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Looking back on last weekend of 2014

jason zaleski Looking back on last weekend of 2014

Jason Zaleski tallied a hat trick in Buffalo State’s win over Johnson and Wales last Saturday (photo: Dan Hickling).

It’s time for a well-earned and well-deserved break for our two men’s D-III columnists, Dan Hickling and Brian Lester, but first, let’s run down this past weekend.

WEST

MIAC – In a showdown against nationally-ranked St. Scholastica, St. Thomas took an early lead and never looked back en route to a 4-2 non-conference victory on Saturday. Four different players scored in the win, with Willie Faust and Alex Altlenbernd each tallying their sixth goals of the season. Jordan Lovick and Connor McBride also scored. Their goals gave the Tommies an early 2-0 lead. Drew Fielding earned the win as he tallied 25 saves. The Tommies held a 29-27 edge in shots, going 2-of-5 on the power play. St. Thomas, which is 3-0-2 at home this year, improved to 5-3-3 overall…Concordia ended a three-game winless streak as it knocked off Northland 4-2 on Saturday. The Cobbers won for the first time since beating Middlebury on Nov. 28 and will head into the holiday break with a 6-4-3 record. The Cobbers pulled away in the third period, scoring twice to seal the deal. Jordie Bancroft broke the 2-2 tie and Jeremy Johnson added a goal as well in the third. It was Johnson’s second goal of the night. Andrew Deters also scored for the Cobbers, who owned a commanding 36-15 advantage in shots. Deters and Bancroft each tallied an assist as well. Jordyn Kaufer started in goal and racked up 13 saves. Kaufer improved to 2-2-2 on the season.

NCHA – Marian opened up its weekend with a 5-2 win over Superior behind two goals from Rjay Berra. Berra also tallied an assist in the win. Brodie Jamieson scored a goal and dished out two assists as the Sabres snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-6 on the season. Jacob Ryd and Derek Thorogood also scored for the Sabres, who held a 34-29 edge in shots. Mike Baldwin won his third game of the season has he made 27 saves. Marian didn’t have as much luck on Saturday as it lost 2-1 in a hard-fought game against nationally-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Jamieson scored the lone goal for Marian. It was his fourth of the year. Mike Gudmandson made 26 saves. The Sabres are off until Jan. 9 when they travel to Wisconsin-Eau Claire…Finlandia picked up its second win of the year as it topped Aurora 4-2 on Friday. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Lions. Lucas Lahnals, Thomas Malkmus, Kyle Pavlack and James Devlin all scored goals for the Lions, who fashioned a 30-23 advantage in shots. Jordan Marr made 21 saves as the Lions improved to 2-10 on the season. The Lions battled Aurora again on Sunday and skated to a 2-2 tie. Devlin and Lane King both scored goals for Finlandia. Walker Enstad made 27 saves. It was the first tie of the year for the Lions.

WIAC – Eau Claire continued its dominance of the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday night, knocking off the Raiders 4-0. The Blugolds have won all six meetings in the series, outscoring the Raiders 42-4. The win on Friday marked the third time Eau Claire has blanked MSOE. The Blugolds scored twice on the power play, getting goals from Preston Hodge and Ethan Nauman. Nauman finished the night with two goals. Patrick Moore scored as well for the Blugolds, who held a 43-34 edge in shots and ended the Raiders’ six-game win streak. It was the fifth consecutive game in which Eau Claire did not give up a power play goal. The Raiders were 0-for-9 in power play situations. Tyler Green earned the win in goal, racking up 34 saves. The Blugolds ran their win streak to three games on Saturday with an 11-2 win over Lawrence. Eau Claire scored five power play goals in the win, with Nauman and Brandon Wahlin each scoring two of them. Ross Andersen scored on the power play as well for Eau Claire, which improved to 7-3-2 overall. Jay Deo racked up 24 saves for the win….Wisconsin-River Falls is off to its best start in program history after a 3-1 win over Hamline on Friday night. The Falcons are 11-0 and their 11-game win streak ties the record for longest win streak. It’s the first time since the 1995-96 campaign that River Falls has won 11 in a row. Tanner Milliron came through with 30 saves, although his shutout streak, which lasted more than 167 minutes, was broken in the second period. River Falls was outshot 31-22 but it didn’t matter as three players scored in the win. Mike Fazio, Michael Williams and Russ Jordan all scored for the Falcons. The goal by Jordan was the first of his career. River Falls is 20-3-1 all-time against Hamline and this marks the second time this season that the Falcons have beaten the Pipers. River Falls improved to 6-0 at home and won’t play again until Jan. 2nd when it takes on Aurora in the first meeting between the two programs.

EAST

Not much weekend action in the East and what few games were played were all out of conference.

Nonetheless, there were some notable performances that sent their respective teams into the Christmas break on a high note … In Fredonia, Hunter Long scored his third goal of the season with 5:07 gone in the third period to lead FSU to a 2-1 squeaker over Johnson and Wales Friday. Goalie Jeff Flagler stopped 36 of 37 to give the Blue Devils their second win of the season. … The next afternoon, J & W stopped off in Buffalo and were bested again, this time by Buff State by a 5-3 count. Jason Zaleski scored three goals for the Bengals, and Ryan Salkeld added two more. … Hamilton rallied from a goal down three different times and eked out a 3-3 overtime tie with visiting Cortland, Friday. Pat Curtis netted the deadlocker with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation. … Also, Friday, Curry handed host Potsdam a 4-2 loss after the Bears had mounted a third period rally with goals by Billy Pascalli and Jake Rivera. Adam DiBrina’s empty netter with 26 seconds remaining sealed the deal for the Colonels. … On Saturday, Curry’s Jordan Reed scored twice (Nos. 8 and 9) in a 5-4 win over Canton. … Plymouth State went winless in its two starts, playing to a 4-4 overtime tie at New England College, then losing to Castleton State 4-3 in overtime. Josh Woody scored at 14:05 of the third, allowing the Panthers to salvage the tie with NEC. The next day, Castleton freshman Ryan Smith picked an opportune time to net his first varsity goal, at 1:32 of the extra session, which finished off the Panthers. … Lastly, Framingham State gave up four unanswered special teams goals to D-II Franklin Pierce to fall 5-3.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Last picks before the ho-ho-holidays

deters2 Last picks before the ho ho holidays

Andrew Deters hopes he’s doing this at some point over the weekend for Concordia (Minn.) (photo: Bruce Post).

The holiday break is closing in, but first, there are a few more hockey games to play.

BRIAN LESTER

One of the biggest matchups of the weekend is a nonconference battle between St. Thomas and No. 14 St. Scholastica.

The Tommies are hosting the Saints with a chance to make a statement. They come into the game at 4-3-3 overall and hope to head into the break on a high note.

St. Thomas has scored 40 goals and Alex Altenbernd and Willie Faust have led the way with five goals apiece. Drew Fielding owns a 1.52 goals-against average.

The Saints are back on track after a two-game losing streak and come in at 7-3. They have been solid offensively as well, scoring 34 goals, and Derek Sutliffe leads the way with six. Luke Simpson and Dylan Nowakowski have tallied five goals apiece.

Opportunities could be limited in a game like this, and the team that can capitalize first and limit mistakes on defense will come out on top. St. Thomas has the edge at home, where it has yet to lose. St. Thomas, 3-2.

Below are a few other matchups on the weekend schedule:

Hamline (4-3-3) vs. No. 4 Wisconsin-River Falls (10-0): The Pipers are no doubt a much improved team, and this game provides an opportunity for revenge. Back in early November, Hamline lost 5-2 at home to the Falcons.

The Pipers have not lost in their last five games, tying three opponents, and they will look to keep that momentum going on the road. Kevin Novakovich leads the Pipers with six goals, while John Sellie-Hanson has come up big in goal. Generating early offense is going to be key against the Falcons on the road.

