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Weekly Release
February 8, 2010
MAINE SWEEPS UNH AT ALFOND; BC AND BU EARN TWO VICTORIES
~Vermont earns three points at PC; Merrimack bests UML; NU dominates Merrimack~

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Athletic Republic Player of the Week Brian Gibbons of Boston College
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Wakefield, Mass. - The Maine Black Bears climbed right back in the thick of the standings with a weekend sweep of first-place UNH, while Boston College and Boston University each picked up a pair of victories on the week. Vermont took three points in its road trip to Providence and Northeastern posted a 5-1 win at Merrimack on Friday night. Merrimack also picked up a huge win at home on Saturday vs. UMass Lowell.

The Black Bears moved into a second place tie with BC with a 3-2 win Friday night and a 6-3 victory on Saturday night against their arch rival Wildcats. Sophomore forward Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) recorded four assists in the series for Maine, while Scott Darling (Lemont, Ill.) registered 55 saves (.917 save%) on the weekend in net. UNH’s Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) extended his point scoring streak to nine-games with a goal in each game over the weekend.

BC and BU opened the week on Monday with opening round victories in the Beanpot, by scores of 6-0 vs. Harvard and 2-1 vs. Northeastern, respectively. The Terriers went on to a 3-2 win at UMass-Lowell on Friday, while BC made quick work of UMass at the Mullins Center by a 7-1 marker. Athletic Republic Player of the Week Brian Gibbons (Braintree, Mass.) scored a leaguehigh six points (1g,5a) for the Eagles, as they outscored their opponents, 13-1 in two victories.

Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week Sebastian Stålberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) led the Catamounts with three points (1g,2a) and +3 rating in Friday’s 5-1 win at Schneider Arena. UVM’s Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) stopped 61 of 63 shots by PC on the weekend for a .962 save percentage.

Northeastern rebounded from its Beanpot loss to BU with a convincing 5-1 victory at Merrimack College on Friday night. Wade MacLeod (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Tyler McNeely (Burnaby, B.C.) led the way statistically for the Huskies with three point apiece, despite being outshot by the Warriors, 38-24 for the game. Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin amassed his 50th career Hockey East victory in the game.

Merrimack came back strong on Saturday night with a 3-1 home victory against UMass-Lowell. The Warriors defeated the River Hawks at Lawler Arena for the first time since November 12, 2000, snapping a 13-game winless streak. Merrimack improved its home record to a league best 10-2-0 on the season.

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ATHLETIC REPUBLIC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

BRIAN GIBBONS - BOSTON COLLEGE
Junior Forward; Braintree, Mass.

Gibbons registered six points (1g,5a) in victories over Harvard and UMass. Had a career-high four assists vs. the Minutemen on Friday night.

Athletic Republic
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PRO AMBITIONS ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

SEBASTIAN STÅLBERG - VERMONT
Freshman Forward; Gotheburg, Sweden

Stålberg scored a goal and added two assists in Friday’s 5-1 win at PC, to go along with three shots and a +3 rating.

Pro Ambitions
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PURE HOCKEY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

SCOTT DARLING - MAINE
Sophomore Goaltender; Lemont, Ill.

Darling had two wins in the weekend sweep of first-place vs. UNH with a 2.50 GAA and a .917 save percentage, including 28 saves Friday.

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HOCKEY EAST WEEKLY TOP PERFORMERS

Cam Atkinson, BC (So., F, Greenwich, Conn.) Tallied four points (1g,3a) in a pair of Boston College victories.

Chris Barton, MC (Jr., F, Calgary, Alb.) Scored a goal in each game this weekend, including the game-winner Saturday

Scott Campbell, UML (Jr., F, Navan, Ont.) Scored a power play goal and an assist for the weekend on just four shots.

Alex Chiasson, BU (Fr., F, St. Augustin, Que.) Broke a 1-1 tie late in regulation with the game-winner vs. Northeastern in the semifinals of the Beanpot.

Stephane Da Costa, MC (Fr., F, Paris, France) Assisted on three of Merrimack’s four goals over the weekend in two games.

Robby Dee, Maine (Jr., F., Plymouth, Minn.) Scored the game-winning goal Friday night. Tied the game (2-2) halfway through the 2nd period on Saturday.

Phil DeSimone, UNH, (Jr., F, East Amherst, N.Y.) Scored a goal in each of UNH’s games this weekend. He is riding a nine-game scoring streak.

