Lots of conference games this week that certainly exemplify the level of competitiveness across the East and all of the leagues with games under way.
Some great individual performances, terrific games and of course, surprises are all part of last weekend, so here are some of the highlights along with my “weekend biscuits” (pucks) for three special performances that I will be offering up in the weekly recap.
Put the biscuit in the basket or keep them out – either way might get you a mention in the recap.
Wentworth took two important conference wins by taking down Curry and Western New England by 3-1 and 3-0 scores, respectively. Goaltender Joel Miller stopped 65 of 66 shots, earning both wins for the Leopards.
Nichols earned two wins by nipping newcomer Endicott in overtime before taking down Salve Regina on Saturday night by a 5-2 score behind a goal and an assist each from Paul Prescott and Sean Swansen.
Johnson and Wales got goals from seven different players on Thursday night, including four unanswered third-period goals for a 7-4 win over Becker. The more traditional defensive style re-emerged for the Wildcats on Saturday, but the result ended in a 1-1 overtime tie with Curry.
Hobart opened league play with two important wins over unbeaten Manhattanville behind Mac Olson’s three-point night and followed up on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Neumann.
The Knights split their weekend after what may have been the most entertaining game of the weekend on Friday night when they rallied late in the third period to tie Elmira before Mike Davis scored his fourth goal of the game to beat the Soaring Eagles by a score of 7-6.
Manhattanville gained a split in their weekend with a Saturday night win over Elmira to drop them to 0-2 in the conference. The game saw a combined 100 minutes in penalties and a four-goal second period for the visitors to take momentum and the win.
Salem State met Westfield State in the conference opener for both teams on Thursday and the Vikings shut down the Owls’ high-flying offense to capture a 3-1 win on the road.
Fitchburg State found its offense again in a 7-2 win against Framingham State, while Plymouth State and Massachusetts-Dartmouth both lost against non-league opponents. The Panthers lost to Stonehill by a 3-1 score despite outshooting their opponents by a 2 to 1 margin. The nationally-ranked Beacons rolled over the young Corsairs by a 7-1 score with 12 players registering points for the victors on the road.
Two things may have become very obvious in the opening week of conference play. First, Norwich will be challenged by everybody’s A-game each night and second, Kevin Swallow’s UNE team tying Hobart was not a fluke and based on their game with Norwich, is going to be a strong competitor all season.
After taking down St. Michael’s on Friday night by an 11-0 score, the Nor’easters took the Cadets to overtime where Kevin Salvucci finished off a great weekend with the game-winner over the host team by a 1-0 score. On Friday night, Salvucci led a come-from-behind victory for the Cadets at Southern Maine by a 5-2 score.
Elsewhere, St. Anselm opened strong at home with wins over Castleton and Skidmore to open conference play, while travel partner New England College took three of four points with a win over Skidmore and a 3-3 tie with Castleton.
Plattsburgh continues to find balance in scoring and the result was a pair of home wins over visiting Fredonia and Buffalo State over the weekend. Keeping pace with the Cardinals are the Bears from Potsdam, who once again proved they can win the tight games by taking wins over the same two teams by 2-1 and 4-2 scores. Both teams are setting the pace in conference play early.
In the other crazy high-scoring game of the weekend, Chase Nieuwendyk scored three goals and added an assist for Brockport, who had a 7-3 lead over Morrisville in the second period only to see the visitors score four straight goals to tie the game late in the third period. Jeremy DeFazio scored the game-winner for the home team with just under four minutes left as Brockport held on for the two points in an 8-7 win.
Mike Davis- Neumann – Scored three goals in the third period, including the tying extra-attacker goal, before completing the Knights’ comeback with the overtime winner in the first minute of sudden death for his fourth goal of the night.
Kevin Salvucci – Norwich – Scored the game winning goals for the Cadets on Friday and Saturday night, including the only goal of the game in the overtime thriller against UNE in Maine.
Joel Miller – Wentworth – Stopped all but one in 66 shots faced as the Leopards scored two important conference wins in front of their senior goaltender.
Hamline scored five goals in each of its two games against St. Olaf over the weekend, forging a tie on Friday night before skating to a 5-2 win on Saturday. The Pipers won 2-0 in a shootout in Friday’s game before scoring three straight goals in the finale to take five of the six points. The Pipers are 2-0-2 overall and 1-0-1 in the MIAC. Brandon Zurn scored twice in Saturday’s win. Hamline has scored 21 goals in all this year, with Zurn leading the way with seven. He has also tallied four assists. Charlie McAdams and Mitch McPherson have scored four and three goals, respectively, for the Pipers, who played in the NCAA tournament last season … Concordia (Minn.) made a statement over the weekend, winning at St. John’s for the first time in 15 years. The Cobbers earned a 3-1 win Friday and capped the sweep with a 3-2 win on Saturday. Concordia is only the second team to ever sweep the Johnnies at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Cobbers are 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC and have scored 11 goals in four games, with nine being scored by freshmen or sophomores. Jon Grebosky, Mario Bianchi and Jake Zeleznikar have each scored twice for Concordia. Alex Reichle continues to shine in goal, pushing his record to 3-1. He owns a 2.00 GAA.
Mike Baldwin turned in a stellar performance in goal for Marian, recording a shutout and then stepping up in a shootout as the Sabres held off Lawrence to keep the Battle of Highway 41 traveling trophy. Baldwin made 31 saves in the 6-0 victory over the Vikings Saturday and then gave up only one goal in a shootout to decide which team kept the trophy. The Sabres lost 3-2 in Friday’s game against the Vikings but bounced back in a big way to improve to 2-2 on the season. Baldwin has started twice this year and owns a 1-1 record … Concordia (Wis.) defeated the Milwaukee School of Engineering for only the second time in program history on Saturday, winning 3-1. Because the Raiders won Friday’s game by a 4-1 count, the two teams will each have possession of the Lake Michigan Cup for six months. Both teams are 2-2. The Falcons erased a 1-0 deficit in the finale, scoring three consecutive goals. Special teams was vital to their success. They stopped four power-play opportunities Saturday and have killed off 20 opportunities in all this season.
Wisconsin-Superior remained unbeaten after edging Augsburg 4-3 in overtime Friday and forging a 1-1 tie with St. Thomas Saturday. The Yellowjackets are unbeaten through four games for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign when they started 4-0. Dan Kovar scored the lone goal for Superior against St. Thomas. It was the first of his career. On Friday, the Yellowjackets trailed 3-2 before scoring the final two goals, including the game-winner in overtime by Anton Svensson. It was his second goal of the game. Svensson is tied for the team-lead in goals with three and has also dished out two assists. The Yellowjackets won only nine games a year ago and are already halfway to that total this year. Superior plays St. Olaf next and has an opportunity to start unbeaten through five games for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign. That year, Superior didn’t lose in its first 20 games, starting off 14-0-6 … Wisconsin-Stevens Point is still perfect after topping Bethel 4-3 in overtime. The Pointers cashed in on a power-play opportunity when Logan Lemirande struck just 42 seconds into overtime. It was his second goal of the year. The Pointers, who opened the weekend with a 5-1 win over Gustavus, were 5-for-5 defending the Royals’ power play. They have yet to allow a goal in that situation this season. Stevens Point has thrived off its high-powered attack, scoring 25 goals. It has given up just eight behind the duo of Jesse Gordichuk and Max Milosek. Both goaltenders are 2-0 and have each allowed just four goals.