Hockey East roundup: UMass-Lowell, Merrimack post midweek wins entering semester break

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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