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Weekend wrap: Dec. 7

Trevor Fleurent’s shorthanded goal in the third period started the rally in the University of New England’s 3-2 win over New England College last Saturday night (photo: David Bates/Fotografix Studio).

The battles in every conference have been intense and this weekend saw an opportunity for some teams to make statements about key competitors in their respective leagues.

While some teams made some noise and asserted themselves, others let favorites know they aren’t going away.

The last of the unbeatens has fallen and for some teams going on break, the timing is perfect, while other teams look to end the semester this week on a positive note.

ECAC Northeast

Nichols broke into the national rankings and remains unbeaten in conference play following Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 win over Wentworth.

Endicott downed Stonehill 5-2 in a rematch of their 1-1 tie season opener. The Gulls used goals from five different players to break back in the win column and move to 6-2-2 overall.

ECAC West

Hobart took a pair of one-goal wins over NEHC opponent Skidmore at home by 2-1 and 4-3 scores while in league action, Manhattanville took an overtime thriller from Neumann despite a hat trick from the Knights’ Shayne Morrissey. Matt Lippa scored the game-winning goal for the Valiants after assisting on teammate Cory Anderson’s tying goal with the goalie pulled for an extra skater and just 58 seconds remaining in regulation.

MASCAC

Congrats to the newest coaching member of the 500-win club. Fitchburg State’s Dean Fuller achieved the milestone with the Falcons’ win over Franklin Pierce on Saturday afternoon. On Thursday night, Massachusetts-Dartmouth and its 500-win coach, John Rolli, delayed the celebration with a 3-3 tie at FSU.

The Corsairs also had the game of the weekend on Saturday in a wild 7-6 victory over Framingham State that saw a seesaw affair decided in the final six minutes of regulation by the Corsairs’ Brendan Gillmore. Both team surrendered two-goal leads in the game and Tyler Colacchio scored a hat trick in the losing effort for the Rams.

NE-10

Southern New Hampshire was outshot 55-28 in its game with Assumption, but chased Chris Hemhauser from the net with four goals on just 12 shots and opened up the margin with two more goals in just over a 30-second span late in the third period to seal a 6-3 win. Ryan Slatky made 52 saves in the win for the Penmen.

NEHC

The weekend battle among the top three teams ended well for Massachusetts-Boston and Babson, while Norwich recorded its first three-game losing streak since the 1995-96 season, coach Mike McShane’s first in Northfield.

The Beacons knocked off the Cadets in overtime on Friday night and then avoided the hangover effect by beating a game St. Michael’s team by a score of 3-0 behind the shutout from Zack Andrews. Goalie Chris Johnson made 57 saves in the loss for the Purple Knights.

Babson recorded a pair of 5-1 wins to remain undefeated in conference play. Rob Deveney scored two goals in the first period as part of a four-goal outburst for the Beavers that was enough to beat the offensively-challenged Cadets on home ice for the first time in coach Jamie Rice’s 12-year tenure behind the Beavers’ bench.

The University of New England built on its PAL Cup Tournament win with a solid three-point weekend in conference play. Friday saw a Nor’easter tie with St. Anselm 2-2 followed by a win at New England College by a 3-2 score that saw a third-period rally from a one goal deficit.

NESCAC

The annual Bowdoin-Colby weekend ended with both teams holding serve on their home ice. Colby took Friday night’s affair 3-0, while the Polar Bears returned the favor on Saturday by a score of 4-2.

Amherst and Trinity faced off on Sunday with the Lord Jeffs taking the game by a 4-2 score. Topher Flanagan’s empty-net goal sealed the win for Amherst, which was backed by Dave Cunningham’s 34 saves.

Williams was the only team to sweep a pair of weekend games, posting a 2-0 win at Tufts followed by a 3-1 win over Connecticut College. The sweep keeps the Ephs unbeaten and untied in conference play.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh was the last team to fall from the ranks of the unbeatens as the Cardinals tied Brockport on Friday night before falling to Geneseo on Saturday night by a 5-4 score. The Knights also took down Potsdam on Friday night to secure four big points in the SUNYAC standings.

Oswego took a pair of games, as well, posting a 4-2 win over Buffalo State where the Lakers amassed 62 shots on goal. Saturday night, the Lakers eked out a 3-2 overtime win over Fredonia as Alex Botten scored just 40 seconds into the extra session for the win and a big four-point weekend that moved the Lakers to 5-3-1 in league play.

Weekend Biscuits

Rob Deveney – Babson – The freshman forward netted two first-period goals for the Beavers who knocked off Norwich on home ice for the first time in more than 12 years.

Shayne Morrissey – Neumann & Tyler Colacchio – Framingham State – Both forwards picked up a hat trick in a losing effort. Neumann fell in OT to Manhattanville, while the Rams lost a heartbreaker to UMD.

Dean Fuller- Fitchburg State- The veteran coach achieved an elite milestone with the Falcons in reaching his 500th career win as a coach in his 32nd season with the school.

WEST WRAP – Brian Lester

MIAC

St. Thomas swept a weekend series against Hamline, completing the weekend with a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Pipers in a pivotal MIAC matchup Saturday. Five players scored goals and a total of nine players tallied points as the Tommies improved to 7-3-2 overall and to 5-1 in the conference. Johnny Rosium’s goal off the power play with 2:07 left in the third broke a 3-3 tie. Connor McBride scored three times in the two game, including once on Saturday. Chris Benson and Ben Vikich also scored goals in Saturday’s win. One of the keys to success for St. Thomas was ability to kill off penalties. The Pipers were just 1-of-8 on power-play opportunities against the Tommies. Hamline dropped to 4-5-2 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference. Brandon Zurn scored two goals on Saturday for Hamline and Charlie Adams dished out two assists … Augsburg took advantage of a balanced attack to to knock off St. Olaf 5-3 Saturday and complete a sweep of the Oles in MIAC action. Five Auggies scored goals and a total of 10 players figures into the scoring. Nate Flynn and Drew Anderson each scored a goal and dished out an assist in the win, while Jordyn Kaufer made 32 saves. Augsburg improved to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. St. Olaf is 2-7-3 overall and remains winless in conference play with an 0-4-2 mark. Patrick Sivets, Drew Otto and Peter Lindblad all scored goals for St. Olaf. Augsburg won 6-2 in the series opener as six players scored goals in the victory. Anderson scored his first goal of the year in the win as did Andy Faust, a transfer from Army. Kaufer made 26 saves.

NCHA

Marian pulled off an upset of No. 11 St. Scholastica Friday night as it improved to 3-2-2 against nationally-ranked opponents this season. The Sabres went up 2-0 early on goals by Scott Milnthorp and Mike Zajac. The goal by Milnthorp was his third of the year. Zajac’s goal was his first of the year. The Sabres were outshot 21-14 gut forced the Saints into an 0-for-4 performance on the power play. Jack Howie scored his fifth goal of the year and Gianni Mangone tallied his fourth goal. Mike Baldwin won his third game of the year as she stopped 20 shots in the win. St. Scholastic bounced back the following night with a 2-1 win in overtime. Brandon Millin tallied the game-winning goal for the Saints, who improved to 5-2-1 overall and 4-2 in the conference. Marian fell to 5-4-3 overall and 3-4-1 in the league. Marian led 1-0 until the third period. Howie gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead before Joel Paiement tied the game … Northland knocked off Lake Forest 5-1 Friday for its second conference win of the year. The Lumberjacks are 2-8 overall and 2-6 in the NCHA. Chris Belhumeur, Lucas DeBenedet, Josh Racek and Darius Cole and Anthony Stempin all scored goals for the Lumberjacks. Lake Forest bounced back on Saturday with a 5-2 win as Billy Kent came through with the first three-point game of his career. Kent scored two goals in the victory. He has five goals on the season. Jack Lewis struck for his fourth goal, while Robert Wiener and Bron Loiselle also scored goals for the Foresters. Lake Forest improved to 4-6 overall and to 3-5 in the conference.

WIAC

Wisconsin-River Falls had the upper hand in both of its weekend games in the WIAC, defeating No. 6 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 3-2 and topping 10th-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire 2-1. The Falcons and Pointers were playing for the first time since the conference tournament championship. Jeff Bergh scored the first goal for the Falcons and River Falls went ahead 2-1 on a goal by Zach Schrotenboer. Christian George scored the game-winner with less than 10 minutes to play in the third. River Falls held a 31-29 edge in shots en route to the victory. The Falcons scored twice in the opening period against Eau Claire and never looked back in a 2-1 win. Kyle Gattelaro and Mike Fazio both scored for River Falls while Tanner Milliron tallied 30 shots to help the Falcons get an early jump on the race for the conference championship. River Falls is 5-4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. River Falls came into the game having lost three in a row, all but one goal, but now come out of the weekend with a wave of momentum after wins over two of the better teams in the country … Wisconsin-Stout picked up first conference win of the year Saturday with a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin-Superior. The Blue Devils pushed their record to 4-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the WIAC. Six players scored goals in the win while Chase Hollander stopped 24 shots. Justin Moody scored a goal and dished out three assists while Jake Useldinger came through with a goal and two assists. The Blue Devils were blanked 7-0 by Eau Claire the night before thanks to a remarkable performance by Adam Knochenmus, who scored five goals in the victory. Knochenmus set a school record with the five-goal effort. He scored all of his goals in the first two periods, scoring on every shot he took in that stretch. Knochenmus has scored a team-best 14 goals on the year and has also dished out four assists. He has 18 points in 12 games for Eau Claire, which is 7-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Weekend picks: Dec. 3-5

Nichols goalie Alex Larson is one of the top netminders in D-III and will have to be as the Bison play Wentworth this weekend (photo: Dan Hickling).

