Prudhomme: Recapping An Exciting First Weekend of New England D3 Hockey

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Curry College celebrates a 3-2 victory over Buffalo State last weekend at the Buffalo State Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Buffalo State Sports Information Department)

By Kyle Prudhomme | @KylePrudhomme 

The opening weekend of New England D3 college hockey season saw 31 games played with some team’s already enjoying successful starts to their respective campaigns.

Assumption College men’s hockey is off to a quick 2-0 start. They have outscored its opponents, 12-2, including an eight-goal performance to close the weekend.

The Greyhounds were not the only team itching to find the net multiple times this past weekend as UMass Boston scored nine goals in its season-opener, while five other teams finished with five or more tallies.

In terms of my first week of predictions, they need some work as I finished 5-5 in my declarations with the tie coming from Endicott College and Norwich University (the two teams skated to a highly-contested 3-3 tie).

Also, regarding my predictions from last week, I am a bit surprised that the Cadets women’s team was knocked off 4-2 by Elmira College in a rematch of last year’s national championship, but I am holding onto the idea that we will get round three later this season.

I can say that I was spot on with Curry College as the Colonels began their season by winning the Buffalo State Tournament. In the opening round of last week’s two-day tournament, Vilhelm Peltonen netted his first collegiate marker in a 2-2 tie with Nazareth College before the Purple and White scored an exciting 3-2 win over Buffalo State, thanks to a game-winning strike from Viktor Jansson.

One thing I did notice from this past weekend was various men’s teams received multiple points (goals or assists), beginning with Mike Moran, who located the back of the net twice for Worcester State against Becker College (his final goal happened to be the difference in a 3-2 win).

Jack Kelly logged two goals for Suffolk University in a 7-0 rout of Franklin Pierce, while Justin Collins registered two goals and Aaron Clancy dished out three assists in Westfield State’s 6-3 triumph against Western New England.

On Saturday, Nick Rosa’s two goal-outing helped Babson College double up Saint Anselm, 4-2.

Of course, there were more multi-point skaters from this past weekend, but these were a few names that caught my attention.

Let’s highlight some women’s hockey from this past weekend, beginning with Franklin Pierceearning its 100th win in program history.

On Friday, the Ravens knocked off Plymouth State, 2-0, behind 24 saves from Kelly Turney before Nicole Amato’s hat-trick powered the team to a 6-1 win against Becker. The five-goal win over the Hawks lifted the Ravens to their 100th win in program history – congrats, everyone!

UMass Boston interim head coach Dom Lozzi picked up her first career win behind the bench as returners Jane Morrisette and Katie Leffler finished with two goals and two assists, respectively, in a 5-2 win over Stevenson.

Prior to her team’s three-goal win over the Mustangs, Lozzi praised her unit for being prepared for a successful first weekend. She also gave a nod to the program’s former coach Lindsay Berman, too.

“The last three years, coach Berman did an amazing job with them,” said Lozzi. “We are very experienced up front and they are a really great group of leaders. The fact this whole fall has not felt like much of a transition is a testament to that leadership.”

Suffolk University’s women’s hockey team competed in its first two contests in program history against Nichols College, and although the outcomes were not ideal, the effort from a freshmen filled team is certainly commendable.

Against Nichols last Friday, Haley Poloskey netted a pair of goals, including the program’s first goal at 11:32 in the opening frame. Shana Cote and Jesse Kennedy each recorded one assist in the setback, while Kristen Caporusso turned aside 27 of 32 shots.

On Saturday, Payton Dockus potted the first goal for the team’s first lead of the series before Nichols rallied to score a 2-1, thanks to a power play goal late in the third period by Jordyn McGuire.

Prior to the team’s second game of the season, Suffolk President Marisa Kelly dropped a ceremonial puck to celebrate the start of women’s ice hockey.

Suffolk coach Taylor Wasylk knows her team will endure some ups and downs this season, but is confident that the Rams’ effort and dedication will help them become the program they aspire to be down the road.

“If we show up and play our game then I think we can match up with any team on our schedule,” said Wasylk. “It is all about right now. We are a very, very young team so it is about maturing a little bit, we got a little bit of growing up to do on the ice.”


