The regular season has come to a close and the UMass-Lowell River Hawks have been crowned regular season champions. The quarterfinals begin this weekend as teams fight for a chance to play at the TD Garden next weekend.
1. University Massachusetts-Lowell (22-10-2, 16-9-2 HEA) – Last Week: 1
For the first time in history, the UMass-Lowell River Hawks are Hockey East regular season champions. Additionally, the River Hawks became the first team other than Boston College, Boston University, Maine or New Hampshire to capture the regular season title. Although they split the weekend with Providence College, winning the regular season earns them top honors. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 55-of-59 shots this weekend, including 32-of-33 on Saturday night. UMass-Lowell faces Maine at the Tsongas Center in the quarterfinals this weekend.
2. Boston College (20-10-4, 15-9-3 HEA) – Last Week: 3
Boston College tied Vermont on Friday night, but came back strong with a win on Saturday night, 7-2. Hobey Baker candidate tallied seven-points (3g, 4a), Bill Arnold recorded five-points (2g, 3a) and Steven Whitney scored four-points (2g, 2a) on the weekend. The Eagles welcome Vermont into their house, Conte Forum, this weekend for the quarterfinals.
3. Providence College (15-12-7, 13-8-6 HEA) - Last Week: 4
Providence College clinched home ice in the quarterfinals this weekend. The Friars had the opportunity to win the regular season title after a win over UMass-Lowell on Friday night, however couldn’t find the net in the loss on Saturday night. Jon Gillies stopped all 31 shots on Friday night to earn the shutout. Providence welcomes New Hampshire into Schneider Arena on Friday night for their first game of the quarterfinals.
4. University of New Hampshire (18-9-7, 13-8-6 HEA) - Last Week: 2
New Hampshire had a rough weekend with a tie and a loss to Maine. Only taking a single point from the final playoff contender is not what the Wildcats envisioned heading into the weekend. Eric Knodel registered two goals and an assist, while Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied four assists over the weekend. With the rough weekend, the Wildcats fell out of home ice in the quarterfinals and now have to take the drive to Rhode Island this weekend.
5. Boston University (18-15-2, 15-10-2 HEA) – Last Week: 5
Sean Maguire stopped 56-of-58 shots this weekend, including a 25-for-25 performance in the Terriers 5-0 shutout win Saturday night. Matt Nieto notched a goal and two assists, while Danny O’Regan recorded four points (2g, 2a), including both game-winning goals in the Terriers home-and-home sweep of Northeastern. Boston University welcomes Merrimack into Agganis Arena this weekend for a quarterfinals matchup.
6. Merrimack College (15-15-6, 13-11-3 HEA) – Last Week: 6
Merrimack College ended their four-game skid with a win over Massachusetts on Friday night in overtime, 4-3. However they were unable to net a goal in their shutout loss on Saturday night, 3-0. Jordan Heywood notched a goal and an assist in Merrimack’s 4-3 win Friday. Merrimack finished with 15 league wins, the same number they had last season, which is the second-highest finish in school history. Merrimack will visit Boston University in the quarterfinals this weekend.
7. University of Vermont (11-17-6, 8-13-6 HEA) – Last Week: 7
Vermont was able to take a point from Boston College on Friday night, when skating to a 4-4 tie. However on Saturday night it was a different story. Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau tallied six points on two goals and four assists, while Bill Arnold tallied a career-high four points on two goals and two assists in Saturday’s 7-2 win over Vermont. Steven Whitney notched four points on the weekend as well. Vermont will play these same Eagles this weekend at Conte Forum.
8. University of Maine (11-17-8, 7-12-8 HEA) – Last Week: 8
Maine came up big this weekend, taking three points from top contender New Hampshire. Kyle Beattie scored two goals, while Devin Shore scored a goal and added an assist in Maine’s 4-3 win over New Hampshire on Friday night. Joey Diamond notched two goals in Maine’s 4-4 tie with New Hampshire on Saturday night. Maine visits UMass-Lowell on Thursday to start their quarterfinals series against the River Hawks.
9. University of Massachusetts (12-19-3, 9-16-2 HEA) – Last Week: 9
Massachusetts split their weekend series with Merrimack College. The Minutemen loss on Friday night knocked them out of the final playoff spot, so on Saturday they were just playing for pride and shutout the Warriors, 3-0. Steve Mastalerz stopped all 24 shots in the shutout win on Saturday. UMass played their final game of the season on Saturday night.
10. Northeastern University (9-21-4, 5-18-4 HEA) – Last Week: 10
The Huskies were playing for school pride only this past weekend, but fell twice to Boston University. Senior captain Vinny Saponari fell one point short of 100-career points for his collegiate career, totaling 34-65-99. Kevin Roy becomes the Huskies’ second-straight rookie to lead the team in scoring after totaling 34 points (17g, 17a). The Huskies played their final game of the season on Saturday night.