Weekend wrap: Feb. 16

Plymouth State junior Mike Freitag helped the Panthers to their second straight MASCAC regular-season title last weekend (photo: Richard Orr Photography/Plymouth State Athletics).

Ah yes. The weekend that was.

So what happened? Miss something?

No worries. Our columnists have it covered.

ECAC EAST – The big news of the week came out of Massachusetts-Boston, Saturday, when the No. 7 ranked Beacons knocked off top-ranked Norwich, 4-3. Two goals in 32 seconds late in the third period – by Mike Maciag and Peter MacIntyre – erased a 3-2 Cadet lead and put UMB over the top. MacIntyre’s tally, his second of the game and 10th of the season, came at 14:54 and proved to be the game-winner … Friday, Norwich blasted Babson 6-1, while the Beacons squeaked past St. Michael’s 6-5 in overtime.

ECAC NORTHEAST – The league’s top two teams, Nichols and Salve Regina, hooked up for a 4-4 overtime tie in the lone weekend tilt for both. Salve scored twice in a frenetic final 2:43 stretch to salvage the tie, with Marc Biggs potting the deadlocker on a power play with just three seconds remaining in regulation. The Bison hold a slim one-point lead over Salve heading into the final week of the season, and with three games to play, have a game in hand on the Seahawks, too.

ECAC WEST – Hobart clinched the West’s regular-season crown – its third since 2004 – after carding a pair of shutout wins over Manhattanville, 1-0 and 3-0. Friday’s win came the hard way, as Brad Robbins netted the lone goal of the game at 1:51 of overtime, which was all the scoring support Statesmen freshman goalie Frank Oplinger would need for his 26-save whitewash. Oplinger stopped 18 more Valiants’ shots on Saturday to run his shutout streak to 142:39.

MASCAC – Plymouth State wrapped up its second consecutive MASCAC title and third in four seasons after Thursday’s 3-2 win over Mass Dartmouth. Mike Freitag’s goal with 3:43 remaining in the third proved to be the game-winner and crown-clincher. The Panthers hold a six point lead over second place Salem State which has just two games remaining.

MIAC – Hamline made the most of a crucial weekend, sweeping a series against Augsburg to move into a tie for third place in the standings. The Pipers edged the Auggies 3-2 Friday and then grinded out a 6-5 overtime win Saturday, moving a step closer to clinching a spot in the conference tournament. Hamline led 2-0 early in Saturday’s game but fell behind 4-3 at the end of two periods and trailed 5-3 11 seconds into the third. But the Pipers would not be denied, scoring twice in the third and getting the game-winner from Charlie Adams in the final minute of OT. Hamline has been the turnaround story of the year. The Pipers, who won only three games the past two seasons, are 11-8-4 overall and 7-4-3 in the conference. Joe Ruebbelke and Brandon Reinholz tied the score at 5-5 in the third. Erick Majerle, who had not played since Jan. 10, came into the game in the third and made 17 saves. Hamline had to rally Friday as well, trailing 2-0 before fighting back for the victory. Josh Gaughan and Brandon Zurn tied the score at 2-2 before Jaycob McCombs scored in the third to give Hamline the win. The Pipers enter the final weekend with 25 points, three less than conference co-leaders Concordia and St. Thomas … St. Mary’s stayed in the hunt for a playoff berth after splitting a weekend series with Concordia (Minn.). The Cardinals won 4-3 in OT Friday, but fell 8-3 to the Cobbers Saturday. Martin Gruse scored twice in Friday’s win, including the game-winner less than two minutes into OT. Jared Johnson also scored for St. Mary’s and Phil Heinle made 23 saves. The Cardinals didn’t have the same luck in the finale. The Cobbers scored six times in the first two periods en route to the win. St. Mary’s fell to 12-9-2 overall and 7-5-2 in the MIAC. Nick Albergo, Bob Kinne and Taylor Portner all scored for the Cardinals, who are tied for third with Hamline. Tucker Coborn scored twice for the Cobbers, who remain in a tie for first place. The Cobbers are 13-8-4 overall and 8-5-3 in the MIAC. Jeremy Johnson came through with a goal and two assists and Jordan Christianson tallied one goal and one assist.