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Mass. College Hockey: BU Women’s Wins Third Straight Hockey East Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Boston University sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the women’s ice hockey team, which captured its third straight Hockey East crown this afternoon with a 3-2 win over archival Boston College:

HYANNIS, Mass. –  The Boston University women’s ice hockey team won its third straight Hockey East championship after a 3-2 come-from-behind win over fourth-ranked and top-seeded Boston College on Sunday afternoon at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.

BU (24-12-1) trailed by a goal entering the third period, but a power-play goal by senior captain Louise Warren and freshman Maddie Elia’s game-winner within the first 8:12 of the frame propelled the Terriers back to the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year. BU joins New Hampshire as the only schools with four or more conference crowns.

The Terriers will visit No. 1 Minnesota in a rematch of last season’s national championship game. The quarterfinal contest will be played at Ridder Arena at 5 p.m. ET. BC (27-6-3) also advanced to the national tournament with an at-large bid, making it the third straight year that both schools have made the final eight.

Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season after her second straight 40-plus save performance of the weekend. She stopped 119 of the 125 shots she faced during the three tournament tilt, including all 18 that BC threw at her in the final frame. The North Reading, Mass., native is the second back-to-back MVP honoree in the 12-year tournament history and won her last nine Hockey East tournament starts, which is a league record.

Sophomore Rebecca Russo tallied a goal and assisted on Elia’s winner. Senior Kaleigh Fratkin had an assist, as did sophomore Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga and junior Shannon Stoneburgh. Fratkin, Russo, Sperry and Warren were all chosen for the All-Tournament Team.

Dana Trivigno gave BC a 1-0 lead just 1:15 into the proceedings, but Russo tied the game at the 8:04 mark with her second power-play goal of the weekend. After the Eagles cleared the zone, Stoneburgh retrieved the puck and went indirect off the boards to Russo in the neutral zone. The sophomore forward skated into the BC zone and beat Corinne Boyles (31 saves) with a wrister from the slot for her 11th goal of the season.

Sperry and the Terrier penalty killers were tasked with killing two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play after sophomores Sarah Lefort and Dakota Woodworth each took a penalty on the same shift. They came through in fine style and held the Eagles to just one shot on goal.

BC took a 2-1 lead into the second period thanks to a Taylor Wasylk goal with 26 seconds to play in the first. Sophomore Jordan Juron thought she tied the game early in the second stanza when her shot bounced off Boyles and appeared to cross the goal line. Video replay confirmed that Boyles gloved the puck on the line just in time to keep the Eagles on top. The Terriers outplayed the Eagles in the middle frame, outshooting BC by a 14-5 margin.

Warren tied the game, 2-2, with the Terriers’ second power-play goal of the game at the 2:50 mark of the third period. Sophomore Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga cycled the puck to Fratkin, who fired the perfect pass to Warren in front. She redirected it past Boyles for her 27th strike of the season.

Elia provided the tournament-winner at the 8:12 juncture of the period. Off an offensive-zone draw, Russo’s initial shot was turned aside by Boyles, but Elia collected the rebound, wrapped around the cage and tucked the puck into the back of the net for her 13th goal of the season.

The Eagles pressed in the final five minutes, but Sperry was sharp in turning aside all eight shots she faced within that time frame. Boyles was pulled in favor of an extra attacker with 1:02 remaining in regulation, but the Terriers held BC to just one shot on goal in the final minute.

BU has won all three tournaments decided in Hyannis. The Terriers went 3-1-0 against the WCHA this season, including two wins over Minnesota Duluth.

36th Women’s Boston Beanpot: Boston College Tops Northeastern, 3-0

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 36th Women’s Boston Beanpot tournament concluded this evening with Boston College defeating Northeastern University, 3-0, at Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill.

BC, which hadn’t won the tournament since defeating Harvard 3-1 in 2011, earned its fifth title in program history. The win also avenged last year’s 4-3 setback to Northeastern.

Taylor Wasylk provided the Eagles with the lead for good when she netted her 10th goal of the season at 16:02 in the first period. BC’s lead would increase to 3-0 in the third, thanks to power play strikes by Meagan Mangene and Melissa Bizzari

BC’s Corinne Boyles improved to 18-5-2 between the pipes as she stopped 25 shots, including 12 during the final frame, while Andie Anastos finished the contest with two assists.

