Hockey East weekly notes: Boston College close to clinching, Maine finally wins on the road

Martin Ouellette and his Black Bears teammates won their first road game of the season Friday night in South Bend. - Matt Dewkett (

Jack Parker's No. 6 jersey will be raised to the rafters on Saturday night during Boston University's game against New Hampshire.

The Beanpot always gives much deserved and worthy publicity to Hockey East and college hockey in general, but Monday's championship game between Boston College and Northeastern put on full display the greatness of the sport. The two teams were tied 1-1 until Patrick Brown's remarkable re-direction goal with 5:30 to go broke the deadlock.

'Johnny Hockey' update

The Eagles, unbeaten in 15 straight, haven't lost since a Nov. 29 setback against Holy Cross. Johnny Gaudreau continues to be Johnny Gaudreau, and is on pace to become the first Hockey East player since New Hampshire Hobey Baker Award winner Jason Krog to average two points per game who pulled off the trick in the 1998-99 season.

The Carneys Point, NJ native has scored at least a point in 24 straight games and has 22 goals and 28 assists over that stretch. The Calgary Flames draft pick has 58 points on the season in 29 games played.

Demko dominating

Thatcher Demko has started seven straight games for the Eagles and is showing why he is considered to be the top North American goaltending prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. The San Diego, Calif. native and USNDP product has a 1.14 goals against average and a .958 save percentage over that time. His .966 save percentage in the Beanpot earned him the Eberly Trophy for the best goaltender in Boston's famed tournament.

Eagles close to clinching

Boston College's magic number is down to four for clinching the Hockey East Regular Season Championship. The Eagles travel to Vermont this weekend and could wrap up the Joe Bertagna Trophy with a sweep of the Catamounts, but could do so with less than four points with help from UMass and Merrimack who play UMass Lowell and Maine, respectively.

Black Bears break through on road

Maine had picked up two victories away from Alfond Arena since the Christmas break, but both were on neutral ice at Germaine Arena in Estero, Fla. and at Fenway Park. Red Gendron's team finally picked up its first true road win with a 2-1 triumph over Notre Dame Friday night in South Bend, but it didn't come easy. Maine nearly blew a late two-goal lead. A night later, Maine couldn't hold on to a late lead, and suffered a 3-2 loss, having to settle for a weekend split against the Fighting Irish.

River Hawks quietly lurking

Last season's regular season and tournament champions in Hockey East are in second place and seemingly being taken lightly by fans and members of the media. Sure, Boston College is probably going to run away with every trophy there is left to claim, but UMass Lowell is having a third straight solid season under the direction of third year bench boss Norm Bazin.

UML is 4-0-1 in its last five entering this weekend's solo contest at home against UMass, and is very close to wrapping up a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Remember, prior to Bazin's arrival behind the bench in the Mill City, Lowell had only been to the NCAA Division I Tournament twice.

Expectations were sky high this season with some publications picking the River Hawks as the top team in the land during the preseason. The team has been hit by the injury, but if it can get healthy, UML will be a dangerous team come the postseason. There isn't a team in the country who will want to go up against Connor Hellebuyck and the vaunted UML defense that can suffocate an opponent's attack in the neutral zone.

Jack Parker to be honored Saturday

Legendary Boston University head coach Jack Parker who retired last spring after 40 seasons behind the bench at his alma mater will have his jersey retired on Saturday night during the Terriers game against the University of New Hampshire. BU is having a down season under first year coach David Quinn due to a lack of depth and some inefficiencies, especially on the blue line, but hopefully fans of the program and fans of the game will come out to show their respect to a legend of the sport.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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