Finally, a better showing: Sweeps, ties and strength in loss, too

At the start of the year, Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said that his team was focused on a little redemption this season. I suggested that perhaps the entire league needed to embrace that word. In the third week, Big Ten teams made progress toward that end with a 6-4-2 showing in nonconference play.

1. Sweeps week.

The Golden Gophers earned their first wins of the season with sweeps of Northeastern, 4-0 and 4-3, with rookie Eric Schierhorn in net both nights and junior Hudson Fasching scoring his first three goals of the season — a very good development, indeed.

Penn State also swept American International, outscoring AIC 13-6. While I’m sure that coach Guy Gadowsky would like his team to allow fewer goals, averaging 5.60 goals per game through the first five games is more than merely promising. Freshman forward Chase Berger notched three goals in the series, and he now has five goals in five games.

The best thing about these sweeps is that these are teams that the Gophers and Nittany Lions should have beaten — with no offense to Northeastern and American International. Good teams find a way to defeat the teams they should.

2. Fighting for ties.

Both Wisconsin and Michigan had to come from behind to fight for a tie after leading an opponent, and for each team, this is a sign of positive development.

The Badgers were leading Ferris State 4-2 after the second period of Friday’s 5-5 tie, but the Bulldogs scored three third-period goals to take the lead. With the Wisconsin net empty at 19:40 in the third, Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Tim Davison netted his first goal of the season — his third career goal — to bring the score to 5-5. The Badgers dropped the Saturday rematch, 2-1.

The Wolverines led the Dutchmen 4-3 midway through the third period Friday when Union scored two goals four minutes and eight seconds apart, giving them a 5-4 lead. With the Michigan net empty at 19:30 in the third, senior Justin Selman scored to tie the game, his second goal of the season. Selman had 11 goals last year and didn’t register one until his sixth game of 2014-15. Michigan went on to defeat Rensselaer Saturday, 5-2.

3. Strength in loss.

The Spartans bounced back from a 4-2 Thursday loss to Lake Superior State with a 2-0 win Friday. It was the first shutout of the season for senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand, who stopped 21 shots in the game, and it was also Hildebrand’s 10th career shutout.

Ohio State was swept by No. 3 Providence — but not without a fight. The Buckeyes lost 2-1 and 6-4, and in Saturday’s game, sophomore Matthew Weis and freshman John Wiitala scored two goals 31 minutes apart late in the third to cut the Friars’ lead in half. Weis also had the five-on-three power-play goal that OSU scored Friday, and Wiitala’s goals was the first of his career.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Context, Paula, context! Slater’s remarks were made in relation to a weekend hockey series. You took him out of context, and that is unprofessional.

    To single Slater out in your column the way that you did – implying that he fails to understand what is important in this world – was shabby. You should be ashamed, but you defend your condescending remarks instead.

    You point the finger at Slater for not understanding his relative importance? You should look at yourself. This is a hockey website, Paula. Get a grip on yourself.

  2. I’m completely amazed at the language and anger used by many on this blog. All of you are calling out Paula, but you are acting like the very things you accuse her of: classless, misquoting, stirring the pot, to name but a few. I loved the comment, “And, don’t try to tell me I’m wrong, because like you, I’m a sportwriter.” Wow…..do all of you think you’re perfect? If you don’t agree with her, debate her on the merits of what she wrote. Don’t personally attack her. We don’t have to all agree with each other’s opinions to show respect one another. You can defind your opinion without belittling someone else. Right or wrong….all news articles have opinion in them, even sports articles. So, I will quote what someone wrote above, “You need to get a clue.”

    • Victoria she get’s facts wrong, and doesn’t know the meaning of words. Anyone with “writer” in her title deserves to be belittled for that.

  3. It has been way too long since Poulin played last. I can’t wait for her to get back on the ice. I expect the first couple of games to be a little shaky for her but ramp up quickly. Their style of game is very different when Poulin is on the line so that would have to adjust too.
     
