Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 15-17)
It’s Friday, which means it’s time to unveil our five college hockey games to watch this weekend. And as usual, make sure to keep tabs on your favorite teams by circling back to our blog for recaps and roundups.
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Men’s Ice Hockey:
Boston College at Merrimack College (Friday, 7:30 p.m.) – After earning their fourth consecutive Boston Beanpot crown, the Eagles will return to the ice this evening in what will be one of Hockey East’s biggest games of the weekend. The Warriors have won four of their last five contests and remain one point behind the Eagles in second place.
Boston College defeated Merrimack back on November 16, 4-3 in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles outshot the Warriors in that game, 42-26, but Warriors netminder Sam Marotta managed to turn away 38 shots between the pipes.
According to the conference’s recent release, Merrimack is 7-4-3 at home this season and 42-14-8 in their last four seasons.
The Eagles are the number one scoring offense in the league, so the Warriors defense, which is ranked second, will have to do their best at stopping Steven Whitney and Johnny Gaudreau.
Army vs. Bentley University (Friday, 7:05 p.m. @ Watertown, MA/ Saturday, 7:05 p.m. @ West Point, NY) – This is a critical weekend series for a Falcons. Army defeated Bentley on November 29, 3-2, and will look to earn an additional win this evening.
The Falcons are coming off two tough losses to Connecticut last weekend, a squad that’s currently three points ahead of them in the standings. If Bentley is able to pick up at least one or two wins this weekend, it’ll help their chances toward possibly hosting a first round home matchup in the Atlantic Hockey conference tournament.
Army leads the all-time series 23-16-7, while Bentley is 6-4-1 against the Black Knights since the 2008-09 season.
Norwich at UMass Boston (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) – The Beacons will attempt to even their season series with against a Cadets squad that defeated them a few weeks ago in Vermont.
Norwich remains the top team in the ECAC East and continues to receive votes as the best team in the land. However, their only two setbacks came against Babson College and Neumann.
UMass Boston has won three of their last four games and will face-off against St. Michaels this evening. Mike DeGrazia, who ranks 11th in points per game in the conference, has registered four goals and 14 assists this season for the Beacons, while Peter MacIntyre leads the unit with 18 goals.
Women’s Ice Hockey:
Northeastern University at Maine (Saturday, 2:00 p.m./ Sunday, 2:00 p.m. @ Orono, ME) – After earning their 16th Boston Beanpot championship on Tuesday, the Huskies will look to continue their momentum against the Black Bears, a squad they defeated earlier this season, 3-0.
Northeastern will certainly lean on Kendall Coyne, who was named the Beanpot tournament’s MVP with five points (three goals, two assists) in two games. Coyne is second in the Hockey East in point scoring with 29 goals and 22 assists. She netted two goals during her team’s win against Maine, as well as six shots on net.
Maine’s Brittany Dougherty leads the squad with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists), while Audra Richards right behind her with 13 points (seven goals, six assists).
Amherst College vs. Bowdoin College (Saturday 7:00 p.m./ Sunday 3:00 p.m. – Both games in Amherst, MA) – Consider this the battle of the twins.
Both Amherst and Bowdoin are 10-3-1 in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) and riding two-game winning streaks. However, while it’s highly doubtful we’ll see two back-to-back ties this weekend, this particular series should certainly determine second place in the conference.
Amherst enters the weekend having won two games against Trinity College. Their last three games at home featured back-to-back wins against Williams College, as well as a setback to Norwich University, the third best team in the country.
Bowdoin checked in as the seventh best team on this week’s D3Hockey.com poll and have won 10 of their last 14 games. The Polar Bears are the number one team in the conference in scoring offense and defense, while the Lord Jeffs are number one on the power play (18 of 72).