By Matt Noonan
It’s hump day (Wednesday), which means its time for our weekly ‘Mid-Week’ check-in, so here are some headlines and news swirling around Massachusetts:
* Northeastern University’s men’s ice hockey team snapped a three-game skid with an overtime win last night in Amherst, as the Huskies topped UMass, 5-4 in overtime. The win provided Northeastern with two very important points. However, if the Huntington Avenue unit wants to make the Hockey East tournament, they’ll have to start their quest with back-to-back wins against a Providence Friars squad on Friday and Saturday, which won’t be easy.
* Sticking with the Hockey East, Merrimack College remains a point ahead of Boston College in the standings. The Warriors beat the Eagles this past weekend in North Andover and haven’t dropped a single contest this month. Yet, they did tie Providence on Sunday, but that’s not a loss.
* Anna Maria’s men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 16-games last night, as they defeated Emmanuel College in the first round of the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) tournament, 85-76. Brad Peterson recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while Anthony Click filled the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block. The AMCATs will continue their quest toward conference glory on Thursday when they host St. Joe’s of Maine in the semifinals.
* The NESCAC hockey tournament kicks-off this weekend and you can certainly expect some great hockey to be played on numerous sheets of ice. Bowdoin College claimed the top spot in the men’s conference, while Middlebury secured the number one seed in the women’s conference. The Polar Bears have appeared in the championship match five times since 2000, while the Panthers seem determined to earn their third consecutive title. Yet, could Amherst College or Williams College be the spoilers?
* Bentley University’s women’s basketball team recently earned the top spot in this week’s Division II poll and will attempt to carry that momentum into this evening’s tilt against Franklin Pierce. According to yesterday’s press release, the Falcons are one win away from earing their third straight Northeast-10 Conference crown. Bentley clinched a share of the conference title last weekend with a win over Southern New Hampshire, but can secure the title for themselves with a victory against the Ravens.
* WPI’s Chris Bartley, who coaches the men’s basketball team, appeared this past Sunday on D3Hoops.com’s Hoopsville, an online radio show that airs twice a week. Bartley talked with host Dave McHugh about the Engineers season, as well as his team’s two setbacks to MIT and Springfield College. Bartley’s bunch will host the NEWMAC (New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference) semifinals and finals this weekend at Harrington Auditorium, and will play in the tournament’s first game against the winner of Babson College and Clark University.
* Finally, I’d like to congratulate Nichols College junior Ryan Sheehan, who has been named to the 2012-13 Capital One All-America Division III Men’s Basketball First Team. He earned a spot on this team by being selected by the College Sports Information Department of America (CoSIDA). Sheehan tallied a team-high 554 points in 25 games this season for the Bison, as well as led the unit with 100 free throws, too. His other team highs included 52 trifectas and 125 rebounds. The Bison season concluded last night with a loss to Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinals.