There were no series this past weekend as the season starts to wind down and a couple of the top teams suffered devastating losses. The 70th Annual Beanpot Tournament began on Monday at the TD Garden in Boston. Hockey East also announced their monthly awards for January.
Lane Huston leads the way as No. 3 BU takes care of Maine
The sensational freshman continued to light up the scoresheet as he recorded four assists in Friday’s 5-3 road win over Maine. Huston set up Devin Kaplan (Philadelphia Flyers), Matt Brown, Ryan Greene (Chicago Blackhawks) and Jeremy Wilmer. Wilmer Skoog had the other goal. Maine got two power-play goals from Ben Poisson and Lynden Breen; Nolan Renwick had the other goal. Maine goaltender Victor Ostman was brought back down to Earth as he allowed five goals on 25 shots. Hutson was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week and Hockey East Player of the Month for the month of January.
No. 16 UMass Lowell beats Boston College in the shootout
The River Hawks earned an important extra point on Friday night at Tsongas Arena in Lowell. Scott Truman struck on the power-play to put the home team up in the first period. BC responded with two goals of their own from Trevor Kuntar (Boston Bruins) and Seamus Powell. Powell’s goal was the first of his collegiate career and was set up by his older brother, Eamon (Tampa Bay Lightning). Filip Fornåå Svensson’s goal on the man advantage tied the game late in the second period for Lowell. Senior Brian Chambers scored in the shootout for the win. Gustavs Davis Grigals made 32 saves in the win. Grigals was just recently named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month.
UMass picks up much needed conference win on the road vs Providence
Senior Reed Lebster scored twice in the first period to put UMass ahead. Brett Berard (NY Rangers) and Parker Ford scored the next two goals to tie the game. Senior Cal Kiefiuk scored the game winner halfway through the third period. Providence didn’t have much puck luck and they heavily outshot UMass 45-20. Luke Pavicich stopped 43 shots and was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Week. It was the first time UMass had won a conference game since November 25th.
UNH upsets No. 15 Merrimack in OT
New Hampshire got out to a hot start on Friday night as junior Nikolai Jenson scored his first goal of the season and freshman Stiven Sardarian (Buffalo Sabres) scored his first career goal to put their team up 2-0 in the first period. Alex Jeffries (NY Islanders) scored, and Filip Forsmark scored on the power-play to tie the game. Freshman Damien Carfagna came up big for New Hampshire in overtime as he was able to put one by Merrimack’s Zachary Borgiel. Senior David Fessenden stopped 29 shots in the win.
UNH upsets No. 16 UML on the road
UNH’s weekend of upsets did not end with Merrimack as they traveled down to Lowell and defeated UMass Lowell the very next day. The Wildcats once again got out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Carfagna and freshman Cy LeClerc. Carl Berglund’s power-play tally and another tally from Truman tied the game at 2 for the River Hawks. During the third period, each team showcased their firepower as the two teams combined for five goals. Svensson and graduate student Jon McDonald scored the first and last goals in the period. UNH scored three goals in between, including goals from Carfagna on the man advantage and two from senior Chase Stevenson to give them a 5-4 win. Stevenson was named Hockey East Player of the Week and Carfagna was named Co-Hockey East Defender of the Week. Lowell outshot NH 44-17 and freshman Tyler Muszelik (Florida Panthers) made 40 saves in the win. UNH will look to pull off more upsets as they host No. 13 UConn this weekend while No. 17 UMass Lowell will host Maine next Sunday.
Maine upsets No. 15 Merrimack in OT
Merrimack continued to struggle on their trip up north as they dropped another overtime contest on Sunday afternoon. Jeffries and graduate student Ryan Leibold put Merrimack up 2-0. Lynden Breen put on a show on the penalty kill as he scored two short-handed goals a minute apart to bring the score back to even. Breen then set up Poisson to give Maine the win. Ostman bounced back from his rough performance on Friday with 30 saves in the win. Maine will travel to Massachusetts to take on BC on Friday and then UMass Lowell on Sunday.
Providence takes care of Vermont on the road
The Friars defeated the Catamounts for the third time this season on Sunday. Senior Jamie Engelbert and freshman Bennett Schimek each lit the lamp in the first. Sophomore Simon Jellus brought Vermont within one with a goal on a two-man advantage. Max Crozier (Tampa Bay) registered an insurance tally in the third, he also assisted on the first two Providence goals. Crozier was named Co-Hockey East Defender of the Week. Philip Svedebäck (Boston) made 23 saves in the win to end Providence’s recent skid. Freshman Oskar Autio allowed three goals on 37 shots. Providence will host No. 20 Northeastern on Friday. Vermont will head down to Amherst for a weekend series with UMass.
The first Monday in February is always a special day in the city of Boston as it is known as Beanpot Monday. The Beanpot is a two-week tournament at the TD Garden, and it involves BU, BC, Northeastern and Harvard. The tournament has been held annually since the 1952–53 season. BU has the most wins in the tournament’s history with 31 and went into the tournament as the defending champion.
BC comes up just short versus No. 10 Harvard
BC got out to a slow start as they gave up two power-play goals to Matthew Coronato (Calgary Flames first round pick in 2021) in the second period as they trailed 3-1 after two periods. Sophomore Mike Posma’s power-play goal was the Eagles’ only offense through two periods. In the final five minutes of the third period, BC’s two stars Nikita Nesterenko (Minnesota Wild) and Cutter Gauthier shined brightest. Nesterenko pulled his squad within one with less than five minutes left and Gauthier tied it with just under two minutes remaining. The game ended in heartbreak for BC as Marek Hejduk scored his second goal of the game in overtime with 1.5 seconds remaining. Boston College will look to get back on their feet as they host Maine on Friday and will play their rival No. 3 BU in the consolation matchup of the tournament.
No. 20 Northeastern knocks off No. 3 BU
Northeastern ended BU’s recent hot streak with a huge win to send themselves to the Beanpot final. The matchup displayed two of the best goaltenders in Hockey East in Devon Levi (Buffalo) and Drew Commesso (Chicago). Levi was once again fantastic as he made 33 saves as he outdueled Commesso. Aidan McDonough (Vancouver Canucks) and Jakov Novak (Ottawa Senators) each scored a goal in the first two periods to put the Huskies ahead 2-0. BU couldn’t get their offense going until Matt Brown scored with two remaining in regulation, but it was quickly countered by Northeastern’s Hunter McDonald (Philadelphia) who halted the late comeback with the empty-net goal. It was McDonald’s first career goal. No. 3 BU and BC will now face off for the fourth time this season and for the first time in the consolation match in tournament history. Northeastern will head to Providence on Friday. Next Monday, they’ll look to win the Beanpot for the first time since 2020 as they will play No. 10 Harvard.
Hockey East Monthly Awards:
Player of the Month: BU’s Lane Hutson two goals, eleven assists, +12, leads all defenseman in the NCAA in points
Defender of the Month: BU’s Ty Gallagher three goals and five assists
Goaltender of the Month: UMass Lowell’s Gustavs-Davis Grigals 4-1, 138 saves, 939 save percentage and 1.81 goals against average
Rookie of the Month: UConn’s Matthew Wood two goals, seven assists, +5, averaged 1.5 points per game