By Mark Fraenkel
The month of November will feature some of the schedule’s best matchups. Here’s a look at the top storylines through the first weekend.
Merrimack Sweeps BC
After beating the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (5-3-1, 1-3-0 Hockey East) in overtime last Saturday night, the Merrimack College Warriors (6-3-0, 4-1-0 HE) continued their hot streak with a sweep of the Boston College Eagles (2-4-1, 2-3-0 HE).
Off of goals from graduate defenseman Slava Demin and senior forward Filip Forsmark, the Warriors broke out to an early 2-0 lead on Thursday night in North Andover. Junior defenseman Eamon Powell responded with a second-period goal for the Eagles, but Merrimack’s graduate forward Jordan Seyfert secured the win with a goal late in the third period.
On Saturday afternoon, Scott Borek’s team continued their dominance. Goals from senior forward Ben Brar, sophomore forward Mark Hillier, sophomore defenseman Mike Brown, junior forward Alex Jefferies, and Forsmark helped lift the Warriors to a 5-2 win.
Next weekend, BC will have a cross-town home-and-home series with Jerry Keefe’s Northeastern Huskies (6-2-2, 5-2-1 HE). Merrimack will host the Maine Black Bears (2-6-1, 0-3-1 HE).
Providence With A Big Weekend Against UMass
The Providence College Friars (6-2-1, 4-0-1 HE) took five out of six points from UMass.
Powered by a hat-trick from sophomore forward Riley Duran, two goals from junior forward Brett Berard, and goals from junior forward Chase Yoder and senior forward Parker Ford, the Friars defeated the Minutemen 7-4 on Friday night at Schneider Arena.
“It was a really slow start and poor special teams,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel told UMassAthletics.com. “For spurts there we looked like we were going to pull ourselves back into the game, and then take another penalty and bad turnovers. It was an unexpected high-scoring game, but it was probably that way because we didn’t come out ready to play and opened the game up. The game was pretty wide open tonight.”
In another high-scoring game Saturday, UMass and Providence went to overtime. Berard shot one past sophomore goaltender Luke Pavicich to give the Friars a 4-3 overtime victory.
UMass has a home-and-home with the Boston University Terriers (4-3-0, 2-2-0 HE) next weekend. Providence will face UConn in a home-and-home series.
UConn Tested By Maine
One of the league’s best teams, UConn (9-1-1, 6-1-0 HE) was challenged by Maine this weekend in Hartford.
Maine opened up the scoring with a goal from graduate defenseman Jakub Sirota on Friday night. UConn responded with two second-period goals from sophomore forward Chase Bradley and freshman forward Tabor Heaslip. Later in the period, Maine’s graduate forward Justin Michaelian found the net to tie the game. In the overtime period, graduate forward Ty Amonte scored an unassisted goal to give the Huskies a 3-2 win.
The following night, freshman forward Felix Trudeau found the net first for Maine. UConn freshman forward Matthew Wood netted one to tie the game. Bradley scored his second goal in two days to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. Junior forward Lynden Breen tied the game at two with a goal assisted by senior forward Ben Poisson and freshman forward Reid Paich. Late in the third period, UConn’s graduate forward Justin Pearson scored a goal with an assist from junior defenseman Andrew Lucas to win the game in regulation.