WAKEFIELD, Mass. -- Hockey East teams look to gain valuable points in the league with three weekends left in a tight regular season race to
the finish. No. 5 Northeastern, No. 1 Boston University and No. 6 Vermont have all secured playoff berths, while the two top ranked teams, BU
and NU will face each other in a home and home series this weekend. Boston College and No. 12 New Hampshire do the same, as will Providence
and Merrimack. Vermont hosts UMass-Lowell for a pair, as Massachusetts hosts Maine, as well.
BU owns a 2-0 advantage in its season series with Northeastern, but the series is far from over. The Terriers blanked NU 3-0 on Nov. 16 at
Agganis Arena and the teams last met in the Beanpot Championship on Feb. 9, when BU earned a
5-2 victory. BU and NU are two offensive powerhouses, averaging a league-best 3.87 and secondranked
3.23 goals per game, respectively. BU sophomore Colin Wilson (Winnipeg, Man.) leads the
league in points, with 40, while Husky Ryan Ginand’s (Milford, Mass.) 19 goals are tied for second in
the league. Defensively, NU’s Brad Thiessen (Aldergrove, B.C.) has amassed a .929 save percentage
this season and Terrier Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alb.) is only allowing 1.68 goals per game; each
tops the league in their respective categories.
BC and UNH begin their series in Durham on Friday, and the game will be televised as NESN’s
Hockey East Friday Night game. The series will continue back at Conte Forum on Saturday evening.
The teams last met on Nov. 15, when BC earned an 8-6 victory over the Wildcats. In that game,
rookie Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) registered his first collegiate hat trick, while teammate
Brock Bradford (Burnaby, B.C.) and Wildcat James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) each recorded
four points. Bradford is currently tied for second in the league with 19 goals on the season.
Vermont hosts UMass-Lowell for a two-game series this weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The
teams last met on Nov. 8, when UVM earned a 3-1 victory. In the win, Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg,
Sweden) and teammate Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) each tallied two points. Stalberg currently leads
the league in goals, with 20 to date. UML’s Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alb.) ranks second among
league blue liners with 23 points this season. UML netminder Nevin Hamilton (Ashland, Mass.) is
allowing 2.07 goals per game, while Catamount Rob Madore (Venetia, Pa.) is allowing 2.14, ranking
them second and third in the league, respectively. The Catamounts have been averaging 3.07 goals
per game, third in HE, while UML is only allowing a second-ranked 2.36.
UMass will host Maine for a pair, as the Minutemen are coming off a 4-1 victory over Northeastern
last weekend. The Black Bears also enjoyed an impressive showing against a nationally ranked
opponent, as they tied BU 2-2 last Saturday. The teams met earlier in the month, when Maine came
out with a 2-1 victory on Feb. 1. Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) netted the game-winner
with 0:26 left on the clock. Maine also boasts the league’s best penalty kill at 88.8%, while UMass’
James Marcou (King Park, N.Y.) is currently second in the league with 35 points.
Providence and Merrimack begin their weekend series on Saturday at Lawler Arena and return
to action on Sunday afternoon in Providence. The last meeting between the teams resulted in a
5-3 PC victory on Jan. 31. In the game, Nick Mazzolini (Anchorage, Alaska) tallied three points for
the Friars, while Jesse Todd (Calgary, Alb.) tallied two for MC. PC’s Matt Bergland (Fairbault, Minn.)
ranks second among HE rookies with 23 points on the year.