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Weekend Preview
February 26, 2009
NO. 2 BOSTON U. AND UMASS SQUARE OFF ON NESN FRIDAY NIGHT
~No. 4 NU plays two vs. UML; No. 8 Vermont heads to Maine; No. 10 UNH faces Merrimack; BC/PC play two~

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BU and UMass face-off on NESN Friday night
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WAKEFIELD, Mass. -- In the second to last weekend of regular season play, Hockey East teams look firm up their place in the logjammed league standings. No. 2 Boston University and Massachusetts will face off in a home and home series, with Friday’s tilt at the Mullins Center featured on NESN’s Hockey East Friday Night. No. 10 New Hampshire battles in a home and home series with Merrimack, the Saturday game will be aired live on NESN. No. 8 Vermont heads to Maine for a pair, while No. 4 Northeastern and UMass-Lowell will also battle in a home and home, as will Providence and Boston College.

The Terriers look to continue their 13-game unbeaten streak this weekend, taking on UMass in a home and home series. BU is coming off a pair of ties to Northeastern last weekend, while the Minutemen swept Maine at home. The teams last met on Nov. 14, when UMass upended BU 5-1, behind Alex Berry’s (Danvers, Mass.) two-goal night. The Terriers are scoring a leaguebest 3.72 goals per game, while the Minutemen are only allowing 2.44. This series will pit the league’s top two scorers against each other, in BU’s Colin Wilson (Winnipeg, Man.) and Reebok Player of the Week James Marcou (King Park, N.Y.).

UNH will first head to Merrimack on Friday and then host the Warriors Saturday. Merrimack took three points from Providence last weekend, while the Wildcats swept BC. Pure Hockey Defensive Player of the Week Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.), who stopped 70 of 72 shots on the weekend, will be up against the league’s fourth best scorer in James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), who has tallied 34 points so far this year. The teams last met on Nov. 29, when the Warriors came away with a 4-3 win at the Whittemore Center. Jesse Todd (Calgary, Alb.) netted the game winner for Merrimack.

Northeastern and UMass-Lowell begin their home and home series at Matthews Arena on Friday night. The River Hawks took three points from Vermont last weekend, proving they can hold their own against nationally ranked teams. The teams last met on Nov. 22, when the Huskies earned a 4-3 victory. Netminder Brad Thiessen (Aldergrove, B.C.) has amassed a .929 save percentage this season, ranking him second in the league. UML’s Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alb.) leads all blue liners with 24 points.

Vermont heads to Orono for a pair of games against the Black Bears this weekend. The teams last met on Nov. 29, when the Catamounts were victorious, 3-2. UVM’s Josh Burrows (Prairie Grove, Ill.) and Maine’s Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) each notched two points in the game. Maine was swept by UMass last weekend, while Vermont was shut out for the first time all season on Saturday, by UMass-Lowell. The Catamounts hope to jumpstart their offense again, led by junior Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden), who leads the league in goals with 20.

Providence and BC will play home and home this weekend, hoping for a more decisive outcome than their last meeting, on Jan. 30, which resulted in a 2-2 tie. The Eagles were swept by UNH last weekend, while Providence took one point from Merrimack. The Eagles are led offensively senior captain Brock Bradford (Burnaby, B.C.), who has amassed 33 points in 30 games, while the Friars look to rookie Matt Bergland (Fairbault, Minn.) who leads the team with 24 points.

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