Game Recaps, Opinions

Hockey East Report: Weekend of 11/18

By Mark Fraenkel

Heading into a Thanksgiving week full of interesting non-conference matchups, here are some of the major headlines from across Hockey East.

Lowell and UConn Split

After a midweek loss to the Boston College Eagles (4-4-2, 4-3-1 Hockey East), the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks (8-5-0, 5-3-0 HE) split a home-and-home series with the University of Connecticut Huskies (10-2-3, 7-2-2 HE).

Senior forward Jake Stella scored for the River Hawks less than one minute into action at the Tsongas Center on Friday night. Early in the second period, UConn’s sophomore forward Chase Bradley found the back of the net to tie the game.

Later in the period, senior forward Carl Berglund scored to give the lead back to the River Hawks. Ten minutes later, junior forward Nick Capone tied the game. With just over one minute remaining in overtime, Berglund would shoot the puck past sophomore goaltender Logan Terness to give Lowell the overtime victory.

“Overall, I thought the goaltending was strong, and the depth of the bench was tested today, ” UML head coach Norm Bazin said in a press release. “We’re obviously very happy with the results. I thought it was a very good hockey game by both teams. It was very evenly matched. There seemed to be a response every time we scored.”

The next night, UConn rebounded. UConn’s freshman forward Jake Percival and graduate student forward Justin Pearson both found the net in the first period to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.

Freshman forward Scout Truman would find the back of the net with an unassisted goal to cut the lead in half, but freshman forward Tabor Heaslip would score past junior goaltender Henry Welsch to extend the UConn lead back to two. Despite a third-period goal from senior forward Zach Kaiser, the Huskies would hold on to win the game by a final score of 4-2.

Lowell heads to Northern Ireland where they’ll play the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (6-5-1, 2-5-0 HE) on Friday. Depending on the result, The River Hawks will either face the Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-1-2, 6-0-0 ECAC) or the Dartmouth Big Green (1-4-1, 1-3-1 ECAC) on Saturday. They’ll return to conference play the following Saturday night against UMass at the Mullins Center.

The Huskies head to Madison Square Garden next Saturday night for a matchup against the Cornell Big Red (4-4-0, 4-2-0 HE) in the Frozen Apple. The following weekend, UConn will play the Merrimack Warriors (9-3-0, 6-1-0 HE) in a home-and-home series.

Providence Sweeps UVM

After tying two games with UConn last weekend, the Providence College Friars (8-2-3, 6-0-3) won five out of six points in a two-game set with the University of Vermont Catamounts (4-8-1, 2-8-1 HE). 

Junior forward Brett Berard began the scoring for the Friars midway through the first period on Friday night. Junior forward Chase Yoder, freshman forward Jaroslav Chmelar, and senior forward Parker Ford all scored en route to a 4-0 PC win. Providence’s senior goaltender Austin Roden made 20 saves in the shutout.

Saturday night would prove to be more challenging for Nate Leaman’s team. Graduate student defenseman Robbie Stucker would score on a powerplay late in the opening frame to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead. While senior forward Patrick Moynihan would tie the game for the Friars early in the second, sophomore forward Joel Maatta would return the lead to Vermont.

Berard and Yoder would also score in the second period to give Providence a 3-2 lead.

Early in the third period, senior forward Jacques Bouquot would net one to tie the game. In overtime, freshman forward Bennett Schimek found senior defenseman Max Crozier who poked the puck past UVM graduate student goaltender Oskar Autio to win the game for the Friars.

Vermont looks to rebound against the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers (6-6-1, 2-4-0 ECAC) in a home-and-home series on Friday and Sunday. Coach Todd Woodcroft’s team will return to Hockey East play with a game against the University of Maine Black Bears (2-8-1, 0-5-1 HE) on Friday, Dec. 3. 

PC will play the St. Lawrence Saints (5-6-0, 2-2-0 ECAC) on Friday at home, before hosting their crosstown rival the Brown Bears (1-6-1, 1-6-1 ECAC) on Saturday. They’ll return to league play with a home-and-home series with the BC beginning the following Friday night at Conte Forum.

UMass Beats New Hampshire At The Whittemore Center

After two sizable losses to the Boston University Terriers (7-4-0, 5-3-0 HE), UMass rebounded with a win on the road in Durham against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (3-10-1, 0-9-1). 

“It’s tough to win on the road,” head coach Greg Carvel told UMassAthletics.com. “It’s been tough for us to win period and that was hopefully a game we can take some momentum out of and move forward.”

UNH responded well to their midweek loss to the Harvard Crimson (7-0-0, 6-0-0 ECAC) by scoring two goals in the opening period of Friday’s game. But second-period goals from freshman forward Kenny Connors, junior forward Ryan Sullivan, and senior forward Reed Lebster would be the difference as the Minutemen would win the game 4-2. 

The Wildcats will travel to Worcester to play the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-10-1, 2-7-1 Atlantic Hockey) before returning to conference action with a home-and-home series against BU.

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