Hockey East Weekly: 11/3/11

BOSTON — Over the past weekend, three Hockey East teams — No. 1 Boston College, No. 20 Maine and No. 7 Merrimack — captured four league points to make up the top three spots in the conference standings.

All ten teams are in action this weekend with a full league slate scheduled, including a pair of back-to-back, two-game sets.

The Eagles took a two-point lead over Merrimack in the Hockey East standings with a weekend sweep of UMass-Lowell, despite being out-shot by a 79-44 count in two games.

Junior goaltender Parker Milner had a strong showing in both games, stopping 37 shots each night to add to the team’s 7-1-0 record and perfect 5-0 mark in conference.

Junior Steven Whitney scored a goal and an assist to lead BC to a 4-2 victory on Friday at the Tsongas Center, scoring his 50th-career point in the process. Michael Budd and Matt Ferreira scored Lowell’s goals, while sophomore Doug Carr made 16 stops.

On Saturday at Kelley Rink, third-year Eagle Chris Kreider scored two goals and an assist in a 6-3 victory. BC scored four times in the opening stanza, including Destry Straight’s first-collegiate tally. Sophomores Joseph Pendenza and Josh Holmstrom scored goals for UML, while freshman Brian Robbins took the loss.

Johnny Gaudreau captured league honors for the second time this year, picking up Rookie of the Week honors with a two-goal weekend.

BC looks to extend their winning streak to six this Friday night when the Eagles host Maine on Chestnut Hill. UML entertains No. 12 Boston University at Tsongas Center on Saturday.

Merrimack set a school benchmark during its weekend sweep at Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse, taking two games from UVM in Burlington for the first time ever and improving to 6-0-0 to open the season — the school’s best start in 24 years.

The Warriors earned victories of 4-1 and 4-2 scores, earning Hockey East Team of the Week honors and joining Colorado College as the only other team to play at least four games without a loss or a tie. Senior Ryan Flanigan scored three points on the weekend, including a goal and an assist on Friday to earn Co-Player of the Week honors.

Senior Jesse Todd scored twice and added an assist on Friday night, while Joe Cannata made 22 saves for his fourth win. Brett Bruneteau and Conor Brickley were the goal scorers for UVM, a team that will face Providence in a two-game series this Friday and Saturday at Schneider Arena.

On Saturday, Two goals in the span of 44 seconds midway through the second period lifted MC as Mike Collins’ two scores paced the attack. Sebastian Stalberg notched the 50th point of his Catamount career with his power play goal in the second period.

The Warriors will return to Lawler Arena this Friday when they will open a home-and-home set with Northeastern.

Maine vaulted back into the USCHO.com National Poll this week after beating Providence in a pair of home games at Alfond Arena.

Senior captain Brian Flynn scored 2:50 into overtime to lead the Black Bears, now ranked in the No. 20 slot, to a 5-4 victory on Friday.

Sophomore Martin Ouellette stopped 24 shots in goal for the Black Bears to earn his first win, while junior Joey Diamond scored a goal as well as adding two helpers. Senior Alex Beaudry made 24 saves in goal for the Friars.

Junior Matt Mangene, this week’s Hockey East Co-Player of the Week, scored in the opening stages of Saturday’s second period, lifting UMaine to a 3-1 victory. Freshman Damian Cross scored a power play goal for PC’s only goal, while Beaudry pitched in with 25 stops.

Sophomore Dan Sullivan made 26 stops for Maine to remain unbeaten at 2-0-1.

In its lone game of the weekend, NU dropped a 5-2 decision against New Hampshire in a wacky game at Whittemore Center that saw several delays due to power outage. In the midst, Wildcat senior Mike Borisenok scored twice and Matt DiGirolamo, the conference Defensive Player of the Week, made 15 saves.

The Huskies received goals from third-year forward Justin Daniels and rookie Ludwig Karlsson, while sophomore Clay Witt made 33 saves in his first start this year.

UNH emerged victorious for the first time on Friday night, capturing a 2-1 overtime victory over Union. Sophomore forward Kevin Goumas scored just 0:31 into overtime, while DiGirolamo made a season-best 37 stops.

UNH welcomes archrival Maine to Durham on Saturday (for the only time this year), renewing the storied Border War between the clubs. The series will also venture to Fenway Park as part of the conference’s Frozen Fenway on Jan. 7, 2012.

Boston University and UMass played to a pair of tight, come-from-behind overtime contests this past weekend in a home-and-home set.

The Terriers went down 2-0 in the first period on Friday night at the Mullins Center, but sophomores Matt Nieto and Sahir Gill scored late goals to earn a 2-2 tie. Gill scored the game-tying goal at the 5:16 mark of the third period and senior Kieran Millan totaled 33 saves in net.

Senior T.J. Syner and sophomore Conor Sheary were the UMass goal scorers, while freshman Kevin Boyle made 21 saves.

With his overtime-winning goal on Saturday to solidify a 5-4 victory at Agganis Arena, Nieto extended his goal-scoring streak to eight games in a row. No Terrier has ever scored in as many consecutive games since Chris Drury tallied goals in nine in a row during Nov. 1996.

In Saturday’s contest, sophomore Troy Power scored a goal and an assist for the Mass Attack. UMass will return to action on Friday night against rival UNH at Whittemore Center.

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