Tag Archives: Connor Hellebuyck

Mass. College Hockey: BC Tops UML, Advances To 2014 Frozen Four

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston College men’s ice hockey team netted a pair of goals in the final frame, which helped the Eagles defeat UMass Lowell, 4-3, on Sunday in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final at the DCU Center in Worcester.

With the win, BC advances to the Frozen Four and will face-off against Union College, which captured the East Region with a 3-1 win over Providence College last night.

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, BC rallied with back-to-back strikes from Ryan Fitzgerald and Ian McCoshen to secure a one-goal lead. The River Hawks tried to net the equalizer, but the Eagles’ defense, along with goaltender Thatcher Demko shut the door on their opponent’s attempts. Demko turned away 29 of 32 shots, while UML’s backstop, Connor Hellebuyck, finished with 25 stops.

Both teams swapped goals in the first and second period before UML earned its first and only lead in the third with an Evan Campbell unassisted tally.

Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold also scored goals from BC, while UML’s Michael Kapla and Josh Holmstrom each located the back of the Eagles cage.

UML converted on one of three power plays, as well as outshot the Eagles, 32-29.

BC (28-7-4) will return to the ice on Thursday, April 10 when they take on the Dutchmen, while UML concludes its season 26-11-4).

Mass. College Hockey: UML Tops UNH, Claims Second Straight Hockey East Crown

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, UMass Lowell claimed the Hockey East crown as the River Hawks skated past University of New Hampshire, 4-0, on Saturday evening at the TD Garden.

With the win, UMass Lowell is now 2-2 in title contests. Their last win occurred last season when the River Hawks defeated Jack Parker and the Boston University Terriers.

Similar to their semifinal contest against Notre Dame last night, the River Hawks scored two goals in both the first and second periods. They also relied on their backstop, Connor Hellebuyck, who deflected 30 shots and was named the Hockey East Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I thought we started the game rather well,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin, who guided the River Hawks to its second consecutive Hockey East championship.

“(The) first and second periods obviously were very opportunist and getting off to that type of lead certainly eases attention, but it didn’t make it easier in the third, I can tell you that.”

A.J. White provided the River Hawks with an early lead as he redirected a shot in front of the New Hampshire cage at 12:12.

UMass Lowell netted its second goal literally three minutes later as Josh Holmstrom fired a shot past a diving Casey DeSmith (26 saves), which provided the River Hawks with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Joe Gambardella and Jake Suter each netted goals in the middle frame that pushed the River Hawks ahead by four goals.

New Hampshire ramped up its intensity during the final minutes of the third period; desperately trying to find a goal, but Hellebuyck and the River Hawks defense dashed any hopes of a potential comeback.

“It was a strange game,” said New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile, who guided the Wildcats to the title game following a series win last weekend against Northeastern University and a semifinal victory last night against Providence College.

“I thought our team competed, we played hard, (but) it just didn’t happen. Eric (Knodel) and the seniors have been a great group for us with great leadership and the difficult part is it’s a team with great chemistry, we wanted to keep going, (but) not only were they winning and playing hard, but we were enjoying it and having fun doing it and its tough for the season to end.”

UMass Lowell finished with 35 shots on net, while New Hampshire fired 30 shots. The River Hawks were one for four on the power play, thanks to their final goal by Suter, while the Wildcats were unsuccessful on two attempts.

UMass Lowell, which will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will look to build on its success this weekend when they return to the ice next week. The River Hawks made it to semifinals (Frozen Four) last year, but lost to Yale University, 3-2.

“Tonight, like I told you, it wasn’t a work of art, but we found a way and that’s a good trait of a winning club,” said Bazin. “This year was such a grueling year. We’re going to give them some time off here before we play next week and we’re going to make sure we keep working on special teams, (which) seems to be the difference in all these games. Thankfully for us we were one for four I believe tonight, scoring another power play goal. Yesterday, we scored a couple, so from that standpoint it has been the difference and will be for all teams.”

Mass. College Hockey: UML Tops Notre Dame In Hockey East Semis, 4-0

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – The UMass Lowell men’s ice hockey team is headed back to the Hockey East Championship.

The River Hawks, who’ll compete for their second consecutive conference title tomorrow evening against either New Hampshire or Providence College, blanked Notre Dame, 4-0, in the Hockey East semifinals on Friday evening at the TD Garden.

