Hockey East Weekly: 11/16/11

BOSTON — It was a busy weekend in Hockey East as a pair of teams completed two-win weekends, while Merrimack rose to second nationally in both polls.

No. 16 Boston University opened their three-game season series against crosstown rival Boston College on Sunday afternoon, trouncing the No. 3 Eagles on their home Kelley Rink ice by a 5-0 score.

The No. 2 Warriors garnered 45 total first-place votes in the national polls after a 3-2 victory in overtime at BU’s Agganis Arena on Friday night.

Connor Toomey scored his first-career goal 22 seconds into the extra period as Merrimack improved to 8-0-1 on the season, remaining the lone unbeaten team in the nation. After making 36 saves Friday night victory, senior Joe Cannata was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week.

Sophomore Garrett Noonan and junior Justin Courtnall scored the Terrier goals in the defeat, while senior Kieran Millan tallied 27 saves.

However, the BU offense came back to life on Saturday as it earned the first shutout for the program over BC since Mar. 1, 1983. Millan made 21 stops for the victory to become the first Terrier goaltender to record shutouts against BC and New Hampshire in the same season.

Junior forward Wade Megan scored twice and three additional Terriers scored one goal each as they crusied to victory against the Eagles.

The Terriers return to the ice on Friday against Vermont before welcoming rival UNH to Agganis Arena on Saturday. Merrimack is idle until next Wednesday when they host Alabama-Huntsville at Lawler Arena.

On Friday, the Eagles dropped another crosstown foe, Northeastern, as senior captain Tommy Cross scored the game-winning goal with just 2.8 seconds remaining to lift BC to a 2-1 triumph.

Northeastern’s Cody Ferriero scored the lone goal of the first period at the 12:41 mark on Friday, a night before his squad was defeated 4-2 at UMass for their third loss in a row.
The Huskies look to break a 0-6-1 stretch as they travel to Providence on Friday before taking on Vermont on Homecoming Night.

The Minutemen (led by sophomore Branden Gracel’s winner with six minutes remaining) completed a two-win weekend and extended their winning streak to three on Saturday. They also tripped Holy Cross, 7-1, on Friday night, scoring three goals in each of the first two periods.

Conference Player of the Week Conor Allen and the Mass Attack take on a pair of league foes this weekend, beginning with a home game against Maine on Friday. Allen scored three goals in the weekend victories to earn the award.

UMass-Lowell scooped up votes in both national polls and was named Hockey East’s Team of the Week after a weekend sweep at the University of Maine’s hostile Alfond Arena, taking a pair of games from the Black Bears in Orono for the first time since Feb. 1985 and for just the second time ever.

Scott Wilson was selected as the conference’s Rookie of the Week for the second-straight voting as he tallied the game-winning tally in a 5-3 win on Friday. Sophomore defenseman Chad Ruhwedel provided a dramatic finish for UML, scoring a game-winning goal with 34 seconds left in a 4-3 Saturday win.

Senior Brian Flynn was productive on the weekend for Maine, scoring a goal and three assists in the series. The Lynnfield, Mass. native leads the offense with four goals and 14 points on the season, while having scored 10 goals and 22 points in his career against UML.

Maine returns to action this weekend for a single match at UMass and will return home for a pre-Thanksgiving exhibition clash with the U.S. Under-18 Team on Nov. 23. The River Hawks travel north to New Hampshire on Friday and will welcome the Minutemen to Tsongas Center on Saturday.

The Wildcats faced Vermont in the only game of the weekend for both teams on Saturday in Burlington — a 4-4 tie. Sophomore H.T. Lenz scored the tying goal with 1:20 left in regulation time to earn UVM’s first Hockey East point of the season, coming against their twin-state rival.

With the stalemate, UVM snapped the four-game winning streak of New Hampshire.
Senior winger Stevie Moses had a productive night on the UNH offense, scoring a goal and two assists. Senior Rob Madore finished the night with a season-high 36 saves for the Catamounts.

In the final series of the weekend, Providence won a pair of non-league games against Alabama-Huntsville at Schneider Arena.

Senior goaltender Alex Beaudry stopped 21 shots for his second-career shutout on Friday night, pacing the Friars in a 3-0 win. The Friars extended their winning streak to four with their second-straight win against the winless Chargers, upending UAH by a 4-2 count on Saturday.

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