River Falls is one of the hottest teams in the nation and has blanked its last two opponents, including a 4-0 win over No. 11 St. John’s on Tuesday.

Tanner Milliron owns a 1.69 goals-against average. If he is on top of his game, the Falcons will be tough to beat. Not to mention the offense is balanced, producing 42 goals, including six by Kyle Gattelaro. Hamline will play hard, but River Falls is going to be too tough to stop at home. River Falls, 4-2.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (6-4) vs. No. 13 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (5-3-2): The Raiders roll into Eau Claire having won their last six, and this game is no doubt an opportunity to make a statement against a nationally ranked opponent.

MSOE is 0-4 against ranked teams this season, but certainly has the talent to win this game. Omar Mullen has paved the way with nine goals and nine assists. The Raiders have scored 39 goals on the year and have struck for five or more in three of their last four games. The key is finding a way to win away from home – MSOE is 1-4 on the road.

The Blugolds have won two of their last three and have lost only once at home. Ethan Nauman has led the offense with seven goals and four assists, while Eau Claire has taken advantage of its depth at goalie to play well defensively.

Eau Claire has given up 22 goals. Tyler Green and Jay Deo have each played in five games between the pipes. This should be a hard-fought game, but I think the Blugolds find a way to get the job done. Eau Claire, 4-3.

Northland (1-10-1) vs. Concordia (Minn.) (5-4-3): The Cobbers are seeking their first win since the end of November and hope to earn it this weekend when they host the Lumberjacks.

Concordia will look to get its offense going after scoring no more than two goals in its last three outings. Jordie Bancroft and Andrew Deters have been instrumental to the success of the offense. Bancroft has scored eight goals and Deters has come through with five. The Cobbers have scored 34 overall and Alex Reichle has been solid in goal.

Northland has lost three consecutive games and hasn’t won a game since beating Lake Forest 4-3 on Nov. 8. The Lumberjacks have been led by Darius Cole, who has tallied five goals and five assists. Michael Berens has come through with five goals and four assists.

The Lumberjacks will need to step up on defense to have a shot at beating the Cobbers. Northland has allowed 59 goals, with Tyler Ampe and Jesse Dillio splitting time between the pipes. Dillio has played in eight games and Ampe has played in six. Concordia is the better team and should have no problem winning this game, Concordia, 6-3.

DAN HICKLING

Friday

Cortland (5-6-1) @ Hamilton (3-3-1) – Hamilton 5, Cortland 4
Both are fair to middlin’ teams that have scored wins over ranked opponents (Cortland over Geneseo and Hamilton over Williams). This one could come down to special teams – Cortland’s PP vs. Hamilton’s PK. Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you – Cortland freshman forward Darren McCormick (2-16-18) leads the nation in assists.

Plymouth State (5-2-1) @ New England College (3-5-1) – Plymouth 5, NEC 2
One thing is certain. Plymouth goalie Gordon Ceasar will not have to make 66 saves.

Saturday

Johnson and Wales (5-3-1) @ Buffalo State (2-6-2) – Buff State 4, J&W 3
The Bengals (shut out in three straight) broke their scoring schneid last week and the sticks should be hot for another cold day in December.

Curry (4-5-1) @ Canton (1-8-1) – Canton 4, Curry 3
Canton endures the rough life of an independent, but this time should be rewarded for its patience.

Weekend highlights around Division III

aaron green brockport Weekend highlights around Division III

Brockport goalie Aaron Green was spectacular last weekend in blanking both Buffalo State and Fredonia (photo: Dan Hickling).

Ah yes, the weekend that was.

Our Division III columnists take a look back on highlights from last weekend.

ECAC EAST – It’s something of an oddity, but better than a month into the season, the conference has three unbeaten teams – Norwich, Babson and Massachusetts-Boston – seated at the top. … Norwich made quick work of both Skidmore (4-0) and Castleton (5-1). Cadets goalie Braeden Ostepchuk turned in a 22-save shutout against Skidmore, while four different scorers – including William Pelletier – connected. Pelletier fired in two more goals against the Spartans, while teammate Anthony Flaherty notched a hat trick. … Babson goalie Jamie Murray backboned the Beavers to wins over Southern Maine (3-0) and UNE (4-1). Murray faced just 16 shots by USM, but stopped them all to turn in his fourth shutout of the season. …. Mass-Boston got two goals from Kit Sitterly (Nos. 7 and 8) in a 5-1 win over USM on Saturday while one night earlier, Stephen Buco notched his ninth and Nathan Milan tallied his ninth and 10th in a 3-0 win over UNE.

ECAC NORTHEAST – League leader Suffolk suffered its first loss of the season, Sunday’s 2-1 squeaker at Wentworth. Mike Domsodi netted the game-winner for the Leopards at 11:58 of the third period … Nichols was held to a 1-1 overtime tie by Manhattanville in a nonconference tilt.

ECAC WEST – There was just one conference tilt on the weekend schedule – Nazareth at Elmira – but it was a memorable one, ending in a 4-4 overtime draw. Leads changed hands four times, with the Golden Flyers taking the first one on a Dominick Gabaj goal with 2:26 gone. Andrew Ciampichini replied for the Soaring Eagles 2:02 later, setting the tone for the breakneck affair which saw the teams combine for 88 shots (51 by Elmira). Oliver Janzen scored two times for Nazareth, the second of those staking the Flyers to a 4-3 lead with 7:15 to play. But that was countered by Carter Shinkaruk’s second of the game, with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation, which allowed the Eagles to salvage the tie.

MASCAC – The light Saturday slate was highlighted by first-place Plymouth State’s 5-2 win over Westfield State, a squad that had been an early season surprise. The Owls, which had one four of their first five conference games, took an early 1-0 lead on PSU, then were pinned back by four consecutive Panthers goals (two by Ryan Callahan). Of note, the teams combined for an astounding 125 shots on goal (68 by Westfield), leaving Plymouth goalie Gordon Ceasar to make 66 saves and stats mavens to scramble for the record books. … Salem State goalie Jason Pucciarelli saw significantly less rubber, 28 shots, to turn in a 3-0 shutout over Worcester State. … And Massachusetts-Dartmouth got two goals each from Shaun Walters and Jaret Babych in its 6-4 win over Fitchburg State. Cameron Snyder scored twice for the Falcons in a losing cause.

MIAC – St. Thomas came out of the weekend sitting all alone in second place in the league standings after a MIAC series against Concordia (Minn.). The Tommies dominated the series opener en route to a 5-1 win and won a shootout with the Cobbers on Saturday. The Tommies held a 29-26 edge in shots in Friday’s win and five different players scored goals. Joe Morris was impressive in his first start in goal as he tallied 25 saves. On Saturday, the Tommies and Cobbers skated to a 2-2 tie before St. Thomas won the shootout 2-0. Nick Nielsen and Jordan Lovick scored the goals for St. Thomas in the shootout. The Tommies won despite being outshot 45-33. Drew Fielding started the game and racked up 43 saves. St. Thomas is now 4-3-3 overall and 3-1-2 in the MIAC. The Cobbers fell to 5-4-3 overall and are 2-2-2 in the conference. They are now in third place…St. Olaf opened up its series against Gustavus Adolphus with a shootout win on Friday night. The two teams skated to a 3-3 tie before Steven Sherman and Peter Lindlblad scored goals in the shootout. Sherman also scored the goal that forced overtime, scoring an empty-netter with 43 seconds remaining in regulation. Lindblad also scored a goal in regulation. It was his fourth of the season. The Oles held a 32-29 edge in shots. The Oles capped the series on Saturday with a 4-2 win. St Olaf scored four times in the second and third periods to earn the victory. It is now 3-8-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the MIAC. Steve Papciak made 35 saves for the Oles. Sam Majka and Andy Pearson both scored goals for the Gusties. Majka’s goal was the first of his college career. It marked only the third time in the last 10 games that Gustavus has lost. The Gusties, who are 3-4-5 overall and 1-1-4 in the MIAC, have tied five times during the stretch.

