins Center. The Terriers and Minutemen split their three meetings last year, 1-1-1, skating in back-to-back overtime games to close October 2011.

Minuteman senior Rocco Carzo tallied a pair of goals in Friday's overtime loss to BC, while sophomore Kevin Boyle looks to repeat the 33-save performance he pitched in his 3-2 victory at Agganis on Feb. 10. Carzo notched the first multi-goal game of his career in his first appearance as co-captain.

BU freshman Matt O'Connor is off to a strong start with a 1.41 goals-against average and .953 save percentage over 85:20 between the pipes. The forward line of senior Wade Megan and sophomores Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues has combined for eight total points thus far, while each has collected a +3 rating.

Rookie of the Week Jon Gillies comes into this weekend's series with Maine at Schneider Arena fresh off a 53-save set over two games at Miami. The Black Bears took the first two meetings of the year between the teams at Alfond Arena in October, but his Providence Friars earned a 4-3 win on Feb. 10. Three of the past six meetings between Maine and Providence have reached overtime, while three of four have been decided by a single goal.

The Black Bears are just 1-4-0 on the season so far after suffering consecutive home losses last weekend to St. Lawrence, despite holding a shots on goal advantage in four of the first five games. Junior Mark Anthoine leads Maine with appearances in 60 straight contests, while four of eight rookie skaters have recorded a point.

For the first time this season, Merrimack returns to home Lawler Arena for a pair of games with Vermont. The Warriors swept the 2011-12 season series clean from the Catamounts, while owning a 7-0-2 mark in the last nine meetings.

The Green and Gold hit the ice for the first time in ten days, looking to avenge losing a point in a 1-1 tie at UMass-Lowell. Sophomore Colin Markison scored UVM's lone goal in the contest.

MC dropped straight games to both Alaska teams last weekend in Fairbanks and enters the weekend with a 1-3-0 mark, including a conference schedule-opening loss to Northeastern on Oct. 10. Sophomore Josh Myers has started off his campaign very strong with two assists last weekend and a total of five points on the season, including at least one in each game.

Friday, October 26
Boston College at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Maine at Providence, 7 p.m. (Cox)
Northeastern at New Hampshire, 7:30 p.m. (WBIN)
Vermont at Merrimack, 7:30 p.m.
Massachusetts at Boston University, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27
Boston University at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. (CBS3)
Vermont at Merrimack, 7 p.m.
New Hampshire at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Maine at Providence, 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 28
UMass-Lowell at Boston College, 4 p.m.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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Boston College back to No. 1 in USCHO.com poll

After falling to No. 3 in the previous poll, the Boston College men's hockey team is back to No. 1.

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Banner night: BC hockey basks in title glory

Boston College hockey celebrated its 2012 national championship-winning season by raising the title banner Saturday night in front of a sold out Conte Forum.

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Hockey East: BC raises banner, soars past NU

CHESTNUT HILL – After raising the 2012 national championship banner to the Conte Forum rafters, the third-ranked Boston College Eagles turned in a complete performance en route to a 3-0 victory over the visiting crosstown rival Northeastern Huskies on Saturday night.

With the victory, the Eagles improve to 2-1-0 on the season after dropping their season opener to the Huskies by a 3-1 count last week at Matthews Arena. The loss was Northeastern’s first of the season through three games. It was an ugly game from start to finish for the Huskies, despite holding a disadvantage in shots on goal by just one overall, at 27-26.

NU was unable to cash in on any of its eight power-play chances, despite registering eight shots on goal during those 18 minutes.

Senior Parker Milner was brilliant between the pipes for the Eagles as he posted his first shutout since pitching his squad into the Frozen Four with a 33-save effort over Minnesota-Duluth on March 25. The performance also marked the first time this season that the Pittsburgh native allowed less than three goals.

BC took a 1-0 lead on the power play at 6:16 of the period as junior Kevin Hayes netted his first goal of the season. Freshman Teddy Doherty, a Hopkinton, Mass. native, picked up the primary assist to register his first point as an Eagle. Hayes took the pass on the right side and beat Northeastern senior Chris Rawlings with the wrist shot.

The Eagles increased that count to 2-0 at 10:06 as senior captain Pat Mullane sprung star sophomore Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway for his second goal in as many games, beating Rawlings under the five-hole.

Things were quiet for the majority of the second period but the Eagles were able to extend their lead once again, equaling the final 3-0 score, at the 18:32 mark. Gaudreau, who has scored at least a point in each of the first three games, including Friday’s overtime winner, fed senior Steven Whitney for the pretty wrist shot through a screen, resulting in the second goal of the season for the Reading, Mass. native and Lawrence Academy product.

NU’s golden chance of the game came with just over 11 minutes remaining in the second as Milner flashed the leather on a solid wrist shot from senior Garrett Vermeersch, snatching away his second goal of the year and in as many games.

The Huskies were very strong in the third period, out-shooting the hosts by an 8-4 margin, but could not scratch anything past Milner, who made 26 saves in the victory and his first-ever shutout of Northeastern.

With the loss, NU snaps its first two-game winning streak to open the season since 1999 and will drop from its current No. 14 ranking in the USCHO.com national poll before hitting the road to open a home-and-home set with New Hampshire, which begins on Friday in Durham.

The Eagles will be back in action on Friday as they hit the highway for a date at UMass-Lowell, looking to avenge a road loss to the River Hawks last December.



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Hockey East: Wildcats topple Terriers in Durham

After last year’s disappointing end for the UNH Wildcats, after being ousted by the BU Terriers in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith said tonight’s 4-1 win over them was a sweet taste of revenge.

But, more importantly, what was sweeter was how it happened--especially when comparing it to last year.

The Wildcats started off 0-4 in the dismal days at the beginning of the season last year, including their first loss to BU. UNH head coach Dick Umile said they have put extra emphasis on coming out with a bang, making an impression, and finishing it so there are no doubts.

“It feels great. We were determined to start the season off right and make a statement that our program likes to be competing in the top,” Umile said. “And we missed that last year so are determined to get back in it. We are going to take it one game at a time and worry about Hockey East right now.”

