AROUND HOCKEY EAST: UMass Lowell captured the third Hockey East Tournament Championship in program history Saturday night, downing Boston College, 4-3, at TD Garden. It was the fifth consecutive Hockey East Tournament title game appearance for the River Hawks ... UMass Lowell junior forward C.J. Smith (Des Moines, Iowa) was named Hockey East Tournament MVP after racking up three points (1g, 2a) in the championship contest. Smith was also named to The 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team, joined by teammates Tyler Wall (Leamington, Ont.), Michael Kapla (Eau Claire, Wis.), and Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.), and Boston College's Scott Savage (San Clemente, Calif.) and Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) ... For Hockey East teams were named to the field of 16 for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including UMass Lowell, Boston University, Notre Dame, and Providence. The four selections from Hockey East is tied for the most of any college hockey conference this season ... UMass Lowell and Notre Dame will travel to Manchester, New Hampshire to take on Cornell and Minnesota, respectively, in the Northeast Regional, while Providence plays host to Harvard in Providence for the East Regional, and Boston University travels west to Fargo, North Dakota to compete in the West Regional against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The winners advance to the 2017 Frozen Four to be held in Chicago, April 6-8 ... At Thursday's annual awards banquet, Hockey East announced the annual All-Tournament Team will be renamed after Steve Nazro, the longtime vice president of events at TD Garden. Nazro has been a driving force behind the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournaments during his time with the TD Garden.
C.J. Smith (Des Moines, Iowa) was named MVP of the 2017 Hockey East Tournament after his threepoint performance in the title game to help the River Hawks win the third tournament title in program history. He added another goal in the semifinal to finish the weekend with two goals and two assists on the weekend.
Tyler Wall (Leamington, Ont.) was named to The 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team for his performance in the Hockey East Tournament, as he picked up two wins at TD Garden to backbone the River Hawks to their third Hockey East Tournament title. He stopped 38 shots in the championship game, while kicking out 19 of 20 attempts in the semifinals.
Scott Savage (San Clemente, Calif.) helped the Eagles return to the Hockey East title game for the 17th time, the most ever by a conference program, by dishing out a pair of assist in a 3-2 semifinal victory. He also set up two more goals in the championship game. In total, Savage had a hand in four of the Eagles' six goals on the weekend and earned a spot on the 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team for this efforts.
HOCKEY EAST WEEKLY TOP PERFORMERS
Ryan Fitzgerald, BC (Sr., F; North Reading, Mass.) Scored two goals, including the game-winning tally, in a 3-2 victory over the Boston University Terriers Friday night in the Hockey East semifinals before also finding the back of the net Saturday night against UMass Lowell. He was named to The 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
Joseph Woll, BC (Fr., G; St. Louis, Mo.) Stopped 42 shots in a 3-2 semifinal win over Boston University in the Hockey East semifinals before kicking out another 21 pucks in the championship contest.
Clayton Keller, BU (Fr., F; Swansea, Ill.) Was named the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year Thursday night and followed up with a goal and an assist in a span of just 1:02 of the Hockey East semifinals. He scored at 18:38 of the third period to make it a 3-2 game.
Joe Gambardella, UML (Sr., F; Staten Island, N.Y.) Scored the tournament-winning goal Saturday night for the River Hawks, his seventh decisive tally of the year. It came as part of a three-point (1g, 2a) weekend, earning him a spot on The 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team.
Michael Kapla, UML (Sr., D; Eau Claire, Wis.) The senior captain picked up the game-winning assist in the Hockey East Tournament title game and found the back of the net in the River Hawks' 5-1 semifinal victory to finish the weekend with two points, three shots on goal and a plus-two rating. He was named to The 2017 Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team for his performance in the Hockey East playoffs.