NCHA – Lake Forest came through with a big-time sweep over the weekend in NCHA action, beating No. 12 St. Scholastica twice. The Foresters beat the Saints 1-0 on Friday and picked up a 3-1 win on Saturday. On Saturday, Luke Swardenski scored twice to give the Foresters a 2-1 lead. Jason McAloon scored an empty-netter for the Foresters, who improved to 6-3-2 overall and to 5-2-1 in the league. The Foresters are in third place in the standings. Lake Forest, winners of four consecutive games, held a 37-29 edge in shots and Leo Podolsky made 25 saves. In Friday’s win, Podolsky racked up 36 saves in the shutout. He has a 1.63 goals against average on the year and has held two teams scoreless in his last three outings. McAloon scored the lone goal for the Foresters in the second period. Lake Forest was outshot 36-30 in Friday’s game but still managed to come away with the victory…St. Norbert made sure it will stay ranked as the No. 1 team in the country after sweeping Lawrence in a two-game series. The Green Knights head into the holiday break without a loss for the first time in program history. They topped the Vikings 3-1 on Friday and rolled to a 9-0 on Saturday. St. Norbert is now 10-0-1 overall and 7-0-1 in the NCHA. It is unbeaten in its last 22 games dating back to last year. Michael Hill scored three goals and has scored six in the last four games. Erik Cooper tallied two goals. David Jacobson racked up 19 saves and earned the 19th shutout of his career. He also won the 71st game of his career. St. Norbert owned a 52-16 advantage in shots. In the win on Friday, Cooper, Hill and Tyler Zepeda all scored for the Green Knights, who took 57 shots while limiting the Vikings to 17. Jacobson made 16 saves. Lawrence fell to 5-6-1 overall and 4-4 in the conference.

NESCAC – Previously unbeaten Bowdoin suffered its first two losses of the season, 3-1 to Connecticut College, and 4-3 to Tufts in overtime. Brian Brown scored at 3:25 of the extra session, his sixth of the season, to give the Jumbos the surprise win. Brown also scored the previous night to help Tufts to a 4-1 win over Colby. … The conference schedule was highlighted by Williams’ 4-3 win over visiting Amherst on Saturday. The Ephs, 5-2 losers to Hamilton on Friday, got the game-winner at 13:24 of the third by Greg Johnson.

SUNYAC – Clashes between Oswego (ranked No. 8 last week) and No. 4 Plattsburgh carry implications within the league, and nationally, too. Friday’s reunion at Plattsburgh was no different, as the Lakers eked out a 3-1 win to close the standings gap to five points (Oswego has played two less SUNYAC games), and shake up this week’s USCHO national poll. The Lakers led from 12:41 of the first on, after Chris Waterstreet scored his second of the season. Chris Raguseo made it 2-0 early in the second, but Mark Constantine brought the Cardinals to within a goal midway through the third. Oswego defenseman Bobby Gertsakis sealed the deal with his second of the season at 15:21. Platty took out its disappointment on Cortland the following night with a 7-1 trouncing while the Lakers overwhelmed Potsdam by the same score. … Brockport goalie Aaron Green recorded back-to-back shutouts, stopping a total of 55 shots in twin 3-0 wins over Buffalo State and Fredonia. Never in its 41-year varsity history had the Golden Eagles recorded consecutive shutout wins. … Meanwhile, Buff State, which had been blanked in its previous three starts, got an overtime goal from freshman Zach Nieminen to upset host Geneseo. Another Bengal freshman, goaltender Ian Sylves, made 36 saves to record his first varsity win.

WIAC – Wisconsin-Stevens Point could not have asked for a better way to open up play in the WIAC as the Pointers blanked Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3-0 on Friday night in a battle of nationally ranked teams. Brandon Jaeger was phenomenal in goal as he stopped 22 shots to help seventh-ranked Stevens Point beat the ninth-ranked Blugolds for the fifth time in the last six meetings. It was the second shutout of the year for Jaeger. Andrew Kolb, Alex Brooks and Kyle Sharkey all scored goals for the Pointers. Lawrence Cornellier tallied two assists. Stevens Point held a 37-22 edge in shots. Tyler Green took the loss for the Blugolds, making 34 saves. The Pointers capped the weekend with another WIAC win, holding off Wisconsin-Stout 7-5. Stevens Point improved to 8-2 overall and to 2-0 in the league. It has won its last three games. Joe Kalisz scored twice in the win over Stout. Eau Claire topped Superior 4-1 on Saturday and is now 5-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league…Wisconsin-River Falls continued its perfect run on Friday, edging Wisconsin-Superior 1-0. The No. 5 Falcons are now 9-0 on the season after winning their conference opener. Tanner Milliron made 37 saves as he recorded his second shutout of the season and the third of his career. Milliron has not lost a game since Jan. 24 of this year. Ryan Doner scored the only goal for River Falls, scoring on the power play 11 minutes into the second period. It was his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The Falcons were outshot 38-24. Superior is now 5-6 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Weekend picks have been made

Plattsburgh michael cassidy Weekend picks have been made

Plattsburgh’s Michael Cassidy will need to be on his game this weekend as the Cardinals face Oswego (photo: Dan Hickling).

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is right around the corner.

But before everyone unwraps gifts, they can enjoy a little more hockey before the holiday break.

BRIAN LESTER

Below is a look at my picks for a handful of matchups among teams this weekend in the West region.

MIAC

Augsburg (5-4, 2-0) vs. No. 13 St. John’s (5-1-3, 3-0-1): This is one of the biggest matchups in the conference this weekend.

The Johnnies are in first place and are looking to get back on track after a 2-1 road loss to St. Scholastica. Neal Smith and Huba Sekesi lead St. John’s with five goals apiece, while Saxton Soley has fashioned a goals-against average of 1.58. The Johnnies have yet to lose at home this season.

The Auggies, who received votes in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll this week, open this series on the road and are hoping to end a two-game losing streak. The good news is they have been impressive away from home, sporting a 3-1 road record. Mark Ohnsted leads the offense with six goals and five assists. Dylan Meier has scored five goals and dished out two assists. I think this is a series that ends in a split, with each team winning at home. St. John’s, 4-2; Augsburg, 3-2.

Concordia (Minn.) (5-3-2, 2-1-1) at St. Thomas (3-3-2, 2-1-1: Concordia has a ton of momentum heading into the series, especially after making history in the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. The Cobbers are riding a five-game unbeaten streak and have yet to lose on the road. Jordie Bancroft has come through with eight goals and four assists to pace the Cobbers. Freshman Alex Reichle continues to get better in goal and owns a 1.81 goals-against average.

The Tommies are the defending champs and have won two of their last three. They have scored just 17 goals and will look to crank up their offensive production this weekend. Alex Altenbernd and Willie Faust lead the Tommies with four goals apiece. Drew Fielding has allowed only 12 goals in net. I can’t see either team getting a sweep here, but expect Concordia to win the first game of the series. Concordia, 4-3; St. Thomas 3-2.

WIAC

No. 14 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (4-2-2) at No. 7 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-2): Nothing beats a conference opener like a matchup between two nationally-ranked teams. The Blugolds and Pointers square off for the first time this season and both teams are out to make an early statement in the league.

Eau Claire ended a three-game winless streak with a big road win over Augsburg and will look to build on that momentum. Ross Andersen and Ethan Nauman anchor a balanced scoring attack with six goals apiece while Tyler Green and Jay Deo continue to split time in goal.

