Around Hockey East: Merrimack wins fourth straight, BU jumps to top of the standings


Hockey East once again provided an excellent slate of games all weekend. Three teams swept their opponents. The schools will begin to make their final push this weekend as they wrap up the regular season.  

No. 17 Merrimack sweeps No. 19 UMass Lowell  

Merrimack picked up two massive conference wins over the weekend. On Friday, they won 5-3 behind two-point performances from sophomore Mike Brown and graduate student Will Calverley. The other Merrimack goals were scored by Ben Brar, Matt Copponi and Mac Welsher. Lowell’s Carl Berglund (two goals, one assist) and Filip Fornåå-Svensson (one goal, two assists) shined in the loss. On Saturday at Lawler Arena, New York Islanders prospect Alex Jefferies opened the scoring two minutes into the first period and then set up senior Ottoville Leppanen later in the period. Copponi assisted on both goals. NY Rangers prospect Hugo Ollas was a brick wall all game. He made 36 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. Jefferies was named Co-Hockey East Player of the Week with UConn’s Ryan Tverberg. The Warriors are now one point behind Boston University for the top spot in Hockey East. No. 16 Merrimack will host Vermont next Saturday to close out the regular season. Lowell is now unranked and will look to solidify home ice next week as they take on No. 15 Northeastern. 

No. 9 Boston University sweeps Vermont 

The Terriers snapped their four-game losing streak with two convincing road victories this past weekend. After two periods on Friday, the teams were tied at two. BU goals were scored by St. Louis Blues prospect Dylan Peterson, 33 seconds into the game, and Montreal draft pick Luke Tuch. Vermont’s goals were scored by Colorado prospect Andrei Buyalsky and senior Finn Evans. BU then outscored their opponent 3-1 in the final frame. Philadelphia prospect Devin Kaplan, freshman Quinn Hutson and Tuch were the goal scorers for the road team. Senior Will Lemay scored his first goal of the season in the final frame for Vermont. Chicago prospect Drew Commesso led the Terriers to a shutout victory on Saturday. BU scored in each period as Philadelphia’s Jay O’Brien scored on the power-play early in the first, followed by Carolina’s Domenick Fensore in the second and Tuch in the third. Fensore also logged an assist and was named Hockey East Defender of the Week. The victory was Commesso’s first shutout of the season. No. 7 BU will battle Providence this weekend as they look to become the regular season champions of Hockey East. Vermont will travel to UNH tomorrow and Merrimack on Saturday. 

No. 15 Northeastern splits with UMass Amherst  

The Minutemen upset the Huskies at home on Friday night 3-2. Junior transfer Elliott McDermott scored his first goal as a Minuteman, senior Reed Lebster had a goal and Carolina prospect Scott Morrow’s tally late in the second proved to be the game-winner. Northeastern got a power-play goal from sophomore Justin Hryckowian and another goal from senior Liam Walsh. New Jersey prospect Cole Brady was able to outduel the great Devon Levi between the pipes. Brady kicked out 22 shots. Northeastern bounced back with a dominant victory on home ice on Saturday. Freshman Jack Williams scored a short-handed goal, Anaheim prospect Sam Colangelo had a power-play goal, LA prospect Jack Hughes and Nashville’s Gunnarwolfe Fontaine each had goals. Levi did his thing in net with 32 saves, good enough for his sixth shutout of the season and 16th of his career. UMass Amherst will travel to Maine next weekend. No. 15 Northeastern will battle UMass Lowell in hopes of jumping over BU and claiming the top spot in Hockey East. 

Maine sweeps BC 

Maine continued their streak of good play with two big wins over BC this weekend. On Friday they had six different goal scorers in a 6-3 win. Goals were scored by freshmen Aiden Carney, Felix Trudeau and Luke Antonacci; juniors Donavan Villeneuve-Houle and Lynden Breen; and senior Jakub Sirota. Breen also had two assists. The two teams played with a lot of emotion as seven penalties were called in the second period and all the goals scored in that period were power-play goals. BC’s power-play was hot as they provided all the goals. Philadelphia’s top prospect Cutter Gauthier and Minnesota’s Nikita Nesterenko each had a goal and two assists. Boston Bruins prospect Andre Gasseau had the other tally. On Saturday, the home team was once again victorious. The Black Bears got out to a 2-0 lead behind sophomore Nolan Renwick’s goal on the man-advantage, freshman Grayson Arnott also found the back of the net. Cutter cut Maine’s lead in half midway through the second with a power-play goal, but the Eagles could not put any more pucks past goaltender Victor Ostman who made 31 stops. Ostman was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Week and Arnott was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week. Maine will host UMass Amherst this weekend while BC will go to battle against No. 17 UConn. 

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