Though UNH has only competed in one conference game so far this season, they have showcased their talent across the board. They have scored 13 goals in their first three games, with eight different goal scorers spanning from freshman to senior, first line to fourth. UNH has three power play goals so far this season and have let up only one against them.

Both Umile and BU head coach Jack Parker said that they like what they see in the Wildcats this year, and a lot of it has to do with not only talent, but the balance on the team.

“I talked to [Umile] last night, and I told him I like his team. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m not sure where the goals are coming from,’ and what did they hit, five pipes tonight? They are going to score some goals.”

Not only did they score some goals, but they had a solid performance from sophomore goaltender Casey DeSmith who picked up his third win of the season, with a 24-save effort tonight.

After letting up a tough goal less than a minute into the game, he seemed to calm down and gave the Wildcats a way to win down the stretch. Coming into the season, DeSmith was put as the number one goalie for the first time in his collegiate career. After following former goaltender Matt DiGirolamo last year, he has stepped up into his role seemingly flawless.

“I welcome the challenge,” DeSmith said. “When it’s my net to lose, I know I have to play well and I build off that and feed off that. I work harder and am more focused. So when it’s my net to lose it’s a benefit for me and not as much pressure.”

UNH will play host to the Northeastern Huskies on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Huskies currently sit 2-1-0 overall.

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Hockey East: BC 3, Northeastern 0 after two

Things were very quiet on the scoreboard for most of the second period but senior Steven Whitney tickled the twine late in the stanza to lift the Boston College Eagles ahead by another goal.

After 40 minutes, the third-ranked Maroon and Gold held a 3-0 lead on the scoreboard and a 23-18 edge in shots on goal.

BC senior goaltender Parker Milner was tremendous in the stanza, making a whopping 13 more saves to equal a game total of 18 through the first two periods. He made the definite save of the evening with just over 11 minutes left in the stanza, robbing senior Garrett Vermeersch with the glove after taking a nifty drop pass from between the circles.

BC’s goal came at the 18:32 mark as Johnny Gaudreau fed Whitney for the pretty wrist shot through a screen, resulting in the second goal of the season for the Reading, Mass. native and Lawrence Academy product.

Despite allowing the late goal, NU’s Chris Rawlings also stopped 13 shots in the period for 20 overall.

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Hockey East: BC 2, Northeastern 0 after one period

After raising the 2012 national championship banner to the Conte Forum rafters, the Boston College Eagles turned in an outstanding first-period performance, taking a 2-0 lead over the Northeastern Huskies.

Eagle senior netminder Parker Milner made stops on all five shots he faced in the period as his squad held a 9-5 shots edge in the stanza.

BC took a 1-0 lead on the power play at 6:16 of the period as junior Kevin Hayes netted his first goal of the season off the first-career point from rookie Teddy Doherty, a Hopkinton, Mass. native, who picked up the primary assist. Hayes took the pass on the right side and beat Northeastern senior Chris Rawlings with the wrist shot.

The Eagles increased that count to 2-0 at 10:06 as senior captain Pat Mullane sprung star sophomore Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway for his second goal in as many games, beating Rawlings under the five-hole.

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Hockey East: BC downs UMass in overtime, and more

Boston College 5, Massachusetts 4 (OT)

Despite falling down by three goals after two periods at the Mullins Center, the No. 3 Boston College Eagles came all the way back and posted the overtime victory over the Minutemen. Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau tipped in a shot from senior captain Pat Mullane at 3:37 of the extra frame to lift the Eagles to their first win of the new regular season and third in a row over UMass, dating back to the Hockey East quarterfinal sweep last March. Mullane had a strong night, scoring twice in 1:10 in the final five minutes of the third period, en route to capping the game with his 100th career point - the lone helper on Gaudreau's winner. Senior Parker Milner earned the victory with a 20-save effort, despite allowing three goals for the second game in a row. Newly minted senior captain Rocco Carzo scored two of UMass' first three goals, while classmate Darren Rowe scored its lone tally in the third period. Sophomore Steve Mastalerz got his first start of the season over sophomore Kevin Boyle and made a solid 37 stops in his first decision. For the first time in the regular season, the Eagles return home on Saturday night to host Northeastern in a rematch of last Saturday's 3-1 Husky win at Matthews Arena.

Providence 1, Miami 1 (OT)

Sophomore Ross Mauermann scored just 5:55 into the game and rookie Jon Gillies, the reigning Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week, made 27 saves in goal as the Friars held on to draw against the No. 4 RedHawks in their first visit to Goggin Ice Arena since 1999. Mauermann has been on a roll to start the season as he also set a new career benchmark with three points in last Friday's win over Sacred Heart. Rookie Riley Barber scored his second goal in the first three games to lead the UM offense but it was not enough to maintain a fully unblemished mark, after last weekend's sweep of Colgate. The teams will look to break a 3-3-1 deadlock in the all-time series as they play the finale of a weekend series in Oxford, Ohio on Saturday night.

Alaska 3, Merrimack 2

Junior Sam Marotta allowed three power-play goals in the second period, proving to be the difference on the opening night of the Brice Alaska Goal Rush at Fairbanks' Carlson Center. Despite defeat, things started strong for the Warriors as sophomore Quinn Gould scored at 14:47 of the first - his second goal of the season. Junior Mike Collins returned to the scoresheet for the first time in the young campaign as he gave Merrimack a 2-0 lead at 2:02 of the second, but from there, it was all Nanooks as they surged in the final stanza to take their first win of the season. The trip was Merrimack's first to Fairbanks since a two-game weekend sweep in 1995 and its first to The Last Frontier since 2006. It continues on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST against Alaska-Anchorage.

Denver 5, UMass-Lowell 1

The River Hawks fell down by two early in the first period and then allowed three scores within just 110 seconds during the third period to drop the contest at Magness Arena, despite the second goal in as many games from junior Josh Holmstrom late in the second period. Rookie Connor Hellebuyck got the start and made 23 saves, while junior Doug Carr relieved him midway through the final stanza, making five stops. Sam Brittain was equal to the task in goal for the Pioneers as he made 37 saves in the season-opening victory. UML hits the road again for a Saturday night showdown with Colorado College at World Arena.

