Archive for the 'Hockey East' Category

The Takeaway: Willows Hat Trick Leads UNH Past UNO

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Durham, NH- It is amazing how fast a game can change at times, but for UNH it took all of one minute, and 42 seconds in the third period to turn a deficit into a win. Nebraska-Omaha scored the only goal in the first period, when Josh Archibald got a lucky bounce off the fist of Brett Pesce that went into the net to give UNO a 1-0 first intermission lead. Much like the first period, the second period was a defensive chess match but UNH scored a tying goal one minute, 52 seconds into the period when Casey Thrush backhanded a rebound into the net.

The Third period, however, was much different. Nebraska-Omaha scored a go-ahead goal off the stick of Ryan Walters to give them a 2-1 lead. That lead held until the 13:46 mark of the third, when it became the Matt Willows show. Matt Willows tied the game at two and then scored a go ahead goal 1:42 late. Nick Sorkin put the game away moments later on the power-play. Willows completed the hat trick with an empty netter, which he accomplished in 4:30. The win completed the sweep for UNH and improves its record 12-10-1 on the season, while Nebraska-Omaha falls to 8-9-1. (more…)

The Takeaway: Pendenza’s 3rd Period Goal Leads UML Past Clarkson

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Lowell, MASS - The River Hawks and Golden Knights have seen each other a lot in recent weeks, as the two non-conference opponents squared off for the third consecutive game, for both teams. The teams played to a 1-1 draw of Friday night at the Tsongas Center, but on this night the first period saw more goals than the previous night. Clarkson came out flying early in the first and racked up as it found the net twice in the first five minutes of the contest. A.J. Fossen opened up the scoring at three minutes, 11 seconds of the first as Aj. Fossen scored into a wide open net after a rebound. Clarkson followed that up two minutes later, when Matt Zarbo found a puck right in front of UML goaltender, Doug Carr, giving his team a 2-0 lead. Scott Wilson scored on a net drive at 9:45 of the period to bring the River Hawks within a goal but the scoring was done, and the teams went into the first intermission with Clarkson leading, 2-1.

Clarkson continued to control the possession in the second period, but Lowell had the upper-hand on goal scoring. Lowell scored the first two of the second period off the stick’s of Ryan McGrath and Chris Maniccia, while Clarkson got a goal from Sam Labreqcue to send the teams into the second intermission tied at three. Lowell got a go-ahead goal at 9:55 of the third period when Joe Pendenza tipped a puck from out of nowhere giving the River Hawks the 4-3 lead. The lead held for a final as the River Hawks defeated the Golden Knights 4-3. The win improved UML’s record to 14-5-1, while Clarkson’s record fell to 12-6-2. (more…)

The Takeaway: UNH Uses Strong Second To Defeat UNO

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Durham, NH- Nebraska Omaha played its first game in nearly a month and execution became its biggest enemy against New Hampshire. It was also without its head coach, Dean Blais, and defenseman Jaycob Megna who were both suspended for an exchange of improper benefits.

Nebraska-Omaha scored the first goal of the night, as Josh Archibald received a pass from Ian Brady all alone in the slot at three minutes, 34 seconds of the first period to beat UNH goaltender Casey Desmith. UNH responded six minutes later on the power-play, when Eric Knodel blasted a shot from the point. Knodel added another power-play goal with 32 seconds remaining to give UNH a 2-1 first intermission lead.

The second period was owned by the Wildcats, but UNO scored first in the period when Austin Ortega made an individual drive down the right slot and wristed a shot off the cross-bar, down into the net to tie the game at one. It was a false sense of a close game, as UNH would dominate the rest of period. Matt Willows gave UNH the lead for good at 12:18 when he found a puck sent towards the net by Kevin Goumas and put it behind Maverick goaltender, Ryan Massa. Dan Correale and Casey Thrush added goals late in the third period to give the Wildcats a commanding 5-2 lead heading into the third period.

