Archive for the 'Hockey East' Category

The Takeaway: Michigan Stuns New Hampshire in OT

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Durham, NH- The game was as evenly played as possible and the weekend was as a whole as well. On Friday night, UNH dominated long stretches of play in route to a 1-1 tie. On this night, despite the 35-24 shot advantage to Michigan, stalemate was the best adjective one could find to describe this game.

UNH opened the scoring at six minutes, 18 seconds of the first period when Trevor van Riemsdyk sent an innocent looking point shot towards the net, which Kevin Goumas tipped into the net to give UNH the early lead. The goal was the first of the season for Goumas, who saw limited action last weekend because of an oblique injury. Alex Guptill answered about three minutes later on the power-play when he was left untouched of Casey Desmith and put it past him to send it into the first intermission tied at 1.

The second period was much of the same, as the teams each had 12 shots on net. Michigan took the lead, on the power-play four minutes into the period as Luke Moffatt found a puck at Desmith’s feet that he put behind him for the 2-1 lead. UNH answered later in the period to send it into the second intermission tied at two. It stayed that way through another stalemate period and the team’s entered the overtime tied, for the second night in a row.

Unlike last night this one would have a winner. Freshman, JT Compher went around the back of the net found a trailing Derek Deblois in the slot who took a shot. Casey Desmith left a rebound to his stick side which Tyler Motte found and was true to give Michigan the 3-2 overtime victory over UNH. Michigan improves to 3-0-1 on the season, while UNH falls to 1-2-1. (more…)

The Takeaway: QU Stifles Lowell, Wins 3-1

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Lowell, Mass - UML and Quinnipiac were both Frozen Four participants last season, but they didn’t play each other . You couldn’t tell by the play on the ice. After a scoreless first period where Quinnipiac dominated play, the Bobcats came out in the second and stifled a good Lowell team, holding them 0-5 on the power-play and limiting them to no quality chances.

Jordan Samuel-Thomas opened the scoring at two minutes, three seconds of the second on a beautiful slot to slot pass from Peter Quenneville leaving the former with nothing but a wide open net to shoot at. QU took a 2-0 lead seven minutes later as Connor Clifton sent a point shot in that deflected off of Connor Jones into the net. The Bobcats finished the scoring in the second at 13:25 of the period when Derek Smith’s point shot beat Connor Hellebuyck to give Quinnipiac the 3-0 second intermission lead.

It was much of the same in the third period, as Lowell turned it up a bit scoring an early third period goal but they would eventually fall  3-1 to the Bobcats. Lowell falls 1-2-0 on the young season, while Quinnipiac improves to 2-1-0. (more…)

Hockey East Power Rankings – Week 1

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Hockey East coaches lauded realignment for several reasons. Primarily, they seemed pleased with fewer conference games in the season’s first few weeks. There was one league game last weekend with Boston University upending Massachusetts, 3-1. Saturday’s game between UMass and UMass-Lowell was a non-conference game, played as part of the series between the two schools for the Alumni Cup — awarded to the team that wins the annual three-game series.

The non-conference matchups around the league yielded some interesting results, especially with Providence’s sweep of Minnesota State and Sacred Heart’s unlikely win over UMass-Lowell. These early-season games don’t tell us too much about the teams around the country since clubs have so little time to prepare. However, their significance can’t be ignored. These games will come into play come Pairwise time. They don’t count in the league standings, but coaches and players want wins just the same.

Rankings:

1. Providence (2-0-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East)

The Friars’ success in 2013-14 depends upon greater contributions from a handful of players as well as even better goaltending from sophomore Jon Gillies. PC received both of those in a pair of wins over Minnesota State at the newly renovated Schneider Arena. Sophomore forward Mark Jankowski scored a pair of goals, as did sophomore defenseman John Gilmour and junior center Ross Mauermann. Gillies stopped 64 of 65 shots he saw over the weekend, earning a shutout in Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Mavericks. PC has a Hockey East championship and NCAA Tournament berth in its mind this season. Two wins over a Minnesota State likely to improve on last year’s season is a good start toward the latter.

This Weekend: Friday home against American International

2. Notre Dame (2-0-0; 0-0-0 Hockey East)

Holding Western Michigan without much production is hardly a difficult task, but the Fighting Irish managed to keep the Broncos scoreless altogether. UND swept the home-and-home pair with WMU with a suffocating defense and 44 total saves from senior Steven Summerhays. Offensive depth is a clear strength for the Irish. It revealed itself throughout the weekend. Seven players scored goals for UND in the wins. Meanwhile, senior defenseman Shayne Taker picked up four assists in the wins.

