Roundup: Harvard, BU Head Into Beanpot With Opposite Results
BSU Clinches WCHA; Big Games Abound
CHN Staff Report
Ryan Donato scored four goals (two empty netters) as surging Harvard moved into first place in the ECAC with a 6-2 win over Union.
It was the fifth straight win for Harvard, and it is unbeaten in the last seven. It was the Crimson's last game before Monday's Beanpot championship against Boston University; Harvard hasn't won the Beanpot since 1993.
"It is awesome to see that we are getting chances to put the puck in the net," Donato said. "It obviously speaks to my two linemates (Alex Kerfoot and Lewis Zerter-Gossage) who are unbelievable playmakers. I am thinking shot first sometimes, but I think that they do a great job feeding the puck. I am glad they started to go in for me tonight."
Added coach, and dad, Ted Donato, "It was good to see Ryan have a game like this. This was a big game for us. It was hard to really make sure everyone is really focused on the game and how important it was. With only two points available to us this weekend, it was important to come out with points because Union and Cornell had an opportunity for four. Now we have a chance on Monday night to play in a game that guys are very excited about. There were a lot of guys that stepped up for us tonight to make plays for us."
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Massachusetts-Lowell scored twice in the third period to defeat Boston University, 3-2.
The win helps Lowell (18-9-3, 10-7-1 HEA) keep pace with Notre Dame and Providence, as the three teams vie for the last two bye spots in Hockey East.
Freshman forward Kenny Hausinger slapped home a loose rebound with 11 minutes remaining in regulation to net the game-winning goal. Freshman goaltender Tyler Wall faced only eight shots in the first two periods, but had to come up with 15 third-period saves to preserve the win.
"We are very happy with the outcome tonight," Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. "It was a game of special teams. They are a very good hockey club and it is nice to get points from those teams. When you get to the end of the year you need both good goaltending and good special teams and tonight we had both."
BU was 0-for-5 on the power play.
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Providence retired the numbers of three legends before the game, then went out and defeated Connecticut thanks to a hat trick from Erik Foley.
It was only fitting that Foley got the hat trick in front of those aforementioned legends, since all three are also legends of U.S. hockey in general, and Foley is fresh off winning a gold medal with Team USA at the World Juniors.
The honored Friars were Lou Lamoriello, Ron Wilson and Cammi Granato. Lamoriello played and later coached at Providence, then became the athletic director before heading to the NHL as a general manager, where he won three Stanley Cups. Wilson was an All-American in the 1970s, and later coached in the NHL and coached Team USA to a gold medal at the 1996 World Cup. Granato is a storied women's hockey player with numerous international medals to her credit.
As for the game, Providence outshot UConn, 52-18, but needed a power-play goal from Foley with 6:54 remaining to get the win.
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After opening the season unbeaten in its first 13 WCHA, Bemidji State capped a season-long goal Friday, earning a 3-2 victory at Alabama-Huntsville to earn the 2016-17 regular-season title and the coveted MacNaughton Cup. The conference title is the 22nd in program history, and first since joining the WCHA in 2010-11.
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Merrimack earned its first win at Boston College in nearly 20 years, led by a hat trick from Hampus Gustafsson, 6-3.
That span included 30 games in which Merrimack went 0-27-3 dating back to Oct. 31, 1997.
The win also assured the Warriors their first unbeaten season in league play against both BC (1-0-1) and BU (2-0-0) since joining Hockey East, as well as season series victories against both teams; the next-best year was in 2010-11, when Merrimack went 3-1-2 in the regular season against both schools.
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Atte Tolvanen and Northern Michigan, the reigning CHN Team of the Week, continued their winning ways with a fourth consecutive shutout, 3-0 over Alaska.
Tolvanen made 39 saves, as the Wildcats remained unbeaten in the last eight, and moved into the final playoff spot in the WCHA.
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Griffen Molino had a hat trick including two shorthanded goals, and Western Michigan had three shorthanded goals overall on the night, in a 7-6 win over Nebraska-Omaha.
UNO had three power-play goals on the night, but it was offset by the three SHGs it allowed.
Sheldon Dries added two goals and two assists for the Broncos.
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Penn State snapped skid a five-game winless skid with a big 6-3 win over Wisconsin. As a result, the Nittany Lions moved back to No. 7 in the Pairwise, with a rematch against the Badgers on Saturday.
Wisconsin dropped off the Pairwise bubble with the loss.