Nebraska-Omaha and New Hampshire traded goals in the third period. Josh Archibald added his second of the night on a breakaway and Kevin Goumas scored a break-away, empty net goal, as UNH defeated UNO 6-3 in front of 2987 at the Whittemore Center.  Josh Archibald and Eric Knodel scored two on the night, while UNH’s Trevor van Riemsdyk added a trio of assists.The win improves UNH’s record to 11-10-1 on the season, while dropping UNO’s record back to .500 at 8-8-1.  (more…)

The Takeaway: NU and Dartmouth Tie in Shootout at the OK Corral

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Hanover, NH. - Northeastern and Dartmouth decided to play a shootout on Monday night, as the teams combined for a remarkable 16 goals on the evening. Dartmouth came out flying early in the first period against the Huskies, as it took an early lead when Jesse Beamish found a loose puck in front of Northeastern goaltender, Derick Roy and bat it five-hole scoring his first of the season. NU would respond just two minutes later when Mike Szmatula scored on the power-play to tie the game. Northeastern would follow that up with another when Colton Saucerman went in on a rush, sent the puck towards the net and it went in off a Dartmouth defender to give the Huskies its first lead. Dartmouth responded moments later, as Geoff Ferguson sent a backhander towards the net that went in off a Husky defender. Northeastern scored a late short-handed goal off the stick of John Stevens on a 2 on 0 rush. NU went into the first intermission leading 3-2.

The second period was much of the same as the first period, as it seemed defense was again optional. The Huskies scored the first in the period, as Josh Manson received a gift from a Dartmouth defender to beat Charles Grant, giving the Huskies the 4-2 lead.  But the wheels fell off, as Dartmouth scored the final four goals of the period in a span of six minutes. Charley Mosey and Eric Neiley scored even-strength goals, while Neiley and Hartley found the back of the net on the power-play. Dartmouth entered the third period leading 6-4.

Dartmouth scored the first two goals of the third period to take an 8-4 lead. Everyone thought the game was long over, but Northeastern came roaring back in the waning minutes of the third period. The Huskies scored two with an extra attacker, including the  game tying goal off the stick of Mike Szmatula which he scored off a rebound to tie the game at eight. The game went to overtime and neither team scored, as Northeastern and Dartmouth settled for an eight all tie. Northeastern’s record now sits at 10-6-3 and Dartmouth sits at a paltry 2-11-1 on their respective seasons. (more…)

The Takeaway: Harvard Impresses in 6-3 Road Win Over UNH

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Durham, NH - After a scoreless first period that saw UNH dominate territorially but not in quality chances, the teams exploded in an entertaining second period. Harvard got on the board first at three minutes, 36 seconds of the period when Luke Esposito sent a weak backhander towards UNH goalie, Jeff Wyer. The shot trickled through the five-hole and Harvard took the lead. Harvard added to that lead nearly six minutes later, as Kyle Criscuolo cut to the net and tipped it past Wyer on the fly. UNH would quickly tie it up with two quick goals of its own. The first one Dan Correale deked Harvard defender, Desmond Bergin, and beat Harvard goalie Rapheal Girard. Grayson Downing scored to tie the game at two a minute and a half later. But Harvard came back with a goal by Alexander Kerfoot with 1:20 remaining in the period to give the Crimson the 3-2 second intermission lead.

Harvard would go on to outscore UNH 3-1 in the final stanza, on goals by Kyle Criscuolo, Tommy O’Regan and Patrick McNally. Kyle Criscuolo finished with two goals and an assist, while Patrick McNally finished with a goal and two assists. Harvard cruised to the 6-3 win against UNH. With the win Harvard improved to 4-5-1 overall and with the loss UNH fell to 7-7-1 on the season. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Hockey East, Nov. 26

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

One of my favorite parts of each new college hockey season is the emergence of players around the country. It happens for every team in every conference. Obviously, some outshine others, and the reasons for these breakouts are very different. The first two months of college hockey season have given us all a few new names to keep an eye on as the year progresses.

Northeastern’s Dalen Hedges is just one of those players who has quickly become a player people around Hockey East want to see. Kevin Roy and Mike Szmatula figured to score a lot of points for the Huskies this season. Third on the roster, though, isn’t Braden Pimm or Cody Ferriero. The 5-foot-7 Hedges has four goals and eight assists through the first 13 games of his young career. He hasn’t been a dominant player, but he’s the most prevalent of several young forwards giving Northeastern a newfound depth up front.

