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Three stars, three scars: Lots of extra hockey

Merrimack junior goaltender Sam Marotta was a huge star this weekend as he has been for most of the second half.

San Jose draft pick Matt Nieto scored the OT winner for BU Saturday
San Jose draft pick Matt Nieto scored the OT winner for BU Saturday
Nick Laham (Getty Images Sport)

Goaltending and clutch performances late in the game highlighted the Hockey East slate this past week.

Three Stars

First Star: Sam Marotta The Merrimack junior goaltender stopped 63 of 66 shots faced on the weekend, including 39 in the overtime win over Boston College Friday night. The Bridgewater, Massachusetts has ascended to the top of the charts in Hockey East goaltending statistics. Rebound control was a problem for Marotta earlier in the season, but he has steadily improved as the season has continued.

Second Star: Brody Hoffman The Vermont freshman goaltender stopped 55 of 57 shots faced in a weekend sweep at Northeastern. With his spectacular performance the Wilkie, Saskatchewan native helped lead UVM closer to a playoff berth.

Third Star: Matt Nieto The second round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks helped propel BU to a three point weekend in Orono. Nieto had a goal and an assist in a 3-3 tie Friday night before scoring the game winning goal Saturday night with just four seconds to play in overtime.

Three Scars

First Scar: Providence's closing The week started off well for the Friars, but another blown lead late in the Merrimack game on Sunday prevented a four-point week for Nate Leaman's club. The Friars were leading the Warriors for most of the game, but surrendered a shorthanded goal with under five minutes to play in the game and had to settle for a tie. This has been a reoccurring theme for Providence throughout the season.

Second scar: UMass' goaltending The Minutemen have received spotty goaltending all season. Sophomores Kevin Boyle and Steve Mastalerz have shown flashes of brilliance, but this weekend was more of the opposite. Boyle let in six goals on just 19 shots Friday before Mastalerz was just an ordinary 29 of 32 on Saturday night in another loss to Lowell.

Third scar: Northeastern's depth Freshman sensation Kevin Roy put on a show in the Beanpot, scoring five of the six goals NU scored in the tournament. He had an assist Friday night, but the inability of NU's third and fourth lines to turn the red light on has been a huge problem all season. The trend continued this weekend and will be one of the main reasons Jim Madigan's club will be sitting home for the playoffs.

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