Three things I think about the weekend that was:
1. Who impressed?
For the second year in a row, Bemidji State pulled off an opening-night upset. (Well, it was sort of opening night, since Friday’s game in Duluth was postponed due to a power outage.) The Beavers knocked in-state rival and second-ranked Minnesota Duluth down a few pegs with a 3-2 win. Goalie Michael Bitzer stopped 28 shots, and Charlie O’Connor netted the big game-winner with 22 seconds left in regulation.
Bowling Green met the early expectations with a sweep of Ohio State, winning 6-3 and 2-0 with Chris Nell getting the shutout in the series finale.
You have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a season in which Alabama Huntsville scored a win this early in the season. It took two games, as the Chargers earned a home split against UConn.
Alaska Anchorage’s Brad Duwe had five shots on goal and scored the game-winner in overtime to beat Arizona State on Friday night at its Kendall Hockey Classic.
2. Who did not?
Minnesota State’s goal scorers, who were among the best in the business a season ago, were shut down, scoring just twice on 66 shots (40 on Saturday) in a pair of losses to Omaha. Saturday’s 2-0 loss was the first time MSU was shut out at home since Jan. 14, 2012 when Wisconsin did it. The Mavericks lost just two home games last year and three in the last two and already are 0-2 this year.
Ferris State’s goal-scoring issues haven’t been solved quite yet. The Bulldogs scored once on 40 shots in a tie with Western Michigan, a night after losing 3-2 in Kalamazoo.
Alaska lost twice in its home state, mustering just one goal at the Kendall Hockey Classic. The Nanooks were shut out by St. Cloud State and then made themselves a footnote that will forever be in the Arizona State media guide as the opponent in the Sun Devils’ first Division I victory.
3. Can’t hang on
Northern Michigan tied Wisconsin twice in Madison, but had third-period leads in both games. The Badgers forced overtime with 41 seconds left in the third period on Friday, and Saturday, they erased the Wildcats’ 3-0 lead with three goals in a span of 2:46 midway through the final period. (For what it’s worth, NMU did win the shootout each night).
Lake Superior State jumped out to a stunning 2-0 lead over North Dakota in the first game of the IceBreaker in Portland, Maine, but the Lakers couldn’t build on that or hold on and ended up losing 5-2. They were knocked off by Michigan State 4-1 the next day.