Joey Diamond, Maine (Fr., F. Long Beach, N.Y.) Scored a goal and added an assist in Maine’s 6-3 win over New Hampshire on Saturday night

Brian Flynn, Maine (So., F., Lynnfield, Mass.) scored two goals and added an assist in weekend sweep of New Hampshire.

Kyle MacKinnon, PC (Jr., Walnut, Calif.) Scored one goal against Vermont on Friday then assisted on the game-tying goal versus Vermont on Saturday.

Rob Madore, UVM (So., G, Pittsburgh, Pa.) Stopped 51 of 53 shots (.962) in a win and a tie against Providence on the weekend.

James Marcou, UMass (Jr., F, Kings Park, N.Y.) Recorded his 120th career point with a goal vs. BC on Friday.

Kieran Millan, BU (So., G, Edmonton, Alb.) Stopped 42 of the 45 shots he faced to pick up a pair of wins in goal and a 1.50 GAA for the Terriers.

Pat Mullane, BC (Fr., F, Wallingford, Conn.) Totaled four points (1g,3a) in BC wins over Harvard and Massachusetts.

John Muse, BC (Jr., G, East Falmouth, Mass.) Stopped all 49 shots faced in backstopping BC to wins over Harvard and Massachusetts.

Gustav Nyquist, Maine (So., F, Malmo, Sweden) Picked up four assists on the weekend in Maine’s sweep of New Hampshire.

David Warsofsky (So., D, Marshfield, Mass.) Potted his league-high third shorthanded goal (game-winner) in Friday’s 3-2 road win over UMass Lowell.

Steven Whitney, BC (Fr., F, Reading, Mass.) Recorded five points (1g,4a) in wins over Harvard and Massachusetts.

CAREER FIRSTS/MILESTONES/WHO'S HOT?

Chris Barton, MC (Calgary, Alb.) Has a four-game goal streak and has nine in the last seven games

BC’s line of Joe Whitney, Brian Gibbons and Cam Atkinson Combined for 12 points (4g,8a) last week, bringing the line’s sevengame totals to 14 goals, 24 assists and 38 points

Boston College’s penalty kill Is 19-for-19 in the last four games

Justin Braun, UMASS (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) Is nine games away from tying the UMass games-played record. He has 141 career games played. Cory Quirk set the record last year with 150 career games played

Greg Cronin Earned his 50th Hockey East win in Friday’s victory at Merrimack

Stephane Da Costa, MC (Paris, France) Has 11 points (ten assists) in his last seven games

Phil DeSimone, UNH (East Amherst, N.Y.) Is riding a nine-game point streak with 11 pts. (5g,6a) in that stretch

Brian Flynn, Maine (Lynnfield, Mas.) Scored his 50th career point on the weekend

Brian Foster, UNH (Pembroke, N.H.) Became the 8th player in team history to register 2,000 career saves

Brian Gibbons, BC (Braintree, Mass.) Extended his scoring streak to 10 games (5-13-18)

Maine’s power play Continues to lead the nation, scoring at a 30.2% clip

Maine’s sophomore class Accounts for 46.1% of the Black Bears total offense

James Marcou, UMass (Kings Park, N.Y.) Needs one assist to break the UMass single-season record (32)

Merrimack’s power play Has goals in four straight and seven of eight, netting ten goals in that span

Steven Whitney, BC (Reading, Mass.) Has amassed seven points (2g,5a) in the last three games

COMMISSIONERS CORNER with Joe Bertagna

One of the realities of a Commissioner’s world is that we must be a picture of neutrality at all times. When we go to games, we can’t so much as grin when one conference team does something at the expense of another. We learn to sit there stoically as if we are watching a PBS special about the national park system.

Having said that, I am going to break with protocol and offer that it has been a good thing for Hockey East that the University of Maine has returned to the national college hockey conversation. This is a team that was chosen to finish #8 in the pre-season Coaches’ Poll, skated 14 freshmen and sophomores this past weekend, and currently sits tied for second (with BC) in the Hockey East standings.

I made my annual visit to Alfond this past weekend and feeling the atmosphere once more, and recalling many previous trips to the building, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a veteran hockey observer many years ago. I was working in the ECAC at the time, and this person made the observation that the ECAC needed Cornell and RPI to be strong. They were storied programs who had won NCAA titles and had terrific buildings, both in terms of size and atmosphere. Similarly, it is in Hockey East’s interest for Maine Hockey to be strong. Like Cornell and RPI, Maine has multiple NCAA titles, a loyal fan base that travels well, and while new buildings pop up on the landscape, there is nothing like the feel and tradition of some of our older facilities.

