Game Recaps, Opinions

Hockey East Report: Weekend of 1/8

By Mark Fraenkel

In the first full weekend of 2023, three of Hockey East’s best teams took a step back. Here are the major headlines from the conference. 

UConn Falls To Northeastern

At Fenway Park, it was the local team that took the three points. After losing six out of their last seven games, the Northeastern Huskies (9-9-3,7-4-2 Hockey East) defeated the University of Connecticut Huskies (13-6-3, 8-5-2 HE) 4-1.

Merrimack transfer graduate student forward Liam Walsh scored his first goal with the program toward the end of the first period. 

The two teams will play each other again on Saturday when UConn hosts Northeastern at their new arena in Storrs. 

Providence Stumbles Against UNH And Army

After a great weekend in Hanover, NH, with wins over the Yale Bulldogs (2-10-3, 1-8-1 ECAC) and Merrimack College Warriors  (14-6-1, 9-2-0 HE), the Providence College Friars had a tough weekend against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (6-16-1, 1-11-1 HE) and the Army West Point Black Knights (6-11-3, 5-6-1 Atlantic Hockey). 

Freshman forward Cy LeClerc opened up the scoring less than five minutes into the game on Friday night. Another first-period goal from senior forward Chase Stevenson would put the game out of reach for the Friars. 

On Sunday, Nate Leaman’s team traveled to New York to face off against Army. Goals from senior forward Jamie Engelbert, senior forward Parker Ford, and senior forward Patrick Moynihan helped the Friars build a 3-2 lead heading into the end of the third period. But Army’s sophomore forward Joey Baez found the back of the net with 1:20 to play to tie the game at 3-3. The score would hold through the end of the extra period. 

PC will travel to North Andover this weekend to play two games against Merrimack.

Merrimack Takes Step Back Against Yale And Brown

After a strong end to the first semester, Merrimack had a poor weekend against two struggling ECAC opponents. 

Yale’s junior forward Ian Carpentier scored twice and senior forward Cole Donhauser scored once to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead through two periods in North Andover on Friday. The Warriors would respond with two unanswered goals from junior defenseman Christian Felton and graduate student forward Will Calverley to draw a tie.  

The next night the struggles continued for Merrimack. The Brown Bears (5-10-2, 1-7-2 ECAC) scored three unanswered goals to get out to a 3-0 lead. Senior forward Filip Fordmark found the back of the net just over four minutes into the second period to cut the Brown lead down to two. But another set of three unanswered goals from the Bears, including two short-handed goals, led Brown to a 6-2 win.  

Maine With A Strong Weekend Over Alaska-Anchorage 

The University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (4-14-0 Independent) continued their east coast trip with a weekend series in Orono. The University of Maine Black Bears (8-9-3, 2-5-1 HE) picked up two big wins amidst a tough season overall.

With just 20 seconds left in the game, freshman forward Thomas Freel moved the puck into the back of the net on a goal assisted by sophomore defenseman David Breazeale and sophomore forward Nolan Renwick. Black Bear junior goaltender Victor Ostman made 25 saves in his third shutout win of the season.

Freshman defenseman Luke Antoacci opened up the scoring early in the first period on Saturday night. Anchorage’s senior forward Ben Almquist scored two consecutive goals to give the Seawolves a 2-1 lead. 

Junior forward Michael Mancinelli and senior forward Ben Poisson would each score to give the lead back to Maine at 3-2. But junior forward Jarred White would find the back of the net with less than three minutes to go to send the game to overtime. Midway through the extra frame, Poisson found sophomore forward Cole Hanson for a game winning goal. The Grand Forks, North Dakota native now has five goals on the year.

Maine looks to continue its momentum when they host the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks (11-8-1, 5-4-1 HE) for two games.

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