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Weekend in Review: Always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom

March 18, 2013

Lowell advanced to the Hockey East semifinal with ease in a 2-0 sweep of Maine behind wins of 4-2 and 2-1 in overtime on Thursday and Friday, respectively, neither of which were as close as the score indicated. This was all stuff to set your watch by, and neither result was ever in doubt.

Meanwhile, BC swept Vermont at the Heights, because of course they did. Wins of 4-2 and 4-1 sound just about right against a team that bereft of both offensive and defensive capability, and it looks as if perhaps the BC wagon of late-season unstoppability is finally getting its wheels moving.

BU also had little trouble dispatching Merrimack, with a dominant 3-0 win on Friday and a closer but still pretty assured 5-3 win the next night. That series was at least interesting because there’s the old adage about how tough it is to beat a Hockey East team four times, and BU swept Merrimack this season.

And finally, Providence and UNH fought tooth and nail to see which team would be the extremely underwhelming one that got to play Lowell, and in the end the Friars “won” out. They took down the series 3-2 Friday, 1-4 Saturday, and 3-2 Sunday, and are now just days away from having their season dashed in much the same way Lowell dismantled its regular-season title hopes.

Our Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Scott Wilson, Lowell (sophomore forward) — Wilson had two goals and an assist on the weekend, good enough in our book to earn him his second consecutive Player of the Week award. The two goals came Thursday, the assist came Friday. And neither counts the fact that he was the one who started the overtime 2-on-1 that led to Lowell’s goal, because somehow three people touched it after he did, which shows just how chaotic those final seconds were. While sometimes giving out second assists is very dumb, occasionally, they balance it out by not giving tertiary assists, and Wilson deserved one there. He’s really turned it on lately, and should be ready to disembowel Providence at the Garden.
(Honorable mention: Michael Fallon, Lowell; Connor Hellebuyck, Lowell)

Rookie of the Week
Michael Fallon, Lowell (freshman defenseman) — With all due respect to the great Connor Hellebuyck, Michael Fallon played some seriously great hockey this weekend and in scoring Lowell’s first in the series-clincher on Friday, then setting up the overtime game-winner (DEFINITELY not on a handpass), he really gave Lowell the boost it needed. Big-time game from a player who hasn’t shown up on the scoreboard a lot this season. Hopefully this means that he should also be ready to disembowel Providence at the Garden.
(Honorable mention: Connor Hellebuyck, Lowell)

Ham n Egger of the Weak
Joey Diamond and Tim Whitehead — We cannot tell you how glad it makes us to say that it was Lowell who took Diamond’s college career out behind the barn and put a bullet it in its head. We would have said that even before his performance on Friday, but running into Connor Hellebuyck and 40 miles an hour, then stomping on poor Joe Houk’s leg really sealed it. We said it the other night, but when your senior captain gets 22 penalty minutes — including two separate majors! — and a game disqualification in an elimination game that ends his career, even after the coach talked all week about how important it was to stay disciplined, it says everything about the kind of program your coach is running. This should be deeply embarrassing for the Maine hockey program from top to bottom, but because Whitehead more or less defended Diamond after the game, we can rest easy knowing this program will be a joke for a long time to come. How about another extension?
(Honorable mention: UNH, Providence)

Noteworthy Hockey East Weekly Awards
Connor Hellebuyck was Rookie of the Week, while some other guys were probably named Top Performers, but once again this week it’s like 6:45 and still nothing from Hockey East.

Weekend Results (Home team bolded)
Lowell 4, Maine 2

Lowell 2, Maine 1 (ot)
Providence 3, UNH 2
BC 4, Vermont 2
BU 3, Merrimack 0

UNH 4, Providence 1
BU 5, Merrimack 3
BC 4, Vermont 1

Providence 3, UNH 2

How we voted
Here were our picks for the stars this week’s game(s).

1. Scott Wilson
2. Joe Pendenza
3. Chad Ruhwedel

1. Michael Fallon
2. Derek Arnold
3. Connor Hellebuyck

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich permalink
    March 19, 2013 5:17 am

    Off to Friday, where Lowell once again gets screwed by having to play the 5pm game in front of a half entry crowd even as the #1 seed. But as it goes in Hockey East, all hail Jerry York and Jack Parker

  2. Monty permalink
    March 19, 2013 6:24 am

    Can’t speak for anyone but myself, but getting 3 hours (at least of extra rest) has to be helpful. Knowing when you play exactly (5pm) helps you get ready for the game your normal way, as opposed to a team that could start at 8 or 10 or whatever (depending on the length of our game).

    • Rich permalink
      March 19, 2013 7:53 am

      Sure doesn’t help having fans there who could make it for the later game.

      • Steve permalink
        March 19, 2013 10:31 am

        From what I have been hearing, there are going to be a ton of lowell fans there for the game. I don’t think that the game time is going to affect turn out at all and if it does, only minimally. People are planning to miss class, take a half work day like in my case, or whatever. I’m thinking that we will outnumber the pc fans by large numbers.

      • Rich permalink
        March 20, 2013 4:26 am

        I’ve been hearing the same, and I am glad to hear that. Our corner of the garden will be rocking!

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