The games are winding down in the semester, but the importance of the matchups seems to be ramping up as we enter December hockey.

Last week, I stumbled with my picks at 3-3-1 (.500), which brings the season record down to 16-7-3 (.673). Like a lot of teams on the ice, I, too, am in search of some consistency, but the schedule isn’t making the picking of games any easier.

Here are my picks for the East this week:

Thursday, Dec. 3

Massachusetts-Dartmouth @ Fitchburg State
This rivalry goes years back with two legendary D-III coaches at the helm. Both would like to see more consistency in their teams’ game on the ice and both coaches have likely wondered which team is showing up on any given night. The home team has the motivation of earning head coach Dean Fuller his 500th career win and that is strong enough motivation for the Falcons to fly – Fitchburg State 5, UMD 4.

Friday, Dec. 4

Bowdoin @ Colby
This is one of the oldest rivalries in all of D-III and one that carries a lot of passion from the players, coaches, students and alumni. This is the last time around in this historic rivalry for Bowdoin coach Terry Meagher, but don’t expect the hosts to be gracious and let the Polar Bears walk away with a win – they have to earn it in OT – Bowdoin 4, Colby 3.

Neumann @ Manhattanville
The ECAC West is a battle on any weekend and this game is no different. Neumann has seen prolific point production form Mike Davis and Jory Mullin early in the season and the Knights will need to produce to beat Manhattanville at the Playland Ice Casino – Neumann 5, Manhattanville 3.

Skidmore @ Hobart
Hobart had the Thanksgiving weekend off and invites the Thoroughbreds in for a two-game weekend series. There might be lots of pent-up energy for the Statesmen, who look to start a new winning streak, but are very aware of Skidmore’s giant-killer capability – Hobart 5, Skidmore 2.

Saturday, Dec. 5

Norwich @ Babson
The winner of this series has essentially gone on to win the regular-season title and those have all gone the way of the Cadets. These games are always one-goal affairs and usually low scoring. No difference in this one as defense will dominate and special teams likely decide things beyond regulation – Babson 2, Norwich 1.

Plattsburgh @ Geneseo
The new No. 1-ranked team will be putting its unbeaten record on the line on the road this weekend and if they survive a Friday battle with Brockport, Saturday’s game will be a major battle with a Knights team determined to show they are contenders. This one very well could end up in a tie, but I will go with the team with the ability to score goals in bunches – Plattsburgh 3, Geneseo 2.

Nichols @ Wentworth
The Worcester City Shootout winners get back to league action and a Wentworth team that is dangerous on home ice backed by goalie Joel Miller. The Bison just have too much firepower and one of the nation’s best in goal in Alex Larson to keep the Leopards at bay – Nichols 4, Wentworth 1.

Big conference matchups abound this weekend and opportunities for teams to make a statement in the conference standings are there for the taking. Nothing comes easy, but the two points from beating an archrival are truly huge at this point in the season – drop the puck!

WEST PICKS – Brian Lester

December has arrived and conference action is heating up in the Division III hockey world. This is the time of the year where the conference races begin to take shape and we begin to see separation between the best and the rest. Check out this week’s predictions below.

St. Mary’s (6-2-2, 3-0-1) vs. Concordia (Minn.) (3-3, 2-0)

Two of the top teams in the league will go at it this weekend in this series. The Cardinals have won their last three and are led by Bob Kinne, who has come through with eight goals and nine assists. Martin Gruse continues to make big plays and has dished out 13 assists. He has tallied six goals as well. Phil Heinle is 5-1-2 in net this season.

The Cobbers are looking to get back on track after dropping two consecutive games. Concordia isn’t a high-scoring offense, having tallied just 14 goals, and Jon Grebosky leads the way with three goals and two assists. Alex Reichle is 3-3 on the year and has given up 19 goals.

Concordia is at home, but considering how competitive the MIAC is, it will be a surprise if one team gets the sweep. St. Mary’s 5-2, Concordia 3-2.

Hamline (4-3-2) vs. St. Thomas (5-3-2, 3-1)

This series pits the reigning regular season conference champion and the defending conference tournament champ.

Hamline begins this series at home and is led by the one-two punch of Charlie Adams and Brandon Zurn. Both players have dished out 10 assists apiece. Zurn has scored nine goals and Adams has tallied eight. Those two give the Pipers a chance to win every game they play.

The Tommies have plenty of balance on offense as nine players have scored two or more goals. Jordan Lovick is the top goal scorer with four. He has also racked up four assists. Joe Morris is one of the top goaltenders in the league, fashioning a 5-3-2 record. He has allowed 20 goals. Hamline, 3-1, St. Thomas 5-2.

Marian (4-3-3, 2-3-1) vs. St. Scholastica (4-1-1, 3-1)

Marian has won two in a row as it prepares for a battle with the nationally-ranked Saints, who have been off since before Thanksgiving.

The Sabres are led by Devin Stuermer, who has come through with five goals and five assists. Derek Thorogood has racked up four goals and eight assists. Marian has been effective on offense, scoring 32 goals, including eight off the power play. Mike Gudmandson and Mike Baldwin have split time in goal and have each won two games. The Sabres have allowed 23 goals this year.

The Saints are eager to play again after being off since Nov. 21. They have won their last three games and are led by Brandon Millin, who has tallied six goals and four assists. Dylan Nowakowski has been solid as a playmaker, dishing out eight assists to go along with his two goals. He is one of 11 players on the team with at least two assists on the season. Tyler Bruggeman is 3-1-1 as a starter this year. St. Scholastica 4-3, Marian 3-2.

Concordia (Wis.) (6-3-1, 3-2-1) vs. Aurora (1-6-1, 1-2-1)

The Falcons come into this series riding a two-game win streak and are unbeaten on their home ice, sporting a 5-0-1 mark. They have scored 27 goals, with Stefen Seel racking up four to go along with six assists. Andy Munroe and Jack Romanuik have combined for nine starts and each goaltender has won three games.

Aurora is in dire need of a win after dropping its last four and generating offense will be key. Aurora has managed to score just 19 goals this season. Tom Greene leads the team in goals with three. Concordia should be able to get the sweep. Concordia 6-2 and 4-0.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-2-1) at Wisconsin-River Falls (3-4-1)

It’s the conference opener for both teams and the Pointers are determined to bounce back after going winless in its last three games. Stevens Point has scored 40 goals this season and has been impressive on the road, fashioning a 4-1 record. Four players have scored five or more goals, with Joe Kalisz, Lawrence Cornellier and Kyle Sharkey coming through with six apiece.

River Falls has lost three consecutive games and is also in need of a big win. The Falcons have managed to tally only 20 goals and Mitch Kotny leads the way with four. But they have a solid goaltender in Tanner Milliron, who is 3-4-1 and has come up with 161 saves. If he is on top of his game, the Falcons have a chance to come out on top. Stopping the Pointers’ high-powered attack will be the challenge. Stevens Point, 4-2.

Wisconsin-River Falls (3-4-1) at Wisconsin-Eau Claire (6-2-2)

River Falls heads on the road to play a strong Eau Claire squad. The Blugolds have racked up 43 goals this season and are led by Adam Knochenmus, who has struck for nine goals. He has tallied four assists as well. Garret Clemment has tallied five goals and nine assists. Eau Claire also has two solid goaltenders in Tyler Green and Jay Deo. Green has won three games this year. Being at home should be an advantage for the Blugolds, who have won two of their last three games. Eau Claire, 5-2.

Weekend wrap: Nov. 30

Elmira’s Jarryd ten Vaanholt fashioned a big weekend for the Soaring Eagles (photo: Dan Hickling).

And then there was one.

Only one unbeaten remains in D-III and the East after this past weekend’s nonconference and tournament play that saw exciting action and upsets aplenty.

Standing tall after the Primelink Tournament is Plattsburgh, who technically beat Middlebury and tied Norwich in Northfield, Vt., but won the tournament in the second overtime session 6-5.

And that is just one place to start on this weekend’s recap.

EAST WEEKEND WRAP – Tim Costello

Nonconference Action

SUNYAC’s Geneseo squad came down to play Williams in a nonconference showdown and the Knights used three third-period goals and strong goaltending from Devin McDonald to take down the previously unbeaten Ephs 3-0. Williams rebounded Sunday with a 5-1 win over Johnson and Wales in the third game of a series over the past three years where son Brett Kangas and his Wildcats have gone up against Bill Kangas, Brett’s dad, and his Williams team. The win on Sunday gave bragging rights to Williams, who took the last two games after dropping the first one.

