Multiple sources report that Joe Bertagna, Commissioner of the Hockey East Association, was seen stepping out of a DeLorean with Marty McFly and Doc Brown earlier this season, returning from the future. This information is the only way to explain how well the match-ups were this past weekend and will be for the remainder of the season. The playoff implications are outstanding. Merrimack, Boston College and New Hampshire are battling it out for first, while Vermont, Maine and Northeastern are clawing for the final playoff spot.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Providence College 1, New Hampshire 0
Winter Storm Nemo forced the postponement of the original game, Providence and New Hampshire faced off in a rare Wednesday matchup. In a fast moving game where only one goal was scored, Providence managed to come out on top of the New Hampshire Wildcats. Ten penalties were whistled, but neither team could net a special teams goal. Freshman forward, Stefan Demopoulos tallied his third game-winning-goal of the season in only his 14th career game, to send the Friars home with the victory. With the 1-0 victory, freshman goaltender, Jon Gillies’ set a Providence College record with his fourth shutout win of the season. Providences wins the seasons series with New Hampshire, 2-0-1.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
Massachusetts-Lowell 6, Massachusetts 3
The River Hawks headed to Amherst for the first of two in the home-and-home series against their in-state rivals. Connor Hellebuyck, UMass-Lowell freshman backup goaltender, has been on the mend for the past five games. In his return, Hellebuyck, started the game between the pipes and won his seventh straight game, 6-3. Branden Gracel and Michael Pereira both extended their point streaks to four games. Gracel netted an assist, while Pereira tallied a goal. UMass-Lowell extended their winning streak over UMass to five games and wrapped up the season series with a game still to be played.
University of Vermont 2, Northeastern University 1
Vermont and Northeastern are in a fight with Maine for the final playoff spot in Hockey East. In the first, Vermont and Northeastern tallied a power play goal each. 11:29 into the second period, senior forward, Ben Albertson netted his first goal of the season and his first in two years. Albertson’s goal was the game-winning-goal. With Friday night’s victory, Vermont put themselves in great position for the final playoff spot and won the season series over Northeastern with one game remaining.
Merrimack College 2, Boston College 1 (OT)
A battle for first place. Coming into Friday night’s tilt, Boston College sat only a single point above Merrimack College for first in Hockey East. The winner of this game would either remain in first or take over first, in Merrimack’s case. After a scoreless first period, Quinn Smith recorded the game first goal and put the Eagles up, 1-0. Merrimack would tie up the game at 12:57 into the third period on a John Heffernan goal and sending the two teams into overtime. The Warriors would skate with the man advantage after Pat Mullane penalty at 4:07 in overtime. Only 22 seconds later, Connor Toomey tallied the game-winning-goal, sending Merrimack into first place. Merrimack has now gone 27-for-27 on the penalty kill at home in 2013 during a five game home winning streak. Merrimack and Boston College finish their season series next weekend and will find out who wins the season series.
Boston University 3, University of Maine 3 (OT)
The Terriers have struggle mightily in the past eight games (1-5-2). Maine had taken points in four of the past five games coming into Friday night. Earlier in the season, no one would’ve of predicted that Boston University would need points against Maine, but they did. The Terriers took the 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of even strength goals. Maine tallied three straight power play goals including two goals from Steven Swavely. Boston University ended up knotting the game up on Ahti Oksanen’s fourth goal of the season and the teams would skate to a 3-3 tie.
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Boston University 5, University of Maine 4 (OT)
After getting a point-a-piece on Friday night, BU and Maine were back at in Saturday night. Boston University took the 4-1 lead a little over a minute into the third period and seemingly put the game away. Maine clawed back on a Joey Diamond goal, a Devin Shore power play goal and with only 39 seconds remaining in regulation, Steve Swavely netted his third goal in two nights, sending the game into overtime. The teams looked to be headed for a second straight night of only getting a point out of the game, but Matt Nieto tallied the game-winnning-goal with only four seconds remaining. Boston University drove the four plus hour drive home with a three-point weekend.
Massachusetts-Lowell 3, Massachusetts 2
The battle of UMass season series came to an end Saturday night. The River Hawks took Friday night, 6-3 and earlier in the season won, 8-2. Norm Bazin decided to start, backup goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck for the second straight game. “He’s been off for so long I wanted to see if he could manage back-to-back starts” said UMass-Lowell head coach Norm Bazin on Hellebuyck getting the start over Doug Carr. “We feel like we’ve got two competent goalies, who knows what the future will bring as far as who will play next.” Christian Folin got the scoring started in the second period with a short-handed goal. After Folin’s goal each team would trade goals, but UMass-Lowell would finish on top, 3-2. The River Hawks win the season series over UMass, 3-0-0 and have on the last six matchups between these two teams.
University of Vermont 3, Northeastern University 1
Vermont already had won the season series entering Saturday night, but was looking for the sweep. Northeastern once again for the second straight night got the scoring started, but could not keep the lead (again). Two straight goals by Chris McCarthy and an empty-net goal by Brett Bruneteau sealed the deal for the Catamounts. Brody Hoffman started the game and has now started all 28 games for Vermont this season. Hoffman is 3-0-0 in the last three games with a 0.67 GAA and .974 SV%.
Sunday, February 17th, 2013
Providence College 2, Merrimack College 2 (OT)
Merrimack College traveled to Providence, Rhode Island for the season series finale on Sunday afternoon. Each team had been victorious at home and the series was tied at 1-1-0. Starting with Shane Luke of Providence College, each team traded goals including two by, freshman forward, Vinny Scotti. The teams would skate into extra time, but couldn’t net an overtime goal. After the season finale the series is tied 1-1-1. Sam Marotta is 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a 1.16 GAA and .963 SV%.
Boston College 4, New Hampshire 4 (OT)
In a well fought and close game, Boston College and New Hampshire skated to a 4-4 tie. New Hampshire’s Eric Knodel tallied four points in the tie on a goal and three assists. In front of a crowd of 6,649 Boston College managed to net four goals, but it wasn’t enough to out duel New Hampshire. The teams season series ended in a 1-1-1 tie that could have implications come seasons end. Boston College faces Merrimack for another first place battle this coming Sunday.