The Pointers made a huge statement last week, beating previously unbeaten Adrian on the road, and now they come home with a chance to get another big win. Joe Kalisz and Kyle Sharkey lead the offense with five goals apiece while Brandon Jaeger has been rock solid in goal. This one will be close, but the Pointers get the edge at home. Stevens Point, 5-3.

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls (7-0) at Wisconsin-Superior (5-4): The quest for another league championship begins for the Falcons, who have scored four or more goals in all but one game. They thrive on a balanced attack where 10 players have scored two or more goals, including five by Alex Murphy, and Tanner Milliron has been tremendous between the pipes, giving up only 14 goals.

The Yellowjackets have won their last three and hope home ice works to their advantage in this huge early-season matchup. They are 4-2 at home this season. Tanner Dion and Jake Johnson have scored five goals apiece while Cory Simons has shown off his potential in goal the last two games, winning twice. The Falcons will prevail in this one. River Falls, 4-2.

NCHA

Lawrence (5-4-1, 4-2) vs. No. 1 St. Norbert (8-0-1, 5-0-1): The Vikings have started off well in league play and want to maintain that momentum. It won’t be easy against the reigning national champions. Lawrence opens this home-and-home series on the road and needs to be at its best to have a chance to make an early-season statement. The Vikings are led by Brendan Vetter and Blake Roubos. Both players have struck for four goals apiece. Mattias Soderqvist has started nine games between the pipes.

The Green Knights have rattled off three consecutive wins and have cranked out 51 goals. Michael Hill and Erik Cooper lead the high-powered offense with six goals apiece. David Jacobson has done his job in goal, giving up just nine goals. St. Norbert is too good on both ends of the ice to fall short in this series. St. Norbert, 5-2 and 4-1.

No. 12 St. Scholastica (6-1, 5-1) at Lake Forest (4-3-2, 3-2-1): The Saints hit the road with a chance to extend their two-game win streak. They edged St. John’s back on Nov. 25 and are hoping to come out sharp despite the extended break. Derek Sutliffe has paced the Saints with six goals and six assists. Josh Hansen has scored six goals as well. One of the keys to St. Scholastica’s success has been its ability to score off the power play. The Saints have nine power-play goals this season.

This series is a huge test for the Foresters, who have also won their last two games. They have proven they can compete with the best, forcing ties against St. Norbert (2-2) and Eau Claire (1-1). Luke Swardenski has led Lake Forest with six goals while Jack Lewis and Ben Certo have come through with eight assists apiece. Leo Podolsky has been tough as a goalie and owns a 1.87 goals against average. This is a series that ends with a split. Lake Forest 4-3, St. Scholastica 5-3.

DAN HICKLING

Friday

ECAC West – Nazareth (4-4-2, 3-1-1) @ Elmira (3-4-1, 2-2-1) – Elmira 5, Nazareth 4. Even at this early date, this matchup has the earmarks of a season-definer. Even more so for Elmira, which has yet to flash its defending championship form. If nothing else, the home ice is the ace up the sleeve.

SUNYAC – No. 8 Oswego (5-1-2, 3-1-1) @ No. 4 Plattsburgh (8-1-0, 7-0-0) – Plattsburgh 2, Oswego 1. The East’s marquee matchup of the week. The Cardinals may prevail in a tilt for the ages. But don’t hold us to it.

Saturday

MASCAC – Salem St. (4-2-0, 2-2-0) @ Worcester St. (2-5-2, 1-2-1) – Salem 5, Worcester 1. It’s time for the preseason favorite Vikings to put some MASCAC wins together. There’s a good chance one of those will come here.

NESCAC – No. 15 Amherst (5-1-0, 2-1-0) @ Williams (4-1-1, 3-0-1) – Williams 4 Amherst 2 – Amherst can win a high-scoring tilt, or a low-scoring bleeder. But so can Williams, and having with the taste of last week’s upset loss to Morrisville still stale in their mouths, that should make all the difference.

ECAC East – No. 2 Norwich (7-0-1, 5-0-0) @ Castleton (3-6-0, 3-3-0) – Castleton 4, Norwich 3. There is a “trap” game in every elite team’s future. The Cadets won’t have to leave the state of Vermont to find theirs.

Sunday

ECAC Northeast – Suffolk (6-0-1, 4-0-1) @ Wentworth (4-4-1, 2-2-1) – Suffolk 3, Wentworth 1. Suffolk is among the hottest squads in the country and there’s no cooling down here.

Looking back on the weekend

131115 UST UWSP M 0200 Looking back on the weekend

Brandon Jaeger helped Wisconsin-Stevens Point knock off Adrian last weekend (photo: Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com).

Sick of turkey leftovers?

No worries. We’ve got you covered with all the Division III men’s highlights from this past weekend.

EAST – Dan Hickling

With the vast majority of teams in the East playing out of conference, this week’s wrap looks at how last week’s ranked teams fared.

With No. 3 Plattsburgh tangling with No. 2 Norwich, one could have expected a game for the ages. Such was not the case, as the Cadets easily handled Platty, 5-1. Austin Surowiec paced Norwich with two goals. The next day, Norwich was held to a 2-2 tie while the Cardinals rebounded by beating Primelink Tourney hosts Middlebury, 4-2 … Babson, ranked No. 6, made a sweep of two visiting ECAC West foes, Nazareth (6-2) and Elmira (2-1). Dan Casey’s second period goal – his sixth of the season – proved to be the difference against Elmira. … No. 8 Trinity split its two tilts, blasting Massachusetts-Dartmouth 9-1 – with Conor Coveney, Anthony Sabitsky and Tyler Whitney all chipping in two goals – but then lost to No. 10 Massachusetts-Boston, 5-3. The Beacons stunned Trinity with four unanswered goals, two of them by Stephen Buco (his seventh and eighth). … The previous night, UMB rolled over Weslyan, 6-2, as Peter MacIntyre racked up four assists. … No. 11 Bowdoin trounced Wentworth, 6-1 in the opener of the Bowdoin/Colby Tournament, as half a dozen Polar Bears lit the lamp. That was followed by a 8-0 rout of Salve Regina, which featured a 27-save shutout by Max Fenkell and two goals by Matthew Lison. … Finally, No. 15 Williams squeaked out a 4-3 win over Johnson & Wales in the opener of the Skidmore Invitational, then was shocked in overtime, 3-2 by Morrisville for the tourney title. The Mustangs erased a two-goal deficit, with Marc-Antoine Chaput knotting the score with 4:57 remaining in the third period. Matthew Beer then notched the game-winner at 1:20 of the extra session. Morrisville goalie Steven Dombrosky racked up 36 saves in a winning cause.

WEST – Brian Lester

MIAC – Concordia (Minn.) made history over the weekend as it became the first western team to win the PrimeLink Shootout tournament, knocking off No. 2 Norwich in a shootout. It is also the first invited team to win the tourney title in 17 years. The Cobbers and Cadets were tied at 3-3 after regulation and overtime before Concordia came through with the win over a program that has won three national championships. Andrew Deters and Jon Grebosky scored goals in the shootout. Jordie Bancroft and Jordan Krebsbach both scored in regulation for the Cobbers. Alex Reichle tallied 28 saves. The Cobbers are unbeaten in their last five games, improving to 5-3-2 … Gustavus Adolphus was winless on the weekend at the MIAC/NCHA Showcase, falling 2-1 to Marian on Sunday after skating to a 3-3 tie against Lawrence on Saturday. Andy Pearson tied the game in the third period against Lawrence to force overtime. It marked the fourth consecutive game where Gustavus had a game end in a tie. Jake McCann and Gavin Tufte both scored goals as well for the Gusties against Lawrence. The Gustied ended up with a 45-23 edge in shots. Against Marian, a goal with under five minutes to play proved to be the difference as Gustavus had its six-game unbeaten streak end. The Gusties are now 3-3-4 on the season. Jack Walsh scored Gustavus’ only goal of the game. The Gusties held a 28-13 advantage in shots and have killed 21 straight penalties over an eight-game span.

