Sweeping the weekend series was a major theme this weekend in Hockey East. There was also a major shuffle in the standings as Northeastern took the top spot.
No. 5 BU sweeps Maine
The Terriers continued to roll as they took care of Maine this weekend at Agganis Arena. BU dominated Friday’s contest 5-1. Chicago prospect Drew Commesso shined in the net as he stopped 30 of 31 shots. 13 different players recorded a point in the win, including senior Matt Brown who had a goal and an assist. Sophomore Cole Hanson was the only Black Bear to put one by Commesso. On Saturday, each team showed off their offensive firepower. BU outdueled Maine 9-6. The first period saw a combined seven goals including Wilmer Skoog’s (two goals, one assist) tally just 36 seconds into the contest. Both Commesso and Maine’s Victor Ostman were pulled from the game. Five Terriers had at least three points and Brown led the team with four points (one goal, three assists). Brown was named Co-Hockey East Player of the Week and his teammate Lane Hutson (Montreal) was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week for his five-point weekend. Donavan Villeneuve-Houle, Lynden Breen and Nolan Renwick each recorded a goal and an assist for Maine. The Terriers are now up to No. 4 in the nation and even received two first-place votes. They have the rematch of the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue against BC to look forward to, while Maine will get ready to host No. 17 Providence.
Vermont stuns No. 18 BC at home
Vermont was the underdog this weekend at Conte Forum, but that did not stop them from doing damage. On Friday, each team registered power-play goals in the first period as BC’s Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia) and UVM’s Isak Walthers (Nashville) scored. Vermont earned the extra point in the shootout courtesy of some highly skilled moves from sophomore Simon Jellus. Saturday was another competitive battle that saw Vermont come out on top. The win can be credited to Vermont’s power-play units that accounted for all three goals. Junior Will Zapernick netted a pair of goals and set up Colorado prospect Andrei Buyalsky’s tally. Zapernick was named Co-Hockey East Player of the Week. Minnesota prospect Nikita Nesterenko found the back of the net and assisted on Colorado prospect Colby Ambrosio’s goal for the Eagles. UVM will look to keep it rolling against No. 16 Merrimack next weekend. BC has fallen out of the top 20 and will look to win the season series against No. 4 BU.
Levi shines as Northeastern sweeps No. 11 Merrimack
Northeastern continues to rack up Hockey East wins, as they bested Merrimack thanks to two stellar performances from goaltender Devon Levi (Buffalo). The Huskies’ offense took over on Friday as Aidan McDonough (Vancouver) and Justin Hryckowian each registered a goal and an assist. Levi made 33 saves. On Saturday, McDonough’s tally late in third stood as the game winner in the 1-0 win. Levi was a brick wall all night as he made 37 saves for his 14th career shutout. New York Rangers prospect Hugo Ollas stopped 23 shots in the loss. Unsurprisingly, Levi was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Week. Northeastern has climbed back into the national rankings at No. 20 and now sits atop Hockey East. They’ll have a week and a half off before taking on Boston College. No. 16 Merrimack will look to get back on track as they will travel to Vermont.
No. 19 UMass Lowell sweeps UNH
Friday’s score was not representative of most of the game. The two teams were deadlocked at two going into the third, but the River Hawks’ offense exploded for four goals after that point. Zach Kaiser and Owen Fowler each had two goals. Cam Gendron and Jake Dunlap scored for New Hampshire. The series shifted to New Hampshire and UMass Lowell pulled out an overtime victory. Senior Jake Stella was the star as OT hero and set up Isac Jonsson and Jon McDonald’s tallies. Jonsson was named Hockey East Defender of the Week. New Hampshire’s power-play unit was sharp as Cy LeClerc and Liam Devlin each accounted for a goal. UNH will get the weekend off while No. 18 UML will host UMass Amherst for one game on Friday.