Around Hockey East: Northeastern wins the Beanpot, UMass Amherst sweeps the weekend


It was another great weekend of Hockey East Action. All games were super competitive as four of them were decided by the shootout. The Beanpot tournament also finished up on Monday as BU finished in last and Northeastern upset Harvard in the final. 


Maine stays hot with a road victory vs. Boston College  

Maine continued their late season push up the standings with a big victory in Chestnut Hill on Friday night. Juniors Lynden Breen and Didrik Henbrant each scored in the first period to give their squad an early lead. Henbrant’s was a short-handed goal. Trevor Kuntar (Boston Bruins) scored his 10th goal of the season to make it 2-1 in the third. Donavan Villeneuve-Houle, who also had an assist, sealed it with an empty-net goal. Victor Östman stopped 31 shots in the win. Maine will look forward to the Border Battle with UNH in Durham this weekend. 


UMass Amherst wins two shootouts vs. UVM 

The Minutemen dominated most of the game as they held a 3-0 lead through two periods. Goals were scored by Michael Cameron (short-handed), Kenny Connors (LA Kings) and Cal Kiefiuk. Vermont then had a huge third-period comeback thanks to Finn Evans, Massimo Lombardi and Jens Richards. Goaltenders Luke Pavicich and Oskar Autio each made 28 saves a piece. UMass picked up the extra point in the shootout. The Nashville Predators organization should be pleased with what they saw on Saturday night as their prospects shined. Ryan Ufko had a hat-trick and Cole O’Hara scored for UMass. Fellow Predators prospect Isak Walther played a huge role in Vermont’s four-goal third period as he found the back of the net. The other Catamount goals were scored by Thomas Sinclair, Joel Määttä (Edmonton Oilers) and Timofei Spitserov (San Jose Sharks). Ufko scored in the shootout as well, as Massachusetts won the shootout 2-0. Ufko was named Hockey East Player of the Week. UMass Amherst has a home and home with BC, and UVM will host No. 16 Northeastern this week. 


No. 20 Northeastern beats Providence in shootout after epic comeback  

Friars Bennett Schimek (power-play), Chase Yoder (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Jaroslav Chmelar (NY Rangers) got the home team out to a 3-0 lead. Halfway through the final period in regulation, the Huskies got hot. Sophomore Matt Choupani scored twice, and Aidan McDonough (Vancouver Canucks) added another on the man advantage. McDonough also scored the shootout winner. Providence continued their trend of heavily outshooting their opponent as they outshot Northeastern 57-22. Buffalo Sabres top goalie prospect Devon Levi showed why he is the premier goaltender in Hockey East. He kicked out 54 shots and stopped all three shootout attempts on his way to being Hockey East Goaltender of the Week. Northeastern’s Hunter McDonald was great on the back end as he was honored as Hockey East Defender of the Week. Providence has a massive series with huge playoff implications against No. 18 UMass Lowell this weekend. 

No. 17 UMass Lowell avoids upset with shootout victory 

Sophomore Owen Cole cleaned up the rebound in front to put Lowell up 1-0 early in the first. Lynden Breen answered three minutes later to even the score at one for Maine. Maine killed three penalties in the third period to send it to OT. Henry Welsch was great in net for the River Hawks as he made 29 saves including robbing Villeneuve-Houle with five seconds remaining in OT, he then stopped both shootout attempts while his teammates scored on both attempts for the win. No. 18 UMass Lowell has a crucial home and home series coming up with Providence. Lowell is ranked No. 5 in Hockey East while Providence is No. 6. 


Boston College gets revenge on No. 5 Boston University  

These two historic rivals met in the consolation round of the Beanpot tournament for the first time ever. BU came into the contest looking to beat the Eagles for the third time in a row this season. Nikita Nesterenko (MN Wild) and Eamon Powell (TB Lightning) got the offense going for the Eagles early. Ryan Greene (Chicago Blackhawks) and Jay O’Brien (Philadelphia) brought the game back to even for the Terriers. Andre Gasseau (Boston) responded less than 30 seconds later for BC and his tally stood as the game winner. Kuntar added the empty-net goal to ensure the victory. A disappointing finish for the Terriers, as they were the favorites coming into the tournament and now finish in last place. No. 5 BU will get a chance to get back on track against No. 20 Merrimack. The Eagles will take on UMass Amherst next weekend. 


No. 16 Northeastern wins 18th Beanpot in school history  

Northeastern returned to Boston glory on Monday night when they took down Harvard in the shootout. Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (Nashville Predators) opened the scoring early in the second period. Harvard’s Matthew Coronato (Calgary Flames) put the puck past Devon Levi twice to put Harvard back ahead. Fontaine struck again early in the third to even the score. The two teams traded scoring chances in the overtime period, but Levi and Harvard’s Mitchell Gibson (Washington Capitals) held strong in their crease.  McDonough and Levi, the team’s leaders, stepped up big in the shootout to claim the Beanpot. Levi won both Beanpot MVP and the Eberly Award which is given to the goaltender with the highest save percentage in the tournament. Northeastern is beginning to fly up the national rankings and will look to further rise against Vermont on Saturday. 

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