Ah yes, the weekend that was.
Our Division III columnists take a look back on highlights from last weekend.
ECAC EAST – It’s something of an oddity, but better than a month into the season, the conference has three unbeaten teams – Norwich, Babson and Massachusetts-Boston – seated at the top. … Norwich made quick work of both Skidmore (4-0) and Castleton (5-1). Cadets goalie Braeden Ostepchuk turned in a 22-save shutout against Skidmore, while four different scorers – including William Pelletier – connected. Pelletier fired in two more goals against the Spartans, while teammate Anthony Flaherty notched a hat trick. … Babson goalie Jamie Murray backboned the Beavers to wins over Southern Maine (3-0) and UNE (4-1). Murray faced just 16 shots by USM, but stopped them all to turn in his fourth shutout of the season. …. Mass-Boston got two goals from Kit Sitterly (Nos. 7 and 8) in a 5-1 win over USM on Saturday while one night earlier, Stephen Buco notched his ninth and Nathan Milan tallied his ninth and 10th in a 3-0 win over UNE.
ECAC NORTHEAST – League leader Suffolk suffered its first loss of the season, Sunday’s 2-1 squeaker at Wentworth. Mike Domsodi netted the game-winner for the Leopards at 11:58 of the third period … Nichols was held to a 1-1 overtime tie by Manhattanville in a nonconference tilt.
ECAC WEST – There was just one conference tilt on the weekend schedule – Nazareth at Elmira – but it was a memorable one, ending in a 4-4 overtime draw. Leads changed hands four times, with the Golden Flyers taking the first one on a Dominick Gabaj goal with 2:26 gone. Andrew Ciampichini replied for the Soaring Eagles 2:02 later, setting the tone for the breakneck affair which saw the teams combine for 88 shots (51 by Elmira). Oliver Janzen scored two times for Nazareth, the second of those staking the Flyers to a 4-3 lead with 7:15 to play. But that was countered by Carter Shinkaruk’s second of the game, with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation, which allowed the Eagles to salvage the tie.
MASCAC – The light Saturday slate was highlighted by first-place Plymouth State’s 5-2 win over Westfield State, a squad that had been an early season surprise. The Owls, which had one four of their first five conference games, took an early 1-0 lead on PSU, then were pinned back by four consecutive Panthers goals (two by Ryan Callahan). Of note, the teams combined for an astounding 125 shots on goal (68 by Westfield), leaving Plymouth goalie Gordon Ceasar to make 66 saves and stats mavens to scramble for the record books. … Salem State goalie Jason Pucciarelli saw significantly less rubber, 28 shots, to turn in a 3-0 shutout over Worcester State. … And Massachusetts-Dartmouth got two goals each from Shaun Walters and Jaret Babych in its 6-4 win over Fitchburg State. Cameron Snyder scored twice for the Falcons in a losing cause.
MIAC – St. Thomas came out of the weekend sitting all alone in second place in the league standings after a MIAC series against Concordia (Minn.). The Tommies dominated the series opener en route to a 5-1 win and won a shootout with the Cobbers on Saturday. The Tommies held a 29-26 edge in shots in Friday’s win and five different players scored goals. Joe Morris was impressive in his first start in goal as he tallied 25 saves. On Saturday, the Tommies and Cobbers skated to a 2-2 tie before St. Thomas won the shootout 2-0. Nick Nielsen and Jordan Lovick scored the goals for St. Thomas in the shootout. The Tommies won despite being outshot 45-33. Drew Fielding started the game and racked up 43 saves. St. Thomas is now 4-3-3 overall and 3-1-2 in the MIAC. The Cobbers fell to 5-4-3 overall and are 2-2-2 in the conference. They are now in third place…St. Olaf opened up its series against Gustavus Adolphus with a shootout win on Friday night. The two teams skated to a 3-3 tie before Steven Sherman and Peter Lindlblad scored goals in the shootout. Sherman also scored the goal that forced overtime, scoring an empty-netter with 43 seconds remaining in regulation. Lindblad also scored a goal in regulation. It was his fourth of the season. The Oles held a 32-29 edge in shots. The Oles capped the series on Saturday with a 4-2 win. St Olaf scored four times in the second and third periods to earn the victory. It is now 3-8-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the MIAC. Steve Papciak made 35 saves for the Oles. Sam Majka and Andy Pearson both scored goals for the Gusties. Majka’s goal was the first of his college career. It marked only the third time in the last 10 games that Gustavus has lost. The Gusties, who are 3-4-5 overall and 1-1-4 in the MIAC, have tied five times during the stretch.
