Monday, March 15, 2010

WILL O’NEILL NAMED HOCKEY EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK

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Wakefield, Mass. - In the first weekend of 2010 Hockey East Tournament action, the games proved to be to an exciting beginning to the second season, launching Hockey East fans into the playoff atmosphere around New England on the Road to the Garden. No. 8 Vermont upset the regular-season champion and top seeded UNH in an overtime thriller on Sunday, while No. 4 Maine knocked off No. 5 UMass-Lowell in overtime in the decisive third game. No. 2 Boston College defeated No. 7 UMass in two games, while No. 3 BU edged No. 6 Merrimack in a three game set.

The Minutemen outshot BC 38-32 in Game 1 and owned a 14-7 advantage in the final frame, but their fierce two-goal comeback in the third period fell short. BC’s Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, BC) recorded his second career hat trick in the game with a four-point effort, while teammate Joe Whitney (Reading, Mass.) registered his 100th career point. Freshman goaltender Parker Milner made 33 stops in the win. The Eagles cruised to sweep the series with a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at Conte Forum to advance to the Garden for the sixth consecutive season. Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) scored a game-high three points (2g,1a).

Merrimack made their first tournament appearance since the 2004 season this weekend skating fiercely with the defending tournament champion Terriers for three games. BU took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 3-2 win Friday night. On Saturday, Merrimack earned their first victory in Agganis Arena in the last 11 tries with an exciting 3-2 overtime victory. Merrimack rookies Stephane Da Costa (Paris, France) and Brandon Brodhag (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) scored the first two goals for the Warriors but it was junior Joe Cucci’s overtime gamewinner that counted most. In Sunday’s tilt the Terriers took control and skated past the Warriors in a quick 3-0 victory. Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alb.) stopped all 36 shots in the Sunday’s shutout effort.

UNH scored five unanswered goals to blast past the eighth ranked Catamounts in a 7-4 win in Game one of the quarterfinal series. Saturday night was a different story at the Whittemore Center as both teams struggled to get on the board. Vermont pulled out a shutout win scoring the lone goal from rookie David Pacan (Ottawa, Ont.). Defensive Player of the week Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) rebounded from the previous night stopping all 17 shots he faced in the contest. In Sunday’s overtime thriller, senior forward Jay Anctil (Wolfeboro, N.H.) stunned the top ranked Wildcats and netted the overtime game-winner. Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) recorded 50 saves in his finale at the Whittemore Center. Rob Madore stopped UNH’s 34 shots and earned his second shutout in as many nights.

Maine will travel south to Boston for the weekend after an overtime victory lifted them past UML in the best of three series. Jeremy Dehner (Madison, WI) and Ben Holmsrom (Colorado Springs, Col.) scored for the River Hawks in the win Friday. The Black Bears returned on Saturday determined to win and shutout UML by a score of 2-0. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ont.) and Tanner House (Cochrane, Alb.) each registered a goal apiece in the winning effort. Senior goalie Dave Wilson (Caledon East, Ont.) earned his first shutout of the season stopping all 23 shots that came his way. On Sunday, Maine edged out a overtime 3-2 victory. Player of the Week Will O’Neill (Salem, Mass.) took control of the game with his three-point performance, which including two goals for the Black Bears. Tanner House popped a quick one at 5:10 into the overtime period to lift the Black Bears past UML by a score of 3-2.

Courtesy Hockey East

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