Elmira had a big weekend at home facing off against two nationally-ranked teams from the NESCAC and NEHC in Amherst and Babson, respectively. On Saturday, Elmira knocked off Amherst 6-3 behind two goals from Brian Depp and 41 saves from goalie Sandro Aeschlimann. On Sunday, the Soaring Eagles knocked off another unbeaten in Babson behind two goals from Jarryd ten Vaanholt and 38 saves from Aeschlimann.

Another unbeaten to fall was the Beacons of Massachusetts-Boston, who saw host Bowdoin race to a 1-0 lead in the first 30 seconds of the game on their way to a 5-0 victory and their first win of the season. Goalie Peter Cronin made 38 saves, including 20 stops in the third period for the Polar Bears.

Finally, after shelling Stonehill 7-1 on Saturday, top-ranked Trinity got a wake-up call on Sunday from Salve Regina. The Seahawks took down the national champions using a four-goal second period led by two goals from Marc Biggs to create a crazy third period. Trinity rallied to tie the score only to see Nick Owens’ goal midway through the third period be the game-winner for the visitors. Alex Pompeo sealed the win with an empty-net goal as the Seahawks outshot the Bantams 37-25 to record the big upset.

Tournament Action

In the inaugural Worcester City Shootout hosted by Assumption, Nichols defeated the hosts 3-2 to win the title after opening with a 7-1 win over Worcester State.

By virtue of a 1-1 tie with UMass-Boston and a 5-2 win over Endicott, snapping the Gulls’ five-game win streak, the White Mules won the Bowdoin-Colby Classic. Five different players scored for Colby with thirteen different players recording points in Colby’s first win of the season.

The University of New England took the Manchester PAL Stovepipe Tournament by downing Massachusetts-Dartmouth 6-2 on Sunday. The Nor’easters outshot the Corsairs 52-29 and took advantage of a hat trick from Brady Fleurent, who also added an assist in the win. The Nor’easters got to the final knocking off Daniel Webster 4-2 on Saturday.

In the Skidmore Invitational, Cortland took the hardware home by knocking off the hosts by a 4-2 score that saw two empty-net goals and an extra-attacker goal in 56 seconds of the final 90 seconds of the game. Cortland then knocked off Manhattanville, a winner over Potsdam, to win the title by a 6-3 score with six different players scoring for the Red Dragons.

Tufts won the Rutland Herald Invitational championship hosted by Castleton with a 4-3 win over Brockport. Despite being outshot 42-25, the Jumbos saw Mike Leary score a hat trick and Nik Nugnes make 39 saves in the first win for new coach Pat Norton. Tufts got to the final winning a shootout following a 2-2 overtime tie with Western New England on Friday.

Host school Utica was not so hospitable a host to two visiting western schools as the Pioneers downed St. John’s in the tournament opener 4-2 before taking the title with a 1-0 win over St. Thomas. Alex Robert’s first period goal stood up behind 28 saves from Pioneer goalie Michael Fredrick.

Weekend Biscuits

Mike Leary – Tufts – Scored a hat trick, including a shorthanded goal for the Jumbos in leading the offense in the 4-3 win over Brockport in the Rutland Herald Invitational.

Brady Fleurent – UNE – Scored three goals and added an assist for the Nor’easters in their championship win over UMD in the PAL Stovepipe Tournament.

Jarryd ten Vaanholt – Elmira – Scored two goals, including the game-winner against previously unbeaten Babson in a 5-3 win. He also added two assists for four points on the weekend in Saturday’s 6-3 win over another unbeaten in Amherst.

WEST WEEKEND WRAP – Brian Lester

MIAC

St. Thomas split its road swing to New York, beating Oswego 3-2 before falling 1-0 to Utica on Saturday. Against Oswego, the Tommies broke a 2-2 tie with 7:22 left when Ben Vikich scored the game-winning goal. St. Thomas never trailed in the game and Joe Morris came through with 31 saves. Willie Faust and Jordan Lovick also scored goals for St. Thomas, which is now 5-3-2 on the season. The Tommies have played their share of close games this year. In fact, seven of their 10 games have been decided by a goal or ended in a tie … St. Mary’s pushed its unbeaten streak to seven games with a 7-4 win over Aurora Friday night. The Cardinals have won five games during the stretch. St. Mary’s scored three times in the third period to pull away for the win. Nick Albergo and Martin Gruse scored two goals apiece to pace the Cardinals, who improved to 5-2-2 on the season. St. Mary’s has scored 49 goals through nine games and Gruse is the leading scoring threat with six goals and nine assists. Albergo has five goals on the year to go along with his five assists.

NCHA

Trevor Boyd scored twice for Adrian, including the game-winner with just over a minute to play, to lift the Bulldogs to a thrilling 3-2 win over Wisconsin-Stevens Point in a battle of nationally-ranked teams. The Pointers came in ranked No. 4 in the nation but lost for the first time on the road and fell to 6-2-1 on the season. Adrian, ranked eighth, pushed its record to 5-1-1 as it stretched its unbeaten streak to six games. Boyd leads the Bulldogs in goals with six on the year. Kevin Entmaa made 33 saves, the most this season by an Adrian goaltender. He is 4-0. Nick D’Avolio and Lawrence Cornellier both scored goals for the Pointers. Brett Pinkerton tallied one goal for the Bulldogs … Concordia (Wis.) held off Bethel 2-1 Saturday to claim the Thanksgiving Cup for the third consecutive year. The Falcons got a power-play goal from Eli Riddle with 28 seconds left in regulation to complete the sweep of the Royals. The goal was the second of the year for Riddle. Concordia trailed 1-0 early before Adam Ritchie scored his first goal of the season to tie the game. Jack Romanuik came through with 23 saves as he earned his third win of the year. The Falcons improved to 5-0-1 all-time against Bethel and are off to their best start in program history, fashioning a 6-3-1 record through 10 games … Marian scored twice in the third period to stun No. 10 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 5-2 Saturday. The Sabres are 2-2-2 on the year against teams ranked in the top 10 and are 4-3-3 overall. Jack Howie scored twice for the Sabres, while Ethan Nauman and T.J. Stuntz had the only goals for the Blugolds, who fell to 6-2-2 on the year. Ben Morgan came through with a career-high three assists for Marian.

WIAC

Eau Claire won its first game of the weekend Friday night by blanking Lawrence 7-0. Brandon Wahlin scored two goals and Nauman, Garrett Clement, Derek Knetter and Jesse Tredinnick also scored goals for Eau Claire. The shutout was the first of the year for Tyler Green, who made 19 saves. He is 3-1-1 on the year for Eau Claire. Wahlin has tallied three goals and three assists this year. Clemment has come through with five goals and nine assists on the season for the Blugolds, who picked up their third road win of the year … Wisconsin-Superior lost to Hamline for the second time this season, falling 3-1 on Wednesday night. Jimmy Hughes scored the lone goal for Superior, which fell to 3-4-2 on the season. Bryce Fink started in goal and made 40 saves. He is 1-3-2 on the year. Hamline took advantage of goals by Garret Schmitz, Brandon Zurn and Charlie Adams to push their record to 4-3-2 on the year. Adams also tallied two assists as did Zurn.

Weekend picks: Nov. 27

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

For most people this week, it’s all about turkey, football and family. For some of us, this weekend is all about some great holiday hockey tournaments and nonconference matchups that don’t occur in the regular season with any great frequency.

It makes the hockey exciting, but the picking of the winners more challenging.

Last week saw my picks at 4-1-1 (.750), which brings the season record to 13-4-2 (.737). Not a bad start to the season, but still a bit too close to that 70 percent line for comfort. Only picking first-round games in tournaments to ensure I have the right teams playing.

Here are my picks for the East this week:

Friday, Nov. 27

Plattsburgh @ Middlebury
These rivals are a great opener to the annual Primelink tournament and while the Cardinals have the advantage of having played a few more games to date, that all gets thrown out when these two teams play each other. Panthers got off to a good start last weekend, but see where they want to be against a nationally-ranked team - Plattsburgh 3, Middlebury 1.

Connecticut College @ Norwich
The Cadets host the Primelink this season against the annual fourth invitee. Goal scoring has been a challenge for the Cadets and Camels’ goaltender Tom Conlin isn’t going to help Norwich amass any great totals here either. Somehow, Norwich finds a way in the clutch and one is just enough – Norwich 1, Conn College 0.

Saturday, Nov. 28

Geneseo @ Williams
Geneseo coach Chris Schultz has had this one marked on the calendar for awhile and is excited to have his Geneseo team playing at Williams in a great nonconference game. The home team gets the nod here because it really is too close to call on paper – Williams 3, Geneseo 2.

Manhattanville @ Potsdam
The ECAC West vs. SUNYAC game finds the once-beaten Bears looking to rebound at home after a crushing loss at Plattsburgh last weekend. The Valiants will have to be wary of Bears licking their wounds - Potsdam 5, Manhattanville 2.

Amherst @ Elmira
The Lord Jeffs should be wary as Elmira has already been on a roller coaster ride early this season. Always a tough building to play for visitors, this one will come down to special teams and an empty-net goal. – Amherst 4, Elmira 2.

Babson @ Nazareth
An NEHC vs. ECAC West matchup and the hosts will need to solve the Babson defense and goalie Jamie Murray, who is just one power-play goal from four straight shutouts. The Beavers are playing well, but will need to watch out for the upset – Babson 2, Nazareth 0.

