Hockey East Weekly: 11/7/11

BOSTON — “Upset” was the word of the weekend in Hockey East as Boston College was lifted from its top spot in both national rankings after falling at Massachusetts on Saturday night. Boston University was also handed a loss in their lone game of the weekend, while Merrimack and Providence had solid weekends in league contests.

Following a strong 5-1 victory over Maine on Friday at Kelley Rink, UMass snapped a 12-game losing streak against now-No. 2 BC with a 4-2 victory.

Junior Chris Kreider had a goal and two assists as the Eagles flew past Maine to extend a seven-game winning streak. BC scored twice on the power play and once while shorthanded to cruise to victory, while Maine received one goal from sophomore Jon Swavely.

Four different UMass skaters scored goals as the Minutemen defeated their first No. 1-ranked opponent since Nov. 14, 2008 with the victory over BC on Homecoming Night at the Mullins Center.

Kreider and fellow junior Steven Whitney scored goals for the Eagles, while Parker Milner made 19 saves in goal. The Mass Attack scored three third-period goals, including the game-winner from freshman defender Oleg Yevenko.

The Eagles return to Kelley Rink this weekend for a pair of games against local archrivals Northeastern (Friday) and Boston University (Sunday).

The Minutemen were 7-3 losers on Friday night at New Hampshire in a game that saw seven Wildcat skaters record two points each. Freshman Steve Mastalerz made 23 saves in his collegiate debut despite allowing five goals for UMass, while sophomore Conor Sheary scored a goal and two assists to lead the offensive unit.

The Wildcats bounced their archrival Maine by a 3-2 count on Saturday night in Durham, completing their first four-point weekend of the season and extending a four-game unbeaten streak and a 4-0-1 stretch in five games.

Senior Matt DiGirolamo stopped 31 shots and sophomore Nick Sorkin had a goal and an assist for the ‘Cats. Black Bear senior Spencer Abbott scored both goals.

UMass hosts a pair of games at Mullins Center over the weekend as the Minutemen take on Holy Cross and Northeastern. Maine welcomes UMass-Lowell to Alfond Arena for a pair of games, while UNH travels to Vermont for a single game on Saturday night.

Merrimack and Northeastern completed their three-game Hockey East season series with a very strong home-and-home set over the weekend gone by.

Junior Justin Daniels scored the game-tying goal less than one minute into the final period to lift the Huskies to a 1-1 tie on Friday at Lawler Arena. The tie blemished Merrimack’s perfect 6-0-0 record, while giving NU its first road point of the season. The Warriors scored first when sophomore Rhett Bly lit the lamp in the second period.

Senior Ryan Flanigan scored 1:57 into overtime shorthanded and Mike Collins scored two goals as the Warriors downed the Huskies by a 3-2 score on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

Merrimack senior Joe Cannata finished with 17 saves, while NU junior Chris Rawlings stopped 28 in the losing effort. Cannata, a native of Wakefield, Mass., was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts, making 47 stops over the two-game weekend.

Husky senior captain Mike McLaughlin led the way, netting his third goal of the season and chipped in an assist to earn his first multi-point outing of the season.

Merrimack returns to action Friday at Boston University before taking off until Nov. 23 for a home game against another former Division II counterpart in Alabama-Huntsville.

Hockey East Player of the Week Tim Schaller and Providence swept a weekend series against Vermont at Schneider Arena, leading the Friars to eight votes in this week’s USCHO.com National Poll. Before a victory on Friday, PC had not beaten the Catamounts since Feb. 9, 2008.

Schaller, the Merrimack, N.H. native, scored his first career hat trick in a 5-2 victory on Friday night. Alex Beaudry made a season-high 32 saves in the win, allowing single goals to UVM senior Drew MacKenzie and sophomore Connor Brickley.

Beaudry made 30 saves for the Friars as Nate Leaman’s squad completed the weekend sweep with a solid 5-1 victory. Junior Miles Harvey scored a goal and an assist for PC, while freshman Ross Mauermann scored a first-period shorthanded goal. Alex Vazzano made 32 saves in the UVM net and Tobias Nilsson-Roos scored its lone goal.

It was a lopsided night on Saturday for Hockey East’s Rookie of the Week Scott Wilson and his UMass-Lowell River Hawks as they tripped up the No. 16 Boston University Terriers, 7-1, at the Tsongas Center.

Sophomore Derek Arnold scored twice and sophomore Doug Carr made 15 saves as the River Hawks snapped a three-game losing skid.

Wilson, a Oakville, Ont. native, scored a goal and two assists to help pace the offense to its largest outburst this season and first win over BU since Dec. 7, 2007. The victory was also Lowell’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in the last seven tries.

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