St. Lawrence 5, Maine 0

The Saints surged past junior Dan Sullivan (17 saves) and the Black Bears in the first of two this weekend at Alfond Arena as counterpart Matt Weninger posted his second win of the season in a 30-save shutout. Rookie Devin Shore and senior Joey Diamond manned the wings on the top unit, registering three shots each for Maine. Potential Hobey Baker Award candidate Kyle Flanagan posted three assists, centering Westwood, Mass. native Gunnar Hughes and New Hampshire Junior Monarchs product Patrick Doherty, who each scored once. In Saturday's rematch, Maine seeks its third win in four games over an ECAC opponent.

Saturday's schedule:

Northeastern at Boston College, 7 p.m.

Boston University at New Hampshire, 7 p.m. (WBIN/Fox College)

St. Lawrence at Maine, 7 p.m. (WABI)

Providence at Miami, 7 p.m.

Merrimack vs. Alaska-Anchorage, 8 p.m.
Brice Alaska Goal Rush

UMass-Lowell at Colorado College, 9 p.m.

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Hockey East: BC set for busy banner weekend

Last Saturday's loss at now-No. 14 Northeastern was certainly not the way the No. 3 Boston College Eagles wanted to start the new season in Hockey East but they will get right back to work with hopes of turning things around in a pair of games this weekend.

The Eagles, which entered the season with at least a share of first place in both national polls, hit the road and head to Amherst on Friday night as they take on Massachusetts for the first time this season. They return home to face the Huskies for the second time in a week on Saturday, while raising the 2012 Frozen Four champion banner to the Conte Forum rafters before the game.

BC rode a 19-game winning streak into the new season but the Huskies had other ideas, handing the Eagles their first loss since suffering a pair of losses in Maine on Jan. 20-21, 2011.

Senior captain Pat Mullane enters the weekend with 97 points for his career and seeks to become the first Eagle (and 99th of all-time) since current Columbus Blue Jacket Cam Atkinson '11 to reach the century mark. The Wallingford, Conn. native tallied an assist on the lone goal on Saturday, setting up classmate Steven Whitney.

With hopes of breaking the 8,000-fan mark for the ninth time in Mullins Center history, UMass hosts the Eagles in the annual Operation 8K game in Amherst. The Eagles dropped two of the three regular-season meetings between the clubs last season, but had the last laugh in a tough two-game sweep in the Hockey East quarterfinals at Kelley Rink last March.

Led by reigning Rookie of the Week Kevin Roy, who has scored both game-winning tallies thus far, the Huskies look to capture the season series on Saturday with their first road victory in Chestnut Hill since March 7, 2008. Before Saturday's game, the Eagles will celebrate their fifth all-time Frozen Four title and the third in a handful of seasons.

On Oct. 29, 2010, BC raised its most previous banner before a 3-2 victory over Merrimack that saw Mullane score the winning goal on the power-play just over five minutes into the final period.

No. 11 Boston University makes the short jaunt north to No. 15 New Hampshire on Saturday night in the third and final league game of the weekend. Both teams are coming off successful opening weekends and will lock together in a rematch of last year's quarterfinal series at Agganis Arena, which saw the host Terriers advance in three games on Alex Chiasson's winner in the second overtime period.

BU remains the lone Hockey East team with a winning record (11-8-5) on the road at the Whittemore Center, as well as a 101-47-19 mark in the all-time series between the rivals.

Maine, which is one of just three teams in the league with a perfect penalty kill through three games, returns to the Alfond Arena in search of its third and fourth wins in as many games against an ECAC foe this weekend when it takes on St. Lawrence. The Black Bears turned in a record-setting performance in Saturday's 4-3 win over Army, registering 54 shots on goal - the most by a Black Bear team since creating 61 in the 2004 Hockey East Championship victory over UMass, which they won in three overtimes.

Junior Dan Sullivan has been very sharp for Maine, sporting a 1.53 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in two starts. He looks to continue the Black Bears' success in the all-time series against the Saints, which currently sits at 11-4.

No. 10 UMass-Lowell is on a Rocky Mountain high this weekend as they face a pair of perennial western powers in No. 7 Denver and No. 19 Colorado College. The River Hawks dropped a point at home on Friday, skating to a 1-1 tie with Vermont, despite a goal from junior Josh Holmstrom to open the contest.

Merrimack is making the farthest trip in college hockey this weekend, facing off in a pair of games in the Alaska Goal Rush Tournament. The Warriors, which split their first two games against Union and Northeastern, are playing in Fairbanks for the first time since 1995 when they swept a series from the Nanooks. So far this year, the Warrior sophomore class has accounted for five of the team's six goals, including Josh Myers, who has scored twice with three total points.

Providence, which opened its season with a blowout win over Sacred Heart and a tough road loss at BU's Agganis Arena, will be tested on the road this weekend as it takes on No. 4 Miami (for the seventh and eighth times in history) in a pair of games at Oxford's Goggin Ice Arena.

With Friday's 8-2 win over the Pioneers, the Friars posted their most goals since Oct. 23, 2009 and moved to 4-0 against SHU in the all-time series between the border rivals. In the victory, sophomore Ross Mauermann picked up where he left off last year, scoring a career-best three points, including his first goal of the year.

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Hockey East leader NU ranked 14th nationally

After opening the season with wins over Merrimack and Boston College, the Northeastern Huskies advanced back into the national rankings for the first time in over a full season. The victories pushed NU to 2-0 on the season for the first time since taking down Bowling Green and UMass to open the 1999-00 season.

Previously ranked as the nation's No. 1 team, the Eagles dipped to third but still received three total combined first-place votes between the two rankings. In the 3-1 loss at Matthews Arena on Saturday, BC's 19-game winning streak was snapped as it fell for the first time since Jan. 21 at Maine.

The Huskies - also named Hockey East's second Team of the Week for the young season - were voted 14th in the USCHO.com Poll, while being slotted in the unofficial 16th position in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ranking.

Boston University joins the Huskies as the only team to have won a conference game this season, while UMass-Lowell and Vermont split points with a tie on Friday. The last time Northeastern had been ranked among the 20 best teams in the nation was Oct. 12, 2009 after it split a pair of games at Colorado College.