Nichols @ Worcester State
The Worcester City Shootout finds the leaders in the ECAC Northeast looking to keep their winning streak intact against the Lancers in tournament featuring schools in or close to Worcester, Mass. Local bragging rights are up for grabs and the visiting Bison will look to make Worcester their own – Nichols 6, Worcester State 1.

If you can, get off the couch and go check out some great hockey at a local tournament. You are sure to be entertained and impressed by the intensity level. After all, not every weekend sees the opportunity to play for a trophy so much more on the line this weekend – drop the puck!

WEST PICKS – Brian Lester

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and several teams are in action.

Here are my predictions for the weekend ahead.

St. Thomas (4-2-2) vs. Oswego (3-3-1)

The Tommies have a solid goaltender in Joe Morris, who owns a GAA of 2.08. Thomas Williams, Chris Benson and Michael Dockry have all scored three goals apiece.

The Lakers are riding a two-game win streak and are led by Alex Botten,who has come through with four goals and three assists. Shawn Hulshof and Kenny Neil have tallied three goals apiece. St. Thomas, 4-2.

St. John’s (2-4-2) vs. Utica (3-3-1)

The Johnnies have momentum after winning two in a row and will look to carry that with them on the road. Saxton Soley will be counted on to help lead the way. Huba Sekesi has paved the way offensively, tallying three goals and three assists.

While St. John’s is on a win streak after a tough start, Utica has dropped its last three games and is eager to get back on track. The Pioneers have given up 14 goals in those three losses and will be need to be much sharper defensively to take down the Johnnies. Hayden Dawes leads the offense with five goals. St. John’s 5-3.

Hamline (3-3-2) vs. Wisconsin-Superior (3-3-2)

Brandon Zurn and Charlie Adams rank second and third in goals scored with eight and seven, respectively, and will need to be at their best for the Pipers to get this non-conference win. Both players have come through with eight assists apiece as well. The Pipers are looking to bounce back after two losses to St. John’s and this is great opportunity for them do it.

Superior is winless in five games and is led by Ian Ecklund, who has tallied three goals and eight assists. The Yellowjackets started the year with three consecutive wins and are hoping to get back on track. Hamline, 4-3.

No. 10 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (5-1-2) vs. Lawrence (2-4)

The Blugolds have won two of three and have racked up 34 goals on the season. Adam Knochenmus has led the way with nine goals and three assists. The balanced attack of Eau Claire is tough to deal with. Eight players have scored at least two goals and Eau Claire has scored three goals or more in six of its games.

Lawrence gets another shot at Eau Claire after losing 5-1 on Oct. 30. The defense will have to be sharp and the offense will have to capitalize on its opportunities. Five players have scored two goals apiece and Mattias Soderqvist has been solid in goal. Eau Claire, 5-2.

No. 4 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-1-1) vs. No. 8 Adrian (4-1-1)

The Pointers lost their first game of the season over the weekend and find themselves facing another huge test as they take on Adrian in a battle of nationally-ranked teams.

Joe Kalisz leads the offense with six goals and four assists, while Logan Lemirande is one of three players with seven assists on a team that has scored 38 goals.

Connor Armour has played a key role for the Bulldogs, scoring three goals and dishing out eight assists. Mathew Thompson leads the team in goals with five. He has also come through with five assists. Adrian has struck for 29 goals and allowed 17.

This is one of those games that is going to be decided by which team plays the best defense. Stevens Point, 5-4.

No. 5 St. Norbert (7-1) vs. Buffalo State (4-2-2)

The Green Knights, riding the high off a big win over Stevens Point, have won their last six games. Noah Nelson leads the offense with five goals and three assists. Tony Kujava has been instrumental to St. Norbert’s success as well, fashioning a 6-0-0 record in goal this season.

The Bengals have won four in a row and have a chance to make a statement against one of the top teams in the country. Playing at home is a big help. Buffalo State has scored 34 goals and should be able to keep pace offensively with the Green Knights. Taylor Price leads the way with six goals and seven assists. Buffalo State, 4-3, St. Norbert 3-2.

Weekend wrap: Nov. 23

The first few weeks have found some teams off to a fast start and still others finding themselves.

Now everybody is in the full swing of season play, including the defending national champions from Trinity, along with the rest of the NESCAC.

A few upsets, a few statement games and now fewer unbeatens after this past weekend in the East.

Freshman Parker Wood scored the game-winning goal against rival Johnson and Wales to extend Endicott’s winning streak to three games (photo: Endicott College Athletic Department).

ECAC Northeast

Endicott has quickly emerged as a contender in the conference with two more conference wins this week. On Thursday, Parker Wood scored late in the third period to give the Gulls a major win over Johnson and Wales on the road by a score of 3-2. They followed that up with another conference road win at Becker by a score of 4-2 – goalie Kevin Aldridge made 70 saves in the two wins.

Nichols remained unbeaten in conference play with a 5-3 win at Becker on Wednesday followed by a hard-fought 2-1 win at Curry on Saturday. Curry had won its first game of the season over Western New England on Thursday 6-1 and gave the Bison an early two-goal lead that stood up behind the goaltending of Alex Larson.

Suffolk won its nonconference game against Stonehill, but fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday in dropping a 4-3 decision to Johnson and Wales. The Wildcats fell behind 2-1 early in the third, but rallied on goals by Matt Lanzillotti and Jonathan Ruiz before Connor Bates sealed the win with an empty-net goal.

ECAC West

Hobart and Elmira split their two game series at Elmira by 5-3 and 4-3 scores, respectively, giving the Statesmen their first loss in conference play on Saturday night. Seven different players recorded points for Elmira, who made a three-goal, first-period outburst stand up for the win.

Neumann split a pair of games with a win over Utica 5-3 before losing on Saturday to Nazareth by a score of 4-2. The Golden Flyers went 2-0-0 on the weekend adding a win over Manhattanville on Friday night by a score of 5-1. Dominik Gabaj finished the weekend with two goals and three assists to lead Nazareth in the wins.

MASCAC

Plymouth State showed it can put on an offensive show or beat you with defense in two wins this week that keep them atop the conference standings. Thursday’s 9-2 over Framingham State saw Michael Economos and Josh Woody both recording hat tricks, while Tommy Dowell and Andrew Wigg recorded four assists each. On Saturday, PSU knocked off Fitchburg State by a score of 3-2 with Economos and Woody again providing goals while Gordon Caesar made 28 saves in the win.

Brandon Gillmore scored twice, including an extra-attacker goal with just 35 seconds remaining in regulation before Brandon Berkley won it in overtime for Massachusetts-Dartmouth against Salem State. Drew Michals made 31 stops to earn his first victory of the season for the Corsairs.

NE-10

Saturday’s match-up between Assumption and Southern New Hampshire saw Jim Gabrione’s second-period goal stand up as the only goal of the contest. The Penmen won 1-0 behind 38 saves from Ryan Slatky.

NEHC

Skidmore broke out in a big way from its winless start to the season. Anthony Bird’s natural hat trick and 40 saves from Jack McDonald stunned Norwich 4-0 for the Thoroughbreds’ first win of the season. On Saturday, Skidmore made it a road sweep by beating St, Michael’s 5-4 in overtime behind two goals from Nic Hermany.

Massachusetts-Boston and Babson played crazy 8s on Friday notching 8-3 and 8-0 wins, respectively, over University of New England and Southern Maine. The shutout for Babson was Jamie Murray’s third in a row. Both teams won again on Saturday in the reversed pairings leaving them unbeaten in conference play on the season.

NESCAC

Trinity and Williams opened their season going 2-0 on home ice with wins over Tufts and Connecticut College and Bowdoin and Colby, respectively. Amherst defeated travel partner Hamilton by a score of 3-1 with David White leading the way with a goal and an assist for the Lord Jeffs.

Wesleyan rallied from a goal down twice in a pair of 1-1 ties with Conn College and Tufts. The Cardinals launched 88 shots in the two games, but only Jay Matthews and James Kline found the back of the net.

Middlebury and new coach Neil Sinclair opened at home with a win over Colby and 4-4 tie with Bowdoin, while Hamilton won a nonconference game on Saturday over Franklin Pierce by a 4-0 score with Robbie Murden scoring twice for the Continentals.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh won the battle of the unbeatens as the Cardinals stormed to an early 4-0 lead in the first period on their way to a 7-1 win over Potsdam. Cole Stallard had a goal in each period for a hat trick and Pat Egan added three assists for the Cardinals, who outshot Potsdam by a 44-22 margin.

Geneseo also fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, dropping a 7-4 decision to Buffalo State on Friday night. Ryan Salkeld had two goals and Brett Hope added four points to lead the Bengals to the upset win. The Knights rebounded on Saturday with a 6-3 win over Fredonia to gain a weekend split.

Buffalo State completed their weekend sweep with a 6-4 win over Brockport on Saturday night. Anthony Beaumont, with two goals, led a group of six players with two points each in the win.

Weekend Biscuits

Jack McDonald – Skidmore – The junior goaltender made 40 saves and earned his first win in Skidmore’s upset of #3 ranked Norwich on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena.

