The action was hot and heavy last weekend around Division III and our columnists recap all the highlights.
BRIAN LESTER – WEST
MIAC – Hamline sent shockwaves through the Division III hockey world on Saturday, stunning sixth-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point 5-4 in one of the biggest wins in program history. The Pipers scored three goals in the final period to earn the win and improve to 5-4-4 on the season. Brandon Reinholz scored a goal and dished out two assists, while John Sellie-Hanson came off the bench early in the third period and earned the win. The Pipers and Pointers were tied at 2-2 at the end of two periods. Brandon Zurn’s goal secured the win. Hamline won despite being outshot 39-28. The Pipers skated to a 5-5 tie against Lake Forest on Friday and have yet to lose a game in the new year … St. Thomas became the first team to beat Wisconsin-River falls this season, blanking the fourth-ranked Falcons 3-0 on Friday. The Tommies scored twice in the opening period behind goals from Michael Dockery and Jeremy Hepler. Bobby Murphy also scored in the win, while Drew Fielding nailed down the win with 18 saves. St. Thomas held River Falls in check on the power play, forcing the Falcons to come up empty on all six opportunities. The Tommies capped their big weekend with a 1-0 win over Marian, marking their third consecutive victory. Tyler Richter scored the lone goal for the Tommies, who improved to 7-3-3 overall and are 5-0-2 at home this year….No. 15 St. John’s rolled to a 6-2 win over Lawrence on Sunday. John Haeg scored the 90th point of his career on a goal in the first period that put the Johnnies up 1-0. Haeg also tallied three assists and is just seven points away from becoming the 21st player in school history to get to 100 career points. Saxton Soley made 32 saves and improved to 6-2-4 on the year. The Johnnies are 7-3-4 after earning their first win since early December.
NCHA – St. Norbert rallied two different times against Concordia (Minn.) on Friday and pulled away for a 6-3 nonconference win. The Green Knights, ranked second in the nation, trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before securing the victory. The Green Knights improved to 11-1-2. Ross Pavek’s power-play goal gave St. Norbert the lead for good in the third period. Cullen Bradshaw finished with a goal and two assists, while Mason Baptista and Sam Higgins tallied two assists apiece. Bradshaw’s goal tied the score at 3-3 after two periods. David Jacobson earned the win in goal, the 72nd of his career, which moves him into third all-time in career wins by a Division III goaltender. St. Norbert scored twice off the power play while Concordia was 0-for-5 … The Milwaukee School of Engineering edged Wisconsin-Superior on Saturday to complete a perfect weekend. The win was the third in a row for the Raiders, who blanked Wisconsin-Stout 6-0 on Friday night. Cody Ganchar, Casey Moneer and Gage Christianson all scored goals for the Raiders, who own a 9-6 record. Ganchar and Christianson both scored off the power play. Austin Campbell made 33 saves and won his third game of the year. On Friday night, the Raiders earned their second consecutive shutout. It marked the first time in school history that MSOE has ever blanked two opponents in a row. Ganchar and Jerad Tafoya both came through with hat tricks in the win. Each player scored two of their goals on the power play. Nick Kohn earned the fifth shutout of his career and won for the sixth time this season.
WIAC – Stout ended a three-game losing streak on Saturday with an 8-5 win over Concordia (Wis.). The Blue Devils led 3-1 after one period before both teams combined for eight goals in a wild second period. Each team scored four goals in the period. Justin Moody scored twice for the Blue Devils, who improved to 3-8-1 one night after getting blanked by the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Moody also tallied an assist in the win. Joey Haydock, Jordan Tredinnick and Jake Useldinger all tallied a goal and an assist, while Derek Sand and Riley Colvard came through with two assists apiece. Spencer Viele earned the win in goal … Wisconsin-Eau Claire played its first game of the new year, ringing it in with a 5-3 win over Marian. The No. 13 Blugolds are 5-1 lifetime against the Panthers. This was the first meeting between the two schools since 2009. Jake Callahan, Patrick Moore, Jeff Pauluk, Ross Andersen and Ethan Nauman all scored goals for the Blugolds. Eau Claire won despite being outshot 32-26. Goalie Tyler Green won his fifth game of the season. The Blugolds capped their weekend with a with a 4-1 win over Augsburg. It was the second time this season that the Blugolds have beaten the Auggies. Eau Claire is 12-0-2 against schools from the MIAC since Jan. 12 of last year. Callahan, Andersen, Jake Davidson and Preston Hodge all scored for the Blugolds, who improved to 9-3-2. Hodge’s power-play goal marked the fifth consecutive game where Eau Claire has scored at least one goal with the man-advantage. The Blugolds haven’t allowed a power-play goal since November, killing off 32 consecutive opportunities. Jay Deo earned the win in goal, his fourth of the season. The Blugolds have won their last five games.
