The NCHA went a combined 13-2-1 this past weekend against the MIAC. Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin-River Falls, St. Norbert, Wisconsin-Superior, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Wisconsin-Stout all swept their weekend series. On the weekend, the NCHA outscored the MIAC 91-43, putting an early foot in the door for Pool C decisionmakers.
Wisconsin-River Falls: Friday night, the Falcons had little trouble with last season’s MIAC spoiler team, St. Mary’s, winning 5-2 in River Falls. Goals from Jared Anderson, Evan Stensrud and Jeff Bernard staked the Falcons to a 3-1 first-period lead. The Cardinals cut the lead to one, but that would be answered by the Falcons’ Anderson to finish out the second period. Carl Boben of River Falls added the lone tally in the third to finish off the Cardinals.
Saturday, the Falcons faced last season’s Division III runners-up, the St. Thomas Tommies, and were able to pull out a 5-4 victory at Hunt Arena. The Falcons led 2-1 after one on power-play goals from Jess Johnson and Rob Novak. In the second, Adam Kragthorpe added a power-play tally for the Falcons, only to see the Tommies tie it at three before the close of the second. The Falcons put themselves out in front for good on goals from Bernard (PP) and Shane Fukushima in the third. Seven of the nine goals in the game were scored on the power play.
The Falcons take the holiday weekend off before taking to the ice December 1 and 2 vs. Superior and St. Scholastica at home.
St. Norbert: The Green Knights barely broke a sweat in their sweep of MIAC teams St. Olaf and Gustavus Adolphus, outscoring them by a combined 17-4. Friday night, the Knights scored at least three goals in each period, demolishing the Oles 10-4 in front of the hometown fans. Maris Ziedins, Shane Dickson and Faron Duthie all scored twice for the Knights. Lennie Rampone, Trent Dickson, Patrick Gruber and Cameron Sedgwick also scored.
Saturday, the Knights faced little resistance from the Gusties, shutting them out 7-0. Shane Dickson and Kyle Peterson each scored two and Felix Angst, Chris Bodnar and Adam Sedgwick added lone tallies for the Knights.
The Green Knights go on the road this weekend, playing a pair of games at St. John’s.
Lake Forest: The Foresters were able to take three out of a possible four points on the weekend, tying Gustavus 1-1 Friday and defeating St. Olaf 5-3 on Saturday.
Friday, the lone Forester goal came in the second period from Frankie DeMasi, and Justin Howard kept the Gusties off the scoreboard the remainder of the game, finishing with 22 saves.
Saturday, the Foresters got two goals each from DeMasi and Bill Boyes and a solo tally from David Evans to defeat the Oles 5-3. Mason Black finished with 25 saves on 28 shots.
The Foresters play a home-and-home series with Marian College this Friday and Saturday.
Wisconsin-Stevens Point: The Pointers helped the NCHA cause by beating Concordia 3-1 on Friday and St. John’s 7-1 on Saturday.
Friday, the Pointers dominated first-period action, outshooting the Cobbers 12-5, but finished the first only leading 2-1 on power-play goals from Ryan Maxson and Randy Enders. The second period was back-and-forth with both teams’ defenses stepping up. Shots in the second were virtually even at 6-5. The lone goal in the third period belonged to the Pointers’ Bryan Fricke to round out the scoring at 3-1 in favor of Stevens Point.
Saturday night, the Pointers saw more success against the Johnnies of St. John’s University. Stevens Point outshot St. John’s by a two-to-one margin (30-15) and the score would indicate Stevens Point’s dominance.
In the first period, St. John’s scored first, but that would be it as Stevens Point rattled off seven unanswered. In the first period, the Pointers outshot the Johnnies 12-5 and led 2-1 on goals from Nick Glander and Ernie Thorp. The second period got off on the right foot for Stevens Point as Maxson picked up his first of three goals on the afternoon just :50 in, and two minutes later, Glander picked up his second goal, followed by Maxson’s second to round out the period’s scoring. Maxson added this third goal, along with the first of the season by Mikhail Salienko, to finish off the Johnnies, 7-1.
The Pointers head East to take on Elmira on Saturday night and Williams on Sunday afternoon in the Elmira Invitational.
Wisconsin-Stout: The Blue Devils continued their early-season success on Friday, defeating St. Thomas 4-3, but were unable to keep the string alive, dropping Saturday’s decision 7-5 to St. Mary’s.
Friday, Dan Winkler picked up the lone tally in the first, staking the Blue Devils to a 1-0 lead through the first two periods, only to see St. Thomas tie up the game in the third. Drew Nichols put the Blue Devils back into the lead only to see the Tommies rattle off two more goals. The hero of the night, Nathan Legler, scored twice in the final two minutes to lead the Devils to a 5-4 win.