Anthony Bird – Skidmore – The junior forward provided all the scoring Skidmore needed in the upset win over Norwich with a goal in each period for a hat trick.

Brandon Gillmore – Massachusetts-Dartmouth – The senior forward had two goals, including the game-tying effort in the Corsairs 3-2 overtime win against conference rival Salem State.

WEST ROUNDUP

St. John’s goalie Saxton Soley picked up his 40th career win last weekend (photo: St. John’s Athletics).

MIAC

St. John’s couldn’t have picked a better time to win its first two games of the season. The Johnnies stunned No. 14 Hamline win a weekend sweep. Matt Colford came through with the game-winner with 3:17 remaining to propel St. John’s to a 4-3 win on Saturday. The goal was the second of the year for Colford. He also tallied his first collegiate assist on a goal by Neal Smith. Saxton Soley racked up 37 saves and earned the 40th win of his career. He is now 40-24-8 overall in his time with the Johnnies. Huba Sekesi and Tyler Dunagan also scored for the Johnnies, who are 2-4-2 overall and 2-2 in the MIAC. St. John’s opened the series with a 2-1 win Thursday thanks to Dunagan scoring with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Sekesi also scored … St. Mary’s took advantage of strong play by the Heinle brothers to secure a 3-1 win over St. Olaf Saturday. Jay Heinle scored twice and Phil Heinle made 18 saves as the Cardinals improved to 4-2-2 overall and 3-0-1 in the league. The Cardinals, in first place with 10 points, missed out on an opportunity to sweep the series when St. Olaf rallied to forge a 4-4 tie on Friday. St. Mary’s led 3-1 after one period in that game but couldn’t hold on for the victory. Bob Kinne, Martin Gruse and Chad Cesarz all scored first-period goals to give St. Mary’s an early advantage. The goal for Kinne was his fifth of the year. Connor Quinn’s goal off a power play tied the game at 4-4 for St. Olaf. Gordon Wells also scored a power play goal for the Oles.

NCHA

Eighth-ranked St. Norbert completed a successful trip to Wisconsin with a 5-2 win over the second-ranked Pointers Saturday night. The Green Knights began the trip with a 4-0 win over Superior on Friday. The Pointers, the 2014 national runner-up, came into the game unbeaten but were held to a season-low two goals. They fell to 6-1-1 on the season. The Green Knights are now 7-1. Ross Pavek and Riley Christensen both scored in the opening period and Roman Uchyn added a goal in the second period. Blake Thompson gave St. Norbert a 4-0 lead. Noah Nelson scored the other goal for the Green Knights, who have won their last six games. Jacob Barber and Lawrence Cornellier both scored for the Pointers … The Milwaukee School of Engineering pulled off an upset of No. 13 River Falls Saturday. Brandon Unser and Cole Larson both scored goals for the raiders, who pushed their record to 3-3 on the year. MSOE trailed 1-0 in the opening period before rallying for their second win over a ranked team this season. Nick Kohn tallied 24 saves and owns a 1.71 GAA. This was the seventh meeting between the Raiders and Falcons and the first time MSOE has a won a game in the series. MSOE won three of its five games in November and won’t play again until Dec. 8 when it travels to Stout … Lake Forest stunned Wisconsin-River Falls 3-2 in overtime Friday night behind Jimmy Cusan’s goal 3:25 into the OT period. It was the first goal of the year for Cusan. The Foresters trailed 2-0 before John Gugent and Charlie Izaguirre both scored in the third period to tie the score and force the extra session. Billy Cooper started in goal for the Foresters and made 42 saves, one shy of his career high. Lake Forest is 2-4 on the season.

WIAC

Sixth-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire had mixed results over the weekend as it lost 2-1 to Concordia (Wis.) Friday before bouncing back with a 5-1 win over Lake Forest Saturday. Against the Foresters, the Blugolds took advantage of a big night by Adam Knochenmus, who scored twice in the victory. Knochenmus has tallied a team-best nine goals on the season. He also leads the team in points this year with 12. Garret Clemment scored a goal and also dished out an assist. Patrick Moore also tallied one goal and one assist. Jay Deo stopped 27 shots and improved to 3-0-1. The Blugolds are 5-1-2 on the year. Eau Claire suffered its first loss on Friday as it fell 2-1 to Concordia. Connor Hogg and Eli Riddle gave the Falcons an early 2-0 lead. Moore scored the lone goal for the Blugolds. Although the Blugolds lost, they continue to play well in penalty kill situations. They killed off all four of the Falcons’ opportunities and own a 93.1 penalty kill percentage on the season. Tyler Green started in goal and made 21 saves as he pushed his record to 2-1-1 on the year … Wisconsin-Stout picked up a 5-2 win over Concordia (Minn.) Saturday behind a stellar performance from Tyler Cayemberg, who came through with the first hat trick of his collegiate career to pace the Blue Devils to their third win of the season. Two of his goals were scored on the power play. Riley Colvard and Danny Ray also scored goals for Stout, which improved to 3-2-2. Chase Hollander earned his first win of the year in goal, coming in for the injured Spencer Viele. He made 20 saves. Stout won’t play again until Dec. 3 when it welcomes Eau Claire to town.

Weekend picks: Nov. 19-22

Plymouth State plays Fitchburg State this weekend and Andrew Wigg will need to help provide the offense for the Panthers (photo: Dan Hickling).

Rivalry games, battles of unbeatens, revenge games, and finally the last conference to join regular season play are all on the menu this weekend.

Last week, I finished at 4-1-0 (.800), which brings the season total to 9-3-1 (.731). Not a bad start, but not resting on any laurels, nor picking less challenging games this week.

Here are Tim Costello’s picks for the East this week:

Thursday, Nov. 19

Stonehill @ Suffolk
The Rams are off to a solid, and for some surprising start to the season going 4-0-2 in their first six games. This one is a non-conference affair but it won’t change the intensity for Suffolk. It has been hard for opponents to get much by Brandon Smolarek these days - Suffolk 3, Stonehill 1.

Friday, Nov. 20

Hobart @ Elmira
This is a game to keep a couple of streaks going. Hobart has won four in a row in conference and if Elmira wants to stay in the hunt they need to build on last week’s win. The Statesmen are playing well and Lino Chimienti will be the difference in this one – Hobart 3, Elmira 2.

Tufts @ Trinity
The revenge game is the season opener for both teams. Last season Tufts nearly ended the national championship dreams for the Bantams with a crushing upset in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament. There is a new coach at Tufts in Pat Norton, so expect another dogfight and a tough opener for the champs. – Trinity 3, Tufts 1.

Saturday, Nov. 21

Potsdam @ Plattsburgh
The battle of SUNYAC unbeatens should be a great hockey game. Both teams will be looking to impose their will – the Cardinals with speed and the Bears with physical play. I really think this one is going to be a tight contest, maybe a tie in regulation but something about the Bears and owning the third period has me leaning towards the visitors – Potsdam 4, Plattsburgh 3.

Plymouth State @ Fitchburg State
The champs always have a bullseye on them when they come out against every conference opponent. The Falcons have been up and down early in the season and while this one is at home, the Panthers and Andrew Wigg show why they are the elite team in MASCAC – Plymouth State 5, Fitchburg State 2.

Sunday, Nov. 22

Bowdoin @ Middlebury
A new/old coach in Neil Sinclair’s return to the Panthers to replace the legend, Bill Beaney, while on the Bowdoin side, the farewell season tour opens on the road for their own Terry Meagher. Enough about coaches, the players will decide this one and Bowdoin has just enough to get a key road win early in the season – Bowdoin 4, Middlebury 3.

Whatever the motivation for that extra edge, it creates great hockey – drop the puck!

WEST PICKS – Brian Lester

Augsburg (3-3, 0-0) vs. Gustavus Adolphus (1-3-2, 0-2)

Nate Flynn is tied for fourth in the league points (10) and is tied for second in goals (6) as he leads Augsburg into action this weekend. The Auggies are 3-3 and have won two in a row.

Three players have scored two goals apiece for Gustavus, which has dropped its last two.

The goaltending battle will be the interesting thing to watch in this showdown as Chris Amsden and Jordyn Kaufer rank first and second in goals against average. Amsden is 0-1-1 but has allowed only five goals in three games for the Gusties. Kaufer is 2-2 and has allowed eight goals.

Look for a split in this series. Gustavus 3-2; Augsburg 5-3.

St. Olaf at St. Mary’s (3-2-1, 2-0)

Drew Otto and Peter Lindblad lead St. Olaf with five goals apiece. They have combined for six assists as well, with Otto tallying four. Luke Andriuk has started four games in goal and has racked up 142 saves. He is 2-2.

Martin Gruse is having a stellar year for St. Mary’s, which is riding a three-game win streak. He ranks third in points (11) in the conference and is tied for the MIAC-lead in assists (8). Bob Kinne has come through with four goals and five assists on the year.

The Cardinals also feature one of the best goaltenders in the conference in Phil Heinle, who has won 70 percent of his games as he owns a 3-1-1 record. St. Mary’s 4-2, St. Olaf 4-3.

No. 9 St. Norbert (5-1) at No. 2 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-0)

Few regular-season games get much bigger than a showdown between the Green Knights and Pointers. Both teams are in the top 10 and both are looking to make an early-season statement.

