Hockey East: three stars, three scars

UMass-Lowell freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck

UMass-Lowell freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and UNH senior forward John Henrion were the two biggest stars in Hockey East this past week.

Three Stars

First Star: Connor Hellebuyck The UMass-Lowell freshman goaltender stopped 62 of 63 shots on the weekend as the River Hawks swept rival Merrimack in a crucial home-and-home series. The Winnipeg Jets' draft pick had to come up big in the first two periods Friday night as Merrimack came out flying.

Second Star: John Henrion The senior forward from Holden, Mass scored four goals on the weekend for UNH as the Wildcats took three of four points from UMass. His goal with 3 seconds to go Friday night propelled UNH to a tie while his hat trick in the game Saturday secured an easy victory.

Third Star: Ben Hutton The freshman has been one of Maine's best defenseman all season. He notched the game winning goal on Friday night and added an assist Saturday. The Vancouver Canucks prospect has helped Maine's transition game all season. He has good vision on the ice and moves the puck up ice with authority.

Three Scars

First Scar: The Injury Bug Injuries are a part of hockey, but it has hit Hockey East especially hard this season. Northeastern had to dress 10 defensemen and eight forwards Saturday night at Maine just to field a complete roster. BC has been hit hard, as well, losing Kevin Hayes for the season. Patch Alber has missed significant time and more recently Steven Whitney and Patrick Wey were out of the lineup recovering from ailments.

Second Scar: BU's defense A lot of the shots were from the perimeter, but allowing 86 shots on goal over the course of the weekend against a mediocre offense is not a good sign. Jack Parker's team allowed Vermont to continually fire shots on freshman goaltender Sean Maguire. The BU defense has been prone to making timely errors and mental mistakes for a majority of the second half.

Third Scar: Merrimack offense Outside of Mike Collins, Merrimack lacks a true scoring threat. When the Warriors went on their run a few weeks ago, they relied on timely scoring to go along with their solid defensive play and great goaltending. Again this week, Merrimack's offense went missing. Even when the Warriors were able to generate chances, their lack of finishers hurt them.

Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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