This Weekend: Friday and Sunday home against Michigan Tech

(more…)

Three Things I Think: Hockey East Week 1

Monday, October 14th, 2013

It felt good, really good, to be back in college hockey rinks this week. Living in Boston means four great rinks are quick train rides away for me. I’m lucky, I know, and I got to Agganis Arena, Matthews Arena and Conte Forum to start the season off properly. The games were equal parts sloppy and exciting, with early-season rust revealing itself as much as the skills of these teams.

The best part of realignment, for me, is more non-conference games. The next few weeks will come with even more non-league games for Hockey East teams, which should give coaches a better idea of their teams’ progress. Moreover, Hockey East play will likely be even better with teams further along when the meat of the schedule comes around.

Again, the performances I saw this weekend aren’t even remotely indicative of the performances I expect to see from these teams as the year progresses. That said, there were a few things I picked up on and expect to continue this season.

(After the jump: Gaudreau’s the difference for BC, UMass still can’t compete, Northeastern’s goaltending battle) (more…)

The Takeaway: UNH Prepares For Season With Exhibition Win

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Durham, NH - It was only an exhibition, but exhibitions can actually tell us a lot. Early on, Acadia appeared to be the team with the upper-hand but the visiting Axemen from Nova Scotia became undisciplined. The Wildcats had six power-plays in the first 30 minutes of the contest. They were able to capitalize on two of the six, to take an early 2-0 lead in that time frame. But then the floodgates opened late in the second as UNH would score three in the final three minutes of the stanza to take a 5-1 lead after two periods. Acadia would outscore UNH 2-1 in the final period, but UNH would leave with a 6-3 win. (more…)

The Takeaway: Mass.-Lowell Wins Its First Hockey East Tournament Title With Win Over BU

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

BOSTON – Massachusetts-Lowell wins its first Hockey East tournament championship with a 1-0 win over Boston University Saturday night at TD Garden. The win gives the River Hawks their first ever Hockey East tournament title, while BU’s season comes to an end with the loss. This also ends BU coach Jack Parker’s 40-year coaching career after announcing his retirement two weeks ago.

Derek Arnold scored the game’s lone goal on a wraparound 11 minutes, 9 seconds into the third period. Scott Wilson and Chad Ruhwedel got the assists on the play.

UML goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was named tournament MVP following his 36-save shutout against the Terriers. BU goalie Sean Maguire had yet another strong night in goal, making 28 saves in the losing effort.

What I Saw

  • In a game that saw little quality chances throughout, the River Hawks broke through at 11:09 in the third period when Arnold beat Maguire with the wraparound to make it a 1-0 game. UML had done a solid job of generate rushes in the second and third period, and finally broke through with a 3-on-2 that started in the defensive zone with Chad Ruhwedel and Arnold trading passes through the neutral zone. Arnold fed Ruhwedel in the slot, but the defenseman’s shot deflected off Scott Wilson and onto the stick of Arnold. The junior then completed the wraparound well out of the reach of Maguire’s outstretched glove. The play exemplified what the River Hawks were trying to do to BU all night, but the Terriers executed well defensively. They had another big chance to beat Maguire 3:25 into the period when Colin Wright got out on the breakaway after leaving the penalty box, but his shot rang off the post and back into play.  (more…)

The Takeaway: BU Rallies With Five Straight Goals To Top BC And Advance To The Hockey East Finals

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

BOSTON – Trailing 2-0 midway through the second period, Boston University scored five unanswered goals to beat Boston College, 6-3, Friday night at TD Garden in the Hockey East semifinals. With the win, BU advances to Saturday’s final against UMass Lowell at 7 p.m.

Danny O’Regan and Evan Rodrigues each scored twice for the Terriers, while Sean Maguire made 44 saves in the winning effort.

BC’s top line of Steven Whitney, Quinn Smith and Pat Mullane accounted for two of its three goals in the game with Whitney and Smith scoring the goals while Mullane had a pair of assists.

Parker Milner struggled in net for the Eagles, making 21 saves and allowing five goals in the loss.