Similarly, the re-emergence of players once forgotten is just as interesting. For Northeastern, that distinction belongs to Clay Witt. Husky coach Jim Madigan will still likely give Bryan Mountain and Derick Roy a look every so often to keep them sharp and Witt fresh, but Witt is clearly the guy for Madigan. In nine starts this year, Witt has a .936 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average. As conference play heats up, especially once the second half begins, it’ll be interesting to see how sustainable this start is for Witt.

(After the jump: Notre Dame’s lesson learned, Maine’s home performance and Mark Jankowski’s status as a top six forward.)


Three Things I Think: Hockey East, Nov. 18

Monday, November 18th, 2013

November is moving month in Hockey East. As teams wind down the portions of their schedules laden with non-conference games and play more league games, the league’s best teams typically reveal themselves now. It’s not uniform, and teams do occasionally  piece together successful years without great performances in November. Massachusetts-Lowell’s run from December through the Frozen Four last year is a good example.

For the most part, though, the next few weeks will offer an idea of the team’s truly contending for first-round byes in the Hockey East Tournament and at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Teams like Boston University and New Hampshire, which have struggled at times in the early part of the season, need to win games for the rest of the first half to make up for some of the issues they had in October and November.

North Dakota visits Agganis Arena next weekend. BU needs both of those games, as well as major success in the rest of the first half, if it’s going to make any noise in the league and the national picture. UNH, meanwhile, has won five straight games by a combined score of 24-4. Neither Massachusetts, Brown nor Northeastern, the teams UNH beat in that stretch, are particularly strong teams at this point. So these wins don’t make UNH a legitimate contender in the Hockey East race. They have improved the Wildcats’ mindset, though. Winning games cures all wounds. After their last five games, UNH is ready to make a push as the end of the first half approaches.

(After the jump: Hockey East’s contenders are already clear; UNH is what we thought they were; Ross Mauermann is off to a great start for PC.)


The Takeaway: UNH Completes Weekend Sweep of NU

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Durham, NH - The Huskies and the Wildcats played their second in as many nights, as UNH took home a 3-0 victory down at Matthews Arena on Friday night. On this night, the teams played a very even first half of the game, leaving the first period scoreless and staying that way for the first 30 minutes of the game. The second half of the second period, however, was a much different animal. UNH scored two quick ones in 40 seconds to take a 2-0 lead  in the second period, as Nick Sorkin scored on the power-play and Casey Thrush would answer moments later.

UNH  added a pair of power-play goals in the third period, while its counterpart added a lone goal. New Hampshire was 3-4 on the power-play and Northeastern was 1-7. UNH completed the weekend sweep of the huskies with the 4-1 win. The win was UNH’s fifth consecutive and it improved its record to 6-5-1 overall, 4-2-0 in Hockey East. The loss dropped the Huskies record to 6-5-0, 1-4-0 in the conference. (more…)

The Takeaway: Maine Romps BU 7-0

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Orono, ME-  The crowd has returned to the Alfond and on this night the electric, sold-out crowd was treated to quite a show by its hometown team. Maine opend the scoring at 10 minutes, one second of the first period as Devin Shore slid a puck past Sean Maguire on a two on one to give the Black Bears the early lead. With six seconds remaining in the first, Maine made it 2-0 on a 5 on 3 power-play, as Connor Leen found the back of the net. Maine took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Maine would take over play mid-way into the second period, as Ben Hutton would score a 5 on 3 shorthanded goal that signified the beginning of the end for BU. Maine would add two more in the second period to give them the commanding 5-0 second intermission lead. Maine added two more in the third period and the Black Bears would pick up the 7-0 win over the Terriers. The margin of defeat was the worst for BU since 1995. Maine improves to 5-4-1, 2-2-1 in Hockey East while BU falls to 4-6-0, 2-3-0.


The Takeaway: Brown Struggles in 4-2 Road Loss to UNH

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Durham, NH - It was a rare Tuesday night game for both UNH and Brown, in the 37th meeting between the schools. Brown struck first eight minutes, 10 seconds into the first as Mark Naclerio sent a puck to a wide open Massimo Lamacchia in the slot and the latter was true to give Brown the early 1-0 lead. UNH, though, would answer three minutes later when Nick Sorkin found a rebound in front of Brown goaltender, Marco De Filippo. UNH would find the back of the net, again, two minutes later, as Dalton Speelman crossed a pass right in front of the net to Grayson Downing, giving UNH the 2-1 first intermission lead.

