Roundup: Lowell Overpowers BU; 5 Assists for Gaudreau
Vermont, Union, Merrimack Score Big Wins
CHN Staff Report
Massachusetts-Lowell overpowered undermanned Boston University, 3-1, Saturday night in front of 5,856 at the Tsongas Center.
The River Hawks improved to 15-6-2 (5-3-1 HEA), while Boston University dropped to 7-13-2 overall and 2-7-1 in Hockey East play. It was Lowell's sixth straight win, and seventh in their last eight games against the Terriers, a team that once dominated the River Hawks.
“I thought our puck support was very good this weekend as a whole, so I am very happy with that,” said River Hawk head coach Norm Bazin. “There were a lot of 10-foot passes being made and not a lot of stretch passes and if that continues I think we will keep generating offense because we are coming up with numbers.”
The Terriers dressed 17 skaters for the second time in as many nights, coming off the news that top defender Matt Grzelcyk will be out for the remainder of the season after he separated his shoulder in practice this week. Then, the team lost sophomore defensemen Ahti Oksanen, who is tied for the team lead in points, to an injury in the second period when he was kneed by Lowell's Christian Folin. Folin received a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
"When you lose some of your better players, it can get demoralizing to some of your other better players," BU coach David Quinn said. "We've got to be a little more professional mentally, and tougher mentally.
BU, coming off a close loss to Boston College, was outshot 42-12, has lost six in a row, and is winless in the last eight.
"After our performance (Friday against Boston College), we weren't able to even come close to matching the physical play and intensity and enthusiasm," Quinn said. "Our goalie (Sean Maguire) was unbelievable, gave us a chance. ... It's tough to follow up last (Friday), because I thought our guys played hard and competed, and were going in the right direction, but sometimes after BC there's a little bit of a letdown, no matter what the record are.
“It’s a tough time. Sometimes teams have seasons like that, and we happen to be going through that right now.”
Kevin Hayes had a hat trick and five points, while Johnny Gaudreau had five assists, as Boston College cruised to a 7-2 win over Maine to stretch its unbeaten streak to nine games.
It was the first hat trick of his career for Kevin Hayes. Meanwhile, Gaudreau's point-scoring streak reached 18 games.
The last time two BC players had five points in a game, it was Nathan Gerbe (4-1-5) and Benn Ferriero (2-3-5) against Harvard in December 2007.
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Brian Christie, who missed 10 games earlier this season due to injury, scored twice in Merrimack's 6-3 win against Quinnipiac. The usually stingy QU defense, which helped defeat Merrimack, 6-1, on Friday, had a rare off night.
“There’s so many things you can go through that we did poorly," QU coach Rand Pecknold said. "I think we had 3 power plays where we took a penalty while we were on the power play. We’re blowing up our own power play and all of them were selfish."
Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy challenged his team to step up after getting routed Friday.
“It bothered me, and I bothered them,” Dennehy said. “To be honest with you, I don’t think it hurt enough of them. That’s one of the things we need to address as a team is hating to lose. I’d rather have a guy who hates to lose than a guy who loves to win because you’ll do everything you’re capable of. You look at (Quinnipiac) scratching and clawing and blocking shots and diving in for stuff and they’ve got 18 wins. We need to play with that same type of desperation, and I thought we did tonight.
“It was a better effort and a more consistent effort. We won our share of battles and we weren’t easy to play against. That’s probably as close to a 60-minute effort as we’ve had all year long. All 20 guys were battling."
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Vermont avenged Friday's loss, in which it outshot Northeastern, 48-19, and got a 4-1 win Saturday. Vermont again outshot Northeastern, though it was closer, 32-24.
UVM trailed 1-0 entering the final frame but stormed into the lead with goals from Mario Puskarich, Tom Forgione, and Chris McCarthy, who added an empty-netter to seal the win with 30 seconds left. Puskarich and McCarthy combined for five points in the game and eight points on the weekend.
