Most teams returned to conference play over the weekend, signaling a race to the playoff finish line. As always, there were some developments that were, shall we say, very interesting.
No. 5 Oswego held onto the top spot after notching a solid 5-2 win at Cortland, while Geneseo eased ahead of No. 9 Plattsburgh (by a point) for second by taking wins over Fredonia and Buffalo State. Plattsburgh won its only encounter of the weekend, 4-1, over last place Morrisville. The next night, Morrisville pulled off perhaps the most dramatic win in the country when Jamie Nelson scored with one second left in overtime to push the Mustangs to a 5-4 triumph over Potsdam.
Hobart, ranked No. 3, suffered it’s first conference loss by dropping a 5-3 count to No. 8 Utica. Five different Pioneers hit the score sheet, more than offsetting two goals from Hobart captain Frank Salituro.
Conference leaders No. 2 Norwich defeated last place St. Michael’s, 5-2, in its lone start of the weekend. Tony Giacin notched a five-point night (two goals, three assists) in Skidmore’s 8-3 romp over Southern Maine Friday, while Castleton’s Josh Harris matched that point production with four goals and an assist in an 8-1 thumping of the University o New England. Teammate Justin Alonzo dished off five assists in that affair.
It was a tough week for conference leaders Western New England, which suffered its first league loss of the season, 3-1, at Suffolk Saturday.
Matters remain unstable in the MASCAC, as the top three teams, Plymouth, Mass.-Dartmouth, and Fitchburg all tasted defeat. Plymouth fell to 8-2-0 in the league after giving up a 2-0 lead on the way to a 4-3 loss to Worcester.
Bowdoin, ranked No. 4, continued its roll through the league by taking wins over second place Williams, 4-1, and Middlebury 3-0.
No. 7 Adrian showed no signs of slowing down, after the league-leaders downed Marian twice (6-0, 3-1). Milwaukee School of Engineering kept a grip on the league’s second spot with twin wins over Lawrence (4-3 in OT and 4-0).
League leaders St. Thomas were held to a scoreless tie by St. Mary’s on Friday. Andy Scheib kicked out 38 shots in the St. Mary’s net, while his Tommies counterpart, Drew Fielding, made 29 stops. The St. Thomas offense had no trouble getting going in Saturday’s rematch, routing the Cardinals, 7-2, with Tyler Gubb (two goals, two assists) leading the way.
The stunner of the weekend may have been pulled off by lowly Wisconsin-Stout, which upset No. 1 ranked St. Norbert, 4-3, on Friday.
Wis.-Stout rolled up a 4-1 third period lead after getting two goals each from Kevin O’Donnell and Tate Rusk, then had two withstand a hard charge at the by St. Norbert. The Green Knights rebounded with 4-1 win in the following night’s rematch. Even so, Wisconsin-Eau Claire moved into a first place tie in the conference with a pair of wins over Wisconsin-Superior, 5-2 and 3-1.