Neumann has had an up-and-down season, but certainly has the talent to make a run in ECAC West, climb the rankings, and get in position for a postseason charge.
All that said, this weekend wasn’t much of a launching pad.
The Knights didn’t get much accomplished in a weekend set vs. Manhattanville. Neumann lost, 5-2, on Friday on the road, and managed a 2-2 tie on Saturday at home.
Coach Dominick Dawes has some work on his hands now, as the Knights (12-6-3, 4-6-1 in conference) have just nine points in the league and trail Elmira, Manhattanville, Utica, and first-place Hobart, the latter by 10 points as time ticks away.
Before Dawes looks toward the postseason, first things first. The Knights need to bounce back with a weekend homestand this week — vs. Elmira and Hobart. For that to happen, the offense needs to pick it up a notch. Headed into this week, Neumann has just one player in the league’s Top 20 in scoring. Even that player, senior forward Jordan Zalba. has just one goal to go with eight assists.
Louie’s leading the way for Utica
Surely, Nichols of the ECAC Northeast has missed the goal-scoring presence that Louie Educate is, but one program’s loss is another’s gain, and Utica has reaped the rewards of his decision to transfer this summer.
The sophomore forward, in ECAC West games alone, has eight goals and 17 points — tops in the conference — and he is likely to surpass last year’s power-play total for Nichols (five), because he already has four with the man advantage, to go with three game-winners.
Educate has points in his last four games — including a three-assist night vs. Manhattanville on Jan. 26 — and has been a key cog for the Pioneers (17-4-0, 8-3-0) as they charge down the homestretch.
Scoring surge for Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus (11-7-3, 5-5-2) has been one of the middling teams in the MIAC this season, but this past weekend might give the Golden Gusties the spark they needed. Gustavus Adolphus orchestrated two offensive masterpieces, outlasting Hamline, 7-4, on Friday, and defeating those same Pipers, 4-2, on Saturday. That’s four big points and 11 big goals in a 24-hour span.
Gustavus Adolphus is now fourth in the league in team offense (2.83 goals per game), and junior right wing Adam Smyth is tied for 10th in conference scoring, with five goals and 10 points.
Anyone’s league in the Northeast-10
You can look at the race in the Northeast-10 two different ways: Everyone is good, and that balance has led to a logjam; or everyone is not-so-good, and the mediocrity has muddied the waters. Either way, you have a tight race, and it’s getting more interesting with each new week.
Stonehill has lost two of its last three games, but is still hanging around as the first-place team. However, the Skyhawks (10-12, 4-3) are just a point ahead of the pack, and Franklin Pierce, Southern New Hampshire, and Assumption are not going away.
Stonehill has eight points, but everyone in the league has at least six, and things appear to be headed down to the wire. It could — and likely will — come down to who is the hottest and the healthiest at the end of the season.
Wentworth workin’ it in the ECAC Northeast
Wentworth has proven its value as the league’s preseason pick to win the ECAC Northeast. Though things are still tight, and Nichols, with 13 points, is just two behind the first-place Leopards, coach R.J. Tolan’s crew has found its goal-scoring touch, and the results show it.
WIT (11-8-2, 7-2-1) is 4-1-1 in its last six games, and on Sunday, the Leopards cruised past Johnson and Wales, 8-3, on the road. They will play host to Becker on Wednesday.
Still perfect in the MCHA
It wasn’t all that easy this weekend, but Adrian kept alive a perfect season in the MCHA. On Friday, the Bulldogs (17-1-3, 13-0-3) defeated Lake Forest, 6-1, but on Saturday, those same Foresters battled to a 3-3 tied with Adrian.
The Bulldogs now have points in their last 11 games and are eight points ahead of the rest of the league.