“It was a great win,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin, who guided the River Hawks to 24-10-4 overall record this season.

“I felt the guys were on cue this morning in the pregame skate and they certainly were. I thought we were sharp, our special teams capitalized and that’s always a big factor.”

Christian Folin provided the River Hawks with the lead for good in the opening session by firing home a pass from A.J. White from the nearside circle, which bounced of Notre Dame’s Kevin Lind’s skate and trickled into the Fighting Irish net at 10:13.

Derek Arnold doubled his team’s advantage roughly three minutes later when he raced down the nearside wing and rifled a shot past Steven Summerhays (18 saves), which provided the River Hawks with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

“Notre Dame had a line rush and we were back-checking. Zack Kamrass made a great play standing up with a great stick, a poke check and I was coming back and picked up that puck from Zack and I just went off to the races,” Arnold said of his first period goal, which was his 11th tally of the season. “I saw little daylight, so I went with it.”

UML added to its total by potting two more goals in the second period. Evan Campbell netted a rebound in front of the Notre Dame cage before Kamrass blasted an attempt from the nearside circle. Both goals were power play strikes.

“I thought we capitalized on our chances,” Bazin said. “It’s always important to do that against good competition and in (the) playoffs you don’t get that many opportunities, so when you can capitalize on two power plays and start with a lead that helps.”

According to the Hockey East website, UMass Lowell has registered 31 power play goals on 148 attempts this year, while Notre Dame has stopped 144 of 171 attempts. The Fighting Irish had one power play in this evening’s contest, but was unable to push the puck past UML’s Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 35 shots and earned his 11th career shutout.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s definitely a milestone in my life and I am very thankful for the opportunity that Lowell’s give me and I don’t think I would be setting any records if it wasn’t for the team I have in front of me too,” said Hellebuyck. “It’s not just me it’s them too.”

With tonight’s setback, Notre Dame falls to 23-14-2 overall. The Fighting Irish are now 0-3 this season against the River Hawks, as they dropped back-to-back contests in Lowell in November.

Notre Dame will most likely continue its 2013-14 campaign next weekend, but won’t know its next foe until the NCAA Division 1 bracket is released on Sunday, March 23.

“It’s not easy getting (to the semifinals),” said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson. “You have to take advantage of it when you do.

“Getting to the Boston (TD) Garden, it should be everything and that’s what we all should be striving for and having a chance to win in this environment…so when you get here you have to enjoy the experience and take advantage of it.”

UMass Lowell will look to even its conference championship mark at 2-2 tomorrow with a win. They hadn’t won a Hockey East crown until they defeated Jack Parker’s Boston University Terriers last March, 1-0.

“The first time’s hard, but the second time is even harder,” said Arnold, who netted the game-winner last year against the Terriers. “We put ourselves in a position to go after another championship and we’re going to prepare properly tonight and tomorrow and go for that.”

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: UMass Lowell 2, Providence 1 (Game Summary)

UML's Scott Wilson secured the River Hawks a spot in Saturday's Hockey East Championship with a goal at 12:30 in the third! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)

UML’s Scott Wilson secured the River Hawks a spot in Saturday’s Hockey East Championship with a goal at 12:30 in the third! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – Scott Wilson punched UMass Lowell’s ticket to the Hockey East Championship for the first time since 2009 as he deposited his 15th strike of the season at 12:30 in the third period.

Wilson corralled a loose puck around center ice, connected with a streaking Riley Wetmore down the far boards before he received the puck in the slot and fired home the game-winner past Providence netminder Jon Gillies (31 saves).

Providence (17-14-7) earned the lead off a shot from Kevin Rooney, his first collegiate goal at 8:59 in the first before UMass Lowell (25-10-2) responded with a strike from A.J. White 34 seconds into third, which tied the game.

Neither squad capitalized on the power play, as both units concluded the contest a combined 0 for 9.

UMass Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck, who leads the conference in goals against (1.46), save percentage (.946) and winning percentage (.895), recorded a season-best 34 saves.

The River Hawks will face-off against the winner of BC-BU tomorrow at 7 p.m. UMass Lowell has appeared in two conference championships (’94 and ’09), but lost both matches to the Terriers.    

« Older Entries