Week(end) of Dec. 29-Jan. 2

I know we still have UMD/Clarkson to cover; I’ll do a quick post on that later this week. Other than that … here we go.

– Michigan Tech fell to Michigan 4-2, but from the sounds of things, the game was a lot closer than the score indicated.
“If you talk to people in the WCHA, they hang around, and they hang around, and they have all year in a lot of close games,” Michigan associate coach Mel Pearson told USCHO’s Bob Miller. “Obviously, they got a big goal when they needed one and it sort of opened things up both ways. They had nothing to lose, and I thought they came after us more aggressively in the third period than they did in the first two.”

– No Jaden Schwartz, no problem apparently, as CC edged Michigan State to move on to the title game. However, Tyler Johnson continuing to score helps out quite a bit.

– This is also good news, given that Schwartz injured his ankle while playing for Canada at the World Juniors and will probably be out about two months.

– Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t hold on for the title, as they fell in the third period in a close one to Michigan the next night, 6-5. Still, Owens was happy with the way the team played, which hopefully brings optimism for the team going into the second half.

– The Huskies, unfortunately, saw their losing streak extend to unlucky 13 as they fell to Michigan State in the third-place game, 5-3.

Florida College Classic
– Well SCSU, I’m happy for you. Look at you guys with two wins and the FCC championship.

– Freshman Cam Reid scored two goals, including the overtime game-winner, to lift the Huskies over Cornell 4-3.

– Then, four different players (including Garrett Roe – always nice to see him on the score sheet) score in their 4-3 win over Miami.

– Interesting to note that Mike Lee got both starts.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game
– North Dakota played spoiler again, crushing Minnesota-Duluth 5-0 in the Bulldogs’ first game in the new Amsoil Arena.

– Mike Connolly christened the new building with an attempted check that shattered a pane of glass with 6:25 left in the first, causing the period to end early and the second to be a bit extended.

– Brad Malone scored two for the Sioux and Aaron Dell, strong once again, with the shut-out.

Nebraska-Omaha at Quinnipiac
– Rough weekend for the Mavericks, suffering a non-conference sweep at the hands of the Bobcats.

– Both games were close – Quinnipiac held off a Maverick rally on Thursday – but UNO couldn’t get it done.

- UNO has to hope the start of 2011 goes more like the start of the season – the team is 1-3 in its last four.

Wisconsin vs. Massachusetts
– Unsurprisingly, the Badgers pull off the non-conference sweep of the Minutemen in convincing fashion, winning 5-1 and 4-2.

– Podge Turnbull scored one-third of his team’s goals in the series, now with five goals in his last four games.

Denver vs. Northern Michigan
– The Pioneers took three points from Northern Michigan … not bad, considering DU’s best players are at the World Juniors.

– That being said, the team had to come from behind both nights. Denver exploded for five goals in the third period on Friday for a 5-2 win and came down from another 2-0 deficit to tie on Saturday.
“When they get those guys back from World Juniors, they’re going to be a threat nationally for sure,” said NMU coach Walt Kyle after Saturday’s game.

Mariucci Classic
– Big props to the “underdog” Bemidji State for going 2-0 and winning the Classic.

– Fun fact from the Bemidji/Ferris State game – of the five goals scored, each had the full allottment of assists, making 15 total points. Each point was scored by a different player … something that I’m betting doesn’t happen all that often.

– Then, Matt Read scored two to lift the Beavers over Union on New Year’s Day to clinch their championship.
“We start the second half 2-0, our kids won a championship which is important, and you want to see how your kids are going to respond in a championship situation,” BSU’s Tom Serratore told USCHO’s Brian Halverson. “I’m happy with the way we responded and now hopefully this will carry over into next weekend.”

– The Gophers, however, didn’t have quite as much fortune in their tournament. They fell 3-2, in overtime, to Union and then tied Ferris State 2-2.

– Interesting to note was the boos that rained down after the UM/FSU game. From Brian Halverson’s game story:
Tournament rules provided for a shootout to determine the outcome of games not decided after five minutes of overtime. Even as the P.A. announcer was briefing fans about the format, the perpetrator was in the midst of robbing those who had remained of an event which has become a crowd favorite in arenas nationwide. Fans initially weren’t sure what to make of what they thought to be two teams lining up to shake hands prior to a shootout, but quickly figured it out and began voicing their displeasure.

Upon intense post-game scrutiny, the guilty party confessed to his crime.

“There was no point,” said Minnesota coach Don Lucia referring to the shootout. “The championship game had been decided. In the past we had done the shootout just to advance to the championship game.” 

Shillelagh Tournament
– Go Minnesota State for winning this one. The Mavericks beat Notre Dame, 4-3, on Saturday and then crushed Brown, 7-3, on Sunday.

– Notable: Junior Michael Dorr had three goals for the Mavericks on the weekend.