Now that I have alienated 90% of the schools for whom I work, I will stand by my contention that night after night, I really don’t care who wins. I save my cheering for the Red Sox and my high school hockey program. The office staff just wants the many key battles for first, fourth, and eighth to go down to the wire. Once again, it seems, we may get our wish.

TEAM NOTES

Boston College: BC has outscored opponents 18-3 in the last three games, including a 10-1 edge in the first period of play … Junior goalie John Muse (East Falmouth, Mass.) recorded 16 saves in two periods against Massachusetts to earn his 53rd win in his 99th game. Muse is tied with three former Eagles – Jim Logue (1958-61), Paul Skidmore (1975-79) and Greg Taylor (1993-97) – for fifth on the school’s win list…BC went 2-0 against UMass in the Mullins Center this season, improving to 19-4-1 in the Mullins Center overall...Senior defenseman Carl Sneep (Nisswa, Minn.) tallied three points (1g,2a) against Harvard, matching a career-high previously established against Northeastern on Nov. 7, 2009…BC attempted 81 total shots, including 43 shots on goal, against Harvard, reaching 70 (or more) shots in a for the fourth time in the last seven games…Defensemen Brian Dumoulin (Biddeford, Maine) and Edwin Shea (Shrewsbury, Mass.) tallied a team-best +4 rating last week. Dumoulin improves to a team-best +15 this season.

Boston University: After winning seven of their nine games thus far in 2010, the Terriers have a .500 record for the first time in over three months...BU will be aiming for its 30th Beanpot crown on Monday in its 250th meeting with archrival Boston College...The teams are an even 5-5-2 in their last 12 meetings, but BU has won five of the last six...BU is 17-3 (.850) in its last 20 Beanpot games against BC...The Terriers are in the Beanpot title game for the 15th time in the last 16 years...The Terriers come into Monday’s Beanpot title game with a 34-11-0 record (.756) at TD Garden...Sophomore goaltender Kieran Millan is 5-0-0 is his five starts at TD Garden... Junior Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.) is currently on a six-game point streak, having tallied 11 points (1g, 10a) during the stretch. He also has at least one point in 10 of his last 11 contests and 13 of his last 15...The Terriers are tied for first nationally with St. Cloud State in shorthanded goals with eight...BU’s win over UMass Lowell on Friday was its first all season when it has allowed the first goal (1-8-3).

Maine: Maine improved to 9-2-1 on the season at Alfond Arena after sweeping New Hampshire 3-2 and 6-3 on the weekend…The Black Bears have currently won six straight games at home…It was Maine’s first sweep of New Hampshire at Alfond Arena since winning back-to-back games on January 30 and 31, 2004…Maine held New Hampshire scoreless on seven power play opportunities…Maine has not allowed a power play goal in three games, having killed off 13 straight opponent power play…Maine’s Robby Dee returned to the lineup this weekend after missing four games with an injury… Dee had an immediate impact as he notched the game-winner on Friday and tallied a big goal on Saturday to help Maine earn the weekend sweep…The Black Bears have scored 97 goals on the season in 26 games, 11 more goals than they finished with in 39 games last year…Maine has overcome a two goal deficit in each of its last three games…Eight of Maine’s top nine scorers have at least three power play goals on the season…Maine recorded a season-high 40 shots on goal on Saturday night against New Hampshire, including 18 in the second period alone…Fourteen different returning Black Bears have either equaled or set new single season point marks this year.

Massachusetts: UMass is 5-3 in the last eight games, but just 1-3 in the last four heading into home-and-home series with Northeastern and Merrimack…The UMass power play has been struggling of late going just 3-for-29 (10.3%)…In the last eight games, UMass is 5-0 when keeping opponents from scoring on the power play…UMass tied the Mullins Center attendance record (8,389) vs. BC…UMass is 15-1-0 when leading or tied after the second period this season…UMass still maintains a 35-to-23 scoring advantage over teams in third periods.

UMass-Lowell: The crowd of 5,296 at the Tsongas Center’s was the fourth largest of the season, boosting the River Hawks average home attendance to 4,527 per game, eclipsing last season’s mark of 4,404…After a rocky first period, goaltender Nevin Hamilton (Ashland, Mass.) settled down to make 30 saves on the night…On Saturday, David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) netted the lone UMass Lowell goal in the 3-1 loss to Merrimack…The loss was the River Hawks’ first in North Andover in nearly a decade, dating back to Nov. 12, 2000…Carter Hutton (Thunder Bay, Ont.) stopped 30-of- 33 shots in defeat…Despite allowing three goals, Hutton remains the Hockey East leader in goals against average (2.13) and save percentage (.926)…Senior Kory Falite (Billerica, Mass.) edged closer to the century mark, tallying his 98th career point on an assist against the Warriors.

