Hockey East Weekly: 1/24/12

BOSTON — Three teams swept their series during the weekend gone by, including now-ranked Maine’s takedown of former No. 4 Boston College. The Black Bears trade Comm. Ave. foes and pay a two-night stay at No. 2 Boston University beginning on Friday to kick off what should be a strong weekend for television exposure.

The Black Bears were named Hockey East’s Team of the Week after defeating the now eighth-ranked Maroon and Gold by scores of 4-3 and 7-4. Conference Player of the Week Matt Mangene scored four goals on the weekend, including the game-winner in overtime on Friday and a hat trick in Saturday’s NESN matinee.

Saturday’s effort for the junior New Yorker was his first-collegiate hat trick and the three goals came on a whopping eight shots on net, leading Maine to a season-high seven scores and its first weekend sweep of BC since 2006.

Eagles senior Barry Almeida has matched his career-high 21 points as he scored four goals in the two contests, including a hat trick of his own on Saturday.

BC faces New Hampshire in an important home-and-home series, which commences in Chestnut Hill on Friday.

No. 2 Boston University crushed Providence in a home-and-home series, defeating the Friars by a 14-1 combined score. The Terriers garnered eight total first-place votes in the national polls and continued a five-game winning streak, which is tops in the nation.

Head coach Jack Parker earned his 400th-career league victory in a 6-1 drubbing at home on Friday, while sophomore Adam Clendening scored three points. Freshman Shane Luke scored his first-career goal for PC.

In Saturday’s shutout, Kieran Millan made 26 saves for his third blanking of the season to help him earn Defensive Player of the Week honors in Hockey East.

PC returns to action on Tuesday when they host No. 11 UMass-Lowell at Schneider Arena, while traveling to No. 5 Merrimack for a single game on Sunday.

Speaking of the River Hawks, they earned a pair of wins over a struggling Northeastern Huskies squad over the weekend, including a come-from-behind effort in overtime on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

Freshman Scott Wilson was a key contributor to the offense as he scored three goals and four total points to earn Rookie of the Week honors. He scored the game-winner in a 4-0 shutout of the Huskies on Friday, while sophomore Doug Carr made 28 stops in the win.

Sophomore Derek Arnold scored the overtime winner in Saturday’s 3-2 win, beating NU junior Chris Rawlings at 2:50 of overtime. Sophomore Braden Pimm scored shorthanded midway through the first period, while junior Garrett Vermeersch scored in the opening minutes of the second.

NU had not been beaten by Lowell in consecutive games since Mar. 20 and Oct. 24, 2009 and entered the weekend with a four-game winning streak in the series.

The Huskies are on the road this weekend to take on last-place Vermont, which fell 4-3 at Massachusetts on Friday in its only contest of the week. Senior Danny Hobbs’ first-career hat trick and a late game-winner from sophomore Conor Allen helped UMass in the win, while defenseman Brett Leonard scored his first of the season for the Catamounts.

UMass returns to action this weekend in a home-and-home series against sister rival UMass-Lowell, beginning Friday at Mullins Center. The Mass Attack remains the only unbeaten squad at home (7-0-3), while still searching for a road victory.

In the only series split of the weekend, Merrimack and New Hampshire engaged in a pair of very competitive games which both finished in one-goal margins.

Freshman goaltender Casey DeSmith made 24 saves and senior Stevie Moses scored the game-winner as the Wildcats toughed out a 2-1 road win on Friday. Senior Ryan Flanigan scored the lone Merrimack goal.

Junior John Heffernan scored the overtime-winning goal just 19 seconds in as the Warriors came back to split the series Saturday at the Whittemore Center, 3-2. DeSmith made 23 saves and Nick Sorkin had a multiple-point game as he assisted on both goals.

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