Hockey East Weekly: 2/1/12

BOSTON — Four teams posted two-game sweeps in the weekend gone by and Hockey East will now transition into Beanpot mode with a lighter schedule over the next two weekends.

Hockey East’s Team of the Week is the No. 15 Maine Black Bears, which pulled an impressive sweep of third-ranked Boston University on the road at Agganis Arena. Defensive Player of the Week Dan Sullivan finished the weekend with both wins while making a combined 66 saves.

In Friday’s 4-2 win, sophomore Mark Anthoine had the game-winner for Maine while adding an assist. Juniors Ross Gaudet and Alex Chiasson scored for BU.

Sullivan made 38 saves for the Black Bears in a 3-1 win on Saturday, closing Maine’s first sweep on the road at BU since Nov. 1992. BU sophomore Garrett Noonan scored the lone goal at 2:41 of the second period.

The Black Bears host Alabama-Huntsville in a two-game series this weekend at Alfond Arena. The Terriers travel to Merrimack on Friday night for the first-ever Top 5 match at Lawler Arena, before opening the 60th Annual Beanpot Tournament on Monday against Harvard.

Northeastern broke out of its four-game losing streak with a two-game weekend sweep of a lowly Vermont team at the Catamounts’ home Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Huskies were led by Hockey East Co-Player of the Week Cody Ferriero, who scored five points in two games. The Essex, Mass. sophomore scored his first-career hat trick in Friday’s 8-3 victory.

Senior captain Mike McLaughlin registered three assists in a 4-2 win on Saturday, while junior Chris Rawlings finished off his tenth win of the year with 23 saves.

Sophomore Alex Vazzano made his first start since Nov. 27 on Saturday as he made 24 stops in defeat for the Catamounts, which will face No. 9 UMass-Lowell in two games at Tsongas Center this weekend.

Northeastern hosts UMass on Friday at Matthews Arena before facing No. 5 Boston College in Monday’s Beanpot at TD Garden. The Huskies are in search of just their fifth all-time title and first since 1988.

No. 9 UMass-Lowell finished its week with two out of three wins, including a two-game sweep of rival Massachusetts in a home-and-home series. Rookie Terrence Wallin scored four points on the weekend, including a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-2 victory in Lowell.

Sophomore Josh Holmstrom scored twice as the River Hawks earned a 4-2 win on Friday at Mullins Center, handing the Mass Attack their first home loss of the season.

For UMass, sophomores Joel Hanley and Patrick Kiley scored goals on Saturday. Conor Allen and Branden Gracel potted one each in the series opener.

UML opened its week with a sour 1-0 loss at Providence on Thursday, which saw freshman Shane Luke score the lone goal for the Friars. Senior Alex Beaudry earned the shutout with 29 saves in the contest.

Providence and Merrimack met on Sunday afternoon in a key conference match-up with national eyes watching on Fox College Sports Atlantic. Senior captain Karl Stollery had a goal and an assist, while goaltender Joe Cannata had 37 saves in a 4-2 win for the Warriors.

The win avoided a season series sweep for Merrimack as it dropped the first two games in a weekend series to open December.

Following a game at Matthews Arena on Friday, UMass returns home to face Merrimack on Saturday. The Friars face New Hampshire this weekend in a home-and-home series, which begins on Friday at Whittemore Center.

No. 5 Boston College bounced back from a weekend sweep in Maine as it took all four points from UNH in a big home-and-home series.

Junior Steven Whitney snapped a 3-3 tie with 51.3 seconds left to lead the Eagles on Friday at Kelley Rink. UNH freshman defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk recorded two assists in the loss, while Casey DeSmith stopped 30 shots.

Senior Barry Almeida scored two goals for the Eagles, including the game-winner at 3:27 of overtime in a 3-2 win on Saturday in Durham. Senior Mike Borisenok scored an equalizer late in the second period, but it was not enough for the win.

Co-Player of the Week Chris Kreider was an offensive star for the Eagles, scoring a team-best three assists and five points in the series, including a goal and two assists in Friday’s win.

The Eagles are off until Monday night when they face the NU Huskies in the opening round of the Beanpot, searching for their 16th title.

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