Hockey East weekend in review: Jan. 7-9

There was no gray area area this weekend in Hockey East as teams either came away with all their available points or nothing at all.

Arguably the biggest sweep came for Northeastern over the Massachusetts state schools.  This gave the Huskies their first four-point weekend of the season and puts them within a game of .500 in league play. Those three ugly early-season losses to Atlantic Hockey teams are receding in the rear view mirror.

On Friday night at UMass, they bounced back from a 2-0 first period deficit with four goals in the second.  One night later, freshman goaltender Clay Witt recorded his first win over Lowell. 

New Hampshire completed the same sweep to run its Hockey East record to 10-1-2.  UNH defeated Lowell, 5-2, on Friday night led by Paul Thompson’s hat trick and assist.  Saturday’s game against UMass was a lot tighter as the game stood tied at 1-1 with six minutes left in regulation. However, the Wildcats’ quick-strike capability rose to the occasion, as they scored twice in 45 seconds to seal the win.

Boston College also recorded a sweep, this one the old-fashioned way over a single team, Providence College.  The Eagles used a goal from each of the four lines to win on Friday, 4-1.  A night later, their 3-1 victory game them their seventh straight win.  They remain tied with UNH for first place in Hockey East, but the Wildcats hold two games in hand.

Merrimack thrashed a visiting Maine squad, 7-1, in the lone action of the weekend for both teams.  Stephane Da Costa and Chris Barton both enjoyed three-point nights, but this was a team effort as twelve different Warriors recorded points.  With the win, the Warriors leapfrog Maine into fourth place but give a game in hand.  Merrimack (10-4-4, 6-4-3 HEA) is now off to its best start in its Division I history.

Boston University completed the weekend action on Sunday, pulling away from Vermont in the third period.  Alex Chiasson scored the game-winner on the power play and an empty-netter completed the scoring in the 4-2 win.  With the win, the Terriers solidified their hold on third place.  The Catamounts missed out on an opportunity to move out of ninth and into a tie with UMass for eighth.