Mass. College Hockey: 62nd Boston Beapot Preview

The 62nd Boston Beapot begins this afternoon with Harvard vs. Northeastern followed by Boston College vs. Boston University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

The 62nd Boston Beapot begins this afternoon with Harvard vs. Northeastern followed by Boston College vs. Boston University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The 62nd Boston Beanpot is set to commence this afternoon with Harvard and Northeastern facing off in the late afternoon contest, which will be followed by Boston College and Boston University.

The Eagles will attempt to defend their title by skating into their fifth straight Beanpot championship. As noted on the BC athletic website, if the Eagles were to capture their fifth straight crown, they’d be one title shy of matching BU’s six straight championships from 1995-2000.

Yet, before we drop the puck, let’s meet all four teams that’ll be competing this afternoon and evening.

Boston College (19-4-3, 12-1-1) – Since falling to Holy Cross in November, the Eagles haven’t dropped a single contest. They have skated to a few ties, though, but have won various conference (Hockey East) and non-conference tilts.

On Friday, the Eagles defeated Providence College on the road, 2-0, thanks to Thatcher Demko, who earned his first-career shutout by stopping 30 shots. Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 21-straight contests by netting her 23rd goal of the season. Gaudreau leads the Hockey East in point scoring with 23 goals and 28 assists. Behind Gaudreau are Kevin Hayes (19 goals, 26 assists) and Bill Arnold (eight goals, 28 assists), two players that skate on the same line.

Under head coach Jerry York, the Eagles are 26-12 in the tournament and have won seven Beanpot crowns.

Boston University (8-14-3, 3-8-2) – The underdog Terries will look to earn their first win against Boston College this season, as well as claim their first title since defeating Northeastern in 2009, 5-2.

First-year head coach David Quinn told BU Today that winning this tournament would provide his squad with a ‘big psychological lift’ heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

As a team, the Terriers rank 10th in the Hockey East in scoring offense (2.48 goals per game), 11th in scoring defense (3.40 goals allowed per game), fifth on the power play (22-for-113), and have scored a majority of their goals in the second period (27). Ahti Oksanen leads the conference in power play points with four goals and nine assists, while first-year Nick Roberto has deposited seven shots and recorded 10 assists.

Harvard University (6-11-3, 3-9-3)It’s been quite some time since the Crimson skated into the championship contest. In fact, their last appearance occurred in 1994 when Harvard lost to Boston College in overtime, 2-1. Harvard’s last victory came a year earlier when they defeated Boston University, 4-2.

Ted Donato’s squad snapped a four-game skid on Friday by topping Princeton, 3-2. Harvard received three first-period goals from Greg Gozzo, Alexander Kerfoot and Jimmy Vesey to secure the win.

In 20 games this season, Harvard has registered 50 goals, 32 in ECAC conference play and 81 assists. The Crimson are averaging 2.50 goals per game.

Northeastern University (15-8-3, 8-5-1): The Huskies have been college hockey’s biggest surprise of the season. Predicted to finish last in the Hockey East, Northeastern is currently tied for second place with UMass Lowell.

Kevin Roy is tied for fifth in the conference in point scoring with 14 goals and 17 assists. He didn’t record a point in his team’s last outing against Notre Dame on January 25, but did register at least one point in the seven games prior to the Huskies’ 3-0 setback. Roy was named the tournament’s most valuable player last year. He was the first Northeastern skater to earn that honor since Bruce Racine did in 1988.

A win over Harvard would punch the Huskies’ ticket to their second consecutive Beanpot title, third in four seasons. Northeastern lost both championship contests to Boston College and haven’t hoisted the trophy since defeating Boston University in 1988.

Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Jan. 31-Feb. 2)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The first weekend of February is upon us, which means conference tournaments are right around the corner. Yet, before we worry about seeding, let’s dish out our five college hockey games to watch this weekend.