DAN HICKLING – EAST
ECAC EAST – The marquee matchup in the conference – yeah, even in the entire country – took place on Saturday when No. 1 Norwich hosted No. 4 Babson. The contest lived up to the hype, and then some, as the Cadets eked out a 3-2 overtime win, thanks to William Pelletier’s tally (his eighth of the year) with just 27 seconds remaining in the extra session. The Beavers came within six seconds of pulling off a 2-1 upset, but Dean Niezgoda netted the equalizer for Norwich as time was running out. Norwich outshot the Beavers 49-19. … The night before, Norwich handed Massachusetts-Boston its first conference loss, 6-3, thanks in part to Anthony Flaherty’s two tallies.
ECAC NORTHEAST – Activity was light during the weekend, with five teams hitting the ice, each playing one nonconference tilt. The Northeast’s lone winners were Nichols (9-5 over Assumption) and Johnson & Wales (3-2 over Potsdam). Sean Swansen scored twice to lead the way for Nichols, while Stefan Brucato scored with 1:18 remaining to lift J&W to its triumph.
ECAC WEST – All action was out of conference, with the two-game set between Fredonia and Neumann providing some interesting moments. Fredonia took Friday’s opener, 4-2, giving the Blue Devils their second road win of the season. The Knights rebounded the following night with a 2-1 overtime win, with Anthony Pino providing the winning goal at 2:31. … Hobart came within a whisker of pulling off a road sweep of SUNYAC foes. On Friday, the Statesmen dropped a 5-4 count to the fifth-ranked Lakers, after having spotted them a 4-0 second period lead. The following night, Hobart used a run of four unanswered goals to shock Geneseo, 7-4. Brad Robbins (2g, 2a) paced the Statesmen attack.
MASCAC – Just three conference tilts were staged, most notably Saturday win by Plymouth State, 3-2, over visiting Salem State. The first-place Panthers got goals from Ian McGilvrey, Chad Barthelmess and Tord Thoresen to support the 28-save effort by goaltender Gordon Caesar.
NESCAC – The top four teams in the conference – Trinity, Williams, Amherst and Bowdoin – all of them nationally-ranked, saw plenty of action, with the No. 14 Lord Jeffs enjoying a twin-win weekend. On Friday, Amherst downed Colby, 5-1, then defeated No. 11 Bowdoin, 4-2. … Co-leaders (with Williams) Trinity, ranked No. 10, also won twice, having taken down Middlebury, 3-1 before squeaking past No. 12 Williams, 3-2. In that one, Tyler Whitney scored with 21 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Ephs the win.
SUNYAC – Plenty of nonconference action on the weekend, with the most eye-popping result coming from Oswego, where the No. 5 Lakers were surprised by the 4-3 loss hung on them by sub-.500 Southern New Hampshire. The Lakers trailed 4-1 midway through the third, but made a game of it on late goals by Shawn Hulshof (his 10th) and Alex Botten (his sixth). … Buffalo State notched a gutsy, 3-2 overtime win at Nazareth, with Jason Zaleski netting the clinching goal at 3:41. The Bengals, which started off a dismal 1-6-2, are now 4-2-0 since freshman goalie Ian Sylves moved into the crease. … Likewise, Brockport, which struggled to a 2-5-1 start, has turned its season around, having won six straight, including Saturday’s 5-3 count at Elmira.