Northeastern owns the most home victories over Boston College since the start of the 2008-09 season, having beaten the Eagles on five previous occasions. The 2-1 decision on Feb. 19, 2011 also marked the most previous instance NU had topped the nation's top-ranked team.

Quebec native Kevin Roy was rewarded with the Hockey East Rookie of the Week award on Monday after scoring the game-winning goal in both games. He scored on the power play and added an assist in Wednesday's 4-2 win over No. 19 Merrimack, while recording seven shots and a +2 rating.

The Eagles still lead all Hockey East schools with their No. 3 ranking, while UML fell to No. 9/10 despite the tie to Vermont, which sat deep in the cellar of the league last season. BU checks in at No. 11 as it opened the season with a 4-2 win over Providence, thanks in large part to a three-point effort from sophomore Cason Hohmann, which included the winner.

After two wins over St. Cloud State at Whittemore Center, New Hampshire lifted itself to No. 15 as junior Dalton Speelman returned to the line-up with two goals and four total points to earn Player of the Week honors. Both goals scored by the San Jose, Calif. native came in the third period of Friday's 4-2 win over the visiting Huskies, who were returning the favor from a season ago.

A pair of freshmen shared Defensive Player of the Week honors as Providence's Jon Gillies and Vermont's Brody Hoffman each played strong in their first starts. Gillies, a South Portland, Maine native, made 14 saves in his first-career victory over Sacred Heart on Friday, while Hoffman's 38 saves helped the 'Cats in tying at Lowell.

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Hockey East roundup: NU trips defending champs

BOSTON -- In front of a raucous crowd at Northeastern's Matthews Arena, the Huskies gave their faithful something big to cheer about as their team ended Boston College's 19-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory - their second in as many games to open the Hockey East season undefeated.

The victory was head coach Jim Madigan's first against the crosstown rival Eagles in his young career, which is in the midst of its second year, and also sidelined NU's five-game losing streak in the all-time series between the teams. The Huskies had not beaten BC since a 2-1 win at Matthews Arena on Feb. 19, 2011, which also happens to be the last time NU was victorious against a No. 1-ranked opponent.

All three NU goals were scored by rookies, including a second-straight winner by Kevin Roy, who redirected a pass from junior Cody Ferriero into the back of the net at the 8:06 mark of the first period. Ferriero won the puck free and brought it around the corner, firing a beautiful pass from the right side of BC senior netminder Parker Milner for the no-doubt tip-in.

NU opened the scoring just 5:03 into the proceedings as Ryan Belonger tipped home a stolen pass from classmate and South Boston native Cam Darcy, giving a 1-0 lead.

After Roy's goal, the Eagles were able to set up a quick chance on the power play and beat Huskies senior Chris Rawlings just nine seconds into the advantage. At the 14:55 mark, the puck slid its way towards senior assistant captain Steven Whitney for his first goal of the season - beating Rawlings through the middle.

Senior captain Pat Mullane, who assisted on the goal for the Eagles, is on milestone watch as the season opens. The Wallingford, Conn. native has team-best 97 career points in his 125 games in Maroon and Gold.

Although the Huskies ultimately did not need any insurance, Colton Saucerman provided some in a very lucky way at 3:42 of the third as he bounced a shot from the blue line that deflected off BC freshman defensive counterpart Teddy Doherty and changed directions before bouncing under the legs of Milner.

This contest also marked just the second time in the last nine games that a contest between the Huskies and Eagles ended with a margin of two goals, dating back to a 7-6 loss in overtime in the Beanpot championship game at TD Garden on Feb. 14, 2011.

Northeastern, which had not started a season with two wins in a row since 1999, has now won each of its last three games against ranked foes, including last season's season-closing loss to Boston University in overtime. The Huskies own the most home victories over Boston College since 2008-09 as they have downed the Eagles on five occasions and also hosted five capacity crowds in BC's last five visits to Huntington Avenue.

The two teams will not have to wait long to renew their rivalry, matching up next Saturday night at Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill.



Boston University 4, Providence 2

With sophomore Cason Hohmann's game-winning goal and two assists leading the way, the Terriers opened the regular season by doubling up the visiting Providence Friars at Agganis Arena. The Arlington, Texas native posted his second winner of his career with 1:03 remaining in the middle period, collecting loose change and depositing it into the back of the net past Friar freshman Jon Gillies (30 saves). Senior New Yorker Ben Rosen equaled his goal total from all 35 games last season with an empty-netter in the final minute to ensure the Terriers a victory for Matt O'Connor, who made 26 saves on 28 shots in his collegiate debut. PC sophomore Ross Mauermann and freshman Paul de Jersey each posted their second goals of the season in respective order during the contest but it was not enough for another victory on the heels of Friday's blowout win over Sacred Heart. Providence will remain on the road next weekend for a pair of games at Miami, while BU sees blue in their sights with a date at New Hampshire in a week.


New Hampshire 4, St. Cloud State 2

After a 5-3 win on Friday, the Wildcats completed the sweep with another two-goal buffer at the Whittemore Center to sweep the series from the visiting Huskies - returning the favor from suffering a loss and a tie on the road last year - as senior John Henrion and junior Nick Sorkin each potted a goal and an assist. Junior Dalton Speelman also continued his stellar start to the season as he assisted on Sorkin's goal at 7:13 of the second. Senior Austin Block concluded the middle stanza with his second goal of the season in as many games, which also turned out as the eventual game-winner. Sophomore Casey DeSmith and SCSU counterpart Ryan Faragher both made 25 saves in net but end the weekend with opposite records.

Maine 4, Army 3

Senior Joey Diamond tipped in a shot from freshman Ben Hutton at 9:56 of the third period to lift the Black Bears in the consolation game of the 16th annual IceBreaker Tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Maine peppered West Point sophomore goaltender Rob Tadazak with 54 shots and it was just enough to get past the pesky Black Knights, allowing Maine freshman netminder Matt Morris to earn the first win of his collegiate career with a 21-save effort. Diamond and sophomore Stu Higgins, who replaced concussed senior Kyle Beattie, each posted a goal and an assist to pace the offensive effort in Maine's inaugural victory of the season. Junior Mark Anthoine, a Lewiston, Maine native, and senior Klas Leidermark also posted goals past Tadazak in the contest. The Black Bears return to the Alfond Arena next weekend for a two-game series against the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence, which begins Friday at 7 p.m. for a game televised locally on WABI.

