Once again, it was a very exciting weekend of hockey games. The always-competitive contests were mostly non-conference matchups, but there were a few Hockey East showdowns as well.
No. 6 UMass-Amherst sweeps Union
The Minutemen continued their winning ways this weekend, as they earned their second weekend sweep in a row. The Dutchmen of Union College proved to be no match for Amherst, as they were outscored 14-1 in two games. Freshman defenseman and Colorado Avalanche draft pick Taylor Makar — the brother of NHL superstar Cale Makar — scored his first NCAA goal in Friday’s 7-1 win, and then added another goal in the 7-0 shutout on Saturday. Los Angeles Kings draft pick Kenny Connors (two goals, three assists) was phenomenal all weekend, and New Jersey Devils prospect Cole Brady earned his first career shutout on Saturday. For their efforts, Connors was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week and Brady was named Goaltender of the Week. With the winds, UMass cracked the top five in national rankings as well. They will look to extend their win streak to five games as they begin Hockey East play this weekend with a home-and-home series against Merrimack.
No. 11 Providence swept by No. 4 Denver
The Pioneers got their revenge on the Hockey East after being surprisingly swept by UMass-Amherst last weekend. In the first contest, they overwhelmed the reigning Hockey East Goaltender of the Week Philip Svëdback, who was shaky. Svëdback allowed four goals on 28 shots in Providence’s 4-1 loss. The Friars put up a better fight on Saturday, thanks to Liam Valente and Boston Bruins draft pick Riley Duran, who assisted on both goals to make it a 2-2 game at the end of regulation. In overtime, Denver forward and Florida Panthers draft pick Jack Devine capped off the weekend to send the Friars back to Rhode Island with a sour taste in their mouths. With the losses, Providence dropped back to No. 13 nationally. They have a big home-and-home series coming up with the New Hampshire Wildcats beginning on Friday.
Merrimack splits with Colgate
Coming off short rest, Merrimack continued its winning ways last Friday by blanking Colgate 5-0. It was goaltender Zachary Borgiel’s second career shutout. On Saturday, Colgate responded to Merrimack’s win with a 5-3 win of its own. Holy Cross transfer Ryan Leibold had two goals in a losing effort for the Warriors. Merrimack will be put to the test this weekend as No. 5 UMass is next on the schedule.
No. 19 UMass-Lowell begins conference play with a big win against No.12 Northeastern
The Riverhawks are perfect in Hockey East play so far. They picked up their first conference win of the young season in their conference opener by going into Matthews Arena and defeating Northeastern 3-2. Ontario native Owen Cole had two assists for the Riverhawks, and New York native Grant Riley made 14 saves for the Huskies in the loss. Lowell moved up to No. 18 and Northeastern dropped back to No. 15 in the national rankings. The Riverhawks will continue conference play this weekend as they get set to take on the Boston University Terriers. Northeastern will look to get back in the win column as they travel up to Maine to take on the Black Bears for two games.
UNH takes down Army West Point 3-1
The Wildcats were able to bounce back from the tough loss they took earlier in the week, as they took down Army 3-1 at the Whittemore Center on Friday. New Hampshire native Cy LeClerc netted two goals in the victory.
BC blanks UNH 5-0
The Eagles once again got the best of the Wildcats after defeating them the previous Saturday. UNH was unable to solve Colgate transfer Mitchel Benson, who stopped every shot he faced en route to his first shutout as an Eagle. Freshman defenseman Lukas Gustafsson netted his first collegiate goal and added an assist in the big win. For his performance, Gustafsson was named Hockey East Defender of the Week. The Wildcats will continue with Hockey East play this weekend as they get ready for a two-game battle with No. 13 Providence. First-year head coach Greg Brown and the Eagles will travel to the XL Center to take on coach Mike Cavanaugh and the Connecticut Huskies tonight. Cavanaugh and Brown served as assistant coaches at BC together, from 2004-13, under the legendary Jerry York.
UVM gets in the win column against Holy Cross
The Catamounts can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as they earned their first victory of the season on Saturday. They dominated Holy Cross in a 6-0 throttling at the Gutterson Fieldhouse. Edmonton Oilers prospect and assistant captain Joel Maatta shined, providing a goal and an assist. Vermont’s defense completely shut down the Crusaders, as Gabe Carriere cruised to a 12-save shutout. The Catamounts will now look to start a winning streak, as they travel to New York to take on Colgate for a weekend series.
Maine upsets No. 3 Quinnipiac on Friday, gets blown out on Saturday
Maine continued the trend of Hockey East teams upsetting top-ranked teams, as they shut out No. 3 Quinnipiac 4-0 on Friday night. The Black Bears’ massive home win was highlighted by Swedish goalie Victor Ostman turning away all 33 of the Bobcats shots on the back end, while assistant captain Ben Poisson (one goal, one assist) led the charge offensively. The loss didn’t seem to affect the Bobcats in a very negative way, as they pounded the Black Bears 6-2 the following night. Ostman was not nearly as sharp, as he allowed six goals on 32 shots. Maine has completed its first Hockey East games of the season and now gets ready to host No. 15 Northeastern.