|Joe Cucci (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.-- Behind the first career hat trick from Carter Madsen and nine points from his line, fourth-seeded Merrimack advanced to the Hockey East semifinals for the second time in school history with a 6-2 victory over No. 5 Maine in front of a sellout crowd at Lawler Arena Saturday night.
Merrimack (24-8-4) will take on either Boston College or New Hampshire next Friday at the TD Garden. If Boston University defeats Northeastern Sunday, Merrimack will play BC at 5 p.m.If Northeastern defeats BU, Merrimack will play UNH at 8 p.m. Both semifinal games will be broadcast live on NESN.
After finishing the regular season unbeaten in its final seven games, Maine's (17-12-7) season comes to an end at the hands of the Warriors, who defeated Maine three times in five meetings this season.
Madsen, and linemates Ryan Flanigan and Elliott Sheen combined for nine points in Saturday's win and 16 points on the weekend. Flanigan had a goal and three assists Saturday, while Sheen, who had his first-career two-goal and three-point game Friday, had two assists Saturday.
The last time the Warriors reached the league semifinals was in 1998.
Boston College 4, Massachusetts 2
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.-- Junior Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) recorded a hat trick, including the only two goals of the third period, to lift BC to a 4-2 win over Massachusetts that completed the Eagles' two-game sweep of their Hockey East quarterfinal-round series.
The victory marked the 100th career win for BC's three-member senior class of Brain Gibbons (Braintree, Mass.), John Muse (East Falmouth, Mass.) and Joe Whitney (Reading, Mass.).
Hayes snapped a 2-2 tie at 8:33 of the third period, and added an empty-net goal with 23.1 seconds to play to secure the victory.
New Hampshire 4, Vermont 3
DURHAM, N.H. -- Mike Sislo broke a 3-3 tie with three minutes left in regulation to lift second-seeded New Hampshire past No. 7 Vermont at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which prevailed 3-1 Friday night in Game 1, completed the two-game sweep of the Hockey East quarterfinals to advance to next weekend's semifinal at the TD Garden in Boston. The Wildcats improved to 21-9-6 overall.
Yale 5, St. Lawrence 2
NEW HAVEN, Conn.– Five different players scored goals as second-seeded Yale beat St. Lawrence and forced a deciding Game 3 of their quarterfinal series Sunday night.
"Urgency was the word thrown around a lot today," said Yale forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.), who had a goal and an assist. "We had total focus from the team all day, and tonight we finished our chances."
Denny Kearney (Hanover, N.H.) had a goal and three points while the Bulldogs (24-6-1) also got tallies from Kevin Limbert, Clinton Bourbonais and Kevin Peel.
Ryan Rondeau made 29 saves, including 13 in the final frame, and halted three of four St. Lawrence power plays.
Dartmouth 2, Harvard 1 (OT)
HANOVER, N.H. -- In a must-win game for Dartmouth, Adam Estoclet and Andrew Owsiak potted goals in the overtime victory on Saturday night in Thompson Arena.
Owsiak's goal came on his only shot of the game just minutes into the extra-frame. The two teams will now square off on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the deciding game, and the winner will head to Atlantic City, N.J., and the ECAC Hockey final four next weekend.
Estoclet gave Dartmouth (17-11-3) the early lead after he ripped one home from the left side circle with under six minutes to play in the opening period.
Harvard made things interesting after potting a power-play goal midway through the third. Chris Huxley took a shot that rang off the post and Alex Killorn was there to gather the puck and put another shot on net. Michael Biega was in front of the net, and the senior was able to get his stick down and help the puck sail over goalie James Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.) for the equalizer.
Quinnipiac 1, Cornell 0
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Eric Hartzell turned in his second consecutive shutout of the ECAC Hockey tournament, stopping all 24 shots from Cornell, as Quinnipiac downed the Big Red 1-0 to force a third and deciding game in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. Quinnipiac and Cornell will meet again on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Lynah Rink.
"Offensively, we're good right now," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold (Bedford, N.H.) said. "I like the way our offense is working right now; we're creating opportunities. We're generating opportunities and we just need to score more goals."
Hartzell ran his scoreless streak to 149:17. It was the third longest scoreless streak in Quinnipiac's Division 1 history behind Jamie Holden's 171:16 over four games in 2003-04 and Dan Clarke's 151:19 last season. Hartzell and Clarke have allowed just two goals -- both coming in Friday night's 2-1 loss to Cornell -- in four games in the ECAC Hockey tournament.
Jeremy Langlois had the only goal of the game in the first period, his 18th of the season.