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Hockey East: UVM's late score forces tie at Lowell

Vermont 1, UMass-Lowell 1 (OT)

After earning points in just four Hockey East games last season, the Catamounts showed some flair for the dramatic in their first of the new season, evening the score at 11:17 of the third period and salvaging a tie on the road against No. 6 UMass-Lowell at the Tsongas Center. Things started fast for the River Hawks as they took a lead at 17:28 of the opening stanza as junior Josh Holmstrom beat UVM freshman Brady Huffman for the lone goal he allowed in his first action as a Catamount. The rookie from Wilkie, Sask., who pitched a shutout in 32:09 of playing time in last Saturday's win over Concordia, was very strong in the draw as he made 38 saves, including 15 on as many shots in a scoreless second period. He was rewarded with a point for his efforts as sophomore Colin Markison posted his first goal in five games, taking the assist from junior Matt White and beating Doug Carr (28 saves) for his lone blemish in the contest. With a point in their hands, UVM has a full weekend off before returning to action on Oct. 26 at Merrimack. The River Hawks hit the road west next weekend for a pair of games against Denver and Colorado College, before a big weekend series with Boston College in a couple weeks.

Providence 8, Sacred Heart 2

Using a very balanced offensive effort that used all four offensive lines in a big way, the Friars posted their fourth opening night victory in as many years at Schneider Arena. Highly touted rookie forward Mark Jankowski, a Calgary Flames draft pick, posted a pair of goals on the top-line left wing position, joining 12 other teammates to crack the scoresheet for PC. In his first-collegiate outing, freshman Jon Gillies posted 14 saves in two shutout periods, while senior Russ Stein made ten stops on 12 shots in the final stanza. Additionally, senior captain Kyle Murphy posted his first-collegiate goal at the 19:37 mark of the third period to close the scoring for the host Friars. Eric Delong and Drew George would not send the Pioneers out without any offense as each tallied a goal in the third period of the defeat. The Friars return to the ice quickly, taking on Boston University on Saturday at Agganis Arena.

New Hampshire 5, St. Cloud State 3

The Whittemore Center crowd was treated well as the host Wildcats gave coach Dick Umile his 500th-career win in the two-goal victory to open the home schedule against visiting St. Cloud State. Junior Dalton Speelman picked up some of the offense lost by three departing lettermen, scoring twice in the third period to go along with an assist for UNH. He ended a power play with his tally from sophomore Grayson Downing at the 0:31 mark, while netting the game-winner past Ryan Faragher (34 saves) a little later at 3:10. After pacing the 'Cats defense last season, sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk anchored the back line again in the opening contest, scoring a goal and posting the game-winning assist on Speelman's second goal. Sophomore Casey DeSmith saw just 23 shots and stopped an even 20 to open the season on the right note, heading into Saturday's series finale with a sweep of the Huskies at stake. With the win, Umile becomes just the 12th coach in Division I history to win 500 games - the eighth to turn the feat at the helm of a single program.

Massachusetts 4, Connecticut 1

In front of a record-setting crowd of 7,123 on opening night at Mullins Center, the John Micheletto era got off to a strong start as junior Branden Gracel and sophomore Steven Guzzo paced the Mass Attack past rival UConn. Sophomore stopper Kevin Boyle earned the win between the posts, turning aside 24 shots in the ninth victory of his career. Junior Colin Shea and senior Darren Rowe also found the back of Garrett Bartus' net for their first points of the season. Bartus, one of Atlantic Hockey's top netminders, posted 35 saves, while rookie Tyler Helton scored the lone Husky goal past Boyle. UMass will have to wait a week before its next test, which takes place against rival Boston College next Friday.

Notre Dame 1, Maine 0

At Kansas City's Sprint Center, junior Steven Summerhays pitched a 22-save shutout of the Black Bears and his classmate T.J. Tynan scored the only goal of the contest with 17:01 to play as the Irish advanced to the Championship of the 16th annual IceBreaker Tournament at Sprint Center. Maine junior Dan Sullivan stopped 33 shots in between the pipes but it was not enough for the win. Senior defenseman Mark Nemec led the Bears attack with four shots on goal. Hockey East representatives had enjoyed some great success in the tournament, having won in nine times in its first 15 years. Maine faces the loser of the Army/Nebraska-Omaha game in Saturday's consolation game at 4:30 p.m.

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Hockey East: UML, NU host weekend league games

With the completion of preseason exhibition play last weekend, the Hockey East regular season hits high gear this weekend with two full slates of games on Friday and Saturday night, although only two of those contests will involve two league teams facing off.

UMass-Lowell hosts the lone league game this evening from Tsongas Center, while defending NCAA champion Boston College kicks off its season at Northeastern on Saturday.

With high expectations and a No. 5 national ranking on their shoulders, the River Hawks, who were picked second according to the Hockey East coaches poll, welcome Vermont to town for a 7 p.m. Friday start. Last Saturday, junior Joseph Pendenza paced the River Hawks with a pair of goals in a 5-2 win over Toronto in their first test of the season.

UML took two of the three games against the Catamounts last season, including 3-1 and 6-4 scores last February at Tsongas Center. However, the River Hawks lost just one game when leading after two periods last season as Vermont came back for a 3-2 win in overtime, thanks to a goal from senior Brett Bruneteau. The teams will be meeting for just the second time in a season-opening contest but for the first time under that circumstance since 1979.

UVM, which finished deep in last place a season ago, opened up with a 7-1 drubbing of Concordia at Gutterson Fieldhouse in their exhibition contest. The Catamout line of H.T. Lenz, Kyle Mountain, and Tobias Nilsson-Roos combined for four goals and ten points in the contest.

The Northeastern Huskies won their league opener on Wednesday night as they defeated No. 18 Merrimack by a 4-2 count at Matthews Arena, but things will get a whole lot tougher with the top-ranked Maroon and Gold invading Matthews Arena on Saturday night as part of Homecoming Weekend.