Men’s Ice Hockey:

Bentley at Mercyhurst (Fri. 7:05 p.m./Sat 7:05 p.m.) – First place in Atlantic Hockey is on the line this weekend. The Falcons, who’re two points behind Mercyhurst, will attempt to pick up two critical road victories. So far this season, Bentley is 7-6-2 on the road. As noted in this weekend’s preview, the Falcons’ power play unit is second in the country to St. Lawrence. Last weekend, they netted two power play goals, improving their percentage to 28.1 (27-for-96). As usual, keep an eye on Brett Gensler, who leads the unit in points (16 goals, 19 assists).

Amherst at No. 11 Trinity (Sat. 7:30 p.m.) – Since falling to Williams at Frozen Fenway, the Bantams have been on a roll, winning six straight contests, including two tilts last weekend against Connecticut College and Tufts University. They’ll look to extend their winning streak to seven on Saturday when they host Amherst, a squad they lost to earlier this season, 3-1. The Lord Jeffs return to conference play following a 3-1 setback to Lake Forest last Saturday. Amherst does own the third best NESCAC mark of 7-3, while Trinity is 8-2. The Bantams are currently the number one squad in the NESCAC in scoring offense (4.56), while Amherst is second in scoring defense (2.38 goals yielded), thanks to goaltender Dave Cunningham, who’s logged 774:36 minutes between the pipes.

Women’s Ice Hockey:

No. 3/5 Harvard at No. 9/9 Quinnipiac (Sat. 4 p.m.) – The Crimson will look to extend their current four-game winning streak to six by the end of the weekend (their first contest features a trip to Princeton on Friday evening). Harvard’s 2-0 win last Friday over Union was their 600th win, which is the most wins among Boston-area schools, according to this weekend’s preview. Miye D’Oench leads the Crimson with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists), while Hillary Crowe and Samantha Reber are tied for second with 17 points, respectively.

Providence at No. 7 Boston College (Sat. 2 p.m.) – The Eagles have won 12 of 13 contests (no losses, one tie in their last 13 games) and will look to keep their momentum going against a Friars squad that’s 2-2 in their last four contests. Andie Anastos, a fist-year forward, has recorded at least one point in her team’s last five outings. So far this season, she’s registered 11 goals and 14 assists.

Williams at Bowdoin (Fri. 7 p.m./ Sat. 3 p.m.) – The Ephs will look to extend their current winning streak to six games as they travel to Maine for an important conference series with the Polar Bears. First-year netminder Margaret Draper has been quite impressive this season, as she recently earned her third shut out when Williams blanked Colby last Saturday, 4-0. Meghan Gillis, Williams’ head coach, was quite pleased with her team’s effort against the Mules, but hopes her squad will continue to generate additional scoring chances in front of their opponent’s cage. Williams ranks second in scoring offense in the NESCAC and is averaging 3.50 goals per game.

Mass. College Hockey: Afternoon Scoreboard

By NoontimeSports.com

Here are the scores from this afternoon’s contest. Remember to check back tomorrow for notes on the various weekend tilts.

Men’s Ice Hockey

* No. 17 Vermont 6, Boston University 2

* No. 6 Babson 3, No. 9 UMass Boston 2

* No. 7 Williams 2, Bowdoin 1

* Wentworth 4, Becker 3 (OT)

* Fitchburg State 8, Framingham State 2

* Stonehill 4, Southern New Hampshire 2

* UMass Dartmouth 6, Westfield State 3

Women’s Ice Hockey

* Vermont 5, No. 9/10 Boston University 1

* Northeastern 8, Maine 2

* No. 7 Boston College 5, New Hampshire 3

* No. 5 Harvard 3, Rensselaer 1

* Castleton State 6, Nichols 2

* Holy Cross 3, Southern Maine 0

* Williams 4, Colby 0

* UMass Boston 3, St. Michael’s 1

Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means the weekend is finally here!

Below are a few college hockey games to watch this weekend. And as always, make sure to check back throughout the weekend for scores and roundups.

Men’s Ice Hockey:

No. 8 UMass Lowell vs. No. 7 Providence College (Fri-Sat): This weekend series will feature two of the top three goalies in the country ranked by save percentage, according to the Hockey East weekend preview. UML’s Connor Hellebuyck ranks first in Division 1 in save percentage (.946 save percentage), while Providence’s Jon Gillies is third (.936).

