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Hockey East Saturday Night Recap: UML, PC complete sweeps; UMass bounces back big

Following Saturday's games, New Hampshire and Providence sit in a tie atop the Hockey East league standings, while Merrimack and Boston College sit just points behind heading into a key Sunday match at Lawler Arena.

UMass Lowell sophomore Scott Wilson opened the scoring for the second night in a row.
UMass Lowell sophomore Scott Wilson opened the scoring for the second night in a row.
Matt Dresens/The BU Hockey Blog

UMass Lowell 3, Boston University 1

The No. 12 River Hawks completed their first weekend sweep of No. 13/15 BU since the 2000-01 season with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night at the Tsongas Center, dropping the Terriers to an even .500 on the year at 14-14-2. Junior Joseph Pendenza posted a goal and an assist for the second night in a row, including the closing strike at 12:05 of the final period, following up BU's lone goal of the weekend as sophomore Evan Rodrigues scored shorthanded at 8:25 of the third to bring the game within one. Sophomore Scott Wilson and junior Chad Ruhwedel each had goals for the River Hawks as they sprung their fourth victory in as many games. BU would get no closer than after Rodrigues' goal as rookie Connor Hellebuyck made 15 saves to pick up his tenth straight win and of the season overall. BU returns to the confines of Agganis Arena, where it has struggled with four losses and a tie in five games, on Tuesday against Merrimack, while Lowell is also in action at Boston College on Tuesday.

Providence 3, Northeastern 2

The Huskies also dropped their first season series to the Friars by a sweep since the 2000-01 season as they dropped a one-goal decision at Matthews Arena, coming much closer than a pair of previous 6-2 wins in November and on Friday at Providence. The Friars are now unbeaten in seven consecutive games (3-0-4) for the first time since 2003 as sophomore Steven Shamanski found the back of the net on a shorthanded break at 9:10 of the final frame. With that goal surrendered, the Huskies became the final team in Hockey East to give up a shorthanded goal, after finishing last season among the country's worst units in that department. For NU, sophomore defender Josh Manson scored the third goal of his career and in as many games in the third period, to extend his career-best point streak just 20 seconds later. Rookie Jon Gillies was outstanding in the PC goal as he made double-digit saves in the final two periods for a total of 32 in the contest. The Huskies will leave their home winless streak behind next weekend in Maine for their only two-game trip this season, while PC splits home-and-home with Boston College.

Massachusetts 5, Maine 2

UMass scored three times in the third period and four Minuteman skaters posted multi-point performances in a 5-2 defeat of Maine at Mullins Center. Juniors Conor Sheary and Branden Gracel posted a goal and an assist apiece, while senior Rocco Carzo and junior Joel Hanley each had a pair of helpers to help balance the offense and help the Mass Attack to their 11th win of the season and 8th in Hockey East play. The Black Bears beat sophomore Steve Mastalerz (23 saves) for their lone scores of the game in the second period as sophomore Jake Rutt and rookie Bill Norman found the back of the net. With the win, the teams trade spots to close the weekend as the Minutemen jumped up for the eighth and final playoff spot and evened the season series between the teams, 1-1-1.

New Hampshire 1, Vermont 1 (OT)

UVM sophomore Jacob Fallon and UNH counterpart Trevor van Reimsdyk each posted goals in the second period to account for all the offense on their respective sides in a stalemate to close the weekend series at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Casey DeSmith turned aside 30 shots, including double-digits in the final two periods, while van Reimsdyk scored the squaring goal at 8:53 of the middle stanza to help the 'Cats to a tie and a very important weekend series win that propelled them into a first-place tie. UNH averages roughly 35 shots on goal per-game, but managed just 45 over the two weekend games as rookie Brody Hoffman made 21 saves in his fifth tie of the year. UNH, which will play its final four games at home, returns to action next weekend for a set with rival UMass at Whittemore Center, while UVM hits the road for the final time this season to take on Boston University beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.