John Quackenbos / Boston College
On a crucial Hockey East Sunday afternoon, a pair of ties kept things level in the conference standings. Merrimack came back with a shorthander to tie Providence, while UNH and Boston College combined for eight goal scorers in a 4-4 tie.
Boston College 4, New Hampshire 4 (OT)
Eight different scorers found the back of the net on Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink as they Eagles and Wildcats skated to an entertaining 4-4 tie. The tie enables BC to maintain its second-place position in the league standings, sitting a point behind Merrimack and a point ahead of UNH, with a 12-7-2 mark. Thanks to a 5-2 BC home win on Jan. 11 and a 2-1 UNH win in Durham the following night, the regular season series between the teams finishes even at 1-1-1. BC’s senior class is now 9-4-3 in 16 meetings with the 'Cats over the last four seasons. The Wildcats had dropped the season series with BC in each of the past three years. Top liners Dan Correale and Grayson Downing each register potted a goal in the first 75 seconds of the second and third periods, respectively, in addition to adding an assist. Three Eagles registered a goal and an assist in the contest, including junior center Bill Arnold, who was credited with the game-tying strike at 8:01 of the final period. In his third draw of the season, senior Parker Milner made 29 saves for the Eagles, while UNH sophomore Casey DeSmith made 22 in his fourth stalemate. Also of note was junior center Patrick Brown's very strong day from the face-off dot as he finished 13-for-17. BC returns to action next Sunday afternoon when it plays Merrimack on the road for the second time in nine days, televised nationally by CBS Sports Network from Lawler Arena. UNH travels to Vermont for a weekend pair.
Merrimack 2, Providence 2 (OT)
Freshman Vinny Scotti scored both goals for the Warriors as they maintained their lead in the Hockey East league standings with a 2-2 matinee draw at Schneider Arena. Sophomore Shane Luke and junior Derek Army each scored for the Friars against Merrimack's strong junior Sam Marotta (24 saves), while freshman Jon Gillies stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in PC's third tie over the last four games. The Friars extended their season-long unbeaten streak to five games (1-0-4) and improved to 10-2-4 when scoring first this season as Luke scored the opening goal just a minute into the proceedings. With his goal late in the second period, Army set a new career-high with his 12th of the season, joining his father (and former PC coach Tim) in becoming the second father-son pair to play at least 100 career games in a Friar sweater. Because of a split in a weekend series on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2012, the season set between the teams is 1-1-1, breaking Merrimack's streak of two consecutive losses to the Friars. Next weekend, Providence looks to get back into the win column in a home-and-home series against a struggling Northeastern squad that suffered a home sweep to Vermont on Friday and Saturday.
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.