Merrimack: The Warriors snapped a 13-game home winless streak against UML that dated back to 2000 and a seven-game losing streak to the River Hawks…Merrimack has seven conference wins, most in the Mark Dennehy era. The seven wins are against seven different Hockey East teams, with the final two teams (Maine, UMass) still on the remaining home schedule…The Warriors are one point shy of the most points in the Dennehy era in Hockey East games…Junior captain Chris Barton netted a goal in each game and has 17 on the season, third-most in Hockey East. Barton has more goals than any Warrior in the last eight seasons and is on pace to finish with more than 20 goals. He would become the first Warrior to do since Anthony Aquino in 2001-02. Barton has goals in four straight and seven of eight…Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) returned to the nets for just the second time in eight games and notched his first win since November 13…Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) tallied his first goal of the season and first since February 27, 2009…Stephane Da Costa, who continues to lead all rookies in scoring nationally and in Hockey East, was named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Month for the fourth straight month.

New Hampshire: After dropping three-straight road games, the Wildcats will return to the Whittemore Center where they are 6-0-2 against Hockey East opponents. UNH will play three-straight games at home starting with Providence on Friday night and five of the final seven…Senior netminder Brian Foster turned away 30-plus shots in each game this weekend…Junior forward Phil DeSimone remains on a roll for the Wildcats. He potted a goal in both games this weekend and is riding a nine-game scoring streak that includes 11 points (5g, 6a)…Blake Kessel had a pair of assists on Friday night and now has 30 points this season. Kessel is the first defenseman to post 30 points since Brian Yandle had 30 in 2005-06. Kessel ranks second nationally in defensive scoring behind Wisconsin’s Brendan Smith and his 24 assists matches the best total by a UNH defenseman (Yandle 24 – 2005-06) in the last decade… Friday night’s game is the second-annual Operation Hat Trick night. Northeastern: Northeastern won its third straight Hockey East contest with a 5-1 beating of Merrimack on Friday night in between Beanpot games. The Huskies have gone 6-4 since the start of the New Year and beaten four of their last five league opponents. Northeastern held a 3-0 lead after the first period, marking the first time NU owned a three-goal pad after 20 minutes this year. In games played between thge Beanpot Tournament, Northeastern is now 31-30-3. The Huskies’ win against Merrimack nudged NU over the .500 mark...With the Merrimack victory, NU coach Greg Cronin attained his 50th Hockey East victory as coach of the Huskies. His overall record at NU is 68-83-20 while his career record rests at 88-96-22...On the flip side, Northeastern has not won more than consecutive games this season, either...For the third time this season, the Huskies lit the lamp on three occasions with the powerplay. Wade MacLeod, Tyler McNeely and Drew Daniels all scored extra-man goals against Merrimack.

Providence College: The Friars have played against four consecutive ranked opponents…PC ended a six-game losing streak with a 1-1 overtime tie against Vermont on Saturday…Junior Kyle MacKinnon is on a three-game point streak. MacKinnon leads the team in scoring with a career-high 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists...In addition, MacKinnon is the top power-play scorer on the team with four goals and four assists…In his first two seasons, MacKinnon had a combined 23 points...Sophomore defenseman David Brown (Centennial, Colo.), who had not played in the previous 11 games, recorded one assist in each game this past weekend...The Friars rank second in Hockey East on the penalty kill (83.9%) and third in team defense (2.81 GAA)…Senior Mark Fayne (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) who had 16 assists in his first three seasons at Providence, has 13 assists this season.

Vermont: The Catamounts picked up a win and a tie over the weekend against Providence to go 2-0-1 against the Friars on the year…Vermont has now won the season series against three Hockey East teams: Boston College (2-1-0), NU (2-1-0) and PC (2-0-1)…The Catamounts are 9-3-3 against the Friars since joining Hockey East… Rob Madore is 3-0-1 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .960 save percentage in four career games against Providence…Freshman Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, Pa.) had two points on the weekend and ranks tied for sixth among Hockey East rookies in scoring with five goals and 11 points in 19 league games…UVM is 17-4-6 in the second game of a two-game weekend since the start of last season…Vermont hosts Merrimack in a two-game set this weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse… The Warriors won this season’s first meeting 5-2 at Lawler Arena on Oct. 23.

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