Freshman Kevin Roy and senior captain Vinny Saponari each posted a goal and an assist to tackle the Warriors, while senior assistant captain Robbie Vrolyk became the first player in the nation to score a shorthanded goal when he iced the victory in the final minute. BC's lone action to date was a 6-0 shutout of the visiting New Brunswick Varsity Reds on Saturday at Kelley Rink.

NU and BC have engaged in some fierce battles in the past several years with seven of the last eight games being decided by a goal or less. However, the Eagles won all four meetings last season, including a 7-1 drubbing in the Beanpot Tournament semifinals at TD Garden.

Maine looks to continue Hockey East's dominance in the annual IceBreaker Tournament, which takes place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City this year. A Hockey East team has has won the title in nine of the first 15 years of the four-team, tournament-style competition. Despite conference Rookie of the Week Steven Swavely's first-collegiate goal, the Black Bears fell to Quinnipiac in the team's season opener last Saturday night, 2-1.

New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile is one win away from a milestone as his Wildcats open the regular season by hosting a pair of games against St. Cloud State at the Whittemore Center, returning a trip that his team made to the Huskies last season. Umile would become one of just six active (and 15 all-time) coaches to reach the elusive milestone of 500 wins at the Division I level.

UNH will be bolstered by the return of junior Dalton Speelman, whose season was cut short due to surgery last year. The San Jose, Calif. native returned to form with a goal in the Wildcats' 5-2 win over St. Francis Xavier on Saturday. Sophomore Casey DeSmith and junior Jeff Wyer will likely each see some time in the early going.

Providence opens its home schedule against Atlantic Hockey foe Sacred Heart on Friday at Schneider Arena as the Friars look for their fourth victory in as many years to begin the season. The Friars, which return seven of their top eight scorers from a season ago, including sophomore Ross Mauermann, are back on the ice on Saturday at Boston University's Agganis Arena for their first league contest of the young campaign.

Terrier freshman goaltenders Sean Maguire and Matt O'Connor combined to shut down Toronto 5-0 in an exhibition contest - the first action each saw in a collegiate uniform.

UMass hosts Connecticut at Mullins Center in the first meeting since 2008 between the two border rivals. Led by first-year head coach John Micheletto, the Minutemen will look to extend their success against the Huskies as they currently own a 27-7-2 mark in the all-time series.

SCHEDULE

Friday, October 12
Vermont at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.
Connecticut at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. (CBS3)
St. Cloud State at New Hampshire, 7:30 p.m. (WBIN)
Sacred Heart at Providence, 7 p.m.
IceBreaker Tournament in Kansas City: Maine vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

Saturday, October 13
Providence at Boston University, 7 p.m.
Boston College at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
St. Cloud State at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
IceBreaker Tournament in Kansas City: Maine vs. Army/Nebraska-Omaha, 4:30/7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

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Hockey East: NU starts fast in league opener

BOSTON -- After earning a victory over No. 5 Union last Saturday night, things were certainly looking up for the Merrimack Warriors as they entered Matthews Arena on Wednesday to face the Northeastern Huskies. However, the Hounds had other plans as they scored three times in the first period and never looked back in a 4-2 win to open the Hockey East league schedule.

With the win, the Huskies stopped a four-game winless streak against Merrimack and picked up their first victory in the all-time series since Dec. 4, 2010 when they won on the road in the cozy confines of North Andover's Lawler Arena.

NU's highly touted freshman Kevin Roy delivered his first-collegiate goal all the way back in the first period, beating Warrior freshman Rasmus Tirronen (30 saves), who was making the first start of his career. Three of Roy's classmates - Ryan Belonger, Colton Saucerman, and Dax Lauwers - posted an assist each for their first collegiate points on the evening.

Goaltending was a bit of a question mark for the Huskies but senior Chris Rawlings stood true to form in the contest as he posted his 40th win as a Husky, stopping 32 shots.

Senior Garrett Vermeersch wasted no time getting on the board as he redirected Saucerman's first-ever shot past Tirronen just 53 seconds into the contest. After falling short on a power play, NU made it 2-0 when sophomore Joseph Manno fired a soft backhand into the back of the net, while Roy took the pass from senior captain Vinny Saponari for the one-time over Tirronen's glove.

The Warriors crept back into the contest with two second-period goals from sophomores Quinn Gould at 4:20 and Justin Mansfield at 15:08.

In the waning moments at 19:02, senior assistant captain Robbie Vrolyk fired a shorthanded goal into an empty net to lift the Huskies to the 4-2 final score and head coach Jim Madigan's first-career victory over the Warriors.

The win was also NU's first to open a season since the 2007-08 season when Greg Cronin was at the helm. The Huskies beat Providence in that contest as Chris Donovan scored the game-winning goal just 44 seconds into overtime.

Northeastern returns to the ice on Saturday as it hosts defending NCAA champion Boston College at 7 p.m. during the school's annual Homecoming contest. Merrimack has the rest of the week off as it prepares to trek to Alaska for the Goal Rush Tournament next weekend.

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Hockey East: NU, 'Mack open league slate Wednesday

BOSTON -- Historic Matthews Arena will be the place to be for New England hockey fans on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. as the Northeastern Huskies and Merrimack Warriors match-up in the first Hockey East conference game of the 2012-13 season.

The teams completed their season series very early in 2011-12 as Merrimack took five of the six possible points up for grabs in the league race, while finishing all three games before Nov. 5, 2011. The Warriors closed that series with a 3-2 win over NU in overtime as current New York Ranger minor league forward Ryan Flanigan scored a shorthanded goal past Husky senior Chris Rawlings to seal the victory.

Northeastern will be in search of its first victory in the series since Dec. 4, 2010 when it snapped Merrimack's unbeaten home record with a 2-1 win at Lawler Arena. The Huskies hold a 46-37-10 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to 1967, but the Warriors are 4-1-1 in the last six meetings.

After a 4-1 upset of then-No. 5 Union on Saturday in Schenectady, N.Y., the Warriors jumped to No. 19 in the USCHO.com poll entering this week. Warrior sophomore Josh Myers was named Hockey East Player of the Week on Monday after potting two goals on five shots on goal to open his season.

