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…)
Archive for the 'Hockey East' Category
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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.
Chestnut Hill, Mass - Boston College had the opportunity to send Vermont home on Saturday night, as the Eagles entered with a 1-0 series lead after last night’s 3-2 win over the Catamounts. Vermont began the game very undisciplined, as they gave BC six power-plays in the first period. BC took advantage at 12 minutes, 12 seconds of the period as pretty passing ended up on the stick of Steven Whitney and Whitney roofed it to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The lead would hold until the 16:45 mark of the second period, when Patrick Brown banked a shot off a Hoffman’s skate to give BC the 2-0 lead.
Johnny Guadreau would add his 20th goal of the season four minutes into the third period, as an insurance marker to give BC a three goal lead. Pat Mullane and Matt White would score for their respective teams, as Boston College defeated Vermont going away 4-1. BC advances to next week’s semi-finals at the TD Garden in Boston to play Comm Ave rival Boston University, while Vermont’s season ends. The win moves BC up to a one seed in the tournament, as they now sit in fourth place in the Pairwise, with games still to be played out west.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A hat trick from sophomore forward Matt Willows boosted the University of New Hampshire 4-1 past Providence College to tie up the quarterfinal series at a game apiece and forced a Game 3 Sunday to determine who advances to the semifinal round.
Last night, the Wildcats saw shift after shift of good play and didn’t have a problem getting pucks on net, but the scoring didn’t come proportionally. That play paid off early Saturday when sophomore Matt Willows took the puck following a faceoff win in the PC zone. With some stick work in front of Jon Gillies, he went outside and beat the goaltender for the 1-0 lead at 15:19 in the first.
The Wildcat lead grew when Willows struck again, this time on an open net when Goumas sent the puck across to his linemate at 1:45 in the second period. Gillies was still facing Goumas by the time Willows took the slap shot. The two-goal lead was short lived for UNH, and once again it was freshman Nick Saracino who proved dangerous to the Wildcats, and with an assist from freshman defenseman John Gilmour, he beat Casey DeSmith to bring the Friars within one. The 2-1 score in favor of UNH held through the end of the second.
PC’s best chance to tie it up came when a Tim Schaller shot rang the underside of the crossbar, but rebounded down and out. But the third period scoring was all UNH. Jeff Silengo, who replaced Nick Sorkin on the third line, went five-hole and beat Gillies on one he’ll surely want back. Willows sealed both the game and a hat trick with an empty netter for the 4-1 UNH final, forcing a Game 3 to determine which team heads to the TD Garden for the Hockey East Championship. (more…)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Freshman Nick Saracino helped lift the Friars past the University of New Hampshire with two goals and an assist in PC’s 3-2 victory in Game 1 of their Hockey East quarterfinal series. A goal from fellow freshman, defenseman John Gilmour rounded out the PC scoring. New Hampshire’s goals came from Grayson Downing and Austin Block, who beat Jon Gillies backhand. The Wildcats had the momentum on their side early, and finished the game outshooting the Friars 37-25, but couldn’t overcome a surging PC third line coupled with Gillies in net.
UNH controlled the first period, with the 23-15 advantage on shots attempted, but the talent of Gillies in net counteracted any Wildcat chances and the teams were scoreless after the first twenty. It looked like UNH would take the 1-0 lead about halfway through the first period when a giveaway in UNH’s zone resulted with the puck on Grayson Downing’s stick. Downing rushed through the PC defense and shot inside the right circle, but the puck rang the inside of the post and bounced out. There was a steady back-and-forth pace to the game until the 12:30 mark of the first, when the Wildcats had some sustained pressure in the PC zone in peppered Gillies with shots, two of which came from Knodel. Shane Luke finally cleared it for the Friars with some smart play behind the net to end the onslaught of shots.
The momentum shifted in the second as the Friars came out flying and Saracino scored the game’s first goal at 2:06 with an assist from linemate Shane Luke. Just under five minutes into the period, Dan Correale beat the PC defense and had a breakaway chance on Gillies, who came up with the save. Gillies came up big again when Block stole the puck from Myles Harvey, who was attempting D-to-D pass in the PC zone. While Gillies kept UNH scoreless, Gilmour gave the Friars a 2-0 cushion with assits from Saracino and Luke at 13:27. But the Wildcats weren’t far off, and Downing scored a power play goal to pull UNH within one 23 seconds later at 13:50.
The final period became a lot more intense when Block’s beauty of a backhand shot got past Gillies, and it was a tied game at 2-2 with 18 minutes to play. Saracino’s second of the night gave PC some breathing room and was the final goal of the night. (more…)
BOSTON — Boston University goaltender Sean Maguire made 30 saves, and Matt Nieto scored a goal and added an assist to help the Terriers to a 3-0 win over Merrimack Friday night. The win gave BU a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Game 2 is Saturday night at 7 p.m. from Agganis Arena.
After a scoreless first period, Wade Megan broke through at 6 minutes, 10 seconds of the second period. The senior redirected a shot from Ahti Oksanen over the blocker of Merrimack goaltender Sam Marotta. Nieto added his own 10 minutes later. A power-play goal from grinder Ryan Santana extended the lead to 3-0 55 seconds into the third period.
Marotta made 42 saves for the Warriors, but he didn’t receive much support from his teammates. The Warriors created little pressure in front of Maguire and failed to generated any second- and third-chance opportunities. In the second period, they recorded no shots from the grade-A on Maguire.
What I Saw
- Merrimack was far too content to stay on the perimeter. Maguire did well to avoid allowing many of these chances. There were some there, however, and the Warriors avoided battling for them. Based solely on talent, Merrimack cannot compete with BU. The Warriors have to win this series by scoring ugly goals. They looked entirely disinterested in doing that Friday night.