NCHA - Concordia (Wis.) retained possession of the Thanksgiving Cup with a 3-1 win over Bethel on Saturday. The Falcons capped a weekend sweep of the Royals with the win. They earned a 6-5 win over Bethel on Friday. Tanner Bull broke a 1-1 tie in the third period and Chris Hughes finished off the scoring for the Falcons, who improved to 3-7. Domingo Torrenueva started his first game of the season on Saturday and racked up 32 saves. In Friday?s win, Anthony Pickering scored twice, including the game winner with 9:21 remaining in the game, to lift the Falcons to a victory. Dylan Frank started between the pipes and made 30 saves. After opening the season with six consecutive losses, the Falcons have won three of their last four games … The Milwaukee School of Engineering swept Aurora over the weekend, punctuating the sweep with a 5-2 win on Sunday. The win was the fourth in a row for the Raiders, who are 4-4 on the year. Patrick Dwyer scored twice and Casey Moneer tallied two assists. Austin Campbell made 13 saves. In Friday’s 6-5 overtime win, Omar Mullan scored with 18.8 seconds to play to help finish off a furious comeback for the Raiders. MSOE trailed 5-1 in the game before fighting back for the win. Mullan scored twice in the victory, while Nick Kohn tallied 21 saves.

WIAC – In a battle of nationally-ranked opponents, Wisconsin-Stevens Point had the upper hand on Saturday as it knocked off previously unbeaten Adrian 6-3 on the road. The win avenged a 6-4 loss to the Bulldogs earlier in the month. The No. 9 Pointers held a 33-27 advantage in shots and led the fourth-ranked Bulldogs 2-1 after one period. They stretched their lead to 3-1 after two periods. Six different players scored in the victory, while Kyle Brodie and Scott Henegar came up with two assists apiece. Brandon Jaeger made 24 saves as the Pointers improved to 6-2 on the season. It was the fourth win in the last five games for Stevens Point, which was the national runner-up last season … Wisconsin-Eau Claire went on the road Saturday and knocked off Augsburg 3-1, beating the Auggies for the fifth time in their last six meetings. The Blugolds, ranked No. 13 in the country, are 11-0-2 against MIAC schools since January of last season. Ross Andersen scored twice in the win, pushing his goal total to six on the year, and Ethan Nauman added a goal as well as Eau Claire improved to 4-2-2. Nauman has also tallied six goals on the season. Tyler Green made 25 saves and is 3-0-1 on the year. The victory over the Auggies ended a three-game winless streak where Eau Claire never scored more than two goals in a game. Saturday’s win marked the fifth time this year that the Blugolds have scored at least three goals in a game.

Weekend picks are in

photo Weekend picks are in

Babson goaltender Jamie Murray is off to a stellar start for the Beavers (photo: Babson Athletics).

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that everyone is thankful for another weekend of college hockey.

Our two columnists take a look at this weekend’s top games and weigh in with their predictions.

BRIAN LESTER

Concordia (Minn.) is certainly thankful to be playing and for its early-season success. It will be tested this weekend as it heads out to the prestigious PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout at Middlebury.

The Cobbers take on the host team on Friday and will look to build on their early-season success. Concordia is tied for second in the MIAC at the moment, sitting at 4-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the league.

Concordia has won its last two and has gotten a huge lift from Andrew Deters, who has tallied five goals. Jon Grebosky has come through with four goals. The Cobbers have scored 25 goals in all.

The Panthers have played just four games and are 1-1-2 on the season. Mike Najjar and Vincent Gosonti have scored two goals apiece. Although this is a road game for Concordia, I think the Cobbers are more than capable of getting the job done and advancing to the tournament title game. Concordia, 4-3.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point (5-2) vs. Adrian (8-0): The ninth-ranked Pointers and No. 4 Bulldogs face off in a pivotal non-conference matchup. Stevens Point has won three of its last four and is looking avenge a 6-4 loss to Adrian last weekend. The Pointers held a 37-21 edge in shots in the last meeting. But they gave up three goals in the second period and they have to avoid the flurry of goals that Adrian is capable of coming through with in a game. Defense will be key. Brandon Jaeger has tallied 143 saves on the year.

Adrian’s high-powered offense is tough to contain. The Bulldogs are averaging six goals per outing and are extremely difficult to defend. Matthew Thompson leads the attack with five goals. He has also dished out eight assists. Taylor McCloy is the assist leader with 13 on the season. If this were on the road, I might give the Pointers the edge. The Bulldogs get the edge being at home. Adrian, 5-4.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire (3-2-2) vs. Augsburg (5-3): The Auggies will look to get back on track after a tough overtime loss to Wisconsin-River Falls. Mark Ohnstead has paced Augsburg with six goals and Dylan Meier has come through with five goals. The Auggies need to be able to cash in on scoring opportunities when they get them and take advantage of being at home.

The No. 13 Blugolds hit the road looking to end a three-game winless streak. Jay Deo and Tyler Green have split time and goal and there is no question the defense will need to shine for Eau Claire to get the win.

Scoring off the power play will be key as well. Eau Claire is 0-for-30 in those situations, and if it can generate goals off of it this weekend, it could go a long way toward a win. I think Eau Claire gets back on track. Eau Claire, 4-3.

Lake Forest (2-3-2, 1-2-1) vs. Finlandia (1-6, 1-3): The Foresters are hoping to break out of a funk where they have gone five games without a win. They have managed to score only two goals in a game only twice during the stretch. Luke Swardenski has led Lake Forest with four goals. This is a NCHA series the Foresters need to take care of business in, especially with the expectations they have for the season.

Finlandia is capable of beating anyone on any given night. It proved as much with its upset win over St. Scholastica. The Lions have dropped three in a row and have managed to score only nine goals all year. They have given up 44. The odds favor Lake Forest and my guess is the Foresters get the job done. Lake Forest, 4-1, 5-2.

DAN HICKLING

FRIDAY

Manhattanville (1-3-1) vs. Castleton (3-4-0) at Rutland Herald Invitational – Castleton 2, Manhattanville 1
Both squads are looking for a jump start. The view here is that Castleton finds one.

No. 3 Plattsburgh (7-0-0) vs. #2 Norwich (6-0-0) at Primelink Tourney – Plattsburgh 3, Norwich 2
Would you be surprised to see these two squaring off for the national championship in three months? Didn’t think so.

SATURDAY

University of New England (3-4-0) vs. Cortland (2-5-1) at PAL Stovepipe – UNE 6, Cortland 5
Like a full-tilt 200-foot contest? Get to this one. These teams can score and score some more. Should be highly entertaining for everyone – except the goalies, that is.

Nazareth (4-2-1) @ No. 6 Babson (6-0-0) – Babson 3, Nazareth 1
Nazareth has pulled off enough upsets over ranked teams that another one here wouldn’t be such a shock. Still, Babson’s Jamie Murray is playing as well as any goalie in the country, and the eager Beavers in front of him are very protective of him.

SUNDAY

No. 10 Massachusetts-Boston (6-0-0) @ No. 8 Trinity (3-0-1) – Trinity 4 UMB 2
Two quality teams who play in tough conferences, eager (and capable) of entering the national conversation. What do they say? Nothing to lose and everything to gain?

Looking back on the weekend

Eddie Z sized Looking back on the weekend

Nazareth goaltender Ed Zdolshek pitched a shutout and added an assist in two wins last weekend (photo: Dan Hickling).