What I Saw

  • After Quinn Smith put BC up 2-0 8 minutes, 46 seconds into the second period, a sense of urgency clicked in with the Terriers and they stepped their game up to a whole new level. They played with speed on both ends of the ice and took advantage of Eagles breakdowns on their way three goals in less than six minutes to close the second period with a 3-2 advantage. BC was in complete control up until that point, playing a fast game that BU simply couldn’t keep up with. But the momentum took a complete 180-degree turn at 12:17 when Evan Rodrigues used some nifty stick work to avoid a Quinn Smith pokecheck, then fired a shot past Parker Milner. Matt Lane put it upon himself two minutes later, forcing a turnover at the point in his own defensive zone, then racing to the other end of the ice to beat Milner 1-on-1 to tie the game.  (more…)

The Takeaway: Third period goals push Lowell past Providence 2-1 in Hockey East semifinals

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

BOSTON - Two third period goals powered Massachusetts-Lowell past Providence College with a 2-1 win in the Hockey East semifinals. The River Hawks came back from a first period 1-0 deficit to cement a spot in the conference championship game Saturday night.

Freshman forward Kevin Rooney’s first career goal came at the right time for PC as the Friars took an early lead. It came on a rebound off Lowell freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck at 8:59 when Noel Acciari fed Rooney in front of the net. Despite outshooting the Friars 15-7 in the second period, the River Hawks couldn’t match Rooney’s goal until the start of the final period.

Just 34 seconds into the third, freshman forward A.J. White nabbed his second career goal, beating freshman goaltender Jon Gillies with a rebound, leaving the teams to battle out of the 1-1 tie through the final twenty minutes of regulation play.

It was Lowell who found the net first, when sophomore forward Scott Wilson took a beauty of a pass from senior forward Riley Wetmore and found the back of the net with a one-timer for the 2-1 lead with 7:30 left in regulation.

What I Saw

  • Lowell put a ton of offensive pressure on the PC defense and of course, Gillies. They outshot the Friars 15-7 in the second period after an evenly matched 10 shots per team in the first, but came out of the period with nothing to show for it.. Riley Wetmore and Joseph Pendenza both had shots that could have been goals on most other Hockey East goalies. It wasn’t that the River Hawks weren’t creating Grade A chances, it was just nearly impossible to get anything past Gillies. They finally broke through in the third.
  • The battle between two of the league’s best and youngest goaltenders didn’t disappoint. Gillies and Hellebucyk, both freshmen, made 33 and 32 saves respectively after standout seasons. Hellebucyk has a .944 save percentage with 1.49 GAA while Gillies is working with a .931 save percentage and 2.08 GAA. They both lived up to those numbers tonight. Gillies carried PC, but Hellebucyk’s performance isn’t to be overlooked with only a two-shot differential between the two teams.  (more…)

The Takeaway: PC clinches second consecutive trip to the Garden with 3-2 victory over UNH

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence booked their second trip to the TD Garden for the Hockey East semifinals in as many years with a 3-2 win over the University of New Hampshire in the third game of the series. All of the scoring came in the first two periods, and goaltender Jon Gillies and the Friar defense held off the Wildcats in the third for the win.

Mark Jankowski got the early lead for PC with a beauty of a backwards pass to Schaller, who moved the puck across the crease back to Jankowski for the clear shot on net and the 1-0 advantage. The Wildcats answered late in the first at 17:07 when John Henrion tipped in a rebound after an original shot from Trevor van Riemsdyk.

UNH pulled ahead when Grayson Downing struck on the power play with an assist from van Riemsdyk at 10:31 in the second period for the 2-1 lead. But two goals late in the second period undid the Wildcat lead and sealed the victory for PC. First, Tim Schaller ripped one from the bottom of the circle at 16:29 to beat goaltender Casey DeSmith. Nick Saracino got the go-ahead goal at 17:13 when the puck was knocked around in front and he jammed in a rebound while DeSmith was on his back. (more…)

The Takeaway: BU Wins Parker’s Final Home Game, Reaches Semis

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

BOSTON – In Jack Parker’s final home game, Boston University beat Merrimack 5-3 to advance to the Hockey East semifinals for the 11th time in the last 12 years. Ben Rosen broke a 3-3 tie 5:11 into the third when he took in a nice backhand pass from Matt Lane and beat Sam Marotta on a second effort. The Terriers shut down Merrimack for the remainder of the game and will now face archrival Boston College in the late game on Friday. They will most likely need to win to make NCAAs.

What I saw
-A crazy second period. BU tied the score at one 1:31 into the period when Danny O’Regan fed a charging Matt Nieto, but Merrimack retook the lead three minutes later when Mike Collins shot through a Josh Myers screen for the Warriors’ second power-play goal of the game. The end of the period was even more frantic than the start, though. Cason Hohmann scored on the power play to tie the game with 3:48 to go. Then John Gustafsson capitalized on a BU turnover to make it 3-2 Merrimack with 1:20 left. Not to be outdone, the Terriers took advantage of a late power play when Sam Kurker jammed a loose puck past Marotta.

(more…)