Game Recaps, Opinions

Hockey East Report: Weekend of 11/11

By Mark Fraenkel

Midway through November, the parity within Hockey East is becoming more clear. Some of the league’s underperforming teams are competing with teams atop the conference and national rankings. Here are the major headlines within the league.

UConn And Providence Even In Top 10 Series

In one of the league’s best matchups of the season so far, the Providence College Friars (6-2-3, 4-0-3 Hockey East) and the University of Connecticut Huskies (9-3-1, 6-1-2 HE) drew ties in both games.

On Friday night in Providence, junior forward Chase Yoder opened up the scoring for the Friars with a shorthanded goal in the third period. With under four minutes to play in regulation, UConn’s graduate student forward Justin Pearson would tie the game. The game would remain tied for the rest of the regulation and the overtime periods. The Huskies would win the shootout 1-0 and receive the extra point in the Hockey East standings.  

The next night in Hartford was a higher-scoring affair but had the same end result. 

Goals from junior forward Nick Poisson, junior forward Brett Berard, and freshman forward Bennett Schimek gave the Friars an early 3-0 lead. 

UConn would then respond with three unanswered goals from junior forward Ryan Tverberg, junior defenseman John Spetz, and freshman forward Matthew Wood. 

Freshman forward Liam Valente returned the lead to Providence, but Pearson would come through with an equalizer. 

Early in the third period, power play goals from sophomore forward Michael Citara and freshman forward Jaroslav Chmelar gave the Friars a two-goal lead which would remain for the bulk of the period. But late in the final frame, freshman forward Samu Salminen scored with under three minutes to play to bring UConn within one. Then with under five seconds left, Tverberg netted his second goal of the night to extend the game into overtime. 

The game would head to a shootout where the Huskies would once again win.

Providence will host the University of Vermont Catamounts (4-6-1, 2-6-0 HE) next weekend for two games at Schneider Arena. UConn will play a home-and-home series against the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks (7-3-0, 4-1-0 HE).

BC Has A Great Weekend Against Northeastern

Crosstown rivals Boston College and Northeastern faced off in a home-and-home series this weekend. Northeastern would take game one in overtime but fall in regulation on Saturday. 

“I think the bench was alive the whole night,” BC head coach Greg Brown said after Saturday’s game. “A lot of talk. A lot of energy (…) Rewarding the guys for their efforts out there. I think when you have that emotional attachment you know, it brings a whole bunch everyone feeds off it –– was one of our best games today.”

On Friday night, freshman forward Cam Lund would open up the scoring for Northeastern. Powerplay goals from freshman forward Cutter Gauthier and junior forward Trevor Kuntar and even-strength goals from senior forward Liam Izyk and another goal from Gauthier would give the Eagles a 4-1 lead halfway through the final period. 

Graduate student forward Jakov Novak would score, cutting the BC lead to 4-2. Cam Lund’s second goal of the night would pull the Huskies within one goal with just over two minutes to play. With just 0.6 seconds left, Lund would score a third goal giving him a hatrick and sending the game to overtime. Neither team would score in the extra period. Lund would score the deciding goal in the shootout as well.

The next night, the Eagles would once draw first blood.

With 6:19 remaining in the first, junior forward Colby Ambrosio took a puck in front of the net and scored to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. On the same play, Northeastern’s senior defenseman Jayden Struble would receive a penalty for boarding.

On that power play, another loose puck in front of junior goaltender Devon Levi was sent into the back of the goal by Trevor Kuntar.  

With 3:54 left in the opening period, a fight broke out between the teams resulting in a five-minute major and game misconduct assessed to BC’s freshman defenseman Charlie Leddy. Izyk and graduate student forward Christian O’Neil were also penalized on the play. For Northeastern, Lund, freshman defenseman Vinny Borgesi and freshman defenseman Hunter McDonald were all sent to the box for roughing. 

With 2:57 remaining on the power play, Northeastern’s Novak was penalized for high-sticking. 

On the 4-on-4 opportunity with 39.1 seconds left in the first, freshman forward Jack Williams found the back of the net to cut the Boston College lead in half.

At the end of the first period, the Eagles led the Huskies 2-1.

With 22.5 seconds left in the second period, Fontaine tied the game at two with a goal. The 2-2 score would hold for the remainder of the frame. About five minutes into the final period, the Eagles would have multiple quality scoring chances, but the post and Levi would deny the shots.

Senior defenseman Marshall Warren broke the tie by scoring a goal with 11:30 left in regulation. 

Just 24 seconds later, Lund would find the back of the net, but the goal was called off upon review due to a high sticking earlier in the sequence. 

The Huskies would pull their goalie with 1:34 to play in regulation, but the score would remain and Boston College would take the game 3-2.

“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe said. “They did look like a much faster team than us. We were undisciplined again tonight. Our power play wasn’t very good at all. It looked like we ran out of gas.” 

BC will return to action on Tuesday when they host Lowell before their Friday matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-5-2, 2-3-1 BIG 10). Northeastern will have a home-and-home series with the Boston University Terriers (6-3-0, 4-2-0 HE).

Vermont Takes Five Out Of Six Points From New Hampshire 

Despite UNH’s (3-8-1, 0-8-1 HE) freshman forward Morgan Winters scoring first, two unanswered goals from sophomore forward Andrei Buyalsky and junior forward Will Zapernick helped UVM take Friday’s game in overtime.  

The next night, freshman forward Dawson Good and graduate student defenseman Joe Leahy scored for the Catamounts in what would become a 2-1 win. 

The Wildcats remain in last place in the conference with only two points. UNH will host the Harvard Crimson (6-0-0, 6-0-0 ECAC) in a Tuesday matchup at the Whittemore Center before hosting the University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen (5-5-1, 1-5-0 HE) on Friday.

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