Tag: NESCAC Ice Hockey

Mass. College Sports: Mid-Week Check In

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.

Mass. College Hockey: Babson-Williams Highlights (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

On Tuesday evening, Babson College and Williams College skated to a 3-3 tie in an intriguing non-conference tilt.

The Ephs led the Beavers by one goal midway through the final frame, but a power play strike from Mike Driscoll allowed the Green and White to secure a tie.

Williams still holds a 19-17-3 advantage in this particular series, and Tuesday’s outcome marked the third time these two squads have finished with a tie in 39 meetings.

Below we’ve provided some highlights from the contest courtesy of the Babson College athletic department’s YouTube page.

Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Jan. 11-12)

Johnny Gaudreau and the No. 2 Boston College Eagles will face-off against No. 4 New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)
Johnny Gaudreau and the No. 2 Boston College Eagles will face-off against No. 4 New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s the second Friday of 2013, and below are some intriguing hockey matchups to watch this this weekend in the college hockey world. I will be at Maine-Northeastern this evening, which should be an intriguing match, but here are five games I’ll be watching:

Men’s Ice Hockey

Boston College vs. New Hampshire (Friday/Saturday) – This is probably the marquee matchup of the weekend, as the top two men’s Hockey East squad’s face-off in Chestnut Hill on Friday and Durham on Saturday. New Hampshire’s Austin Block has scored 10 goals this season, but hasn’t found the back of the net in 2013. Johnny Gaudreau is back from his short stint with Team U.S.A., which won the world junior championship in Russia recently, and will look to provide the Eagles with spark against the fourth ranked Wildcats. PREDICTION: My guess is that both teams split this weekend series. Obviously, Gaudreau’s return will ignite Boston College and their fans, but something tells me that New Hampshire will lose on Friday, but win at home on Saturday.

Boston University at Merrimack College (Friday) – The Warriors have been playing some decent hockey as of recently, while the Terriers are coming off a depressing 6-5 overtime loss to Harvard this past week. Can Jack Parker’s boys turn things around? We’ll see! Prediction: The Terriers loss to the Crimson was obviously a shocker, so it will be interesting to see if Boston University can rebound in a critical conference game. Merrimack is 2-1-1 in their last four games and coming off a 4-1 win against Vermont.

UMass Boston at Norwich University (Friday) – The Beacons have certainly been a pleasant surprise this season and haven’t appeared in the loss column since losing by one goal to Castleton State in November. Six different Beacons found the back of the net in their last contest against Johnson & Wales, while their penalty-kill helped them earn their ninth win of the season. UMass Boston is riding a seven-game winning streak, while Norwich is 1-1 in their last two games. Prediction: I have always been a fan of the underdog and would love to see UMass Boston somehow provide the top team in Division III with its second loss. If the Beacons play smart, fundamental hockey, they should be able to keep things close with the Cadets. Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kyle Thomas or Pier-Olivier Cotnoir powers Norwich to their 13th win of the season.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Cornell University at Northeastern University (Saturday) – You couldn’t ask for a better afternoon matinee between two solid clubs. The Huskies are coming off an upsetting loss to Boston College and have seesawed in the win and loss column over the past few weeks. However, a win against the Big Red would be huge for Dave Flint’s squad. Cornell hasn’t skated since December, which could bode well for the Huskies. Prediction: This is a critical game for Northeastern. Cornell is 10-3 and 1-1 against the Hockey East. If the Huskies can somehow score early and maintain their momentum, then expect Northeastern to earn their sixth win of the season.

Amherst College at Middlebury College (Friday and Saturday) – For the second straight week, the Panthers remain the third best team in women’s Division III hockey. Middlebury currently remains the top squad in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) too, but right behind them is Amherst College, a squad that’s won four straight. Both teams have won five conference games this season, but the Lord Jeffs four losses in 2012 seem to be a thing of the past. Amherst’s Geneva Lloyd was named this week’s NESCAC Women’s Hockey Player of the Week following her two goal, four assist night against Colby College last weekend, which made her the seventh player in program history to tally 100 career points. Prediction: The Jeffs have won four of their last five contests and know two losses could hurt their chances of a conference crown. I think both teams split the series. Middlebury has only one loss this season, which came against Plattsburgh State in November. 

Mass. College Hockey: A Few Thoughts On Div. III Hockey

By Matt Noonan 

Earlier today, we provided a few notes and thoughts about the Div. III college basketball season. And now, here are a few notes on the current hockey season.

* According to the latest poll on D3Hockey.com, Amherst College and Williams College are the only men’s teams from the state that earned spots on the Top-15 list. The Ephs are currently 6-2 overall, and have won five-of-six games in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference).

* Amherst recently snapped a two-game skid with a win against Middlebury College. The Lord Jeffs are currently 5-3-1 overall, and have won four-of-six NESCAC meetings.

* According to the most recent NESCAC men’s ice hockey release, the Lord Jeffs rank second in the conference in scoring defense. The purple and white are yielding roughly 1-2 goals per contest, while their offense ranks ninth.

* They’re not from the Bay State, but Norwich University’s men’s team is a perfect 10-0. They’re currently one of the best teams in the country, and will square off against a few Massachusetts teams in a few weeks.

* Peter Belisle’s UMass Boston Beacons haven’t skated on a sheet of ice since defeating Southern Maine, 5-2. The Beacons ended the first half of their slate with a five-game winning streak and will attempt to keep their momentum going against Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday, January 5.

* Western New England College continues to be the top squad in the ECAC Northeast. However, I wouldn’t count out Curry College, Nichols College or Wentworth. All three teams can certainly challenge the Golden Bears, especially if they remain out of the penalty box.

* Plymouth State remains atop the MASCAC (Massachusetts State Athletic Conference), but UMass Dartmouth and Salem State are on their tail. The Vikings from Salem have won three straight, and will attempt to keep their winning ways going on Monday, December 31, against Colby College.

* The Amherst women’s ice hockey team has won two consecutive contests, as well as remains the second best team in the NESCAC. The Lord Jeffs will commence the New Year with two back-to-back contests against Colby before they travel to Vermont to face-off against Middlebury College.

* Holy Cross’ women’s team concluded the first half of their schedule with two tough losses to Bowdoin College and Norwich. However, the Crusaders were able to squeak out a victory against Connecticut College to earn a 7-4-1 overall record.