St. Norbert, winners of its last four, features one of the NCHA’s best goaltenders in Tony Kujava, who is 4-0 and owns a goals against average of 1.16. The offense is fueled by the play of Michael Hill, who has come through with four goals and two assists.

Stevens Point has yet to lose this season and boasts one of the top offenses in the nation, punching in 33 goals. Joe Kalisz and Kyle Sharkey have scored six apiece to pave the way. Jesse Gordichuk and Max Milosek have both seen time and goal and own identical 3-0 records.

This one could go either way. Stevens Point, 5-3.

Lake Forest (2-4) at No. 12 Wisconsin-River Falls (3-2-1)

Billy Kent has scored three goals for the Foresters and hopes to rise to the occasion in an upset bid Friday. Mark Esshaki has tallied two goals and two assists while Jack Lewis has come up with two goals.

Leo Podolsky has started five times this season and is 2-3. He has allowed 18 goals. Playing well offensively will be key for Lake Forest, which has managed to score only 13 goals this season.

The Falcons are led by Mitch Kontny, who has come through with three goals and four assists. He is one of five players on the roster who has scored at least two goals. Tanner Milliron has been impressive at goaltender, fashioning a 3-2 record. River Falls, 4-2.

Lake Forest (2-4) at No. 8 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (4-0-2)

It doesn’t get any easier for the Foresters on Saturday as they travel to Eau Claire. They have to be at their best in all phases of the game to have a shot at pulling off an upset.

Even if the Foresters fall short, the experience they gain playing top-level teams on the road will benefit them in conference play.

Eau Claire has yet to lose a game, though, and will be eager to take care of business at home. Adam Knochenmus has led the way for the Blugolds, racking up seven goals to go along with three assists. Six other players have tallied at least two goals.

Jay Deo and Tyler Green are both capable of getting the job done in goal. Eau Claire will be tough to beat on its home ice. Eau Claire, 5-2.

Weekend wrap: Nov. 15

Taylor Pryce led Buffalo State to a weekend sweep with five goals and four assists for nine points in just two games (photo: Buffalo State Athletics).

Streaks are important.

On a winning streak, you just want to keep building momentum. On a losing streak, well, something has to change and early in the season there are teams facing both sides of the streak equation looking for better hockey leading to continued or better results.

Definitely starting to both sides of the streak dilemma just three weeks into the season.

Here are some of the highlights in each East conference plus the weekend’s biscuit winners.

ECAC Northeast

Endicott earned its first-ever win as a varsity program on Thursday night by beating Salve Regina on the road by a score of 7-5. The Gulls started their own win streak in conference play by beating Wentworth on Saturday by a score of 5-3 to move up in the standings.

Suffolk has stayed off the radar screen early in the season, but a pair of one-goal wins over Western New England and Curry has the Rams unbeaten on the season behind solid goaltending from Brendon Smolarek.

Nichols remained unbeaten in conference play with an 8-1 romp over WNE where 13 different players recorded points for the Bison. Tyler Beasley recorded a hat trick, including two goals in a five-goal first period for Nichols.

ECAC West

After a tough opening weekend in New England, Hobart has been on a roll in conference play starting last weekend and carried the momentum into two road wins this week. Mac Olson’s hat trick led the Statesmen in their 5-3 win over Nazareth and they backed it up with another win on Saturday over Utica, 5-1. Lino Chimienti is 4-0-1 as a starter in goal for Hobart since the opening-night loss at Babson.

Elmira dropped a one-goal decision at Utica on Friday night, so Saturday’s game at Nazareth was a must-win in order to avoid an 0-4 start in conference play. The Soaring Eagles broke open a 1-1 game in the third period with four goals, led by Tommy Sumi’s three-point night in an important 5-2 win.

Perhaps the game of the weekend saw Neumann and Manhattanville battle it out over just under 65 minutes of hockey. Jory Mullin’s third goal of the night in the final minute of play in the second period gave the Knights a 4-3 lead entering the third period. Matt Lippa tied it for the Valiants with the extra attacker on the ice and just 58 seconds remaining in regulation. Stephen Gaul then won it with just nine seconds remaining on the clock. Mullin and linemate Mike Davis combined for eight points on the night, but it wasn’t enough for Neumann.

MASCAC

Salem State hosted Plymouth State in a rematch of last year’s conference championship game and Andrew Wigg with Ian McGilvrey made sure the Panthers showed why they are the defending champs. Building a 5-0 lead early in the third, PSU wrapped up a 5-2 win to go 2-0-0 in conference play.

Westfield Sate took two games with wins over Fitchburg State, 3-2, and Massachusetts-Dartmouth by a 5-2 score. Jackson Leef was the storyline on Thursday night, netting a hat trick and all the team’s goals in the win.

Fitchburg State salvaged a split on the weekend with a crazy game on Saturday night against Worcester State. After racing to a comfortable 4-1 lead early in the third period, the Falcons gave up three goals in just over three minutes to the Lancers to send the game into overtime. Ryan Connolly scored the game-winner for Fitchburg with just over a minute remaining in the extra session for the win.

Northeast-10

Saturday’s rematch of the 2015 conference championship between St. Anselm and St. Michael’s went all the Hawks way in a 6-2 win. Mark Meads and Bryan Sullivan had three points each as the Hawks broke open the game with three goals in the third period for the win.

Assumption downed Franklin Pierce 4-0 to break the ice for their first win in conference play. Goaltender Nick Commesso recorded 21 saves for his first win and first collegiate shutout.

NEHC

New conference name, but same teams at the top of the standings.

Norwich, Babson and Massachusetts-Boston all swept their games this weekend to take four points each.

Norwich is proving they can win without scoring a lot of goals as they defeated St. Anselm by a 1-0 margin before taking down New England College by a 3-1 score. Braeden Ostepchuk made 29 saves for the shutout against the Hawks.

Goalie Jamie Murray from Babson recorded two shutouts on the weekend in the Beavers’ wins over Skidmore and Castleton. Murray recorded 21 saves in the 4-0 win at Skidmore and then stopped all 32 shots he faced in the 1-0 win at Castleton on Saturday.

The Beacons also recorded wins over Castleton and Skidmore by 5-1 and 3-2 scores, respectively. Albee Daley scored his first two goals of the season and Matt Lemire added three assists in the win over the Spartans.

SUNYAC

That other “P” team leads the standings thus far in the season. After another strong weekend, the Potsdam Bears are 6-0 on the season behind the strong goaltending of Brenden McMenimen and offensive production from Dylan Vander Esch. The Bears won at Cortland on Friday by a 4-2 score and backed it up with a solid 4-1 win over Oswego on Saturday.

Things are not looking good for the Lakers, who lost a two-goal lead in the third period to rival Plattsburgh before falling in overtime 5-4 to the Cardinals. Dillan Fox and Pat Egan provided the game-tying and game-winning heroics for the Cardinals, who remain a perfect 5-0 on the season following Saturday’s win at Cortland.

Buffalo State won two nonconference games over Canton in decidedly different fashion. Friday’s 10-1 blowout was followed up by a 5-4 overtime win that saw the Bengals’ Taylor Pryce score a shorthanded goal to tie the game in the final minutes of the third period before teammate Ryan Salkeld won the game in the first minute of the extra session.

Weekend Biscuits

Mac Olson, Hobart – Scored three goals and added an assist in Friday’s 5-3 win at Nazareth. Olson scored an even-strength goal just 17 seconds into the game and subsequently added a SHG and empty-net goal to complete the hat trick.

Taylor Pryce, Buffalo State – Scored a total of nine points in two games against Canton over the weekend. Friday night saw Pryce record a hat trick while adding three assists for six points in the 10-1 win. On Saturday, he added another three points to finish the weekend with five goals and four assists in the weekend sweep for the Bengals.

Jamie Murray, Babson – Stopped all 53 shots faced in two games with Skidmore and Castleton recording back-to-back shutouts for the Beavers. Through four games, Murray’s GAA is 0.75 and his save percentage is .971.

WEST ROUNDUP

MIAC

St. Mary’s swept Bethel in a weekend series, rolling to a 10-2 win on Friday before capping things off with a 9-1 win Saturday. In Friday’s win, Jay Heinle came through with a hat trick, while Bob Kinne and Chad Cesarz each tallied two goals. The 10 goals was the most scored by St. Mary’s since it struck for 11 in a game against Aurora last December … St. Thomas swept a series against Gustavus Adolphus over the weekend, winning 3-2 and 2-1 to start off conference play with a 2-0 record. The Tommies trailed 2-1 after one period, but goals by John Kirtland and Jordan Lovick gave St. Thomas the victory. Lovick scored twice in the win. The Tommies won a game for the first time since Oct. 30. Evan Erickson scored the only goal for the Gusties. It was his second of the season. Augsburg pulled off an upset of No. 12 Wisconsin-River Falls Saturday, winning 2-1 in overtime. Evan Hesse scored the game-winner 3:36 into overtime as Augsburg improved to 2-3. Nate Flynn also scored for the Auggies. Flynn leads the team in goals this season with six. Jordyn Kaufer made 24 saves in the win and ranks second in the conference with a 1.97 GAA.