Additionally, junior netminder Sam Marotta earned the conference's Defensive Player of the Week honors, backstopping Merrimack with 33 saves in just his second-career start. The Bridgewater, Mass. native and product of the EJHL's South Shore Kings, has earned the victory in both of those games. Last Oct. 22, he pitched a 5-0 shutout of future HEA conference foe UConn at Lawler Arena in his only prior victory.

Myers, junior Shawn Bates and senior John Heffernan led the way for Merrimack, scoring six combined points in the third period, leading the Warriors in the victory and back into the national polls. They were ranked for the entire 2011-12 season, including a No. 1 spot approaching last Thanksgiving, but were left out of the preseason ranking released last week. With the win, which was also the 90th for head coach Mark Dennehy, MC improves to 8-2-2 in its last 12 season openers.

Northeastern suffered a 4-3 exhibition loss to St. Francis Xavier (of Nova Scotia) on Sunday afternoon and will look to avenge last season's bitter November loss to the Warriors in what will be the regular-season opener for the Huskies, despite leading by two goals in the second period. Senior captain Vinny Saponari and sophomore assistant Ludwig Karlsson each posted multiple points in the contest.

Led by one of the nation's nine second-year head coaches in Jim Madigan, the Huskies are hosting a Hockey East league contest to open the season for just the fourth time and are 2-0-1 in those previous instances.

Elsewhere in the league this week, UMass-Lowell hosts Vermont on Friday at the Tsongas Center, while Boston University and Northeastern host league games the following night.

Rookie of the Week Steven Swavely and Maine travel to Kansas City this weekend to take part in the annual IceBreaker Tournament. The Black Bears face Notre Dame on Friday night at 7 p.m. in a game televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.

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Hockey East roundup: BU not phased by penalties

Boston University 5, Toronto 0

Despite being penalized 22 times, the Terriers outshot the visiting Varsity Blues by a 50-17 count and scored all five of their goals on the power play en route to a shutout win to open the season at Agganis Arena in Boston. Freshmen netminders Matt O'Conner (5 saves, win) and Sean Maguire (12 saves) pitched the blanking as they combined to fill the big shoes left by Kieran Millan. Sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera, who posted just ten assists in 23 games last season, dished out three in the contest alone, while Boston Bruins prospect Matt Grzelyck notched a pair, along with classmate and Finnish product Ahti Oksanen. Junior Matt Nieto - the first of five different goal scorers - opened the scoring at 6:10 with the first of two BU goals in the first period. Marshfield's own Mike Moran, a product of the EJHL's Bay State Breakers and a former three-sport athlete at Taft School, was the lone rookie to score for the Scarlet and White, potting one at 16:47 of the middle stanza. The Terriers host Providence at Agganis next Saturday night to launch the regular season.

St. Francis Xavier 4, Northeastern 3

After suffering their third-straight loss to a Canadian Interuniversity Sport foe in a season-opening exhibition contest at Matthews Arena, the Huskies host Merrimack in the Hockey East season opener on Wednesday night at Matthews Arena. Sophomore blue liner Josh Manson posted his first-career goal for the Huskies to give them a 1-0 lead at 7:23. Freshman Derick Roy made 11 saves in his collegiate debut for NU, despite allowing a pair of crucial goals in his 20 minutes of action during the second period.

Maine 2, New Brunswick 2 (OT)

Highly touted rookie and Dallas Stars draftee Devin Shore posted a goal and an assist as the Black Bears suffered a late scare to salvage a tie against the powerhouse Varsity Reds at Alfond Arena. Senior Chad Denny took a shot and nearly found the back of the net as time expired but the goal was reviewed and overturned because of the horn sounding, unleashing a collective sigh of relief from the Maine faithful, which already suffered a tough blow at the hands of Quinnipiac on Saturday. After junior Martin Ouellette (14 saves) allowed the opening goal of the contest, senior Kyle Beattie tied the score at 14:48 of the first and Shore lifted the score in favor of the hosts at 1:11 of the second, after taking a feed from senior tri-captain Mike Cornell. Freshman Matt Morris relieved Ouellette part way through the middle period for his first action as a Black Bear, making 13 stops in 34:48, allowing a single goal to Denny at 2:00 of the third. After a busy opening weekend, Maine heads to Kansas City for next weekend's IceBreaker Tournament and will face Notre Dame in a nationally-televised contest on NBC Sports Network on Friday night.

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St. FX 4, Northeastern 3: Huskies drop exhibition

Northeastern took to the ice for the first time on Sunday, falling to St. Francis Xavier 4-3 at Matthews Arena.

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Hockey East: Opening night round-up

Merrimack 4, Union 1

Sophomore Josh Myers scored twice in the third period to propel the Warriors to an impressive victory over the No. 5 Union Dutchmen at a sold-out Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y. Myers played like a true upperclassmen as he centered a pair and potted a pair of goals, both within the first five minutes of the final stanza. The win was Merrimack's first on the road over a Top 5 opponent since beating New Hampshire on Dec. 13, 2003 and hands Union its first home loss in 11 games, dating back to last November. Entering the season, it was expected the Warriors would have some questions in goal but junior Sam Marotta answered any as he stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced, including all 16 in the first period. At 7:25 of the second, UC captain Mat Bodie scored the lone goal for the hosts. The Warriors open league play on Wednesday night as they skate to Huntington Avenue to take on Northeastern at Matthews Arena.

Quinnipiac 2, Maine 1

Winning on the road is never easy but the scrappy Bobcats went into Alfond Arena to open their season, emerging victorious against an equally-matched Black Bears team in Orono. Maine scored just 3:41 into the proceedings as rookie Steven Swavely took a pass from his brother Jon for his first-ever goal. Reigning Most Valuable Player honorees Kellen and Connor Jones were both held scoreless but the Bobcats fought back, beating junior Dan Sullivan (16 saves) once in the second and third periods to earn the victory. Veteran Connecticut native Jordan Samuels-Thomas lit the lamp with less than 90 seconds to play, connecting with senior classmate Jeremy Langlois for the Bobcats' winning score. There will be little rest for the weary as the Black Bears host New Brunswick in an exhibition contest Sunday afternoon.

