A handful of the bigger talking points from the first official weekend of the college hockey season:
UND opens with win, tie, trophy
Fourth-ranked North Dakota made its longest road trip of the season over the weekend to Portland, Maine to take part in the Icebreaker Tournament. UND opened with a 6-2 victory over Lake Superior on Friday before tying Maine 1-1 on Saturday.
UND spotted LSSU a 2-0 lead on Friday through Lakers goals from J.T. Henke and Mitch Hults. Lake State couldn’t keep going from there, though, and instead gave up five unanswered UND tallies.
On Saturday, a second-period goal from UND’s Chris Wilkie was canceled out in the same frame by Maine’s Cam Brown. Neither team scored again in regulation or overtime, but Maine won a shootout.
UND won the tournament with an official 1-0-1 record. Maine, which officially tied both of its games but also won shootouts in both, finished third.
UND will try to build upon its Icebreaker success this next week with a home-and-home series against Bemidji State.
Omaha opens with road sweep
When No. 10 Omaha and sixth-ranked Minnesota State met this weekend in Mankato, one thing was for certain: The Mavericks were going to win each game of the series.
As it turned out, the same group of Mavs – the ones that traveled north from Nebraska for the series – won both times.
Omaha opened Friday’s game on fire, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period before Austin Ortega added to the lead 58 seconds into the next period. MSU answered with a pair of goals, but Omaha goaltender Kirk Thompson’s 24 saves were enough to give the visitors the win.
On Saturday, MSU failed to get into the scoreboard. Instead, two Jake Randolph goals and a first collegiate shutout from UNO freshman goaltender Evan Weninger gave Omaha a 2-0 win and a series sweep.
Omaha is on the road again next weekend, this time at Vermont.
CC struggles at home
My NCHC writing partner Candace Horgan and I both believed that Colorado College had a great opportunity to open its 2015-16 season well this weekend with a home series against Massachusetts. Little did we know, apparently, that UMass had other ideas.
The Minutemen won both games of the set, and it all started on Friday with a 6-3 victory over the homestanding Tigers. UMass scored each of the game’s first three goals, and the Minutemen kept CC sufficiently at bay from there.
Saturday was more frustrating for the Tigers, however, than that 6-3 loss on Friday was. CC looked well in position to salvage a split on Saturday thanks to three second-period goals, but UMass scored four times in the third, the last tally coming with 3:07 left in regulation.
CC will follow the Minutemen back to Massachusetts later this week when the Tigers taken on No. 14 Massachusetts-Lowell. UML is 1-0 on the season after blanking Rensselae 3-0 at home on Friday.