Around Hockey East: UMass sweeps No. 1 Denver, Tuesday ties, BU splits with Michigan 

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This weekend featured some massive non-conference games in college hockey, especially in Hockey East. In addition, there were a pair of games from Tuesday. Let’s dive into all the battles: 

No. 13 UMass-Amherst sweeps No. 1 Denver at home  

The Minutemen shocked the college hockey world this weekend, earning two decisive wins over the defending national champion Pioneers. On Friday, they won the contest 4-2, despite being outshot 47-15. They dominated the special teams however, recording two shorthanded goals and one power-play goal. The very next day, Amherst once again defended home ice, shutting out Denver 3-0 for the program’s first shutout win against a No. 1 team. Luke Pavicich, a sophomore from New York, stopped all 30 shots he faced. Pavicich was a brick wall this weekend, halting 75 of 77 shots and for his efforts he was named Hockey East Player of the Week. His teammate Scott Morrow, a sophomore defenseman and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick, was named Hockey East Defender of the Week after recording two goals and an assist this weekend. With the wins, the Minutemen moved up to No. 6 overall in the latest college hockey rankings. They host Union College for a two-game series this weekend. 

No. 9 Boston University splits with No. 6 Michigan 

The Terriers looked like two different teams this weekend. On Friday, it was a party in the penalty box in Ann Arbor, as the two college hockey powerhouses combined for 45 penalty minutes. In the 1st period, Philadelphia Flyers 2018 first-round draft pick Jay O’Brien and Montreal Canadiens 2020 2nd round pick Luke Tuch each took major penalties which gave the highly skilled Wolverines a five-on-three-man advantage for five minutes. Michigan was able to cash in three times, which gave them a 4-0 lead after one period. Boston couldn’t keep up as both Drew Commesso and Vinny Duplessis struggled to shut down their counterpart’s high-powered offense. But the Terriers must have used the 9-2 loss as motivation, as they took down Michigan 3-2 on Sunday. Duplessis had a bounce-back performance with 31 saves in the win. The No. 9 Terriers will begin Hockey East play and look to hand No. 14 UConn its first loss as the white-hot IceBus heads to Beantown for the weekend. 

No. 16 UMass-Lowell goes 1-1 against Michigan State  

This series began on Thursday, as the Riverhawks fell to the Spartans 4-3 at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan. The game featured 13 penalties. UMass-Lowell got its revenge the next day, winning by a score of 3-2. The win was on the backs of defenseman Jon McDonald (one goal, one assist) and Henry Welsch (36 saves). The Riverhawks dropped to No. 19 in the national rankings. They begin Hockey East play this weekend, as they travel to Matthews Arena to take on No. 12 Northeastern on Saturday. 

No. 15 Providence defeats Clarkson 

The Friars took care of business on home ice Thursday, winning 5-2. They were led by sophomore center and Boston Bruins draft Riley Duran, who found the back of the net twice. Fellow Bruins draft pick Phillip Svedbäck was named Hockey East Goalie of the Week for his work in between the pipes. Providence moved up to No. 11 in the latest college hockey ranking. They are now headed out west for a two game weekend series with No. 4 Denver. 

No. 7 Northeastern falls to Providence on home ice  

The Friars opened up Hockey East play with a big 2-1 win. Providence’s victory was backstopped by Svedbäck as he only allowed one goal on 31 shots. Nashville Predators prospect and Rhode Island native Gunnarwolfe Fontaine scored Northeastern’s lone goal in the loss. The Huskies dropped back to No. 13 in the national ranking. They have another Hockey East matchup this week as they get ready to take on No. 19 UMass-Lowell on Saturday. 

UNH falls to Boston College in their home opener 

The Wildcats couldn’t get off on the right paw at Whittemore Arena, as they were defeated 4-2 by Boston College on Saturday. The Eagles were led by Colorado Avalanche prospect Colby Ambrosio who lit the lamp twice. Alternate Captain Kalle Eriksson and Liam Devlin scored for New Hampshire. The Eagles received votes, but didn’t crack the top 20 in the latest rankings. New Hampshire gets set to host Army on Saturday and will look to seek revenge on the Eagles on Sunday. 

Maine gets blown out on the road by Bentley  

Saturday just wasn’t the Blackbears’ night. They opened the scoring in the first period courtesy of Scottish forward Thomas Freel. It was all Bentley after that, as the Falcons went on to score five unanswered goals. Bentley was able to decisively win the contest, thanks to goaltender Conor Hasley’s 33 saves on 34 Blackbears shots. Maine has a big test this weekend, as No. 3 Quinnipiac comes to Orono for a two-game weekend series beginning on Saturday. 

Tuesday’s Action 

Merrimack dominates UNH on home ice 6-1 

The Warriors benefitted from their extra rest, as they easily took care of business on Tuesday and cruised to victory. They got off to a red-hot start, taking advantage of New Hampshire and jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind Massachusetts native Matt Copponi (1 goal, 2 assists). From then on, they were able to put on cruise control, as the Wildcats were only able to beat New York Rangers draft pick Hugo Ollas once. The lone goal came off the stick of Devlin but was quickly countered by Merrimack forward Ben Brar’s first goal of the year. 

No. 13 Northeastern defeats BC in a shootout, officially goes down as a 3-3 tie 

Tuesday night at historic Matthews Arena featured a great matchup between two Boston rivals. The Eagles and Huskies skated to a 3-3 tie after nobody was able to light the lamp in the overtime period. The contest then went into a shootout, and Northeastern won in the shootout, but it’ll go down as a tie on both teams’ records. Huskies forward Fontaine had two assists and this past year’s fifth overall selection in the NHL Draft, Cutter Gauthier, scored his first goal at the NCCA level for the Eagles. Boston College has a rematch with New Hampshire on Sunday at Conte Forum, while the Huskies will host the Riverhawks on Saturday. 

CAPTION: Screenshot: HockeyEastOnline.com, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.   

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