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Weekend Preview
March 12, 2009
25TH TOURNAMENT GETS UNDERWAY ON CAMPUSES FRIDAY NIGHT
~BU hosts Maine; NU entertains UMass; UML travels to Vermont; UNH hosts BC~

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NU and UMass face-off on NESN Saturday night
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WAKEFIELD, Mass. -- The 25th Annual Hockey East Tournament kicks off with quarterfinal action at 7pm on Friday night. No. 1 Boston University hosts No. 8 Maine, while No. 2 Northeastern welcomes No. 7 Massachusetts. No. 4 Vermont hosts No. 5 UMass-Lowell and defending Hockey East champions, No. 6 Boston College heads to No. 3 New Hampshire. All quarterfinal games will be broadcast live on B2 Networks at www.b2tv.com, except for the Saturday night NESN game.

Game 2 of the Northeastern and UMass series will be broadcast by NESN on Saturday night, beginning at 7:30. The Minutemen own the season series, one of only two teams to stake that claim, with a 2-1 record against the Huskies this year. The teams last met on Feb. 14, when UMass came out with a 4-1 victory behind a two-assist game from James Marcou (King Park, N.Y.). Marcou finished the season tied for first with 35 points in league play. Northeastern’s Ryan Ginand (Milford, Mass.) tallied 14 goals in league play, tying him for third. Entering the playoffs, UMass’ Casey Wellman (Brentwood, Calif.) leads all rookies with 25 points in conference action. Netminder Brad Thiessen (Aldergrove, B.C.) finished the regular season with a .932 save percentage in league play, best among Hockey East goalies.

Maine will head south to Agganis Arena for the best-of-three series this weekend. The teams last met on Valentine’s Day in Orono, when the Terriers overcame a two-goal deficit to walk away with a 2-2 tie. Maine goalie Dave Wilson (Caledon East, Ont.) stopped 34 shots in the stalemate. BU leads the season series 2-0-1 and is currently riding a nation-best 16-game (13-0-3) unbeaten streak. The Terriers lead the league on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.81 goals per game in league play, while only allowing 2.00. BU boasts two of the top five scorers in league play, in Colin Wilson (Winnipeg, Man.) and Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.), while Maine’s Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) is tied for sixth among rookies in conference action with 17 points. BU’s Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alb.) tops the league with a 1.80 GAA in Hockey East games.

The Whittemore Center will host the matchup between UNH and BC this weekend, while the Wildcats owned the season series against the Eagles, 2-1. The teams last met at Conte Forum on Feb. 21, when UNH came away with a 4-2 victory behind a two-goal performance by James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.). Van Riemsdyk finished the regular season ranked seventh in the league, averaging 1.08 points per game in Hockey East action. BC’s Brock Bradford ranks fourth in the league with 31 points in conference action. Both teams will rely on momentum, as BC is coming off a 4-1 victory over nationally ranked Northeastern and UNH is unbeaten in seven of its last eight.

UMass-Lowell will take on Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse this weekend, while the teams have an even 1-1-1 record against each other this year. The schools last met on Feb. 21 in Burlington, when the River Hawks pulled out a 1-0 victory behind Carter Hutton’s (Thunder Bay, Ont.) 21-save shutout and Paul Worthington’s (Langhorne, Pa.) unassisted shorthanded goal late in the second. Vermont’s Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) ranks third in HEA with 34 points in league play, while sitting atop all players with 19 goals in conference action. UML’s Kory Falite (Billerica, Mass.) has been clutch for the River Hawks, tallying four game-winners in 20 league games.

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