Leo Podolsky made 41 saves Friday night as Lake Forest stunned St. Scholastica in overtime (photo: Erin Shamley).

NCHA

Lake Forest pulled off a big upset Friday, stunning No. 13 St. Scholastica 4-3 in overtime. But the Saints bounced back on Saturday to roll to an 8-2 win and a split in the NCHA series. Mark Esshaki scored twice, including the game-winner, as the Foresters won for the second time this season. For Esshaki, it was the first two-goal game of his career. Leo Podolsky made 41 saves, including two in OT, as he pushed his record to 2-2. The Saints scored three goals in the opening period Saturday and never looked back. Two came off power play goals by Cole Golka and Michael Spring. Brandon Millin recorded a hat trick on a night when St. Scholastica scored its most goals in a league game since tallying nine against Northland last December, and Steven Phee scored two goals apiece. Dylan Nowakowski added a goal and four assists for the Saints, who are 2-1-1 on the season … Northland earned a split with the Milwaukee School of Engineering, winning 2-1 in overtime Saturday for their first victory of the year. Oscar Larsson scored on the power play just over two minutes into OT to secure the win. Josh Racek also scored for the Lumberjacks, who are 1-5 overall. The Raiders got goals from Jordan Guth and Michael Romund on Friday to nail down a 2-0 win over Northland. They are 3-3 on the year.

WIAC

Wisconsin-Stevens Point is still perfect after edging St. John’s 3-2 on Saturday night. Eliot Grauer scored two goals to lead the second-ranked Pointers to the road victory. Stevens Point is 6-0. Jesse Gordichuk was solid in goal as he made 28 saves en route to winning his third game of the year. Grauer has scored five goals this season, ranking second on the team. The Pointers have tallied 33 goals in all while allowing only 10 … Wisconsin-Stout capped off a two-game road swing Saturday with a 4-1 win over St. Olaf. The Blue Devils, who lost 4-1 to Augsburg a night earlier, took control early as they won their second game of the season. Stout is 2-2-2 on the year … Wisconsin-Eau Claire topped Concordia (Minn.) 6-3 Saturday to remain undefeated. The No. 7 Blugolds led 3-1 after the opening period and never looked back. Adam Knochenmus came through with a hat trick to pace Eau Claire. Jay Deo started his third consecutive game in goal and improved to 2-0-1. Eau Claire is 4-0-2.

Weekend picks: Nov. 12-14

EAST PICKS

Pivotal matchups this week among prospective challengers for league titles are headlining the schedule. While it may be early in the campaign, there is nothing like sending a message to your biggest rival and taking an important two points.

Last week saw a 3-1-0 (.750) record, which brings the season to 5-2-1 (.688), which is just below my targeted 70 percent success rate.

Here are my picks for the East this week:

Thursday, November 12

Endicott @ Salve Regina
Both teams were pre-season contenders, yet neither has produced the results in early games that has them contending at the top of the standings just yet. Endicott has often outplayed their opponent, but hasn’t broken through in the win column – yet. Endicott 2, Salve Regina 1.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Plattsburgh @ Oswego
This is a rivalry that continues to be a battle for supremacy in the SUNYAC conference. Plattsburgh is out of the gate with a fast start and chasing Potsdam, while Oswego is still finding its game. Sometimes a rivalry game helps to get a team going and this time, it’s the visitors – Plattsburgh 3, Oswego 2.

St. Anselm @ Norwich
Two hard-fought wins in Maine keep the Cadets unbeaten and atop the standings, but the Hawks come in with a little swagger after last weekend’s sweep over Castleton and Skidmore. Kreitzberg has never been kind to the visitors and this week could be more of the same if 5-on-5 play doesn’t improve for St. Anselm – Norwich 4, St. Anselm 1.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Plymouth State @ Salem State
This is a rematch of last season’s conference championship game that went the Panthers way. Home ice is on the Vikings’ side and momentum is, too, after shutting down a talented Westfield team last weekend – Salem State 5, Plymouth State 3.

Hobart @ Utica
The ECAC West is already a dogfight with teams knocking each other off early and often. Hobart showed why they are among the favorites last weekend by winning at home against two challenging opponents, but the road has not been so kind to the Statesmen early in the eseason. This time the rink location doesn’t matter – Hobart 4, Utica 3.

Early position in the standings is being fought for every night but there is always something about playing a big rival – drop the puck!

WEST PICKS

Another week of making hockey game predictions has arrived. I’ll give it my best shot to be correct on the games I pick.

Here goes nothing for the West.

Gustavus Adolphus vs. St. Thomas
The Tommies (1-1-2) are looking to build momentum
after a tough start. Thomas Williams and Chris Benson should help provide that, with each scoring three goals already this year. Joe Morris will need a big performance between the pipes. He owns a 2.39 GAA. The Gusties (1-1-2) come in sitting in a similar situation. They have had a tough time defensively, allowing three or more goals three times, and will need to shore up that defense against the Tommies. Chris Amsden and Erik Johnson have split time in goal. Tim Donohue leads the offense with two goals and an assist. St. Thomas, 4-2 and 3-1.

St. Mary’s vs. Bethel
The Cardinals (1-2-1) are hoping to put together
a win streak over the weekend in his home-and-home series. Jay Heinle has come up big for St. Mary’s, striking for three goals while Jared Johnson has been a solid playmaker, dishing out three assists. The Royals (0-3-1) are hoping to get their first win. Offensively, they haven’t been bad, scoring at least two goals in every game, but they have allowed 16. Peter Barral leads the offense with two goals and two assists. This one likely ends in a split. Bethel 4-3, St. Mary’s 5-4.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at St. John’s
The Johnnies (0-3-1) are still searching for their first win and have managed only three goals in their last three games. Kevin Becker and Neal Smith are the leading goal scorers, coming up with two apiece, and Becker has also tallied two assists. Saxton Soley will need a strong performance in goal against the high-powered Pointers. He has allowed 13 goals this year. Stevens Point (4-0) is unbeaten and ranked second in the nation. The Pointers feature two of the league’s top scorers in Joe Kalisz and Logan Lemirande. Kalisz has tallied four goals and three assists while Lemirande has come up with two goals and five assists. Stevens Point has scored 25 goals in all. Stevens Point 5-2.

Hamline at Wisconsin-River Falls
The No. 12 Falcons are led by Mitch Kontny, who has come up with three goals and four assists. Joe Drapluk has been solid as well, racking up two goals and four assists. Brandon Zurn leads the league in goals (7) and points (11) and will need to be at his best for this road showdown against the Falcons. Teammate Charlie Adams is having a stellar year as well, tallying four goals. He ranks second in the league in points with eight. The Pipers (2-0-2) have yet to lose a game and River Falls (2-1-1) has lost once. This should be one of the better matchups of the weekend and go down to the wire. Hamline, 3-2.

Adrian vs. Marian
It will be tough to slow down the Bulldogs (3-1), who have one of the best offenses in the nation and have won three in a row. Sixth-ranked Adrian has scored a league-best 22 goals, with Mathew Thompson coming through with five goals to go along with four assists. Kyle Brothers has punched in four goals and has tallied five assists. The defense has given up only nine goals with Tyler Parks and Kevin Entmaa splitting time in goal. The Sabres (2-2) have scored 13 goals, including two apiece by Tanner Pagendam, Gianni Mangone and James Mathias. Marian has used two goaltenders as well in Mike Gudmandson and Mike Baldwin, who have combined to allow only eight goals. Baldwin has the top save percentage in the conference at .952. Adrian 5-2 and 4-2.

St. Scholastica vs. Lake Forest
The 13th-ranked Saints (1-0-1) hit the road for a pair of games against the Foresters. St. Scholastica is led by Keegan Bruce, who has struck for a pair of goals. Tyler Bruggeman has had a strong start at goaltender, giving up just four goals en route to going 1-0-1. This weekend series will be the first time St. Scholastica has played on the road this year. Lake Forest (1-3) will aim to make a statement and get itself back on track after losing its last three, including two against St. Norbert. The Foresters are paced by Billy Kent, who has scored twice. Leo Podolsky is 1-2 in three starts and will put Lake Forest in a position to win with a strong performance. Lake Forest, 3-2, St. Scholastica, 4-2.

Weekend wrap: Nov. 8

Lots of conference games this week that certainly exemplify the level of competitiveness across the East and all of the leagues with games under way.

Some great individual performances, terrific games and of course, surprises are all part of last weekend, so here are some of the highlights along with my “weekend biscuits” (pucks) for three special performances that I will be offering up in the weekly recap.

Put the biscuit in the basket or keep them out – either way might get you a mention in the recap.

ECAC Northeast

Wentworth took two important conference wins by taking down Curry and Western New England by 3-1 and 3-0 scores, respectively. Goaltender Joel Miller stopped 65 of 66 shots, earning both wins for the Leopards.

Nichols earned two wins by nipping newcomer Endicott in overtime before taking down Salve Regina on Saturday night by a 5-2 score behind a goal and an assist each from Paul Prescott and Sean Swansen.

