Women's Hockey East Weekend Preview
Vermont hosts Merrimack for a pair of game on the final weekend of the regular season.

Merrimack vs. Vermont - Fri. 2/17, Sat. 2/18 at UVM

- In the final weekend of regular season play, Merrimack College (10-19-3/6-16-0 HEA) will battle for possession of the final Women's Hockey East playoff spot to extend the program's second varsity season as the Warriors face the Vermont Catamounts (12-11-9/8-7-7 HEA). Vermont is currently tied with Providence in fourth place, occupying the last home-ice spot in the quarterfinals.

- In the only meeting between the two this season, Merrimack skated off with a 2-1 overtime win back on Jan. 3.

- Prior to last weekend's slate, Merrimack sat in eighth place, but stumbled in a 4-3 overtime loss to Providence after leading for the first 50 minutes of the game. Regardless of this weekend's outcome, the Warriors have already doubled last year's win total in the program's second season, after finishing 2015-16 with a record of 5-26-3 (3-18-3 HEA).

- Vermont ended last weekend at 0-1-1 after a 2-2 tie with Providence and a 7-1 setback at Boston College. Senior forward Victoria Andreakos (Aurora, Ont.) posted a goal in each game to move her season total to nine goals and 14 points. The Catamounts will wrap the regular season in Burlington, looking to secure home ice in the quarterfinal round.

New Hampshire vs. UConn - Fri. 2/17, Sat. 2/18 at UConn

- Coming into the final two games of the regular season, New Hampshire (11-17-2/9-11-2 HEA) and UConn (14-14-4/9-11-2 HEA) will compete for playoff seeding, as the two programs are tied at 20 points each with identical league records of 9-11-2. Either team has a chance to slide into the top four and host the quarterfinal round if they can manage a sweep and get some help elsewhere in the league schedule.

- The Wildcats and Huskies have not faced each other since Nov. 6, when UConn claimed a 2-1 overtime win. Last season however, UConn hosted New Hampshire in the WHEA quarterfinals and swept the Wildcats, first by a 3-2 score and then taking a 4-3 triple-overtime win to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season.

- Both UNH and UConn tied with opponents on Feb. 3 to begin the final month of the regular season. New Hampshire, led in scoring by senior forward Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn./17g, 16a), has gone on an 0-4- 1 stretch over its last five games, but remains in contention to host a playoff series. If the Wildcats secure two wins over UConn, and Providence and Vermont get no more than one point this weekend, they would be in position to host.

- UConn, in search of home ice advantage in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, are paced by junior forward Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.) with 18 goals and 10 assists on the season. UConn has taken wins in two of the last three and gone 3-1-1 in its last five and needs at least three points and help to move up in the league standings.

No. 6 Boston College vs. Providence - Sat. 2/18 at PC, Sun. 2/19 at BC

- Having already secured the top seed and regular season title in the previous weeks, No. 6 Boston College (22-4-5/16-3-3 HEA) looks to finish the season with momentum as the Eagles are set for a home-and-home with Providence College (15-14-3/10-9-3 HEA). The final two games of the season pit Women's Hockey East's all-time winningest coach, the Friars' Bob Deraney, against Katie Crowley, who could match Deraney's record of 154 victories with a pair of wins.

- On Dec. 8, the Friars and Eagles met for a home-game set in Providence, where BC came away with an 8-0 victory that handed junior goaltender Katie Burt (Lynn, Mass.) the all-time Hockey East shutout record.

- Last Friday, the Eagles suffered the program's first defeat in its last 17 outings, suffering a 2-1 loss at home against Northeaster to end an NCAA record 63-game home undefeated streak. The team bounced back two days later, downing Vermont in a 7-1 win at Conte Forum. Junior defenseman Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich.) tallied five points in the contest (2g, 3a) and claimed the crown for BC scoring by a defenseman with 105 career points (23g, 82a) in the win.

- Providence has been involved in a few close games as of late, most recently storming back from a three-goal deficit to take a 4-3 overtime win in North Andover, dealing a setback to Merrimack's playoff hopes. Junior forward Madison Sansone (Lockport, N.Y.) netted the tying goal with just over a minute to play in regulation and added two assists in the comeback.

Boston University vs. Northeastern/Maine - Fri. 2/17, Sun. 2/19 at BU

- Boston University (15-10-6/10-8-4 HEA) looks to defend third place as the Terriers face off with two teams on different ends of the postseason race. Northeastern (19-10-3/14-7-2 HEA) has locked up the number two seed, while Maine (10-20-1/6-16-1 HEA) holds onto the eighth and final spot by just a one-point lead over Merrimack. Maine has just a single game left to play while the Warriors have two contests remaining.

- Terriers junior forward Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont.) has posted six points in her last three games (3g, 3a), good enough to claim a share of the Hockey East Player of the Week award.

- Head-to-head against this weekend's opponents, Northeastern has already taken the season series with BU, 2-0-0, while the series with Maine is currently split at 1-1-0.

- Northeastern rebounded from a 2-1 loss to BC in the Women's Beanpot Championship with a 2-1 victory of its own at Conte Forum. Junior goaltender and Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week sophomore goaltender Brittany Bugalski (Boynton Beach, Fla.) kicked out a career-high 46 pucks to backstop the win.

- Maine earned a split with UConn last weekend to keep its playoff aspirations alive last weekend. The Black Bears fell, 2-1, but then shut out the Huskies, 1-0, the following day thanks to a 27-save performance by freshman goaltender Carly Jackson (Amherst, N.S.).