Hockey East Weekly: 12/5/11

BOSTON — It was a wacky weekend in Hockey East as four teams earned weekend sweeps, including a pair against the nation’s top two squads in Merrimack and Notre Dame.

Providence and Northeastern were named the conference’s co-Teams of the Week after sweeping their respective opponents.

The Friars made their first appearance in the national polls this week, checking in for the first time since Mar. 2008 at the No. 20 position.

On Friday, PC earned a 2-1 overtime victory at Schneider Arena to capture the school’s first win over a top-ranked team since Jan. 3, 2003. Freshman Ross Mauermann scored at 1:54 of the extra period, while senior Alex Beaudry — the league’s co-Defensive Player of the Week — made 26 saves.

Senior Jesse Todd scored MC’s lone goal at 9:01 of the third on the power play, but it was not enough in its first defeat this year.

The next night in North Andover, PC ended Merrimack’s 13-game home unbeaten streak with a 6-1 win. The Friars scored five times on the power play in the contest, including two goals from freshman Drew Brown, marking the first time the team turned that feat since Nov. 4, 1994.

Both teams have a quick turnaround from the weekend as Merrimack hosts Vermont on Wednesday and Providence closes the first half of the season with a Tuesday contest on the road at Boston College.

The Warriors, now ranked fifth in the country, also travel to Colgate on Saturday to open a three-game ECAC stretch.

Northeastern enters the week after having received votes in the USCHO.com national poll and sweeping then-No. 2 Notre Dame in two games in South Bend over the weekend gone past. With the victory, NU extended its unbeaten streak to five games and captured a trio of consecutive road victories for the first time since 1989-90.

Eight NU players scored multiple points, including two goals each from sophomore Braden Pimm and junior Garrett Vermeersch as the Huskies became the first road opponent ever to win at Compton Family Ice Arena, 9-2, on Friday.

Steve Quailer and Braden Pimm scored goals as NU completed the sweep, 2-1. With 47 saves on the weekend, junior Chris Rawlings was able to share the honors with Beaudry for his performance.

The Huskies host UMass-Lowell next Saturday in their final home game of the calendar year at Matthews Arena.

The archrival squads from Commonwealth Avenue split their home-and-home set over the weekend as each team won on enemy ice.

Sophomore Charlie Coyle scored a goal and an assist and senior Kieran Millan made 42 saves as the Terriers won at Kelley Rink, 5-3, on Friday to clinch their second road win over BC in one season for the first time since 1993-94. Sophomore Bill Arnold scored a goal and an assist to lead the Eagle attack.

Freshman Brian Billett stopped 40 shots as the Eagles bounced back big, 6-1, at Agganis Arena. Terrier senior Corey Trivino scored the lone goal as the rookie from Biddeford, Maine earned his second victory. For BC, six different players scored and junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin posted two assists.

After taking on New Hampshire on Thursday in Durham, the No. 11 Terriers trek to Maine on Saturday. No. 3 BC plays its lone contest Friday at UMass-Lowell.

Meanwhile, UML River Hawks secured a weekend sweep of New Hampshire in a home-and-home set. In front of a record-setting crowd of 6,826 at the Tsongas Center, sophomore Doug Carr turned aside 33 shots for a 3-2 win on Friday.

Wildcat senior Mike Borisenok scored a third-period goal, but Carr made 19 stops in the stanza to preserve the victory.

Freshman Stephen Buco scored his first-collegiate goal for UML to lead the offense. Matt DiGirolamo turned aside 31 shots in the Wildcat goal, but falls to 6-6-1 on the season.

Senior forward Matt Ferreira scored twice as UMass-Lowell earned the weekend sweep with a 5-3 road victory Saturday and set themselves up for a No. 18 national ranking — their first time ranked nationally since Mar. 8, 2010.

Senior Stevie Moses and freshman Casey Thrush each registered a goal and an assist for the Wildcats.

Hockey East Player of the Week Spencer Abbott scored five goals, including two game-winners, and four assists as Maine dropped rival Vermont in a weekend series on the road at Gutterson Field House by scores of 6-4 and 5-2.

Sophomore Connor Brickley and junior Brett Bruneteau scored a goal and an assist each for UVM on Saturday.

Massachusetts has had a light load lately and enters their one-game week after a 4-4 Friday tie with in-state foe Harvard. Rookie Steven Guzzo registered a goal and an assist and sophomore Michael Pereira picked up two assists for the Mass Attack, while Kevin Boyle tallied 40 stops in goal.

UMass returns to action on Wednesday evening and continues a three-game stretch against ECAC competition, taking on No. 17 Yale in Amherst.

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