New Hampshire would score the only goal of the second period, late in the period. Jeff Silengo would find a puck in the slot and bury it to give the Wildcats a 3-1 second intermission lead. UNH and Brown would trade goals in the third period, with New Hampshire holding on to a 4-2 win. The win improves UNH to 4-5-1 on the season and Brown falls to 3-3-1 overall.

What I Saw

  • UNH’s first three goals were all a direct result of Brown’s failure to clear the front of the net. On the first UNH goal, Marco De Filippo left a puck in front of him where Nick Sorkin found it and buried it. On the second goal, no Brown defenders were anywhere to be found to knock a puck away. The second goal was a pretty passing play by UNH right in front of the net in which two UNH players  in a sense were left all alone in front of De Filippo. The third goal, although not of a similar variety, was  a puck stuck in skates in front of the net and Silengo found it and buried it. UNH will take advantage on those opportunities and it did on this night.
  • Brown struggled to keep up with UNH’s stick-handling in its zone, as UNH seemingly found the puck at will. On many occasions, stick-handling became a huge issue for Brown and led to odd-man rushes. It led to UNH generating tons of shots but credit Brown for keeping UNH to the outside most of the game, as UNH had few grade-A’s despite having tons of shots. On this night, UNH was the better stickhandling team and it was clearly evident by the number of times that the Wildcats pick-pocketed  Bears skaters, seemingly at ease.

What I Thought

  • UNH looks like a much more confident team than the last time I saw them, two weeks ago against UMass-Lowell. Dick Umile’s line juggling of the top two lines is paying dividends, as Grayson Downing, Dalton Speelman and Tyler Kelleher look like a dangerous top line on nearly every shift. The same can be said across the forward lines. Despite a rough start, UNH still has time to recover. It just looks like it may.
  • For Brown, it just seemed like a bad night. Its passes were a touch off, its great players were relatively quiet (Lorito most noticeably) and its sticks weren’t as active as they needed to be. It was clear that the Bears were just a bit off and that they got away from Brown hockey. Brown hockey is workmanlike and tonight did not seem close to that. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

What They Said

Brown Coach Brendan Whittet said,

“We got away from Brown hockey tonight, that’s exactly what I told the guys. Our trademark is much different than the way we played the first two periods. We were circling away from things and we were just not tenacious in what we are doing. We were turning pucks over and I think we made it easy on UNH. It will be corrected.”

“We are short some guys right now, two guys on the blue line and two up front. One of them is Nick Lappin and he is a hell of a good player. I told the guys it was an opportunity for some of the others to do well. We need to figure what makes us tick.”

“UNH is well coached. They do a lot of the little things and are a good hockey program. What I was hoping was and we are a good hockey team too, just don’t think we showed it for two periods.”

Brown forward Matt Lorito said,

“We played well for spurts of the game but we made some mistakes in our own zone where we broke down. Against a team like that you can’t do that”

The injuries are tough but it just opens the door for some guys to step in. I thought the guys that in tonight did a great job. Obviously it’s tough when you are missing regulars in the lineup but at the same time it’s not an excuse because the guys playing have a job to do. Tonight we just came up a little short.”

“It’s tough being an ivy league team and getting the start. We had great start against the other Ivy League teams because we were kind of on a level playing field to start the season. We went home and played St. Lawrence and Clarkson, both of which had played six or seven games, so it’s kind of tough but at the same time we can’t use that as an excuse. I felt we have played tough those games but just couldn’t find a way to get the points we needed.”

UNH forward Kevin Goumas said,

“We have been playing well the last few games. It is not to say we weren’t playing well before then, but the last three games have been complete team efforts, from the goalie on out.”

What Else You Should Know

UNH will play a home and home series against Northeastern beginning on Friday. UNH has now won three consecutive games and have done so in impressive fashion, outscoring its opponents 17-3 in those games.

Brown will have the weekend off at the right time, as it is nursing four injuries. It didn’t have one healthy scratch and all roster players available played in the game. The biggest injury is to Nick Lappin, who is a consistent scorer. Brown has been mighty inconsistent in the early going and have not been able to string together wins. But it has not lost consecutive games yet this season, which is also not a bad thing. Brown next plays on November 22 on the road against Cornell.