The Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons were the only team to sweep this weekend, 7-2 and 5-2 over Wisconsin-Stout, and sit atop the NCHA standings along with St. Norbert. Lake Forest, Stevens Point and Eau Claire are tied for third place.
Wisconsin-River Falls: The Falcons defeated the Blue Devils of Wisconsin-Stout 7-2 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday to vault into a tie for the NCHA lead with St. Norbert.
Friday, the Falcons got first-period goals from Adam Kragthorpe, Tim Beres, Rob Novak and Jess Johnson to go up 4-0 after one. Stout cut the lead in half in the first three minutes of the second only to see the Falcons explode with three more goals of their own. Jeff Bernard picked up two goals and Jamie Steinert added a shorthander to finish out the scoring. Saturday saw the Falcons jump out to another first-period lead on goals from Jared Anderson and Kragthorpe. Stout scored the only two goals of the second period to tie it up, but the Falcons scored three in the third to finish things out with goals from Shane Fukushima, Steinert and Johnson.
The Falcons are on the road north as they take on St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior this weekend.
St. Norbert: The Green Knights battled to a split with Lake Forest, an 8-4 win on Friday night and a 3-2 OT loss on Saturday. Friday night’s game kept the officials busy, with 37 penalties for a total of 104 minutes; 10 of the game’s 12 goals were special-teams efforts. The ‘Knights picked up goals from Chris Bodnar (2 PP), Maris Ziedens (2 PP), Trent Dickson (1 PP, 1 EV), Shane Dickson (1 SH) and Patrick Gruber (1 SH) as St. Norbert ended the night 5-for-13 on the power play. Saturday saw fewer penalties, but still a lot of special-teams play. Both goals for St. Norbert came on the power play and both from Bodnar in the 3-2 loss.
St. Norbert plays Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-Eau Claire this weekend, both at the brand new Cornerstone Arena in Ashwaubenon.
Wisconsin-Stevens Point: The Pointers held on to pick up a 4-2 win Friday but couldn’t beat the Blugold defense on Saturday, dropping a 4-1 decision. The Pointers’ Zenon Kochan scored twice and Ryan Maxson and Joel Marshall added tallies. Saturday, Maxson scored for the Pointers in the first, but the Pointers couldn’t get through neutral ice the remainder of the game and saw the Blugolds score four unanswered goals, winning 4-1.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire: The Blugolds battled to a split with Wis-Stevens Point, dropping a 4-2 decision Friday, but came back Saturday with a decisive 4-1 victory at home. Adam Sklader and Chris Hunter picked up goals in the 4-2 loss. Saturday saw the emergence of Ian Sgambelluri as he netted a hat trick in the 4-1 win. Sgambelluri started out his night scoring a shorthanded goal, and later added an even-strength marker and an empty-net goal. Scoring the other Blugold goal was Mike Lucenti.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire plays at Lake Forest on Friday and then heads up the road to St. Norbert on Saturday.
Lake Forest: The Foresters went 3-for-11 on the power play Friday, but couldn’t break through until their 3-2 OT win on Saturday at home. Matt Bruni, David Evans and Scott McClure each picked up power-play goals and Adrian Wong added an even-strength goal for the Foresters in the 8-4 loss. Saturday at home, things turned around. Bill Boyes got the Foresters on the board, tying the game in the first, and Wong put the Foresters up in the second, but it would be Bruni again winning the game for the Foresters, in overtime on the power play.
Lake Forest plays Wisonsin-Eau Claire at home on Friday night and Wisconsin-Stevens Pointer on home ice on Saturday.
Wisconsin-Superior: In the first East-West matchup of the season, the Yellow Jackets came out on top for a pair of nonconference victories over Elmira. Superior got goals from Josh Liebenow, Jeff Glowa, Bryan Grycan and Kris Wilson in the road win, leading 2-1 after one and 3-2 after two. Jackets’ goalie Nathan Ziemski made 27 saves, while the Jackets had 29 shots on goal. On Saturday, Superior’s Allen Hasbargen scored at the two-minute mark of overtime to lift his team to the road sweep. Elmira jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Superior took a 3-2 lead as Jeff Glowa, Josh Liebenow and Hasbargen got third-period goals. Elmira scored at 5:01 of the third period to send it into overtime and set up Hasbargen’s game-winner. Jackets’ goalie Nate Ziemski made 29 saves.
Superior takes on Wisconsin-Stout on Friday and Wisconsin-River Falls at home this weekend.
St. Scholastica: St. Scholastica got the season off on the right foot Tuesday with an 8-3 win over MCHA foe Northland College. Northland claimed an early 2-0 lead, but the Saints responded in the second with goals from Rob Kerr, Scott Forrest and Jason Bradec. In the third, the Saints’ Josh Oyler, Sean Andrews, Nick Dolentz, Alec Nelson and Forrest added tallies to finish out the scoring. The Saints had the weekend off as travel partner Wisconsin-Superior was in Elmira.
The Saints take to the ice this weekend with their first two NCHA games of the season, taking on Wisconsin-River Falls Friday and Wisconsin-Stout on Saturday.
Wiscsconsin-Stout: The Blue Devils’ Dan Riffe and Brad Weappa each scored a pair of goals while Cale Finseth and Drew Nichols added single tallies in a 6-1 victory Tuesday over Milw. School of Eng. However, over the weekend the Blue Devils couldn’t muster enough to repeat, dropping a pair to travel partner Wisconsin-River Falls 7-2 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday. Picking up goals for the Devils on Friday were Cullen Flaherty and Lewie Kellin. Both of Saturday’s goals came from Joe Berry.
Wisconsin-Stout heads up north to take on Wisconsin-Superior and St. Scholastica.
Series to Watch
Ever since the NCHA has gone to the travel partners scenario, it’s been very difficult to pick one series to watch. This week is a perfect example of that. We have Wisconsin-Stevens Point playing one game at St. Norbert and then one game at Lake Forest. Wisconsin-River Falls plays one game at St. Scholastica and then one at Wisconsin-Superior. Superior has Stout and River Falls. If you’re looking for fireworks, my pick is Wisconsin-Eau Claire/Wisconsin-Stevens Point heading to St. Norbert/Lake Forest. Two teams who upset the big dogs last weekend, and two teams picked to take the crown. Doesn’t get much better than this!