Hockey East roundup: BC's York on top of coaching heap; Maine, NU explode in victory

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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