The countdown to the Boston Beanpot and Hockey East semi-finals/finals is on.
However, before we drop the puck at the TD Garden, let’s take a trip around the state of Massachusetts, and check in with the various Hockey East men’s ice hockey teams.
Boston College (15-10-1) – The men sporting maroon and gold picked up a dramatic win on Friday, as they defeated the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, 4-3 at Kelley Rink. BC has now won 15 games this season, and will look to earn their 16th victory on Saturday when they travel to Durham for a 7:00pm face-off. The Eagles are currently tied atop the Hockey East standings with Boston University and Maine for 84 goals scored.
Boston University (15-7-1) – Against the University of Maine, Boston University’s defense faltered, as the Black Bears registered two third period goals, which secured the win, as well as their 13th victory of the season. The loss marks BU’s first of the month, but they’ll look to snap their one-game skid on Saturday when they once again host Maine for a 7:30pm face-off.
Merrimack College (13-5-5) – It’s been a few days since the Warriors last defeated University of New Hampshire in overtime, but on Sunday, Merrimack will return to the ice when they host Providence College for a matinee clash in North Andover. Senior goaltender Joe Cannata has earned 12 wins between the pipes this season, and is averaging 26 saves per game. Against the Friars in December, Cannata registered a loss, but managed to record 34 saves despite allowing two goals.
Northeastern University (9-11-3) – The men’s hockey team finally registered their first win in January, as the Huskies manhandled Vermont, 8-3. They’ll face the Catamounts on Saturday, and would certainly like to return to Boston with at least 10 overall wins. Junior goaltender Chris Rawlings has recorded 660 saves this season, but as allowed 55 goals in 22 games, while freshman forward Ludwig Karlsson (nine goals, 13 assists) and junior forward Steve Quailer, (eight goals, 14 assists) lead the team with 22 points.
University of Massachusetts/Amherst (9-9-5) – The Minutemen have won nine games this season, which include five against various conference foes. However, they’re currently riding a one-game losing streak, as the River Hawks defeated the Minutemen in Lowell on Friday, 4-2. They’ll look to rebound on Saturday evening when they welcome UMass-Lowell to Amherst. The Minutemen have won two consecutive contests at home in January, and are 4-1-2 this season against Hockey East teams at the Mullins Center.
University of Massachusetts/ Lowell (15-7-0) – The River Hawks have improved drastically this season. They’re currently sporting a 15-7 overall record, and have won 10 of 16 games against conference foes this season. They’ve won five conference games on the road this season, but can they muster a sixth, especially at the Mullins Center on Saturday? We’ll see.