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.

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