February 23, 2014

College Wraparound: Roy helps Huskies bury Black Bears

By Joshua Kummins

Sophomore Kevin Roy, seen here in action against BU, notched four assists in NU's win over Maine Saturday.

BOSTON -- Not much was expected out of No. 9 Northeastern (18-10-4, 10-6-2) at the outset of the Hockey East season, but the Huskies have been major players in the postseason chase and continued to come on strong this weekend.

Thanks to four assists from sophomore Kevin Roy and two goals from freshman Zach Aston-Reese, the Huskies finished off a three-point weekend against the No. 17 Maine Black Bears (15-11-4, 9-6-3) with a solid 4-3 victory at Matthews Arena.

The loss pushes Maine back into fourth place, just one point back of Providence, who will travel to Alfond Arena for two games next weekend to close out the season.

"There was not much difference in six periods of play," Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan commented after the game. "I was thrilled with the way our guys battled and showed a lot of resolve."

Just 3:41 into the proceedings, Aston-Reese scored his sixth goal of the season off a nifty centering pass from Roy. Roy circled around a defender behind the net and dished the puck to the side of the net for the goal to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

"We had a very poor start," commented Maine head coach Red Gendron (Boston, Mass.). "We've got to be better for a full 60 minutes. We weren't good enough tonight, so Northeastern won. ... It's that simple."

Aston-Reese made a strong play leading to NU's second goal at the 6:44 mark, throwing a puck on Maine senior goaltender Martin Ouellette which classmate Mike Szmatula redirected home.

Just as a Maine power play was to expire, the Black Bears got on the board at 16:46 as sophomore Ben Hutton swung into the right circle for a wrister, his 12th goal of the year.

The Huskies had a 14-9 shots advantage and much of the territorial play in the first, but Maine knotted the score 3:18 into the middle stanza when sophomore Devin Shore wristed a low shot through traffic on a delayed penalty call.

Braden Pimm continued his outstanding senior season, giving the Huskies a 3-2 lead at 14:41. Roy dished a saucer pass to the front of the net and the British Columbian native cut inside and tucked one in low.

"I'm just trying to help the team," Roy said after matching his career-best with four helpers. "These past few games, I've had the opportunity to pass the puck more than shoot. I'm just trying to do anything to help the team, so if it's to find guys open, I'll do it."

NU tallied a huge insurance goal at 10:56 of the third as Roy and Aston-Reese connected again. Roy took the initial shot on goal, but Aston-Reese corralled the loose puck that kicked off Ouellette's skate and deposited it into an open side of the net.

"He has been, probably, the unheralded forward out of (the freshman class)," Madigan said of Aston-Reese. "He is a quieter type of player. If you watch him over the course of a game, he makes a lot of good hockey plays. I'm thrilled he's with us, he's a hell of a player."

Hutton's second goal of the night with an extra attacker on, which tied the Maine single-season record for goals by a defenseman with 12, made it a one-goal game at 17:19.

Boston College 2, UMass Lowell 2 (OT)

In front a record crowd of 7,649 at the Tsongas Center, the No. 7 River Hawks (20-8-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) scored twice in the third period to take a point from the top-ranked Eagles (25-4-4, 16-1-2). Junior Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 28 games with a power play goal in the second period, but sophomores Adam Chapie and A.J. White each scored in the third to lift UML to the tie. Senior Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) was outstanding in the Lowell net with 41 saves.

Vermont 4, Merrimack 3

Senior captain Chris McCarthy scored a goal and an assist as the Catamounts (17-11-3, 9-9-0) evened their Hockey East record by closing out the host Warriors (7-20-3, 2-14-2) at J. Thom Lawler Arena. UVM used goals on the power play and the shorthand in the second period to post the victory, sweeping a two-game set on the road for the second time in three weeks. For the Warriors, senior Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) continued his solid season with both of the team's goals.

Providence 2, Massachusetts 1

The Friars (17-9-6, 9-7-2 Hockey East) completed a weekend sweep of the Minutemen (8-21-4, 4-13-3) thanks to goals from sophomores Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) and Mark Jankowski and 25 saves from Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine).

Notre Dame 2, Boston University 0

Sophomore Sean Maguire made 38 saves but the Terriers (8-20-4, 3-12-3 Hockey East) were victim to Steven Summerhays and the Irish once again in Compton Family Ice Arena. The weekend marked the first time since 1941 that BU had been shut out in back-to-back games.

Yale 3, Dartmouth 3 (OT)

Junior Andy Simpson scored with 1:26 remaining in the third period to lift the Big Green (7-16-4, 6-12-2 ECAC Hockey) to a tie in front of a packed house at Thompson Arena. The defending national champion Bulldogs (14-8-5, 9-7-4) received goals from locals Cody Learned (Amherst, N.H.) and Mike Doherty (Reading, Mass.) in the stalemate.

Brown 2, Harvard 0

Goals from sophomore Nick Lappin and senior Jake Goldberg in the second period proved to be all the offense for the Bears (11-13-3, 8-11-1 ECAC Hockey) in a shutout win at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Freshman Tyler Steel's 30-save effort stood up for Brown as it bested the Crimson (9-14-4, 5-11-4) for a season sweep.

Colgate 3, Quinnipiac 1

The No. 5 Bobcats (21-8-5, 11-6-3 ECAC Hockey) has been consistently productive for much of the season, but it was shut down in a pair of games at High Point Solutions Arena this weekend. Senior Connor Jones scored QU's only goal of the game midway through regulation. 31 saves from freshman Charlie Finn were plenty to lead the No. 19 Raiders (16-11-5, 12-5-3) to victory and clinching a first-round bye in the league tournament.

Sacred Heart 5, Bentley 2

Freshman Spencer Graboski led the way with a goal and two assists as the Pioneers (11-21-0, 10-15-0 Atlantic Hockey) stormed into Ryan Skating Arena and stormed out with a season sweep of the Bentley Falcons (16-12-4, 14-7-4). Sophomore Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) earned the win for the second straight night, posting 36 saves in the SHU net. Before this weekend, Bentley had not been swept in a weekend in league play this season.

Holy Cross 4, American International 3

Freshman Brett McKinnon scored twice in the second period to lift the Crusaders (11-18-3, 10-12-3) to a one-goal victory over the Yellow Jackets (10-21-1, 9-15-1) at MassMutual Center, sweeping a weekend Atlantic Hockey series. Senior Derek Kump (Falmouth, Maine) made 29 saves for his third win of the season in as many decisions.

Connecticut 3, Army 1

The Huskies (17-11-4, 14-8-3 Atlantic Hockey) rebounded from a Friday home loss to down the Army Black Knights (4-25-0, 4-21-0) in the back half of a weekend series at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y. Senior Brant Harris posted two assists to become the program's all-time leading scorer with 109 points in the Division I era. Freshman Robby Nichols made 27 saves, improving to 7-1-2 this season.

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