"When we went into the locker room between the second and third periods, we told the guys good teams find a way to win. No more excuses about how good that goalie (Clay Witt) is," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "They answered the call. They came out and stormed them."
McCarthy had three goals on the weekend and has recorded five tallies in his last four games at Matthews Arena.
"I loved the way we skated for six periods this weekend," said Sneddon. "No question this was a game for the psyche as well and it's nice to finish non-conference at 8-2-3, a very respectable non-conference record and hopefully it matters later."
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Clarkson earned a weekend sweep, and snapped Brown's six-game unbeaten streak in the process. Three different Golden Knights scored goals and freshman Steve Perry made 29 saves as the Golden Knights won, 3-2.
"There was ebbs and flows and you're going to have that (against) good hockey teams," Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. "I thought they worked themselves into it; I didn't think they were great off the start ... it carried over into the second for them. I thought we went out and seized the momentum in the third."
Said Brown coach Brendan Whittet, "They're a good hockey team. They don't give you a lot. They're good in a lot of little areas — faceoffs and defensive coverage, and the way they play really, really hard."
There was an altercation as time expired, and Clarkson captain Ben Sexton and Brown’s Massimo Lamacchia were each given game disqualification penalties for fighting. They will each miss their team's game next Friday.
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Union completed a non-conferrence sweep of New Hampshire with a 3-1 win, improving to 9-1-2 on the road this season and 7-1-1 against ranked opponents.
Max Novak broke a 1-1 tie in the second period with his game-winning goal at 16:07, tapping in a centering pass from Daniel Ciampini.
Colin Stevens finished with a career-high 40 saves to improve his season record to 12-2-1.
"Colin Stevens was excellent in both games this weekend, he might have been the difference," Union coach Rick Bennett said. "Not a lot of teams find a way to win in this building, and to win not one but two is a real accomplishment. The coaching staff is really proud of the team's effort."
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John Hayden had two goals and an assist as Yale defeating slumping St. Lawrence, 4-2. The Bulldogs (9-4-4, 4-3-3 ECAC) scored a pair of power-play goals to make Alex Lyon a winner between the pipes with 28 saves.
The freshman goalie had it easy at the start because Yale came out with three goals in the first period while outshooting SLU 17-4.
“We focused on coming out hard for 60 minutes from the drop of the puck,” Yale's Jesse Root said. Root is now tied for the team lead with seven goals. “There’s a lot of work to be done, we need to make sure we show up for 60 minutes every game.”
Said Yale coach Keith Allain, “We came out in the first period with something to prove. We had our feet moving and our fore-check was going well early.”
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Colgate scored three times in the first period and went on to defeat Harvard, 4-2, to win its fourth in a row.
“We were able to get off to a hot start and that really set the tone for the night,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. “We have had excellent starts to games in the last three weeks. It is tough to play from behind and we did too much of that earlier on in the year."
Charlie Finn improved his record to 7-4-2 with 23 saves and is unbeaten in his last five starts. He was tested in the third with nine saves and has not given up more than two goals during his unbeaten streak. He made two big saves late with Harvard down just a goal.
“Huge,” Vaughan said. “I tell our goalies that they don’t have to make all the saves, but you have to make the right saves and he did that tonight as they were coming hard late in the game.”
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Holy Cross got another huge effort from Matt Ginn in net, as it finished a sweep of Niagara. Holy Cross got the winning goal with just 2:18 left in the third period.
Jake Youso carried the puck from the defensive zone before releasing a shot on Niagara goalie Jackson Teichroeb that was mishandled and trickled behind the net. The Purple Eagles could not control the loose puck and it squirted out to Tommy Dwyer at the top of the crease, and he buried it.
“Penalties took us out of the flow in the second period. We regrouped and got through it, but we need to be a little more disciplined,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “From start to finish we were all over Holy Cross when we were playing 5-on-5, but you have to give them credit. They fought to the bitter end and swept us at home. You can’t give a team like that seven power plays and expect to win. Two nights in a row we put at least 40 shots on goal and we have nothing to show for it so it’s tough to swallow.”