Weekly Release: Hockey East Quarterfinals Kick Off Friday Night
Four Bids to the TD Garden at Stake For Eight Remaining Teams
Hockey East Player of the Week John Leonard of Massachusetts

AROUND HOCKEY EAST: No. 1 Boston College (18-13-4, 18-6-0 HEA) draws No. 10 Merrimack (12-19-4, 7-15-2 HEA) to Conte Forum for their seventh all-time series in the Hockey East Tournament and first since the 2011 championship game. The Eagles hold a 10-1-0 advantage all time over the Warriors in the postseason, including a 8-1-0 mark in the quarterfinals. Merrimack advanced over UMass Lowell with a two-game sweep, the program's first two postseason wins over the River Hawks. During the regular season, Boston College won both legs of a home-and-home series with Merrimack Nov. 3-4 ... No. 2 Northeastern (21-8-5, 15-6-3 HEA) will play host to No. 8 Massachusetts (17-18-2, 9-13-2 HEA) in just the second ever playoff series between the two schools. The Huskies and Minutemen previously met in the 2009 quarterfinals, a 2-1 series win for Northeastern. The programs split a home-and-home series during the regular season, with the host shutting out the visitor in each outing. UMass moved into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 with a series win over Vermont at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen look for their first quarterfinal win since 2009 and have not appeared in the semifinals since 2007... No. 3 Providence (20-10-4, 13-7-4 HEA) welcomes No. 6 Maine (18-14-4, 10-11-3 HEA) to Schneider Arena for the ninth all-time postseason series between the Friars and Black Bears. The teams last met in the 2014 quarterfinals. Providence holds a 7-5-0 edge in the Hockey East Tournament and won each of the two games during the regular season. Maine advanced into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 with a two-game sweep of New Hampshire in Alfond Arena, the first series win for the Black Bears in Orono since 2012 ... No. 4 Boston University (17-3-4, 12-8-4 HEA) will host No. 5 UConn (15-17-2, 11-12-1 HEA) in the quarterfinals, March 9-11. This marks the highest finish in UConn's four-year stint with Hockey East and the first time Huskies' have earned a bye through the opening round. UConn has dropped quarterfinal series in each of its first three playoff appearances. Boston University and UConn split a three-game regular-season series, 1-1-1. The teams skated to a 2-2 stalemate on October 20 in their lone game at Agganis Arena and scored a combined 22 goals across the three games. The Terries hold the record for most Hockey East Tournament wins with a 70-39-1 mark.


John Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) recorded multi-point games in both of the Minutemen's victories over UVM in the Opening Round of the Hockey East Tournament, totaling four points on two goals and two assists.


Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska) earned his first two playoff wins of his career making 53 saves on the weekend to lead Maine to a sweep of UNH. His 1.50 GAA was second in the league on the weekend and went first among rookies with a .946 save percentage.


Craig Pantano (Bridgewater, Mass.) backstopped Merrimack to two wins against UMass Lowell which propelled the team to the next round of the Playoffs. Pantano turned away 62-of-66 shots faced on the weekend and totaled a .954 save percentage and a 1.18 GAA.


Rob Michel, Maine (Jr., D; Camillus, N.Y.) Tied the league and team lead in points on the weekend notching four assists that helped the Black Bears to a weekend sweep of UNH to advance to the Hockey East Quarterfinals next weekend. Michel also contributed five shots on goal and finished the weekend a plus-4.

Brady Keeper, Maine (Fr., D; Cross Lake, Manitoba) Tied the league and the team with points on the weekend tallying two assists in each game against UNH over the weekend. Keeper finished the weekend with a plus-4 and also recorded seven shots on goal.

Connor Wilson, UML (Jr., F; Calgary, Alta.) Scored two goals in the series vs. Merrimack with a goal in each OT loss.

Christoffer Hernberg, UML (Jr., G; Espoo, Finland) Stopped 63-of-68 shots faced on the weekend against Merrimack and ended the weekend with a 1.97 GAA and .926 save percentage.

Jace Hennig, MC (Sr., F; Port Moody, B.C) Led the Warriors with two goals in a weekend sweep of UMass Lowell in the Hockey East Tournament Opening round. Hennig netted the game-tying goal with under five minutes to go in Friday's series opener, and notched the game-winner in overtime to clinch the series on Saturday night.

Brett Seney, MC (Sr., F; London, Ontario) Led Merrimack with three points on the weekend with three assists in the Warriors sweep of UMass Lowell in the Opening Round of the playoffs.