Frozen Four: BU, Providence Advance To NCAA D1 Championship

Boston University's Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

Boston University’s Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of Hockey East teams will compete on Causeway Street on Saturday evening at the TD Garden as Boston University and Providence College earned Frozen Four semifinal victories on Thursday evening.

The Friars, who competed in the first semifinal match, defeated Nebraska-Omaha (4-1), while the Terriers skated past North Dakota (5-3).

BU’s Jack Eichel clinched the victory for the Terriers late in the third period when he sailed a shot into an open North Dakota net from behind the face-off circle, which halted a late rally.

Eichel opened the scoring for the Terriers, netting a back-handed shot off a rebound before Brandon Hickey doubled the Red and White’s advantage with a strike at 19:12 in the first period.

North Dakota sliced the deficit 44 seconds into the second frame when Luke Johnson slipped the puck past Matt O’Connor, but the Terriers responded with back-to-back tallies from A.J. Greer and Doyle Somerby that provided BU with a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of hockey.

Troy Stecher and Connor Gaarder closed the gap for North Dakota at 12:10 and 16:17, respectively, in the third period, but that would be the closest they would get to the Hockey East champions. O’Connor deflected 33-of-36 shots, while North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre turned away 23-of-27 attempts.

Providence’s Nick Saracino led the Friars with three-points (one goal and two assists) and set-up the game’s first and second tallies, which were recorded by Noel Acciari and Mark Jankowski. Saracino eventually located the back of the net in the third period, capping the Friars’ offensive outburst at 19:23.

Jon Gillies picked up his 23rd victory between the pipes, deflecting 25 shots, including nine attempts in the opening frame. Omaha’s Ryan Massa dipped to 14-8-6 and recorded a game-high 44 stops. Massa’s 14 wins were the most the senior goaltender has recorded with the Mavericks.

Omaha’s Jake Guentzel recorded the Mavericks’ lone goal of the contest – his 14th of the season – at 10:46 in the third period. The loss ended Omaha’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance run.

Mass. College Lax: Wednesday Roundup

Despite the cold weather, Harvard was able to capture their 2014 home-opener against Holy Cross. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Despite the cold weather, Harvard was able to capture their 2014 home-opener against Holy Cross. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

There were a few local lacrosse contest that occurred today and below are their outcomes and summaries.

Men’s Lacrosse

Providence 10, Boston University 7: Pat Myers recorded the first hat trick in program history, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Terriers to their first win. The Friars led the Terriers, 7-5, at the break before they pushed ahead for good with two strikes in the third quarter. BU’s Christian Carson finished with 14 saves.

Harvard 17, Holy Cross 9: Deke Burns netted four goals and dished out one assist, while Will Walker recorded a hat trick as the Crimson cruised to their first victory of the season. Terry McKenna netted four goals for Holy Cross.

Keene State 12, Western New England 10: Trailing by three goals at intermission, the Golden Bears rallied by scoring six goals in the third quarter, but the Owls responded with four goals in the final session to secure their first win of the season. Adam Knapton paced WNE with four goals, while Keegan Dudeck registered two goals and one assist.

Women’s Lacrosse

Springfield 19, East Conn. 1: Kelly Gallo recorded four goals and two assists, while Jennifer McDonough netted five goals as the Pride picked up their first win of the season.

Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 14 -16)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend quickly approaching, it is time to unveil our five games to watch this weekend. As always, make sure to circle back for updates. You can also follow along with in-game updates on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), too.

Men’s Ice Hockey

No. 1 Boston College @ No. 14 Vermont (Friday, Feb. 14 / Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Eagles will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Vermont for a weekend series.

BC is coming off their fifth-straight Boston Beanpot title as they defeated Northeastern, 4-1. Johnny Gaudreau, who netted one goal during his team’s win against the Huskies, is averaging 2.00 points per game. He currently leads all Division 1 skaters with 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 points.

Army vs. Bentley (Friday, Feb. 14 @ Army/ Saturday, Feb. 15 @ Bentley) – With three weeks of Atlantic Hockey remaining, the Falcons will look to keep pace Mercyhurst, the top squad in the conference.

The Falcons returned to the win column after dropping back-to-back tilts to the Lakers and UConn by finishing last weekend’s series with a 4-1 win over the Huskies. Jared Rickord, Justin Breton and Brett Switzer each netted one goal in the opening frame to provide Bentley with the lead for good.

Army and Bentley have met once this season with the Falcons claiming a 5-2 victory in West Point, New York. Similar to their last contest against UConn, Bentley used a 2-0 lead to secure their second victory of the season against the Black Knights.

Army will look to snap an 11-game skid, while the Falcons will attempt to end the weekend with back-to-back victories.

According to the weekend preview, Bentley needs just one more point to clinch a top-eight spot and a home series for the first round of their conference’s tournament.

No. 3 Babson @ No. 9 Norwich (Friday, Feb. 14) – Since falling to the Cadets at Frozen Fenway, the Beavers have won eight of nine contests. Their non-win was a 3-3 tie against Castleton State.

Babson is currently the top squad in the ECAC East with a 19-3-1 overall mark and leads Norwich by three points. The Beavers, who’ll travel to St. Michael’s tomorrow, needs to win one of their final two contests to secure their first conference regular-season crown since the 1989-90 season. Babson, though, has secured the right to host a quarterfinal and semifinal matchup.

Mike Driscoll currently leads the Green and White in points (23) and goals (11), while Nik Tasiopoulos is second in goals (10).

Women’s Ice Hockey

Boston University vs. Providence College (Saturday, Feb. 15 @ BU/ Sunday, Feb. 16 @ Providence) – The Terriers will look to bounce back following their two Beanpot losses with a weekend series against Providence, a squad that defeated BU earlier this season.

BU’s Sarah Lefort ranks first in Hockey East in point scoring (47), goal scoring (27) and assist scoring (20). Lefort’s teammate, Louise Warren, is second in point scoring (37) and goal scoring (22).

Trinity (Conn.) @ No. 7 Amherst (Friday, Feb. 14/ Saturday, Feb. 15) – With two more weekends remaining, the Lord Jeffs will look to earn a weekend sweep, along with some points, too. Amherst is currently third in the conference, one point behind rival Williams, which has 18 points.

Since the calendar turned, the Lord Jeffs are 2-0-1. They finished a weekend series with Connecticut College two weeks ago by defeat the Camels, 3-0, before earning a win and tie against the Ephs last weekend. Anne Gillard and Eileen Harris each potted one goal during their team’s last outing, while Yuna Evans deflected 26-of-28 saves.

Trinity enters the weekend series third in the NESCAC in scoring offense; they’re averaging 3.00 goals per game, while Amherst is four with 2.90. The Lord Jeffs scoring defense (1.70 goals per game) is second behind Middlebury, while Trinity is third (2.10).

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).  

Frozen Fenway: Merrimack 1, Providence 1 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – Providence College’s Steven Shamanski potted the equalizer at 9:49 in the third period as the Friars and Merrimack College skated to a 1-1 tie at Citi Frozen Fenway. 

Merrimack’s Mike Collins provided the Warriors with a 1-0 lead at 7:23 in the third on a power play before Shamanski netted a power play goal literally two minutes later.

Providence finished the game with 33 shots on goal, while Merrimack registered 31.

Nick Ellis (3-2-1), Providence’s goaltender, turned away 30 shots between the pipes, while Rasmus Tirronen (3-3-3) deflected 32 shots.

Merrimack and Providence each return to action next Friday, January 10 as the Friars travel to Boston College, while the Warriors head to Clarkson. Both tilts are scheduled for 7 p.m.