Overtime was a very common theme throughout Hockey East this past weekend, as six games needed extra time and two were decided by a shootout. This week also featured a lot of Hockey East clashes.
No. 5 UMass-Amherst and Merrimack trade OT wins
The Minutemen were able to extend their win streak to five games on Friday as they took down the Warriors 3-2 on their home ice. Colorado Avalanche prospect Taylor Makar was the hero with one goal and one assist, as he was able to find the back of the net a minute and twelve seconds into the overtime period. Nashville Predators prospect Ryan Ufko set up Makar for the game winner, Ufko also lit the lamp as well. The series shifted to North Andover the next day and Merrimack snapped UMass’ win streak with a 2-1 overtime victory of their own. Ben Brar was the heroic Warrior, scoring the winning play. Merrimack gets set to take on a dangerous Boston College team for a home game and home series beginning on Thursday. The Minutemen stayed put in the national rankings and will hope to keep it that way, as a big conference series versus No. 14 Providence is on the horizon.
Maine splits with No. 15 Northeastern
It took a shootout to decide the winner on Friday, as the two teams were deadlocked after three periods and an extra session. The Blackbears took the win in a shootout after a late third period surge which saw them erase a 2-0 deficit in the final 10 minutes. Killian Kiecker Olson cashed in on the man advantage for his first career goal and Montreal native Donavan Villeneuve-Houle scored a short-handed goal. Nationally, the game will go down as a tie, but for Hockey East purposes, Maine will get two out of three available points. Saturday was a different story in Orono, as the Huskies won 4-1. Vancouver Canucks prospect Aidan McDonough had two goals and Buffalo Sabres top goalie prospect and Canadian Olympian Devon Levi made 35 saves. Northeastern dropped back to No. 16 in the national rankings but will look to improve their ranking as they get set to take on the New Hampshire Wildcats this weekend. Maine will be looking to dethrone No. 8 UConn who sits atop the Hockey East standings.
No. 13 Providence sweeps UNH
The Wildcats continued to struggle with Hockey East opponents this weekend, as they have yet to win a conference matchup this season. On Friday, UNH coughed up a 2-0 lead on home ice to the Friars, who got big time goals from MA-native Craig Needham and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Chase Yoder. This contest also required a shootout and the Friars prevailed. Providence took care of business the next night as well, New York Rangers draft pick Jaroslav Chemlar’s two goals propelled his squad to a 3-1 victory. Chicago Blackhawks prospect Taige Harding had two assists in the series and was named Hockey East Defender of the Week. PC was ranked No. 14 in the latest ranking and will headline a Hockey East gladiator match this week, as they take on No. 5 UMass-Amherst. The Wildcats will look for their first conference victory of the season, as No. 16 Northeastern is next on the schedule.
No. 9 Boston University and No. 18 UMass-Lowell each defend home ice
The home team had the advantage this weekend, as the Riverhawks battled the Terriers. On Friday at Tsongas Arena, Lowell defeated BU 2-1 on the backs of Scott Truman, who provided the offense, and Henry Welsch who stopped 32 shots. The next night at Agganis Arena, the Terriers evened the series. Chicago Blackhawks prospect and US Olympian Drew Commesso’s 29 saves and Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson’s two goals – including the overtime game winner – pushed the Terriers ahead of the Riverhawks. For their excellent performances, Hutson and Truman were named Hockey East Co-Rookies of the Week. Boston University is now ranked No. 11 and will get the week off, but will have a big test, as they take on No. 5 UMass-Amherst on Nov.11. Lowell moved up to No. 17 and will host Vermont, who have been trending in the right direction, this weekend.
UVM goes 1-0-1 versus Colgate
After beginning the season 0-4, Vermont seems to have gotten back on the right track and extended their undefeated streak to four games. They traveled to New York this weekend and were victorious by a score of 2-1. Colorado Avalanche prospect Andrei Buyalsky’s first career NCAA goal in the second period put the Catamounts up 2-1 and goaltender Gabe Carriere slammed the door from there, as he made 34 saves. Saturday night was a goaltender’s duel, as Carriere put together another strong performance with 42 saves and Detroit Red Wings prospect Carter Gylander stopped 34 Catamount shots. The contest ended in a 1-1 tie, with Edmonton Oilers draft pick Joel Maatta scoring the lone goal for Vermont. Hockey East Goaltender of the Week honors were awarded to Carriere for his dominant weekend as he made 75 saves in two games. UVM is back on the road this week, as they head to Tsongas Arena to take on No. 17 UMass-Lowell for a pair of games.