Hockey East Weekend Preview
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The Hockey East quarterfinal best-of-three series take place this weekend, including top-seed UMass Lowell hosting New Hampshire

#10 New Hampshire vs. #1 UMass Lowell Fri. 3/10, Sat. 3/11, Sun. 3/12 (if necessary) at UML

- New Hampshire bested Merrimack in the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament over the weekend. After dropping the first game in the series, the Wildcats downed the Warriors, 4-0 and 5-2, to earn a trip to the quarterfinal round to take on the top-seeded River Hawks.

- Danny Tirone (Trumbull, Conn.) backboned New Hampshire against Merrimack and earned Hockey East Player of the Week Honors after turning away 88 shots in the final two New Hampshire wins over Merrimack and picked up an assist in a 4-0 shutout win Saturday night. In total, the junior netminder has turned away 1,059 shots on the year, the most of any goalie in the country.

- UMass Lowell earned a share of the Hockey East regular season title for the second time in the team's history. The River Hawks earned the number one seed and an opening round bye after going 3-1-0 against fellow tri-champions Boston University and Boston College.

- The River Hawks boast the number one scoring offense in conference play, averaging 3.45 goals per game and the number two scoring defense only allowing 2.32 goals per game.


#8 Northeastern vs. #2 Boston University Fri. 3/10, Sat. 3/11, Sun. 3/12 (if necessary) at BU

- Reigning Hockey East Tournament champion Northeastern enters the weekend after sweeping UConn in the opening round of tournament play with a 3-1 win on Friday night and a 6-2 triumph on Saturday.

- The Huskies feature the most prolific scorer in all of college hockey in senior forward Zach Aston-Reese (Staten Island, N.Y.). The forward has turned in a 30-32--62 stat line thus far in his senior campaign to pace the NCAA in goals and points.

- Boston University welcomes Northeastern in a battle of the previous two Hockey East Tournament champions. In the Terriers' last outing, the David Quinn's squad dropped Notre Dame, 4-1, in its final regular season conference game to secure both a share of the regular season crown and the number two seed.

- The Terriers are led by high-scoring freshmen Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill./19g, 19a) and Patrick Harper (New Canaan, Conn./12g, 22a). Keller has recorded at least one point in 23 of his 26 NCAA contests while Harper has appeared on the scoresheet in 23 of his 33 outings.


#6 Vermont vs. #3 Boston College Fri. 3/10, Sat. 3/11, Sun. 3/12 (if necessary)

- For the third year in a row, Vermont will travel to Boston College for the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East Tournament. During the 2015 postseason, the Catamounts fell in the first game of the quarterfinals, but took the next two games to advance to the semifinal round. Last year, it was the Eagles who advanced to the TD Garden after another three-game series.

- In the 2016-17 regular season, the Vermont traveled to Chestnut Hill for a two-game set in the penultimate weekend of regular season by on February 17-18. Each game ended in a draw.

- Vermont saw six different players find the back of the net in their opening round sweep of Maine, while rookie goaltender Stefanos Lekkas (Elburn, Ill.) earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors after turning away 67 Maine attempts on the weekend.

- The Eagles enter the quarterfinals off a bye in the opening round thanks to securing a share of the Hockey East regular season title for the second year in a row and claiming the number three seed. Despite sitting in first place for nearly the entire season, Boston College went just 1-5-2 in the final month of the regular season.

- Matt Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J.) and Austin Cangelosi (Estero, Fla.), both senior forwards have posted a 7-24--31 and 17-13--30 stat lines for the Eagles this season, leading their team in overall scoring.


#5 Providence vs. #4 Notre Dame Fri. 3/3, Sat. 3/4, Sun. 3/5 (if necessary)

- Providence took down UMass in two games during the opening round of play in the Hockey East Tournament. Hayden Hawkey (Parker, Colo.) posted a 3-0 shutout on Friday night, before turning in a 5-1 win on Saturday. The Friars also traveled to South Bend during the regular season, posting a 0-1-1 record against the Irish that ended a nine-game winning streak for Providence.

- In its last 15 games, Providence boasts a 13-1-1 record. The only blemishes on their schedule since January 14 are the two outings at Notre Dame.

- Brian Pinho (North Andover, Mass.) enters the weekend riding a five-game point streak. The junior has posted a goal and seven assists in that span, and carries a 10-28--38 stat line on the season.

- Notre Dame earned the number four seed entering in to the Hockey East Tournament and a bye through the opening round of play. Since the start of the new year, the Irish have gone 7-3-3 in conference play.

- Notre Dame boasts one of the nation's top goaltenders in Cal Peterson (Waterloo, Iowa). The junior has posted a 2.12 goals against average and .927 save percentage on the season and on Thursday was named a semifinalist for the Mike Ritcher Award, given annually to the country's best collegiate goaltender.