Hockey East Weekly: 1/17/12

BOSTON — It was another exciting weekend in Hockey East (but really, aren’t they all?) and another one is on the way. After a week which saw two wins from Boston University and New Hampshire, a full slate of league contests is on tap.

Conference Team of the Week Boston University posted a pair of road wins this past weekend against intracity rivals Northeastern and Harvard. The No. 2/3-ranked Terriers are now winners in three games in a row and five of the last six as they head into a home-and-home set with Providence.

All five victories in their recent streak have been of the come-from-behind variety, including Friday’s 4-3 win at Matthews Arena and Saturday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the pesky Crimson in Allston.

Despite a two-goal Huskies lead lead after the first period on goals by rookie Ludwig Karlsson and sophomore Alex Tuckerman, BU came back for three of the next four goals and two by junior Wade Megan.

Sophomore defenseman Garrett Noonan scored the game-winner for the Terriers at 2:08 of overtime on Saturday, while senior captain Chris Connolly recorded his first two goals of the season and added an assist on the game-winner for a season-high three points.

New Hampshire opened its week with a 1-0 shutout of Providence at Schneider Arena on Wednesday evening. Senior and Hockey East Player of the Week Stevie Moses scored the lone goal in the game, while conference Rookie of the Week Casey DeSmith earned his first-career shutout with 26 stops in goal.

The eighth-place Wildcats, which face Merrimack in a home-and-home set this upcoming weekend, made it 2-for-2 with a 4-1 victory over in-state rival Dartmouth at Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday evening. Moses scored all four goals as he earned Most Valuable Player honors in the annual RiverStone Cup contest.

Merrimack had a strong weekend to rise to No. 6 in the national rankings, picking up a win and a tie against Maine in a two-game series at Lawler Arena, to further retain their hold on third place in the Hockey East standings.

Ryan Flanigan tied a career-high with four points, while Jesse Todd matched his career-best with three points as the Warriors earned a 6-2 Friday win. For Maine, senior Brian Flynn notched a pair of assists in defeat.

Todd scored the game-tying goal at 8:09 of the third period to lift the Warriors to a 3-3 tie the following night, while Black Bear top-liners Flynn and Joey Diamond potted goals.

Senior Joe Cannata stopped 63 shots, including 39 in Saturday’s game to earn co-Defensive Player of the Week honors in the conference. The Wakefield, Mass. native became Merrimack’s Division-I leader in all-time saves with 2,698 and counting.

The Black Bears will host No. 3/4 Boston College for a pair of games this weekend at Alfond Arena, after the Eagles split a pair of games against UMass and Northeastern.

Minuteman freshman Steve Mastalerz held BC’s strong offense at bay on Friday night as he backstopped UMass to a 4-0 shutout at Mullins Center. Senior forward T.J. Syner scored twice for the Mass Attack as they earned their second victory over BC this season in their only game of the weekend gone by.

The North Andover, Mass. native and Kimball Union graduate became the first UMass goalie to shutout the Eagles since 1920, which is the first official year that the two teams met.

BC earned the weekend split on Saturday, grinding out a 2-1 win over Northeastern in an outdoor game played as part of Sun Life Frozen Fenway.

Junior Chris Kreider netted the game-winner in a shorthanded situation at 4:02 of the third period, while senior Chris Venti stopped 14 of 15 shots faced to earn his first-career win. NU junior GarrettĀ Vermeersch scored the lone Huskies goal in the second period.

Northeastern will face No. 14 UMass-Lowell in a home-and-home series this weekend, which begins on Friday at Tsongas Center. UMass will return to action on Friday against Vermont in a Frozen Fenway re-match and the final meeting of the year between the sides.

Catamount junior Brett Bruneteau tipped in the game-winning goal at 2:12 of the overtime to lift UVM to an upset 3-2 win over the River Hawks on Friday. Sophomores Shayne Thompson and Josh Holmstrom scored for UML in the defeat in its lone game of the weekend.

In Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Providence, freshman Colin Markison and sophomore H.T. Lenz scored goals for Vermont as they lost their third game in the last four. Sophomore forward Derek Army had two goals and an assist for the Friars as they snapped a four-game winless streak.

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