    The Eagles have underestimated talent. Sadly their defense is shaky with too many mistakes that they paid against BU and will definitely pay against any top 5 team. Their clearing zone/passing needs a few tweaks, particularly for the “open” forwards. BC has been lucky that Boyles stood up to the challenge, WAYYYY TOOO MANY breakaways for the opponent. BU cashed in on those and so will any other top 5 team.
     
    The Lamoureux twins.. all I can say is, watch out for them. They will surprise you when you least expect it. They seriously know how to crash the net. Amazing talent.
     
    The Badgers winning streak is more of a lack of mental toughness from the opponent than for the Badgers greatness. Granted Rigsby has been much better this season than last, they have made some really bad mistakes. I think there is more than one team out there that can beat them. Rise up to the challenge ladies! Let’s change history!
     
    Let’s play some HOCKEY!!!

  4. What happened to Friday’s Cornell at Princeton?
    Let’s not get too excited about Dartmouth just yet- the ONLY reason they beat Cornell was because 4 of the top players in the nation were gone to Sweden.

  5. i hope after i come back to the dorm after umass beats harvard these guys will at least admit how wrong and stupid they were for picking harvard.. harvard HAHAHAHAHA no way 

  6. while you guys were right on number of goals harvard would score unbeleivable both of u plus ecac guy would all say 4-2 harvard same score but harvard only got tie cuz refs apparently were from harvard i have not seen worse officiating cert not this year and overall not in lnog time federico and hansen you refs sucks u shouldnt be allowed to conitune reffing after tonight deff not in amherst 6-1 harvard in pps? ru  kidding some of them i was wondering what did the mniutemen guy do yet during game espec in ot after we killed off yet another penalty couple of times harvard shouldve been called for penalty of coruse no call on them THESE REFS WERE THE WORST!!!

  7. Solid Pick for the NU-ND today. I agree ND is too tough for NU….oh wait, what’s that? Hung 9 and first team to win at new rink? Nothing like beating #11 @Michigan and #2 @ND in back to back weeks for a 4 game winning streak. Welcome to Hockey East ND! 

    • makes umasses win over NU look good all sudden when NU only had 1 win for while im stunned and shocked they go into ND and win 9-2 wow stunner of the year

  8. Jim’s pick: The Huskies are playing well, but I don’t see them getting a win in South Bend.
    ND 3, NU 1
    Dave’s pick: Agreed. The Irish are just too tough.
    ND 4, NU1 Hahahahaha, what a joke.

  9. From the interview with Anastos after Fridays loss to LSSU, I’m guessing he lit a couple of guys up for lack of effort. Listening via internet, they sounded much better Saturday. Although…..scoring is still an issue. Just 6 goals in the last 4 games. And just 13 in 6 games for the season. That isn’t good.

  10. Nice to see Minny score some goals this weekend. Northeastern is not very good, however. But, it may be the grease the Gophers needed to get the team going. Will be interesting to see how this Gopher team develops over the course of the year.

  11. To answer the question about UND, yes they can go that many weeks without a win. They aren’t a very good team right now and it is even worse on the road. I would be shocked if they win a game unless they play a lot better.

      • Glad I was wrong about that. UND looked great on Friday. Not as great on Saturday but when you have a goalie with the talent of Cam, you expect him to steal a few games during the year.

        • I wouldn’t say we stole Saturday, whatsoever. SCSU definitely brought it more, but I think we were clearly the better team all weekend.

          • Agree to disagree I guess. SCSU deserved a better fate for the 2+ periods that I watched. I didn’t see the end of the first or the first part of the second but saw the rest of the game and SCSU played pretty well and did a lot to put pressure on. UND has been pretty good about not giving up a ton of shots so for SCSU to have 36 (I think it was) shots on goal shows that they played pretty damn well. But who cares right, UND got the win and the points.

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