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February 2, 2014 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

UNH Sweeps Notre Dame

Cornell Unbeaten Streak at 9

CHN Staff Report

Matt Willows recorded a goal and two assists as New Hampshire completed a weekend sweep of Notre Dame at the Whittemore Center.

The losses dropped Notre Dame to 4-8-1 so far in its first Hockey East season.

“We shoot ourselves in the foot to much. We gave up too many odd-man rushes. You can’t play like that on the road,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. “I always say that the biggest factor on the road is goaltending and special teams and UNH won both of those battles this weekend.”

Jackson was impressed by New Hampshire defensively.

“They defend well, they have good defensive sticks,” said Jackson. “They cover the slot real well. It’s hard to generate anything. We had a lot of real good looks early in the game. They must’ve blocked 12 shots in the first period and most of those came off odd-man rushes. You can’t get the puck to the net, you aren’t going to score. Give them credit, they defend well.”

Elsewhere

Massachusetts-Lowell got a 33-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck, the ninth of his career, to sweep Merrimack, 4-0.

Hellebuyck is just one shutout away from tying the Lowell career record of 10, previously set by Carter Hutton (2006-10). He improves his record to 10-5-1 in his 16th start of the season.

“I thought we got contributions throughout our lineup tonight with several key goals and solid goaltending. We had a lot of things to be pleased with,” said Head Coach Norm Bazin. “I thought our net front sticks were exceptional, that and the shot blocks were two things that stand out in my mind as far a team defense goes. It was probably one of our better efforts this year in terms of block shots (13 on the night). Any time you can sweep any opponent in Hockey East, it’s quite an accomplishment, because it’s so deep.”

Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy thought his team played well in the loss, but it wasn't enough.

"I thought we were the better team for large stretches," Dennehy said.

* * *

Cornell remained unbeaten in its last nine games, and as the only ECAC team to sweep its weekend set, moved into third place, two points behind Union for first.

The Big Red, coming off a thrilling overtime win at Yale the night before, stifled Brown throughout the night, aided by goalie Andy Iles' key saves, and won, 2-1. Up 1-0 after two periods, the Big Red hunkered down in the third period, but made its two shots on goal count. Joel Lowry created the play by pickpocketed a Brown defender in the neutral zone and started a rush the other way. He drew the last defender back to him on the left wall, then sent a pass to Cole Bardreau streaking down the middle. The junior centerman finished off the play to give Cornell a 2-0 lead with 6:09 to remaining.

* * *

Yale bounced back from Friday's loss to defeat Colgate, thanks to killing off six of seven power plays, on the way to a 4-1 win. On a night with 92 combined penalty minutes, the Yale special teams allowed fewer than two shots on target per advantage while freshman goalie Alex Lyon stood on his head with 30 saves.

Penalties and injuries forced the Bulldogs (11-6-4, 6-5-3 ECAC) to play most of the game with nine forwards. Ryan Obuchowski had a goal and an assist and Kenny Agostino had two assists.

“We were sharp tonight. It was the epitome of a total team effort,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “You have to give the guys a lot of credit. The guys certainly had a heightened sense of awareness on the bench.”

Lyon and Colgate's Erik Mihalik were busy in the first, combining for 26 saves, including a variety of top-notch stops. The two were at it again in the second as the action heated up another notch. That included 21 minutes of penalties and majors for both sides.

“I was in awe of him in the beginning of the season on just how calm, cool and collected he was for a freshman,” said Agostino of his goalie. “He’s really a guy we can lean on because he is that good and special of a goaltender.”

“I was a little concerned about us being fatigued because we had a short bench and we were using a lot of guys,” said Allain. “But in terms of focus and toughness, there were no questions at all.”

* * *

Union won its first game without coach Rick Bennett, defeating Clarkson, 4-3. Union lost Friday's game to St. Lawrence, the first of four Bennett will miss because of suspension.

The win moved Union back into first place in the ECAC, one point ahead of Quinnipiac. The Dutchmen fell behind by two goals, by rallied behind a pair of scores from Max Novak. Matt Wilkins scored the game winner with 7:26 remaining.

"It was an unbelievably gutsy effort from our guys," said Union assistant coach Joe Dumais, acting as the head coach this weekend. "Daniel Carr led a group of guys that really stepped up for us. They (Clarkson) scored early, but our guys never quit."

Rensselaer, which had four players and coach Seth Appert suspended for Friday's loss to Clarkson, as the result of the incident with Union which got Benett suspended, bounced back to defeat St. Lawrence to get a weekend split.

* * *

Reigning CHN Team of the Week, Robert Morris, raised its unbeaten streak to seven with a sweep of Army, taking Saturday's game, 6-4. Just two minutes after Army tied the game, Robert Morris (10-13-3, 10-6-3 AHA) regained the lead with just 2:01 remaining in regulation after a goal by Brandon Denham.

* * *

American International ended a 15-game winless streak against Canisius with a 5-3 win.

“AIC won the game in the first two periods today,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “They imposed their style of play on the game and were opportunistic with their opportunities. The passion that we played with in the third period needs to show up in the first 40 minutes as well for us to be our most successful. We knew coming into the weekend that AIC was dangerous off the rush and had an uncanny knack for loose pucks around the net and that’s how they got a two-goal lead after two periods.”

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