No. 11 Northeastern at No. 15 Notre Dame (Fri-Sat): The Irish enter this weekend’s tilt on a four-game winning streak, while the Huskies have won four of their last five. Both teams are in the top three in scoring offense in the conference. Notre Dame ranks second with 3.43 goals per game, while Northeastern is third with 3.38.

Bentley at Holy Cross (Sat. 7 p.m.): The Falcons will take their 12-8-3 overall mark on the road Saturday and look for their 13th win against the same squad they defeated at Citi Frozen Fenway a few weeks ago. Keep an eye on Bentley’s Brett Gensler, who enters the contest on a 12-game scoring streak (he’s netted at least one goal in seven of his team’s last night outings). On the opposite end, make sure to watch Matt Vidal and Adam Schmidt, two players that lead the Crusaders in points (14).

No. 6 Babson vs. No. 9 UMass Boston (Fri-Sat): The Beavers and Beacons rank second and third in the ECAC East conference, so expect a great weekend series, which begins in Boston and ends at Babson Park. Since falling to Norwich at Frozen Fenway, Babson has won its last three outings, while UMass Boston has won six of its last seven, including its matchup at Fenway Park against Salem State. Last season, the Beacons were 1-1-1 against the Beavers, including a 4-3 loss in the conference tournament.

Women’s Ice Hockey:

New Hampshire at Boston College (Sat-Sun): The Wildcats are the only Hockey East squad that’s defeated the Eagles this season, but since then BC has rebounded by winning 10 of their last 11 contests, while outscoring opponents, 46-19. Keep an eye on BC’s Haley Skarupa, who ranks fourth in the conference in points scoring (14 goals, 12 assists).  

Mass. College Hockey: Tuesday Evening Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

Despite the snow, two local hockey games occurred this evening and below are their scores and highlights.

Men’s Ice Hockey

Boston College 4, Merrimack 1: Kevin Hayes notched his 17th goal of the season, while Patrick Brown registered a goal and assist as the Eagles soared past the Warriors in North Andover. Mike Collins netted the lone goal for Merrimack, which happened to be his eighth tally of the season.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Williams 9, New England College 0: Cristina Bravi registered four assists and one goal (five points), while Eliza Noyes located the back of the New England College cage twice as the Ephs claimed their sixth win of the season. Williams finished the game with 68 shots and were 4-for-13 on the power play.

Mass. College Hoops: Saturday Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

Here are scores and highlight from some of today’s men’s and women’s basketball contests.

Men’s Basketball:

UNC 82, Boston College 71: The Tar Heels ballooned a four-point lead at intermission into an 11-point victory, their 11th overall win of the season. Ryan Anderson registered a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Olivier Hanlan led the Eagles with 16 points.

Holy Cross 61, Lehigh 42: Malcolm Miller registered 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 29 minutes as the Crusaders defeated Lehigh and improved to 3-3 in Patriot League play. David Dudzinski netted 10 points, while Justin Burrell added 11 points and two assists.

Bentley 78, AIC 64: Tyler McFarland was a perfect 12-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc as the sophomore forward netted 32 points in the Falcons’ 13th win of the season.

No. 5 WPI 64, Emerson 50: Sam Longwell netted a game-best 17 points, while Zach Karalis and Sean Doncaster scored nine points, respectively, as the Engineers defeated the Lions and earned their 11th straight win. Michael Thorpe led Emerson with 15 points.

No. 6 Amherst 82, Bates 71: David Kalema paced the Lord Jeffs with 20 points, while Aaron Toomey netted 19 points as Amherst defeated the Bobcats and improved to 4-0 in NESCAC play.

No. 10 Williams 69, Colby 62: Duncan Robinson scored a game-best 27 points, while Michael Mayer added 15 points and nine boards as the Ephs defeated the Mules and improved to 13-2 overall and 3-1 in NESCAC play.

Nichols 75, Wentworth 63: Ryan Sheehan recorded 18 points and eight rebound, while Sam Horning registered 11 points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist as the Bison extended their current winning streak to six games. Jherson Colon led Wentworth with 16 points.

Endicott 82, WNE 76: Lachlan Magee and John Henault combined for 35 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Gulls soared past the Golden Bears. Dennis Rinaldi led WNE with 19 points.

