In the opening weekend of NCHA action, St. Norbert won the first game of the season, 6-1, over Wisconsin-Eau Claire to take an early lead in the NCHA standings. In non-conference action, Wisconsin-Superior won both of its games against Marian College (8-1 and 8-0), and UW-Stout cleaned up, 6-1, over Milwaukee School of Eng. (MSOE) on Friday, and 5-3 over 1999-2000 MCHA champ Minn.-Crookston on Saturday.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire followed up their loss to St. Norbert on Friday night, with a 4-2 win over MSOE on Saturday.
The Green Knights got the 2000-01 season kicked off in style with a 6-1 victory over Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Friday night. The Blugolds scored first, but Shane Dickson, Maris Ziedens and Ryan Wempe responded with first period goals and that would make the difference. Adam Sedgwick and Chris Bodnar scored goals in the second, and Patrick Gruber added a tally in the third to finish off the SNC victory. Wisconsin-Eau Claire goalie, John Walker, made 27 saves while SNC goalie Derrick Myers made 13 in the win.
St. Norbert takes on Lake Forest, who will be making their first trip to the ice this season, in a home and home NCHA series.
The Falcons rebounded from their tough weekend with Marian with a 10-1 win over 1999-2000 MCHA champ, Minn.-Crookston. Shane Fukushima and Rob Novak each tallied two goals, while Jamie Steinert, Jeff Bernard, David Almquist, Matt Elsen, Evan Stensrud and Jared Anderson each added single goals for the Falcons. Falcon goalie Jacque Vezina made 17 saves in the victory, while Golden Eagles goalies Michael Dickson and Jeff Horner combined for 47 saves in the rout.
River Falls returns to the ice this weekend with a home-and-home NCHA series against Wisconsin-Stout.
The Blue Devils got their 2000-01 campaign off on the right foot, taking a pair of games from the MCHA’s MSOE (6-1) and Minn-Crookston (5-3). Dan Riffe and Brad Weappa each scored two goals, and Cale Finseth and Drew Nichols both added single tallies to lift Stout to Friday’s win. Blue Devil goalie Ben Plester had 22 saves and the Blue Devils threw 51 shots on goal. On Saturday, the Blue Devils were able to put three on the board before Minn.-Crookston could respond. Nate Legler scored the only goal of the first period and Derek Nichols and Andy Anderson added goals in the second for Wisconsin-Stout, with Drew Nichols finished things off in the third. Blue Devil goalies Ben Plester and Justin Wiskie combined for 19 saves.
The Blue Devils have a home-and-home NCHA series with Wisconsin-River Falls to kick off their NCHA season this weekend.
The Yellow Jackets came out strong in their first trip to the ice this past weekend, taking a pair of yawners from Marian College, 8-1 on Friday and 8-0 on Saturday. Friday, the game stayed pretty even through two periods as the ‘Jackets lead 2-0 on goals from Jeff Glowa and Milan Tomaska, but broke things wide open in the third with 6 goals. Yellow Jackets’ third-period goals came from Ivan Prokic (2), Glowa, Chris Hackett, Ryan Kalbrener and Rob Ziemer. Saturday would be like a bad case of deja vu for Marian, as the ‘Jackets would put another eight spot on the board with goals from Kris Wilson, Prokic, Eric Pitoscia, Ryan Kalbrenner, Glowa, Colin Kendall, Chris Hackett and Allen Hasbargen. Nate Ziemski picked up both wins for the ‘Jackets in the nets, making a combined 33 saves while watching his team put up 97 shots on the weekend.
Wisconsin-Superior is heading East this weekend to take on Elmira for two games. This is the first meeting of these teams following their brawl-marred series last season in Superior.
The Blugolds had the opportunity to take an early lead in the NCHA standings on Friday, as they hosted the Green Knights of St. Norbert, but couldn’t hold on to an early 1-0 lead, giving up six unanswered goals. They rebounded well on Saturday against MSOE, picking up two goals each from Jamie Minor and Adam Sklader. Both of Minor’s goals came on the power play while Sklader added one power play and one even strength goal.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire has a home-and-home NCHA series this weekend with Wisconsin-Stevens Point as the Pointers open their season.
The Pointers had their final intra-squad game on Friday and came out of it unscathed. They take to the ice for the first time against another team this weekend, as they face Wisconsin-Eau Claire in a home-and-home NCHA series.
The Foresters have yet to take the ice, but will do so this Tuesday, as they host MSOE. Then this coming weekend, they will have a home and home NCHA series with NCHA leader St. Norbert.
The Saints have yet to take the ice, but they finally will Tuesday as they head down the road to Northland in a non-conference match-up. They are off this coming weekend.
Series of the Week
Even though most of the league will be in NCHA competition, I’m picking the Wisconsin-Superior/Elmira series as the one to watch. First off, it’s the first East/West matchup of the season and these two teams just don’t like each other much.