Hockey East schedule: Merrimack, NU meet in Mass. home-and-home; BU travels to Grand Forks

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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