Bridgewater State 78, Worcester State 65: Michael Lofton stuffed the stat sheet for the Bears with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, which lifted the Bears over the Lancers. Brendan Rios led Worcester State with 18 points.

Salem State 80, Westfield State 75: Jon Perez recorded 20 points and six boards off the bench, which helped the Vikings edge the Owls in Salem. Grant Cooper led Westfield State with a double-double of 36 points and 14 rebounds.

UMass Dartmouth 103, Keene State 90: Ryan Walsh converted on 12-of-17 shots from the field, including three from beyond the arc as the first-year guard scored a game-best 29 points for the Corsairs.

MIT 55, Springfield 51: Justin Pedley scored a game-best 27 points, while Dakota Pierce netted 12 points as the Engineers defeated the Pride in Cambridge. Nick McKenna led Springfield with 14 points off the bench.

Babson 80, Wheaton 59: John Wickey and Joe Flannery combined for 40 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block as the Beavers defeated the Lyons in Norton. Agyei Gregory led the Lyons with a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards.

Women’s Basketball:

Lehigh 87, Holy Cross 82: Raquel Scott registered a double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds (11 on defense), but that wasn’t enough to lift the Crusaders past Lehigh in Pennsylvania. Alex Smith netted 19 points and recorded six boards, five assists and two steals in the setback.

No. 1 Bentley 84, AIC 46: Courtney Finn buried a school record eight triples and finished with a career-high 25 points as the Falcons defeated the Yellow Jackets in Springfield and improved to 16-0.

No. 21 Adelphi 95, Assumption 93: The Greyhounds’ 90+ point effort, which was the most they’ve scored since registering 92 points against Saint Michael’s on January 29, 2003, wasn’t enough to beat the Panthers, who registered 50 points in the second half. Shannon Ray led Assumption with 22 points, while Kelly Conley added 19 points, four boards, three assists and one steal.

No. 3 Amherst 88, Bates 54: Hannah Peterson scored a game-high 30 points, while Ali Doswell finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Lord Jeffs defeated the Bobcats in Maine.

No. 7 Tufts 68, Trinity 48: Hayley Kanner poured in 16 points, while Hannah Foley recorded nine points and seven rebounds as the Jumbos defeated the Bantams in Medford.

No. 18 Williams 71, Colby 54: Ellen Cook netted a team-high 15 points, which was also a game-high, while recording six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, which lifted the Ephs past the Mules in Williamstown.

WNE 53, Endicott 49: Ali Pessolano recorded 12 points, three rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes, which helped the Golden Bears even their overall mark at 7-7. Samantha Crough led the Gulls with 16 points.

Bridgewater State 63, Worcester State 48: Jenna Williamson scored a game-best 29 points, while adding eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, which helped the Bears defeat the Lancers in Worcester. Meghan Burns led the hosts with 14 points.

Wellesley 72. Mount Holyoke 47: The Blue claimed their 10th consecutive victory, 12th of the season, thanks to 17 points from Leslie Leong and 11 points by Morgyne Weaver.

Babson 68, Clark 65: The Beavers won their sixth consecutive NEWMAC contest and improved to 7-7 overall. Linnett Graber scored a team-high and game-high 18 points, while Kristen Ferola stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight boards, six assists and two steals. Emily Reilly led Clark with 14 points.

Mass. College Football: News & Notes From The Offseason

By Matt Noonan 

The 2013 college football season officially concluded last week when Auburn and Florida State competed in the BCS National Championship. And while it literally has been a week since the final game was played, there is some news to pass along from the current offseason regarding Boston College and UMass.

Boston College Welcomes Murphy and Silberman: As noted in the Boston Globe, the Eagles will welcome two transfers from the University of Florida that’ll be participating in their final year of eligibility. Fifth-year graduate transfers Tyler Murphy (QB) and Ian Silberman (OL) will both be competing for jobs on a squad that’ll look to fill graduating losses.

Murphy went 2-4 as a starter last season, and threw for 1,216 yards and six touchdowns.