Boston College 6, New Brunswick 0 (exhibition)

Despite somewhat of a sluggish start, the defending national champion BC Eagles were paced by three multiple-point scorers in a combined shutout of the perennial Canadian power Varsity Reds as the teams met for the first time since a two-game exhibition series in Fredericton, N.B. in Jan. 2009. Each of the Maroon and Gold's four offensive lines scored in the contest, while juniors Bill Arnold and Patrick Brown each posted a goal and an assist, as did senior Brooks Dyroff. Senior Parker Milner (eight saves) and sophomores Brian Billett (four) and Brad Barone (six) each saw a period of action with the starter from Pittsburgh getting credit for the victory. Additionally, freshman blue liner and Avon Old Farms product Colin Sullivan posted a team-best +5 rating. The Eagles uncap the regular season next Saturday at Northeastern, while UNB finishes the exhibition weekend at Maine's Alfond Arena.

UMass-Lowell 5, Toronto 2 (exhibition)

Joseph Pendenza opened his junior year with a pair of power-play tallies in the first period to boost the No. 7 River Hawks in the victory. In his first collegiate action, freshman Connor Hellebuyck made 12 saves across 31 minutes, while junior Doug Carr made seven stops in the remainder of the contest. Rookie Michael Colantone, who scored 33 times for the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League last season, scored UML's first goal at 7:54 of the first. Defenseman Gregory Amlong and forward Ryan McGrath also found the scoresheet in their first games for Lowell, which opens the regular season on Friday against Vermont. Junior Garrett Sheehan made 47 saves for the Varsity Blues before they bus to Boston University on Sunday.

New Hampshire 5, St. Francis Xavier 2 (exhibition)

Sophomore Trevor van Reimsdyk notched a pair of goals and junior Justin Agosta handed out three assists as the Wildcats posted 30 shots and opened the campaign with a comfortable victory over the X-Men at Whittemore Center. Three other skaters, including junior Nick Sorkin (two assists), posted at least one point in the win. Second-year starter Casey DeSmith made 13 saves to open the game but saved the final period for junior Jeff Wyer to make seven stops.

Vermont 7, Concordia 1 (exhibition)

UVM took out the frustration of last season's 6-27-1 overall record on Concordia, thrashing the visitors from Quebec to open the season. Junior captain H.T. Lenz led that charge with two goals and two assists, including the opening marker at 6:51. Freshman Robert Polesello lit the Stingers' lamp twice, while Clarkson junior transfer Pete Massar assisted on both of his goals. Each of the listed Catamount goalies saw action, including freshmen Brody Hoffman and Billy Faust, who combined for ten saves.

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'Mack, Maine Open Regular Season for Hockey East

While the majority of this weekend's Hockey East contests are exhibitions against top Canadian programs, Merrimack and Maine play the first two regular-season games tonight against rival ECAC Hockey foes.

The Warriors, picked to finish eighth in the league's preseason coaches poll, open the campaign with four straight road contests away from North Andover's cozy Lawler Arena, beginning with a tough assignment at Union tonight at Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y. MC is 7-2-2 in its last 11 season openers and also holds a 19-7-3 historical mark against the Dutchmen.

Junior captain Jordan Heywood anchors the Warriors' back line and has played in all 76 games in his two seasons wearing the Blue and Gold, while classmate Mike Collins is the team's top returning scorer after a 25-point season in 2011-12. Collins, a Boston native and Catholic Memorial product, seeks to return to his freshman form when he led all Hockey East rookies with an even 30 points, including 13 goals.

The main concern for the Warriors entering the new year is in goal as superstar Joe Cannata was lost to graduation. The Wakefield, Mass. native was a workhorse throughout his career, playing in at least 22 games during each of his four seasons. Cannata, who now holds professional rights with the Vancouver Canucks, finished his final year with the nation's 15th-best goals-against average at 2.18 and was also among the top 20 in save percentage.

Union enters the season as the nation's fifth-rated team, according to USCHO.com and is set to defend the ECAC league title and their first-ever NCAA Frozen Four appearance. The Dutchmen will again face the Warriors and then host Vermont during this December's Catamount Cup at Gutterson Fieldhouse, but have not entertained a Hockey East foe at Messa since falling to UMass in Dec. 2009. They have not enjoyed much success against the conference with a less-than-stellar 31-76-9 mark.

En route to appearing in Tampa in April, Union, which is led by second-year head coach and Providence College alum Rick Bennett, defeated UMass-Lowell to end its Cinderella run in the East Regional title game at Bridgeport, Conn. Last season against the Warriors, Union extended its unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-1 win in North Andover for its first win over a then-top five opponent since Jan. 28, 2011 (Yale).

On the far northern end of New England, the Maine Black Bears will begin to answer some of their own questions this evening as they host the rival Quinnipiac Bobcats at Alfond Arena. Maine was picked to finish fifth by the Hockey East coaches as it returns 17 letterwinners from a season ago, despite losing five of the team's six leading scorers.

Leading goal scorer Joey Diamond does return after a stellar junior season, which included 25 goals and 47 points. The Long Beach, N.Y. native was fourth in all of the NCAA with 0.68 goals per game last season. Fellow New Yorker and classmate Mark Nemec, who posted five assists in a career-best 40 games last season, will join Diamond as the second current Black Bear to play his 100th-career game as he takes to his familiar blue line spot on Saturday.

Junior Dan Sullivan returns to the net after a 22-11-3 season in 2011-12 and will look to backstop the Black Bears

On the opposing side, the Bobcats were picked to finish fourth by the ECAC media and coaches, while receiving votes in both national polls. QU is led by consensus ECAC preseason first-team member Connor Jones, who shared the team's Most Valuable Player honor with twin brother Kellen.

Additionally, UMass-Lowell opens the exhibition season against Toronto at 4 p.m. in the Tsongas Center, while Boston College, New Hampshire, and Vermont scrimmage at 7 p.m.

Follow @JoshuaKummins on Twitter for Hockey East news all season long.

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