Saturday, the Devils struggled and were defeated by the St. Mary’s Cardinals, 7-5. The Devils only trailed by a goal after one (Legler) and were tied at five after two (Harms, Riffe, Flaherty and Legler), but were unable to sustain the pressure, giving up two goals in the final 20 minutes, dropping the 7-5 decision.
The Devils take the holiday off and return to action December 1 and 2, hosting St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire: The Blugolds, like their travel partner Wisconsin-Stevens Point, also did a number on St. John’s and Concordia, defeating them 4-2 and 9-3, respectively.
Friday night, the Blugolds fell behind 2-0 after one period, but came roaring back in the final two periods to pull out the 4-2 win. Jamie Minor picked up a short-handed and a power-play goal in the second period to tie the game after two. Justin Kaufenberg added a short-handed goal of his own to put the Blugolds out in front and Joe Byrd added an insurance goal later in the period for the Blugolds 4-2 win.
Saturday night, the Blugolds had little trouble with the Cobbers of Concordia, beating them up 9-3.
The first period saw Eau Claire come out strong, scoring three first-period goals. Brian Buskowiak, Ian Sgambelluri and Tim Murphy each put up single tallies, staking the Blugolds to a 3-0 lead. The Cobbers answered with three goals in the second to tie it up, but a late second-period goal by Sgambelluri took the momentum back to the Blugolds. Eau Claire finished off the Cobbers with five third-period goals from Minor (2), Sgambelluri, Buskowiak and Mike Lucenti.
The Blugolds are also taking the holiday weekend off, but return to action December 2 against Lake Forest at the Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire.
St. Scholastica: The Saints took it to current MIAC leader Bethel 4-1 on Friday, but couldn’t hold off the Auggies of Augsburg on Saturday, dropping the 6-2 decision.
Friday, the Saints trailed 1-0 after the first period, but two goals from Josh Oyler in the first two minutes of the second, put the Saints in front to stay. Scott Forrest and Jason Brabec scored third-period goals to down the Royals 4-1.
Saturday, the Saints wouldn’t see the same success against Augsburg. Again, the Saints trailed after the first period, but couldn’t stage the comeback as the Auggies pulled out to a 5-1 two-period lead. Kyle Antilla scored the lone Saint goal in the second and Nick Dolentz added one in the third.
The Saints host MCHA foe Lawrence this Friday and Saturday.
UW-Superior: After seeing little success in the first couple of weeks of conference play, there was probably no NCHA team happier to see a nonconference opponent than the Yellow Jackets. The Jackets showed little hospitality to the visitors, however, downing Augsburg Friday night 7-5 and blowing out Bethel 13-2 on Saturday.
Friday, Ivan Prokic scored two goals and Josh Liebenow and Carl Hanson each added single tallies in the first period, putting the Jackets out to a 4-0 lead. In the second, the Auggies scored three goals, but Rob Ziemmer added another Jacket tally. The third period was all even, which was fine with the Jackets. Liebenow picked up his second of the game and Alan Hasbargen added another in the third to finish off the pesky Auggies.
Saturday, the Jackets came out firing and didn’t finish until they had knocked off Bethel 13-2.
The game was tied halfway through the first period, and with fans at the Hive were bracing themselves for a tight game, Prokic scored early for the Jackets (2:07) only to see the Royals tie it up at one a little over 10 minutes later. From then on, however, it was all Superior. Ziemmer, Cameron Van Sandt and Bryan Grycan all scored before the close of the first period.
Grycan, Jay Stewart, Liebenow and Ryan Kalbrenner added solo goals in the second for the Jackets, effectively finishing off Bethel after two. The Jackets weren’t done, though, adding another five goals in the third. Grycan finished off his hat trick and Chris Hackett, Chris Bell, Ziemmer and Van Sandt added goals in the final stanza.
Superior returns to the ice on December 1 and 2, taking on Wisconsin-River Falls and Wisconsin-Stout at the Wessman Arena in Superior.
Games to Watch
For the second time this season, an NCHA team makes the trip to the Thunderdome of Elmira College. This week, it’s the Pointers of UW-Stevens Point who make the bus trip out to Horseheads, N.Y., to take on host Elmira College on Saturday and Williams of the NESCAC on Sunday in the Elmira Invitational.
These will be the games to watch. Can Stevens Point continue the NCHA’s dominance in non-conference play? Or will it fall prey to the crowd effect of the Domes?
The last time the Pointers made the trip to The Domes was back in 1991, for the Division III Final Four. In the first game, the Pointers defeated Babson College 5-2 in the semifinals and then defeated the Mavericks of Mankato State 6-2 to win their third straight national championship. The only time that Stevens Point faced Elmira was in the 1993 national semifinals, beating the Eagles 7-2. Stevens Point has never faced Williams.