NCHA – Lake Forest came through with a big-time sweep over the weekend in NCHA action, beating No. 12 St. Scholastica twice. The Foresters beat the Saints 1-0 on Friday and picked up a 3-1 win on Saturday. On Saturday, Luke Swardenski scored twice to give the Foresters a 2-1 lead. Jason McAloon scored an empty-netter for the Foresters, who improved to 6-3-2 overall and to 5-2-1 in the league. The Foresters are in third place in the standings. Lake Forest, winners of four consecutive games, held a 37-29 edge in shots and Leo Podolsky made 25 saves. In Friday’s win, Podolsky racked up 36 saves in the shutout. He has a 1.63 goals against average on the year and has held two teams scoreless in his last three outings. McAloon scored the lone goal for the Foresters in the second period. Lake Forest was outshot 36-30 in Friday’s game but still managed to come away with the victory…St. Norbert made sure it will stay ranked as the No. 1 team in the country after sweeping Lawrence in a two-game series. The Green Knights head into the holiday break without a loss for the first time in program history. They topped the Vikings 3-1 on Friday and rolled to a 9-0 on Saturday. St. Norbert is now 10-0-1 overall and 7-0-1 in the NCHA. It is unbeaten in its last 22 games dating back to last year. Michael Hill scored three goals and has scored six in the last four games. Erik Cooper tallied two goals. David Jacobson racked up 19 saves and earned the 19th shutout of his career. He also won the 71st game of his career. St. Norbert owned a 52-16 advantage in shots. In the win on Friday, Cooper, Hill and Tyler Zepeda all scored for the Green Knights, who took 57 shots while limiting the Vikings to 17. Jacobson made 16 saves. Lawrence fell to 5-6-1 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
NESCAC – Previously unbeaten Bowdoin suffered its first two losses of the season, 3-1 to Connecticut College, and 4-3 to Tufts in overtime. Brian Brown scored at 3:25 of the extra session, his sixth of the season, to give the Jumbos the surprise win. Brown also scored the previous night to help Tufts to a 4-1 win over Colby. … The conference schedule was highlighted by Williams’ 4-3 win over visiting Amherst on Saturday. The Ephs, 5-2 losers to Hamilton on Friday, got the game-winner at 13:24 of the third by Greg Johnson.
SUNYAC – Clashes between Oswego (ranked No. 8 last week) and No. 4 Plattsburgh carry implications within the league, and nationally, too. Friday’s reunion at Plattsburgh was no different, as the Lakers eked out a 3-1 win to close the standings gap to five points (Oswego has played two less SUNYAC games), and shake up this week’s USCHO national poll. The Lakers led from 12:41 of the first on, after Chris Waterstreet scored his second of the season. Chris Raguseo made it 2-0 early in the second, but Mark Constantine brought the Cardinals to within a goal midway through the third. Oswego defenseman Bobby Gertsakis sealed the deal with his second of the season at 15:21. Platty took out its disappointment on Cortland the following night with a 7-1 trouncing while the Lakers overwhelmed Potsdam by the same score. … Brockport goalie Aaron Green recorded back-to-back shutouts, stopping a total of 55 shots in twin 3-0 wins over Buffalo State and Fredonia. Never in its 41-year varsity history had the Golden Eagles recorded consecutive shutout wins. … Meanwhile, Buff State, which had been blanked in its previous three starts, got an overtime goal from freshman Zach Nieminen to upset host Geneseo. Another Bengal freshman, goaltender Ian Sylves, made 36 saves to record his first varsity win.
WIAC – Wisconsin-Stevens Point could not have asked for a better way to open up play in the WIAC as the Pointers blanked Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3-0 on Friday night in a battle of nationally ranked teams. Brandon Jaeger was phenomenal in goal as he stopped 22 shots to help seventh-ranked Stevens Point beat the ninth-ranked Blugolds for the fifth time in the last six meetings. It was the second shutout of the year for Jaeger. Andrew Kolb, Alex Brooks and Kyle Sharkey all scored goals for the Pointers. Lawrence Cornellier tallied two assists. Stevens Point held a 37-22 edge in shots. Tyler Green took the loss for the Blugolds, making 34 saves. The Pointers capped the weekend with another WIAC win, holding off Wisconsin-Stout 7-5. Stevens Point improved to 8-2 overall and to 2-0 in the league. It has won its last three games. Joe Kalisz scored twice in the win over Stout. Eau Claire topped Superior 4-1 on Saturday and is now 5-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league…Wisconsin-River Falls continued its perfect run on Friday, edging Wisconsin-Superior 1-0. The No. 5 Falcons are now 9-0 on the season after winning their conference opener. Tanner Milliron made 37 saves as he recorded his second shutout of the season and the third of his career. Milliron has not lost a game since Jan. 24 of this year. Ryan Doner scored the only goal for River Falls, scoring on the power play 11 minutes into the second period. It was his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The Falcons were outshot 38-24. Superior is now 5-6 overall and 0-2 in the league.