Taking a quick glance back on the goings on in the world of Division III hockey last weekend.

ECAC EAST – When the first puck dropped at the start of the weekend, three ECACE powerhouses – Babson, Norwich and Massachusetts-Boston – all sported unblemished records. The weekend changed nothing. All three powerhouses came through the weekend unscathed, Babson (5-0-0, 4-0-0) in a breeze with strong wins over Skidmore (6-1) and Castleton (3-0). … Norwich (6-0-0, 5-0-0) walked over St. Anselm 5-1, then eked out a 4-3 win over New England college, with Dean Niezgoda third period goal holding up as the game-winner. … Idle the weekend before, Mass-Boston (6-0-0, 4-0-0) returned with wins over Castleton (2-0) and Skidmore (6-1).

ECAC NORTHEAST – Weekend action was light – just four tilts on Saturday – but provoked some eyebrow arching. Upstart Suffolk (5-0-1, 4-0-1) slipped into sole possession of first place with a strong 7-2 rout of Becker. Stanton Turner fired in three goals for the Rams … Meanwhile Nichols (5-1-1, 3-1-1) suffered its first loss, 3-2 to Salve Regina. Alan Boozer netted the game-winner at 8:44 of the third, his second goal of the game.

ECAC WEST – The weekend was a mixed bag for everybody in the West, everybody except for Nazareth. The Golden Flyers took wins over Manhattanville (5-0) and Neumann (3-2). Junior goalie Ed Zdolshek stopped 31 shots for the shutout on Friday, then garnered an assist on James Redman’s go-ahead goal Saturday … Elmira and Hobart split their two-game set in Geneva, both by twin 4-2 counts. … Then there was last-place Utica (1-4-2, 0-4-1), who was thumped at home by Neumann, 4-1. The Pioneers, an early season disappointment, followed by battling No. 2 ranked Oswego to a 4-4 tie before a D-III record crowd of 7,047 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Louie Educate’s power play goal at 12:34 of the third – his second of the game – served as the game-tying tally.

MASCAC – A trio of tilts on Saturday, including first-place Plymouth’s (3-2-1, 3-0-1) 5-1 waxing of Worcester. Dan Dupell netted a pair of goals. … Massachusetts-Darmouth and Fitchburg State both racked up their first wins of the season. Five different marksmen connected to give UMD a 5-4 win over Westfield, while Fitchburg goalie Ryan Wysocki stopped all 38 Framingham shots to lift the Falcons to a 4-0 triumph.

MIAC – Concordia (Minn.) completed a sweep of Bethel with a 4-1 win over the Royals on Saturday. The Cobbers continue a streak where they have lost only once in their last five games. Garrett Hendrickson scored a goal and dished out two assists in the win, pushing his point total to 12. Goalie Alex Reichie stepped up as he stopped 30 shots for his third win. He stopped 59 of 62 shots overall on the weekend as CU improved to 4-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the MIAC. The Cobbers won 5-2 on opening night….Hamline proved once again that it has made significant strides since last season, playing Gustavus Adolphus to a tie on both nights of their weekend series. The Pipers skated to a 3-3 tie on Friday and to a 2-2 tie the following night. Charlie Adams scored twice for Hamline on Friday. Tyler Lapic struck for a pair of goals for the Gusties in Saturday’s win. Hamline was outshot 37-31 on Friday and by a 45-20 count on Saturday. Hamline goalie John Sellie-Hanson racked up 77 saves for Hamline in the two games. Hamline is now 3-3-2 overall and 0-0-2 in the MIAC. Gustavus is 3-2-3 overall and 1-0-3 in the league.

NCHA – Adrian went on the road over the weekend and picked up a pair of pivotal nonconference wins over nationally-ranked opponents. The No. 6 Bulldogs (8-0) topped No. 9 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 5-2 and finished off the weekend with a 6-4 win over No. 6 Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The win over the Blugolds was the first ever for the Bulldogs in three meetings. Scott Shackell earned the win in goal against Eau Claire, racking up 27 saves. He made 11 of those stops in the third period. Adrian scored the final two goals in the battle with the Pointers, notching their fourth road win of the season in the process. Adrian converted on its first three power-play attempts of the game en route to the victory. Josh Ranalli scored twice to pace the Bulldogs. Taylor McCloy came through with three assists. Stevens Point held a 37-21 edge in shots on goal, but Shackell stepped up and tallied 33 saves…Lake Forest has been battled tested this season, and Saturday night marked the fourth consecutive game where it played a nationally-ranked opponent. The Foresters were coming off a 5-1 loss to Stevens Point on Friday but gave Eau Claire all it could handle in a 1-1 tie. Goalie Leo Podolsky helped secure the tie as he racked up a career-high 43 saves. Podolsky’s old career high was 42 in a game against St. Norbert last weekend. He owns a 1.99 goals against average on the year. Jordan Bruce scored the lone goal for Lake Forest (2-3-2), which is still looking for its first win since Nov. 7.

NESCAC – Bowdoin, Trinity and Williams all emerged from the weekend with 3-0-1 conference records and a share of first place. Bowdoin took both ends of its home-and-home set with rivals Colby, 5-3 and 6-3. Senior John McGinnis racked up five points, two goals and three assists, to up his league-leading scoring total (11 points), while linemate Connor Quinn netted a three-goal hat trick. … Williams took twin wins, a 2-1 squeaker over Connecticut College followed by a 9-0 blasting of Tufts. David Jarrett’s third period tally was the game-winner against CC, while Luke Stickel’s big night – three goals and an assist – fueled the rout of the Jumbos. … Behind Ryan Cole’s hat-trick, Trinity began the weekend with a 7-2 hammering of Amherst – its third consecutive win by that hefty score, then had to settle for a 1-1 tie with visiting Hamilton the next night. John Hawkrigg’s second period goal allowed the Bantams to salvage the point, and was the only one of Trinity’s 46 shots to elude Hamiton goalie Buitenhuis.

SUNYAC – What was the big story of the weekend? Perhaps it was the twin wins put up by Cortland – 4-2 over No. 13 Geneseo and 5-4 over Brockport. The Red Dragons upended Genny with four unanswered goals to give rookie head coach Joe Cardarelli his first-ever win. Dan Broderick (7), and Nick Zappia (6) both scored three times during the weekend and sit atop the SUNYAC’s goal-scoring ladder. … Meanwhile, Oswego, which began the week ranked second in the nation, were held to a pair of 4-4 deadlocks by unranked Brockport and Utica (see ECAC West). The Brockport tilt featured late third-period goals by Golden Eagles’ James Ryan and Jake Taylor wrapped around one by Oswego’s Krystian Yorke, all in a white-knuckling span of just 26 seconds. … Then there is first-place Plattsburgh, which ran its mark to 7-0-0 with a pair of wins over Morrisville, 5-3 and 5-2.

WIAC – Wisconsin-River Falls is still unbeaten after a weekend sweep of non-conference opponents. The Falcons stopped Lawrence 4-1 and blanked Northland 3-0 to improve to 6-0 on the season. In the series opener, the No. 10 Falcons were outshot 29-28, but Mike Fazio helped propel River Falls to the win as he scored twice. Tanner Milliron made 28 saves in the win. On Saturday, Milliron came through with his first shutout of the season, making 19 saves. River Falls held a 28-19 edge in shots, with Ryan Doner, Terry Leabo and Jeff Bergh all scoring goals … Wisconsin-Superior capped a perfect weekend on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Finlandia. The Yellow Jackets defeated Northland 4-3 on Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak. In Saturday’s win, Superior (4-4) scored four times in the second period for the third time this season. Of the 24 goals it has scored this season, 19 have have come in the second period. Anton Svensson, Jake Johnson, Tanner Dion and Jordan Shockey all scored goals in period. The Yellow Jackets held a 47-28 edge in shots. Against Northland, Superior got itself back on track, scoring three times in the second and then hanging on for a close win. Four different players scored in the victory and Corey Simons earned his first collegiate victory, racking up 31 saves. He made 27 of those saves in the final two periods.

