In every season, there is a week or two where everything seems to play out opposite of what one would expect. The first full week of action in 2012 was such a time.
Of the USCHO top 10, eight teams were in action against opponents ranked below them. Six of those resulted in ties or losses, with only No. 3 Cornell and No. 6 North Dakota escaping unscathed.
UND had zero difficulty in its one game, pasting Lindenwood 14-0. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls accounted for eight points and a plus eight, proving once again that if Olympic-caliber players want to post inflated numbers against Lindenwood, this season’s edition of the Lions is not equipped to stop them.
Cornell was down to 11 skaters for two road games due to players competing at the Meco Cup. In a 9-1 laugher over Union, seven players scored and nine recorded a point. The Big Red focus shifted to defense in a 3-0 win at Rensselaer, holding the Engineers to 15 shots on goal.
Elsewhere, it was good to be the underdog. St. Lawrence, entering 2012 just a game over .500, took down No. 4 Boston College and No. 7 Northeastern by 2-1 and 3-2 scores respectively on successive days, despite being outshot, ironically by 30-26 totals in each contest. The Eagles were missing leading scorer Alex Carpenter, while the Huskies were without starting goaltender Florence Schelling. No. 10 Harvard was stymied at Princeton, 3-0. A day later, the Crimson had to come from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 tie on the road against Quinnipiac.
In the CHA, Syracuse rebounded from an 8-4 loss the day before to earn its first point ever versus No. 5 Mercyhurst in a 1-1 tie. The Lakers, winners of the first 15 meetings of the two programs, had taken 24 straight games in CHA competition before the deadlock.
WCHA action saw No. 8 Bemidji State fall to Minnesota State 2-1 on Friday night, the Beavers second loss this season inflicted by the Mavericks. Even top-ranked Wisconsin hit a bump in the road, going without a regulation triumph on a weekend for the first time in two seasons. The Badgers 1-0 shutout loss at No. 2 Minnesota on Saturday was the first time the team had failed to score since Feb. 7, 2010, against Bemidji State. Meanwhile, St. Cloud State claimed its most impressive victory over the last couple seasons, blowing a three-goal lead before rallying for a 4-3 win over Ohio State, a team just outside the top 10.
After sputtering through much of the first half of the season, last year’s national runner-up, Boston University, enjoyed a positive start to 2012, edging past Maine 2-1 and welcoming star Marie-Philip Poulin back to the ice after an 18-game absence due to injury.