Silberman, who began his team’s 2013 slate as an offensive tackle, moved to guard and played in eight games (started four games).

Mark Whipple Returns To UMass:  Former head coach Mark Whipple, who guided the Minutemen to the 1998 Division 1-AA national championship, was named the University of Massachusetts’ new head coach at yesterday’s news conference in Amherst.

Whipple inherits a Bowl Subdivision unit that posted a pair of 1-11 marks over the last two seasons.

“We will take this program to the next level,” Whipple told the Boston Globe. “We’re here to get jewelry. That’s the goal. It always has been at UMass, and always will be.”

Frozen Fenway: BC’s Jerry York Reflects On His Team’s Outdoor Win

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the third time in his coaching career, Boston College head coach Jerry York stood between third and second base in Fenway Park’s infield and coached his Alma mater’s hockey team against rival Notre Dame. And similar to his team’s last visit to the historic ballpark in 2012, the Eagles managed to escape the hallowed grounds with a one-goal victory.

BC's Jerry York guided his Eagles to a 4-3 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

BC’s Jerry York guided his Eagles to a 4-3 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

After the game concluded, York spoke with the media about the opportunity to participate in outdoor games.

“I thought (during) the summer, ‘Gee, we’re going to have another round,’ but it seems like the players were so excited. The NHL, beside the Winter Classic, has five more (outdoor games this season, which is) a total of six this year, but ours is different because it has always been in the same place the entire time,” said York, who is now 2-1 at Fenway Park.

“(In the NHL), they’re going to Los Angles (or) Ann Arbor, so they haven’t hosted before, but I think its pretty exciting and some how I would like to get the ice as if it were (using) indoor ice and that would be perfect.”

Frozen Fenway: Notre Dame’s Jackson – ‘We Got Close, But Not Close Enough’

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, Mass. – Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson felt his team responded well last night, despite falling to Boston College, 4-3, at Citi Frozen Fenway.

“I think we responded a couple of times (during the contest),” Jackson said. “We’ve done that a little bit more this year than past years and having a response after we get scored on, but the problem is you can’t have it happen three times.”

Notre Dame played catch up the entire evening as they erased one and two goal deficits in second and third periods, thanks to tallies from Mario Lucia, T.J. Tynan and Bryan Rust.

The Fighting Irish’s third goal, though, didn’t provide them with enough momentum to net the go-ahead strike as Boston College answered literally a minute after Rust’s fourth score of the season with the eventual game-winner at 8:21, which was recorded by Johnny Gaudreau.

“We came back twice,” said Jackson. “We got close, but not close enough.”

So far this season, Notre Dame is 10-8-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the Hockey East. They’ll have a chance to even the score with the Eagles in March when they return to Massachusetts for both teams’ final regular season contest on Saturday, March 1.

Frozen Fenway: BC’s Bill Arnold Reflects On His Fenway Experience

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – Growing up a few miles down the road from historic Fenway Park, Bill Arnold, who hails from Needham, never imagined that he’d get the chance to play his favorite sport on the same field as the Boston Red Sox.

Yet, since he arrived at Boston College in the fall of 2010, the senior center has had the opportunity to play hockey under the lights at Fenway not once, but twice.

Bill Arnold recorded three points last night in his team's 4-3 win over Notre Dame. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

Bill Arnold recorded three points last night in his team’s 4-3 win over Notre Dame. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

“Growing up they never had anything like this, so (it) never really crossed your mind that it it’s something that could happen. I watched it the year before (I arrived at Boston College) and was like ‘shucks, I would have really loved to do that,’ and to have them bring it back here for my sophomore and senior years is really amazing,” said Arnold.

“I grew up watching the Red Sox and being able to play here in this atmosphere brings you back to the times when you were a kid playing out on the pond with your parents, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Arnold was certainly a factor for the Eagles last night as he recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in his team’s 4-3 win over rival Notre Dame. His second assist set up the go-ahead goal, which was scored by Johnny Gaudreau at 8:21 in the third.

As noted in the release, last night’s three-point effort was Arnold’s third this season with a short-handed goal and a pair of assists.

Arnold currently ranks third on the team in points (26), but first in assists (21).