Around Hockey East: BC wins Battle of Comm. Ave, Merrimack continues to surge

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12.2.22 MHOC vs. Merrimack by Benjamin Roy On Friday night, the UConn Mens Hockey team suffered their first home regulation loss of the season as they fell to the Merrimack Warriors 7-3. Following this loss, the team falls to 11-4-3 on the season.

The last weekend before winter break featured a lot of big Hockey East conference matchups including one of the best rivalries in college hockey: Boston College versus Boston University.

Hockey East Standings

BC outduels their rival in a barnburner 

It was a special night in Chestnut Hill on Friday, as Boston College hosted No. 9 Boston University for their rivalry game known as the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue. The Eagles were also honoring the legendary Jerry York, who spent 28 seasons behind the bench for BC and is the winningest coach in NCAA history. Offensive firepower was on display all night as the two teams combined for 15 goals. Philadelphia Flyers top prospect Cutter Gauthier (two goals, two assists), Boston Bruins prospect Trevor Kuntar (one goal, two assists) and New Jersey Devils prospect Charlie Leddy (first career goal) led the way for the Eagles. Gauthier was named Hockey East Player of the Week. Seniors Matt Brown (one goal, three assists) and Wilmer Skoog (two goals, one assist) shined for the Terriers. BC came out on top 9-6 in a game that saw 12 different goal scorers. BU is now ranked No. 8 nationally.

No. 11 Merrimack picks up road win versus No. 13 UMass 

The Warriors traveled to Amherst for a rare Wednesday night game and came out victorious by a score of 2-1. Colorado Avalanche prospect Taylor Makar opened the scoring in the first for UMass. Matt Copponi extended his goal streak to seven straight games and Ottoville Leppanen’s second period tally stood as the game winner. Both goaltenders posted very strong appearances. New York Rangers prospect Hugo Ollas made 35 saves in the win and Luke Pavicich turned away 37 shots in a losing effort. UMass dropped to No. 15 in the rankings.

No. 11 Merrimack earns massive win versus No. 10 Providence 

Merrimack once again emerged victorious in a huge conference game that is sure to have influence in the playoff picture down the road. Merrimack got goals from Vegas Golden Knights prospect Slava Demin, Ryan Leibold and Jordan Seyfert. Seyfert’s sweet backhander proved to be the game winner. The Friars got offense from Nick Poisson and Bennett Schimek. Zachary Borgiel made 24 saves in the win. Merrimack’s duo of Ollas and Borgiel were named Co-Hockey East Goaltenders of the Week. Providence fell to No. 12 with the 3-2 loss, while Merrimack shot up to No. 6 and are in a power struggle atop Hockey East with No. 10 UConn.

UNH gets much needed win versus Arizona State

Despite outshooting the Sun Devils’ 46 to 22, the Wildcats were defeated 4-1 on Friday night. New Hampshire got their lone goal from Junior Nick Cafarelli. Saturday was a much different story as the Wildcats finally emerged victorious. Cafarelli had a goal and an assist while Chase Stevenson netted two goals including the game-winner in a 5-4 overtime win. It was UNH’s first victory since October 21st. Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick Alex Gagne was excellent all weekend, as he compiled three assists and was selected as Hockey East Defender of the Week.

No. 14 UMass Lowell picks up road victory versus Dartmouth 

Los Angeles Kings prospect Ben Meehan, Stefan Owens, and Gabe Blanchard all found the back of the net for the Riverhawks in a 3-2 win. It was Blanchard’s first NCAA goal. Gustavs Davis Grigals made 24 saves in the victory. Lowell moved up one spot in the national ranking and now sits at No. 13.

Maine earns third win in a row 

Maine shutout Canisius on home ice on Saturday. Their power-play units caught fire as they accounted for all three goals. Cole Hanson, Jakub Sirota, and Lynden Breen were responsible for the power-play tallies. 22 saves from Victor Ostman was good enough for his second shutout of the season. 

UVM dominates Dartmouth 

It was a tough weekend for Dartmouth against Hockey East opponents. The Catamounts came out of the locker room flying as they had a three goal first period on the way to a 5-1 beatdown. The freshmen class shined as Philip Tornqvist and Thomas Sinclair recorded their first career goals. Fellow freshman Jens Richard had a goal and an assist and was recognized as Hockey East Rookie of the Week.

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