Johnson and Wales got goals from seven different players on Thursday night, including four unanswered third-period goals for a 7-4 win over Becker. The more traditional defensive style re-emerged for the Wildcats on Saturday, but the result ended in a 1-1 overtime tie with Curry.

ECAC West

Hobart opened league play with two important wins over unbeaten Manhattanville behind Mac Olson’s three-point night and followed up on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Neumann.

The Knights split their weekend after what may have been the most entertaining game of the weekend on Friday night when they rallied late in the third period to tie Elmira before Mike Davis scored his fourth goal of the game to beat the Soaring Eagles by a score of 7-6.

Manhattanville gained a split in their weekend with a Saturday night win over Elmira to drop them to 0-2 in the conference. The game saw a combined 100 minutes in penalties and a four-goal second period for the visitors to take momentum and the win.

MASCAC

Salem State met Westfield State in the conference opener for both teams on Thursday and the Vikings shut down the Owls’ high-flying offense to capture a 3-1 win on the road.

Fitchburg State found its offense again in a 7-2 win against Framingham State, while Plymouth State and Massachusetts-Dartmouth both lost against non-league opponents. The Panthers lost to Stonehill by a 3-1 score despite outshooting their opponents by a 2 to 1 margin. The nationally-ranked Beacons rolled over the young Corsairs by a 7-1 score with 12 players registering points for the victors on the road.

NEHC

Two things may have become very obvious in the opening week of conference play. First, Norwich will be challenged by everybody’s A-game each night and second, Kevin Swallow’s UNE team tying Hobart was not a fluke and based on their game with Norwich, is going to be a strong competitor all season.

After taking down St. Michael’s on Friday night by an 11-0 score, the Nor’easters took the Cadets to overtime where Kevin Salvucci finished off a great weekend with the game-winner over the host team by a 1-0 score. On Friday night, Salvucci led a come-from-behind victory for the Cadets at Southern Maine by a 5-2 score.

Elsewhere, St. Anselm opened strong at home with wins over Castleton and Skidmore to open conference play, while travel partner New England College took three of four points with a win over Skidmore and a 3-3 tie with Castleton.

SUNYAC

Plattsburgh continues to find balance in scoring and the result was a pair of home wins over visiting Fredonia and Buffalo State over the weekend. Keeping pace with the Cardinals are the Bears from Potsdam, who once again proved they can win the tight games by taking wins over the same two teams by 2-1 and 4-2 scores. Both teams are setting the pace in conference play early.

In the other crazy high-scoring game of the weekend, Chase Nieuwendyk scored three goals and added an assist for Brockport, who had a 7-3 lead over Morrisville in the second period only to see the visitors score four straight goals to tie the game late in the third period. Jeremy DeFazio scored the game-winner for the home team with just under four minutes left as Brockport held on for the two points in an 8-7 win.

Weekend Biscuits

Mike Davis- Neumann – Scored three goals in the third period, including the tying extra-attacker goal, before completing the Knights’ comeback with the overtime winner in the first minute of sudden death for his fourth goal of the night.

Kevin Salvucci – Norwich – Scored the game winning goals for the Cadets on Friday and Saturday night, including the only goal of the game in the overtime thriller against UNE in Maine.

Joel Miller – Wentworth – Stopped all but one in 66 shots faced as the Leopards scored two important conference wins in front of their senior goaltender.

WEST RUNDOWN

MIAC

Hamline scored five goals in each of its two games against St. Olaf over the weekend, forging a tie on Friday night before skating to a 5-2 win on Saturday. The Pipers won 2-0 in a shootout in Friday’s game before scoring three straight goals in the finale to take five of the six points. The Pipers are 2-0-2 overall and 1-0-1 in the MIAC. Brandon Zurn scored twice in Saturday’s win. Hamline has scored 21 goals in all this year, with Zurn leading the way with seven. He has also tallied four assists. Charlie McAdams and Mitch McPherson have scored four and three goals, respectively, for the Pipers, who played in the NCAA tournament last season … Concordia (Minn.) made a statement over the weekend, winning at St. John’s for the first time in 15 years. The Cobbers earned a 3-1 win Friday and capped the sweep with a 3-2 win on Saturday. Concordia is only the second team to ever sweep the Johnnies at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Cobbers are 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC and have scored 11 goals in four games, with nine being scored by freshmen or sophomores. Jon Grebosky, Mario Bianchi and Jake Zeleznikar have each scored twice for Concordia. Alex Reichle continues to shine in goal, pushing his record to 3-1. He owns a 2.00 GAA.

NCHA

Mike Baldwin turned in a stellar performance in goal for Marian, recording a shutout and then stepping up in a shootout as the Sabres held off Lawrence to keep the Battle of Highway 41 traveling trophy. Baldwin made 31 saves in the 6-0 victory over the Vikings Saturday and then gave up only one goal in a shootout to decide which team kept the trophy. The Sabres lost 3-2 in Friday’s game against the Vikings but bounced back in a big way to improve to 2-2 on the season. Baldwin has started twice this year and owns a 1-1 record … Concordia (Wis.) defeated the Milwaukee School of Engineering for only the second time in program history on Saturday, winning 3-1. Because the Raiders won Friday’s game by a 4-1 count, the two teams will each have possession of the Lake Michigan Cup for six months. Both teams are 2-2. The Falcons erased a 1-0 deficit in the finale, scoring three consecutive goals. Special teams was vital to their success. They stopped four power-play opportunities Saturday and have killed off 20 opportunities in all this season.

WIAC

Wisconsin-Superior remained unbeaten after edging Augsburg 4-3 in overtime Friday and forging a 1-1 tie with St. Thomas Saturday. The Yellowjackets are unbeaten through four games for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign when they started 4-0. Dan Kovar scored the lone goal for Superior against St. Thomas. It was the first of his career. On Friday, the Yellowjackets trailed 3-2 before scoring the final two goals, including the game-winner in overtime by Anton Svensson. It was his second goal of the game. Svensson is tied for the team-lead in goals with three and has also dished out two assists. The Yellowjackets won only nine games a year ago and are already halfway to that total this year. Superior plays St. Olaf next and has an opportunity to start unbeaten through five games for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign. That year, Superior didn’t lose in its first 20 games, starting off 14-0-6 … Wisconsin-Stevens Point is still perfect after topping Bethel 4-3 in overtime. The Pointers cashed in on a power-play opportunity when Logan Lemirande struck just 42 seconds into overtime. It was his second goal of the year. The Pointers, who opened the weekend with a 5-1 win over Gustavus, were 5-for-5 defending the Royals’ power play. They have yet to allow a goal in that situation this season. Stevens Point has thrived off its high-powered attack, scoring 25 goals. It has given up just eight behind the duo of Jesse Gordichuk and Max Milosek. Both goaltenders are 2-0 and have each allowed just four goals.

Weekend West picks: Nov. 6-7

Our West columnist Brian Lester is back this week with his picks for the weekend in Division III circles.

Concordia (Minn.) at St. John’s

It’s an early season showdown between two teams that should be among the best in the league. Charlie Aus leads the Cobbers with a goal and two assists. Alex Reichle has allowed five goals and is 1-1 on the season. St. John’s comes in looking for its first win of the year. The Johnnies are 0-1-1 and will aim to take advantage of playing at home, where they are 14-0-1 against the Cobbers in the last 15 meetings. Neal Smith leads St. John’s in goals with two while Saxton Soley has given up eight goals. Both games should be close. St. John’s, 3-2, Concordia 2-1.

St. Mary’s at Wisconsin-Eau Claire

The Cardinals lost their first two games and the schedule doesn’t get any easier this week with a game against Eau Claire. The Cardinals have scored nine goals, though, and if they can get the defense on track, they have a shot at the upset. Jake Tugnutt, Phil Heinle and Jake Hebda all saw time in goal for St. Mary’s last weekend and one of them will need to rise to the occasion if St. Mary’s is going to be successful.

The Blugolds scored 15 goals in their first two games and only gave up two behind the solid play of Tyler Green in goal. Eau Claire will be challenged but should come out on top. Eau Claire 5-2.

St. Thomas at Wisconsin-River Falls

St. Thomas is 1-0-1 on the year and has scored four goals in each of its first two games. Thomas Williams has paced the offense with three goals. The Falcons are 1-0-1 as well and have the advantage of playing this one at home. They have scored eight goals in two games, with six players tallying at least one goal. The team that plays the best defensively will prevail. St. Thomas 4-3.

Lake Forest vs. St. Norbert

The Green Knights are 1-1 after the opening weekend and head into this home-and-home series looking for an early jump on the NCHA title race. Noah Nelson leads the offense with two goals and goaltender Tony Kujava is 1-0 with 20 saves. Lake Forest is coming off a split on opening weekend as well and will count on goaltender Leo Podolsky to help pave the way in this series. He is 1-1 with 51 saves. Billy Kent has scored half of the Foresters’ goals, tallying two. St. Norbert, 4-2, Lake Forest 3-2.

Concordia (Wis.) vs. Milwaukee School of Engineering

Concordia split its opening weekend games against Lake Forest and faces a huge challenge against MSOE.Connor Hogg has scored twice for the Falcons. The Raiders have struck for eight goals, with seven different players scoring. That balance will be tough to deal with. MSOE, 5-2 and 4-2.

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