NCHA – Adrian won’t have to worry about sharing the NCHA championship this year. The Bulldogs won the Peters Cup outright on Friday night, skating to a 6-2 win over Lake Forest. The fifth-ranked Bulldogs won their seventh league crown in eight seasons, with six of those titles being won in the old MCHA. Mathew Thompson scored two goals for the Bulldogs. Josh Ranalli scored the 61st goal of his career in the victory. His goal gave Adrian a 2-1 lead. It was Ranalli’s eighth career game-winner. He also tallied two assists. James Hamby earned the start and made 41 saves as he improved to 3-2 on the year. He is 4-0 in his career against the Foresters. Lake Forest, ranked 13th in the nation, came in needing a win to have a shot at earning at least a share of the league title. Adrian capped the weekend with another 6-2 win as it raised its record to 19-3-3 overall and 16-1-1 in the NCHA. Duston Hebebrand gave the Bulldogs the lead for good at 3-2 after Lake Forest opened up a 2-1 lead. Ranalli also scored twice in the victory. Hamby started again for the Bulldogs and racked up 22 saves for his fourth win. Lake Forest got its only goals from Luke Swardenski and Mcauley Banning. The Foresters are 14-6-5 overall and 12-5-1 in the NCHA. Adrian will host Concordia (Wis.) in the opening round of the Harris Cup playoffs, while Lake Forest starts off its postseason at home against St. Scholastica. The Foresters are the third seed in the eight-team playoff … Marian will head into the conference tournament with momentum after sweeping a weekend series against St. Scholastica. The Sabres topped the Saints 4-3 Friday and finished off the series with a 6-5 OT win Saturday. Marian is 11-11-1 overall and 7-8-1 in the league and will go into the tourney as the fifth seed, traveling to the Milwaukee School of Engineering for opening-round action. Brian Berger scored the game-winner in the thrilling showdown and extended his point streak to 11 games. Six players scored goals for the Sabres, who trailed 4-2 heading into the final period of regulation. Hunter Stewart and Ben Morgan tied the game at 4-4. The Saints went back in front on a power-play goal by Matt Malenstyn. Marian answered when Mark Whiteley scored off the power-play to force OT. Both teams scored twice on the power play. The Sabres secured the fifth seed in the conference tourney with Friday’s win. Berger highlighted the night as he came through with a hat trick. He scored one of his goals off the power play. Mike Gudmandson turned in a strong performance both nights as he picked up his eighth and ninth wins of the season. He made 42 saves in the two games for Marian, which heads into the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league on the strength of a six-game win streak.

NESCAC – Trinity repeated as NESCAC regular-season champs after notching wins at Bowdoin (5-4) and Colby (5-1). Ryan Cole took over the league’s scoring lead with a six point weekend (2g, 4a), while Sean Orlando scored three goals and set up two others in the twin wins.

SUNYAC – Oswego entered the weekend ranked second in the country and in second place in the SUNYAC, but took over the top rungs on both ladders after grabbing four points via road wins over Brockport (3-1) and Geneseo (2-1). Alex Botten scored in both tilts, including the game-winner at Brockport. The Lakers had trailed idle Plattsburgh by three points in the SUNYAC. The two titans will clash Friday in Oswego.

WIAC – Wisconsin-River Falls and Wisconsin-Eau Claire are both tied for second in the WIAC heading into the final week of the regular season. River Falls swept a weekend series against Wisconsin-Stout and Eau Claire split with Wisconsin-Stevens Point in a battle of nationally-ranked teams … The No. 3 Pointers and No. 12 Blugolds squared off in a huge showdown. Stevens Point maintained its hold on first place with a 5-2 Saturday. The Pointers scored the final four goals of the game on a night when five players scored. Andrew Kolb helped lead the way as he scored a goal and dished out two assists. Kyle Sharkey came through with a goal and an assist as the Pointers improved to 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the conference. They are one-game up on the Blugolds and Falcons with a week to play. Eau Claire picked up a 5-2 win Friday, scoring four times in the second to grab the momentum. The Blugolds, 15-6-2 overall and 7-3 in the league, led 5-1 at that point and never looked back. Five players scored for the Blugolds, with Adam Knochenmus coming through with a goal and an assist. Patrick Moore and T.J. Stuntz also tallied a goal and an assist in the win. Eau Claire moved into a tie for first with Friday’s win but fell back into second the next night. Ethan Nauman scored his 18th goal of the season in the win while Ross Anderson came through with his 17th goal of the year. Eau Claire’s win snapped the Pointers’ five-game win streak. The Blugolds had their three-game win streak snapped Saturday … River Falls, ranked sixth in the country, nailed down two big wins over the weekend, giving it a shot of momentum as it heads into the final week of the regular season. The Falcons, who beat the Blue Devils 3-2 and 5-2, have won four consecutive games, their longest streak since starting the year with 13 consecutive wins. On Saturday, River Falls scored three straight goals to put the game away, improving to 18-4-1 overall and 7-3 in the WIAC. Mitch Kontny led the way with two goals and an assist. He has 16 points on the season. Kyle Gattelaro scored a goal as well and has 20 points. Mike Deitrich and Jeff Bergh also scored for the Falcons. Tanner Milliron earned his 18th win of the year in goal. The Falcons opened the weekend with a win behind goals from Christian George, Ryan Doner and Gattelaro. Gattelaro and George also came through with assists. Terry Leabo also tallied an assist, his 10th of the season.