At Carrier Dome, Utica, Oswego play before largest crowd to see Division III men’s hockey game

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The organizers of the Frozen Dome Classic at the Carrier Dome made no secret of their goal — to break the U.S. professional hockey indoor attendance record with their feature game between two “local” American Hockey League teams, the Syracuse Crunch and the Utica Comets.

The U.S. pro indoor record was 28,138 set at Tropicana Field during Game 4 of the 1996 NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers.

The organizers met their goal as the Carrier Dome now owns the record with an official attendance count of 30,715 on Saturday.

The U.S. indoor record for any hockey game was a college game — the 2010 NCAA national final between Wisconsin and Boston College at Ford Field in Detroit. That was 37,592.

The semifinals for that Frozen Four is second on the list with 34,954.

For the college participants in the Frozen Dome Classic, it was a thrill.

“It was awesome. The guys were excited about it,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said after a 4-4 tie with Utica. “The ice really wasn’t that bad. More than the ice is the boards. The boards are dead because they are not permanently mounted into the surface. You got to work for everything off the walls.”

“This is fun,” Utica coach Gary Heenan said. “When you get off the bus, it had that feeling it was the big time. It’s great for us.”

The college game also set a record. The official attendance was 7,047, setting the mark for an NCAA Division III hockey game.

Two games were played on Friday — Cicero North Syracuse beat Baldwinsville 3-2 in overtime in a high school game and the Syracuse club team beat West Virginia 4-2.

The first game of Saturday’s tripleheader was also between the two nearby cities — Syracuse firefighters and medical versus Utica law enforcement. The police won 4-1.

Predictions for the weekend

Soley sized Predictions for the weekend

St. John’s goaltender Saxton Soley will need to be on his game this weekend as the Johnnies play St. Mary’s (photo: Caleb Williams/d3photography.com).

The crystal ball is out and our Division III columnists are at it again.

Who gets wins this weekend and who doesn’t? Digest the predictions below.

DAN HICKLING

Friday

ECAC East – Castleton (3-2-0, 3-1-0) at No. 11 Massachusetts-Boston (4-0-0, 2-0-0) – Mass-Boston 3, Castleton 1
UMB returns from its two-week layoff with scant signs of rust. Could be a defining weekend for Castleton which also has No. 7 Babson on Saturday.

NESCAC – Tufts (0-2-0) at Middlebury (0-1-1, 0-1-1) – Middlebury 4, Tufts 2
After a trouncing by Bowdoin and being forced to settle for a tie with Colby, Middlebury is still trying to figure itself out. Some answers may come courtesy the likewise winless Jumbos.

Saturday

ECAC Northeast – Becker (1-4-0, 0-3-0) at Suffolk (4-0-1, 3-0-1) – Suffolk 3, Becker 1
Still-unbeaten Suffolk doesn’t score a lot, but their foes score even less. While on that subject, the Hawks have been blanked the last two times out.

MASCAC – Fitchburg State (0-3-2, 0-1-1) at Framingham State (0-3-1, 0-2-1) – Fitchburg 2, Framingham 1
Framingham scores four goals again, but few goalies in the conference are as good as Fitchburg’s Ryan Wysocki, who may see his customary 40 shots per game, but could put up another of his head-standing performances.

ECAC West/SUNYAC – Utica (1-3-1, 0-3-0) vs. No. 2 Oswego (5-0-0, 3-0-0) at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y – Oswego 5, Utica 1
The big stage of the Frozen Dome will be suitable for a large-sized showing by the Lakers, ranked second in the nation. Utica can give them a game, but will they?

BRIAN LESTER

The puck is set to drop on another weekend of hockey, and two big games over the weekend involve a matchup between top teams in the WIAC and NCHA.

Adrian takes on Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Friday night before battling 2013 national runner-up Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday. Both games are on the road for the fifth-ranked Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (6-0) have scored 37 goals this season and feature one of the top offenses in the nation.

Josh Ranalli and Kyle Brothers have paced the offense with five goals apiece. Duston Hebebrand has come through with four goals. Adrian has also gotten solid goaltending from James Hamby and Scott Shackell.

No. 6 Eau Claire (3-1-1) has scored 19 goals on the season and has given up 11. Defense will be the key to success against the Bulldogs. The Blugolds have allowed opponents to go just 1-of-20 on the power play this season.

Tyler Green and Jay Deo have split time in goal and either one is capable of starting on any given night.

For the No. 6 Pointers, who have won their last two games, defense will likely be a key to their success as well. They have given up just seven goals on the season and this game provides an opportunity for a huge nonconference win

Brandon Jaeger has played well, fashioning a goals against average of 1.40. If he rises to the occasion, the Pointers will be in a position to win.

I think Adrian gets the win on Friday by a 5-3 score, but takes a hit on Saturday and in a tight one I’ll give the Pointers the edge in a 4-3 win.

Below are a few other games to watch this weekend.

St. Johns (4-0-2, 2-0) vs. St. Mary’s (2-3-1, 0-1-1): The Johnnies are one of two unbeaten teams in league play. They come into the series on a two-game win streak. Neal Smith has played a key role offensively, scoring four goals. Huba Sekesi has tallied three goals. Goaltender Saxton Soley gives SJU a chance to win every night.

The Cardinals have given up three goals in each of their last two games, but will look to get back on track this weekend. Martin Gruse has played well, scoring four goals and dishing out three assists, while Phil Heinle has led the way in goal. He has tallied 175 saves.

This should be a competitive matchup, but in the end SJU will find a way to win. SJU, 4-2, 3-2

Gustavus Adolphus (3-2-1, 1-0-1) vs. Hamline (3-3, 0-0): The Gusties have scored 18 goals on the season and will look to be on top of their game offensively against the Pipers. Five players have scored two or more goals, with Jake Bushey paving the way with four. Conor Deal has tallied three goals and three assists. Erik Johnson will need a big game in goal.

Hamline is playing its first league series of the season and is a much different team than it was a year ago. The Pipers will need to be at their best on offense. They have scored 14 goals. Kevin Novakovich has led the way with four. For the Pipers, this is an opportunity to make a statement against one of the top teams in the MIAC. I think they do it in the series opener. HU, 2-1, GU, 4-2

Lawrence (4-2) vs. Wisconsin-River Falls (4-0): Lawrence has an opportunity to nail down a big road win. The Vikings have won their last two and have been led by Blake Roubus, who has tallied four goals and four assists. Renato Engler has come through with three goals and six assists for Lawrence, which has scored 22 goals and given up 17. Goalie Mattias Soderqvist has been consistent between the pipes.

The Falcons, ranked 10th in the nation, have scored four or more goals in every game. Their offense is anchored by Alex Murphy, who has come through with five goals and two assists. Ryan Doner has tallied two goals and five assists. Tanner Milliron has been solid in goal, too. The Falcons should get the job done at home. River Falls, 4-2

Looking back on the weekend’s action

 

John McGinnis Looking back on the weekends action

Bowdoin’s John McGinnis tallied two goals and two assists in the Polar Bears’ 6-0 win over Middlebury last Friday night (photo: Dan Hickling).

This past weekend, games were played and the action is heating up.

Who won? Who lost? Who stood out?

Our Division III columnists have the wrap-up.

