Pre-Holiday Hockey East Weekly: 12/19/11

BOSTON — There were just two games this past week involving Hockey East teams, both on Saturday and coming against foes from the ECAC. With that said, this week’s feature will be quite brief.

No. 11/12 Union 3, at No. 5 Merrimack 1
The Warriors suffered their second loss of the season on Saturday afternoon in the first-ever national television and high definition broadcast at J. Thom Lawler Arena. Despite the 3-1 loss, sophomore Brendan Ellis scored a goal for Merrimack and senior Joe Cannata made 31 stops to earn conference Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Merrimack, which had not lost a non-conference game at home since Oct. 24, 2006, fell to 10-3-2 with the loss and drifted back to seventh in the national polls. The Warriors will return to action against St. Lawrence at the Ledyard National Bank Classic on December 30. The tournament, as always, will be hosted by Dartmouth College at Thompson Arena.

St. Lawrence 2, at Vermont 1
Jacob Drewiske’s goal with just 3:57 remaining in regulation was the game-winner as the Saints came back to score twice unanswered to defeat their longtime rivals from days together in the ECAC. Vermont dropped to 3-12-1 on the season as sophomore Nick Bruneteau’s power-play goal 3:42 into the final period was all the offense UVM could muster past senior Robby Moss (24 saves). For his first goal of the season, the Omaha, Neb. native was named Hockey East Player of the Week.

The Catamounts will be the first Hockey East team back in action following the holiday break as they play host to the Russian Red Stars in an exhibition game on Dec. 27. Two nights later, Vermont hosts the annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup, facing No. 16 Lake Superior State and No. 10 Ferris State on Dec. 29-30.

Here is the full Hockey East upcoming schedule for games following the Christmas holiday break:

Tuesday, December 27

Exhibition
Russian Red Stars at Vermont (7 p.m.)

Thursday, December 29

Catamount Cup
Lake Superior State at Vermont (7 p.m., WCAX-TV)

Great Lakes Invitational
Michigan vs. Boston College (7:30 p.m.)

Florida College Classic
Clarkson vs. Maine (4 p.m.)
Cornell vs. Massachusetts (7:30 p.m.)

UConn Tournament
Rensselaer vs. UMass-Lowell (4 p.m.)

Friday, December 30

Catamount Cup
Ferris State at Vermont (7 p.m., WCAX-TV)

Great Lakes Invitational
Michigan State or Michigan Tech vs. Boston College (4 or 7:30 p.m.)

Florida College Classic
Maine vs. Massachusetts/Cornell (4 or 7:30 p.m.)
Massachusetts vs. Clarkson/Maine (4 or 7:30 p.m.)

UConn Tournament
Army/UConn vs. UMass-Lowell (4 or 7 p.m.)

Dartmouth Tournament
St. Lawrence vs. Merrimack (4 p.m.)

Mariucci Classic
Princeton vs. Northeastern (5 p.m.)

Brown at New Hampshire (7 p.m.)

Saturday, December 31

Boston University at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m., VERSUS)

Dartmouth Tournament
Dartmouth or Holy Cross vs. Merrimack (4 or 7 p.m.)

Mariucci Classic
Niagara or Minnesota vs. Northeastern (4 or 7 p.m.)

Sunday, January 1

Mayor’s Cup
Brown at Providence (4 p.m.)

NOTE: There will be no “Hockey East Weekly” next Monday, December 26. We will resume weekly on Jan. 2, 2o12. Happy Holidays!

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