AROUND HOCKEY EAST: The Hockey East Association announced today the four quarterfinal match ups for the 2016 Hockey East Tournament. The top four seeds, No. 1 Boston College, No. 2 Providence, No. 3 Notre Dame, and No. 4 UMass Lowell will play host to the four winners of the opening round, No. 9 Vermont, No. 7 Merrimack, No. 6 Northeastern, and No. 5 Boston University, respectively, beginning Friday (March 11) on campuses of the host institutions ... No. 1 Boston College (15-2-5 HEA), the 2015-16 Hockey East regular season co-champion, faces No. 9 Vermont (6-13-3 HEA) in the quarterfinals for the second straight year after rookie Brian Bowen's (Littleton, Mass.) tie-breaking, game-winner at 18:41 of the third period at UConn Saturday. Last year, the Catamounts downed the Eagles in a three-game quarterfinal series at Conte Forum to advance to the final weekend at the TD Garden. That series was the first time Vermont defeated Boston College in the postseason, improving its all-time Hockey East Tournament record against the Eagles to 7-2-0. In the regular season, the Eagles traveled to Burlington, Vermont for a pair of games Feb. 19-20 and took two victories away from Gutterson Fieldhouse. No. 2 Providence (16-3-3 HEA) draws No. 7 Merrimack (5-10-7 HEA) to Schneider Arena in the first-ever postseason match up between the two schools. Merrimack disposed of New Hampshire in a three-game opening round series at Lawler Rink that saw freshman Derek Petti (Tewksbury, Mass.) score a goal in each of the contests. Providence took each of the two regular-season contests from Merrimack, Dec. 4-5, en route to earning a share of the Hockey East regular season title for the first time in school history ... No. 3 Notre Dame (15-5-2 HEA) draws No. 6 Northeastern (10-8-4 HEA) to South Bend in the first-ever postseason meeting between the two programs. Notre Dame claimed the No. 3 seed, its highest finish in Hockey East league play after finishing No. 8 in 2014 and No. 5 in 2015. All time, the Irish is 6-5 in the Hockey East postseason. Northeastern is currently one of the hottest teams in the nation, going 16-1-2 in its last 19 games, including a two-game sweep of Maine in dramatic fashion, as captain Kevin Roy (Lac-Beauport, Que.) netted three goals, including one of two overtime tallies. Northeastern has played four straight overtime games in the postseason dating back to last year and nine straight one-goal games in the Hockey East Tournament. In the regular season, Notre Dame claimed a 1-0-1 record over the Huskies at the Compton Family Ice Arena Nov. 12-13 ... No. 4 UMass Lowell (12-6-4 HEA) will welcome No. 5 Boston University (12-6-4 HEA) to the Tsongas Center in a rematch of the 2015 Hockey East title game. In that tilt, the Terriers came out on top of the River Hawks, 5-3, at TD Garden to earn its eighth title in program history. In the opening round against UMass, Bobo Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) scored both goals of a 2-1 overtime win Friday and Danny O'Regan (Needham, Mass.) turned in a four-point (2g, 2a) night Saturday to pace the Terriers in a 5-4 victory to sweep of the Minutemen. BU is 9-2-0 all time against UMass Lowell, including a 2-1-0 record in the quarterfinals. During the 2015-16 regular season the two programs split a home-and-home series Feb. 12-13 while the two jockeyed for playoff position, and the final opening round bye, until the final weekend of the season. Friday night's contest, slated for 7:30 p.m., will be shown nationwide on American Sports Network and on NESN in New England.
Kevin Roy, NU (Sr., F; Lac-Beauport, Que.) found the back of the net three times, including a game-tying goal in the third period Friday and an overtime winner Saturday, and added an assist to push the Huskies into the quarterfinals at Notre Dame next weekend. Northeastern is 16-1-2 in its last 19 games dating back to Dec. 19, 2015.
Charlie McAvoy, BU (Fr., D; Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out a career-high three assists in a 5-4 win Saturday, pushing BU into the quarterfinals and setting up a best-of-three rematch of the 2015 Hockey East title game. He finished plus-five in two games, on the ice for six of BU's seven goals in the series.
Danny Tirone, UNH (So., G; Trumbull, Conn.) made 132 saves on 138 shots in three games to post a .957 save percentage on the road at Merrimack in the Opening Round. He stopped at least 40 shots in all three contests, and made double-digit saves in nine of 10 periods of play, including 10 in Friday's overtime tilt.
HOCKEY EAST WEEKLY TOP PERFORMERS
Danny O'Regan, BU (Sr., F; Needham, Mass.) Tallied four points (2g, 2a) Saturday night to help complete BU's Opening Round sweep of UMass. His offensive outpour pushed him to 150 career points, just the 18th player in Terrier history to reach the milestone.
Bobo Carpenter, BU (Fr., F: North Reading, Mass.) scored both goals in BU's 2-1 overtime win over Massachusetts Friday night, helping the Terriers into the quarterfinals during their 2015 title defense. Carpenter finished plus-two on the weekend.
Derek Petti, MC (Fr., F; Tewksbury, Mass.) Scored a goal in each of the three Opening Round games, helping to lead Merrimack past New Hampshire and into the Hockey East Quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.
Marc Biega, MC (So., D; Pointe-Claire, Que.) Finished with three assists in three Opening Round games.
Drew Vogler, MC (Fr., G; Florissant, Mo.) Posted a league-high 1.57 GAA and stopped 73 shots in three games for the Warriors, backboning Merrimack into the quarterfinals.
Ryan Ruck, NU (Fr., F; Coto de Caza, Calif.) Collected two overtime wins in the Hockey East Opening Round, posting 2.17/.912 numbers.
Rob Darrar, UVM (So., F; Monroe Township, N.J.) Netted the game-winner in his first game since mid-January Friday night before assisting on the decisive goal Saturday with just 1:19 remaining in regulation. He also won 14 of 23 faceoffs on the weekend.
Brian Bowen, UVM (Fr., F; Littleton, Mass.) Potted the winner in Game 2 Saturday, pushing the Catamounts into the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
Mike Santaguida, UVM (Jr., G; Mississauga, Ont.) Backstopped Vermont to an Opening Round series win at UConn, stopping 56 shots.