ECAC EAST – Castleton and Norwich both moved ahead of idle rivals Babson and Massachusetts-Boston in the league standings, tied as they are at the top now with six points. However, for Castleton, the weekend produced a mixed bag, a 5-4 loss to St. Anselm followed by a 5-2 win over visiting New England College. The Spartans got two third-period goals from defenseman Tyler Gaudry against NEC as they scored four times times to break open what had been a tight 1-1 contest. … As for Norwich, the Cadets had little trouble in defeating visiting Southern Maine (5-0) and UNE (4-1). Nevin Lawler netted three goals on the weekend, including two against USM.

ECAC NORTHEAST – Nichols won its only contest of the weekend, 7-3 over Wentworth on Saturday, and getting goals from seven different sources in the process. The Leopards had taken an early 2-0 lead, but the Bison struck back for four consecutive goals, including three in the middle stanza. … Suffolk kept pace with Nichols (both are 3-0) by winning a pair of close contests, 2-1 over Johnson & Wales (in OT) and 3-1 over Western New England. The Rams trailed in both games, but still grabbed the maximum four points thanks to game winners by Tim Benedetto and Brett Lawson. … Nichols will host Suffolk on Wednesday in what amounts to an early season showdown clash.

ECAC WEST – Neumann and Hobart both sit atop the conference with identical 3-1 conference records. Goaltender Ben Gurley stopped all 20 Manhattanville shots in leading the Knights to a 3-0 triumph on Friday. The next night, Mike Davis scored at 3:31 of overtime to down Manhattanville again, 4-3. … Hobart also won twice at home, 5-2 over Nazareth and 5-4 in overtime against Utica. Brad McBride’s goal at 1:34 of extra time secured the Statesmen’s Saturday triumph.

MASCAC – Plymouth State’s Mike Freitag had a productive week, scoring twice in Thursday’s 3-3 tie at Framingham State, then chipped in one more tally in the Panthers’ 4-1 win over visiting Mass-Dartmouth, Saturday. … Westfield State got an early jump on what proved to be a rewarding week, with Tuesday’s 6-4 shootout with Framingham State, and a 6-1 trouncing of Salem State on Thursday. Westfield freshman Nik Passero netted his first two collegiate goals against Framingham, then chipped in another, two nights later. Junior Dalton Jay netted a three goal hat trick in the Salem win, while Maxime Richard popped in two more.

MIAC – Freshman Huba Sekesi came through with a hat trick as St. John’s finished off a sweep of St. Olaf with a 4-2 win on Saturday. Sekesi scored his first three collegiate goals in the win, including the first on a power and the last with three seconds remaining. It was the first hat trick for a SJU player since John Haeg did it in 2012. Saxton Soley made 21 saves and the Johnnies (4-0-2, 2-0) outshot the Oles (1-5, 0-2) 32-23….Gustavus got a solid performance from goalie Erik Johnson in its conference opener against Concordia but had to settle for a tie in the series finale. Johnson stopped 30 shots in the Gusties’ 2-1 win on Friday, earning his second consecutive victory. On Saturday, Gustavus (3-2-1, 1-0-1) opened up a 3-0 lead but couldn’t hold onto it as Concordia rallied for the tie. Blake Schammel scored twice and also dished out an assist. His linemates were also productive. Connor Deal scored a goal and tallied two assists while Tim Donohue finished with two assists. The Cobbers (2-3-1, 0-1-1) earned two points, however, by winning the shootout on a goal by Jordie Bancroft….Hamline (3-3) topped its win total from a year ago after knocking off Superior 2-0 on Friday. The three wins matches the victory total from the last two seasons combined for the Pipers. John Sellie-Hanson earned the shutout, the first of his career, as he racked up 34 saves.

NCHA – Finlandia came up with one of the most stunning wins of the weekend, edging No. 8 St. Scholastica 4-3 on Saturday for its first victory of the year. The Lions (1-3, 1-2) handed the Saints (4-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season. Justin Scott punched in the game-winning goal, scoring 4:26 into the third period. Andrew Brownlee shined between the pipes, racking up 37 saves. The Lions, who gave up 30 goals in their first three games, led 2-0 early and were up 3-2 entering the third period. Finlandia won despite being outshot 40-21. Finlandia missed out on a sweep, however, as it lost 3-2 to the Saints on Sunday…Nick Kohn made 24 saves and helped Milwaukee School of Engineering complete a sweep of Marian on Saturday. The Raiders won 3-1 on both nights. Brent Wilcox tallied a goal and an assist to pave the way for MSOE (2-4, 2-4) in the finale. Kohn came through with 17 saves on Friday. MSOE took 44 shots, with Patrick Dwyer, Jerad Tafoya and Omar Mullan all scoring for the Raiders. Marian (2-4, 2-4 was limited to 18 shots as the Raiders ended a four-game losing streak…Lake Forest bounced back from a 3-1 loss to top-ranked St. Norbert on Friday to forge a 2-2 tie against the Green Knights on Saturday. Charlie Stein and Billy Kent both scored for the Forresters (2-2-1, 1-2-1). Leo Podolsky made a career-high 42 saves a night after tallying 37 saves against the Green Knights (5-0-1, 5-0-1).

NESCAC – Think Trinity was ready to get the season started? The Bantams exploded for 14 goals during the opening weekend, split evenly between a pair of 7-2 triumphs over Connecticut College and Tufts. Freshman Tyler Whitney got his collegiate career off with a flourish, scoring three goals, including two game-winners. … Bowdoin’s John McGinnis enjoyed a four-point night (two goals, two assists) in the Polar Bears’ 6-0 Friday thumping of Middlebury, then added another the next night in a 3-3 tie with Williams. Connor Quinn netted the crucial game-tying tally for Bowdoin with 52 seconds remaining in regulation. Assisting on that extra-attacker goal? You guessed it. It was McGinnis. Freshman Colby Cretella had earlier tallied twice for Williams. The Ephs, by the way, won their opener, 4-2, at Colby, with freshman C.J. Shugart sniping two goals.

SUNYAC – Plattsburgh ran its record to 5-0 with hefty wins over Buff State (6-1) and Fredonia (4-1). As per usual, the Cardinals enjoyed balanced scoring, with 10 different marksmen hitting the net during the weekend. … Oswego, ranked second in the nation, routed a pair of nonconference foes, Canton (9-1) and Nazareth (4-0). Sophomore Matt Galati had a pair of goals in each game, and is now tied for the national scoring lead with Adrian’s Kyle Brothers. Both have impressive 5-7-12 numbers. … Morrisville earned its first two wins of the season, taking counts a pair from Cortland, 6-4 and 7-3. Robert Molinaro scored twice in each game.

WIAC – In a rematch of last season’s opening round NCAA tournament game between Stevens Point and St. Thomas, the Pointers once again knocked off the Tommies, picking up a 3-1 victory on Friday. Stevens Point (3-1) scored twice in the third period to secure the win over the Tommies (1-2-2). Andrew Kolb broke the tie with 4:52 remaining, scoring on a power play goal. It was his second goal of the season. Lawrence Cornellier also scored in the third. The empty-net goal pushed his total to four on the year. The Pointers held a decisive 33-12 edge in shots. Brandon Jaeger made 11 saves…River Falls remained unbeaten with a pair of wins over MIAC schools this weekend. The Falcons (4-0) topped Bethel 5-2 on Friday and beat Augsburg 5-3 the next day. River Falls held a 39-14 edge in shots against Bethel (2-3). Blake Huppert scored his first goal of the year in the win. Ryan Doner, Christian George and Mike Fazio also scored. Tanner Milliron came up with 12 saves. Against Augsburg, River Falls struck for three goals in the third to rally for the win. Alex Murphy scored a goal and tallied an assist. He has six goals on the year. Taylor Burden also racked up a goal and an assist. Milliron made 28 saves.

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