Northeastern netminder Chloe Desjardins deflected 27 of 30 shots, while Katie MacSorley fired eight shots on net.

BC and Northeastern will each return to action on Saturday, February 15 as the Eagles travel to Maine for a 1 p.m. face-off, while the Huskies host Connecticut for a 2 p.m. face-off.

36th Women’s Beanpot: BC, Northeastern To Face-Off In Beanpot Championship

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston College Eagles and Northeastern University Huskies will meet for the second straight year in the 36th Annual Women’s Beanpot Championship. Both squads met last year in the title game with the Huskies prevailing, 4-3.

Boston University and Harvard University, two squads that met in last year’s consolation match, will face-off against each other in the early contest next Tuesday, February 11.

Below are summaries from Tuesday’s semifinal contests.

No. 7 BC 4, BU 1: The Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. BC’s Haley Skarupa netted two goals, one on a power play in the opening session and the other at 17:47 in the third, while Taylor Wasylk, who scored the Eagles first strike of the evening, finished with two points (one goal, one assist). BU’s Sarah LeFort registered her 22nd goal of the season in second period, but that didn’t spark a rally for the Terriers.

Northeastern 4, No. 3/5 Harvard 3: Kelly Wallace recorded two goals, while Colleen Murphy and Hayley Masters each netted one goal as the Huskies edged the Crimson. Harvard’s Mary Parker registered two goals — one in the second and one in the third — while Samantha Reber scored the team’s final goal at 15:02 in the third. 

Mass. College Hockey: D1 Notebook

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend of college hockey in the books, it’s time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Division 1 Notebook.

Men’s Ice Hockey:

* Merrimack College’s Dan Kolomatis was named this weekend’s Hockey East Player of the Week after he posted five points in two days. The junior defensemen recorded two assists in Friday’s 3-2 setback to Mercyhurst before he recorded two assists and one goals (three points) on Saturday.

* Northeastern University’s Mike Szmatula was named this week’s Pro Ambitions Co-Rookie of the Week by registering two assists and one goal against Holy Cross. Massachusetts’s junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz was the other recipient, who finished the weekend with 62 saves against Michigan State.

* After four games, NU’s Kevin Roy leads all skaters with nine points (five goals and four assists). He’s averaging 2.25 points per game. Szmatula is second overall with eight points (one goal, seven assists), while Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau ranks third with seven points (two goals, five assists).

* Switching gears, Harvard begins its 2013-14 campaign on Saturday when they host Bentley for a 7:30 p.m. face-off. The two teams met last year with Harvard prevailing, 5-0.

Games To Watch:

* Keep an eye on UMass Lowell vs. Michigan State, two teams that have sustained a few bumps out of the starting gate. MSU dropped two straight last weekend, while UML fell to Quinnipiac. Both games will be played in Michigan and are apart of the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge.

* Another game to watch is Northeastern vs. St. Lawrence. The Huskies are off to a 4-0 start, and will look to keep their early season momentum going.

* Finally, make sure to track Boston University vs. Michigan. The Terriers have won three of their last four contests and will look to earn a fourth or fifth win before the weekend concludes.

Women’s Ice Hockey:

* Harvard’s Sarah Edney recorded a goal and an assist for the Crimson in her team’s first win last weekend against McGill. The Crimson return to the ice this weekend with two early ECAC conference tilts against Quinnipiac and Princeton.

* BC’s Taylor Wasylk was named this week’s Hockey East Player of the Week after registering four points in her team’s three contests last week. Wasylk netted the game-winner against Yale University, a short-handed goal, along with one goal and an assist in the Eagles’ 7-2 victory against Dartmouth College.

* In six contests this season, BC’s Haley Skarupa has recorded seven goals and five assists. She commenced the season with five goals and two assists in her team’s first two contests.

Games to Watch:

* Coming off back-to-back losses to Cornell University, Northeastern will look to bounce back against Providence College. Neither team has faced a conference foe this season, so obviously these two games are important. Friday’s contest will be in Boston, while Saturday’s matinee will take place in Providence.

* Boston University will host Yale on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Terriers dropped their first contest of the season last weekend to Robert Morris; while the Bulldogs are coming off a 4-3 setback to the Eagles.