The battles in every conference have been intense and this weekend saw an opportunity for some teams to make statements about key competitors in their respective leagues.
While some teams made some noise and asserted themselves, others let favorites know they aren’t going away.
The last of the unbeatens has fallen and for some teams going on break, the timing is perfect, while other teams look to end the semester this week on a positive note.
Nichols broke into the national rankings and remains unbeaten in conference play following Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 win over Wentworth.
Endicott downed Stonehill 5-2 in a rematch of their 1-1 tie season opener. The Gulls used goals from five different players to break back in the win column and move to 6-2-2 overall.
Hobart took a pair of one-goal wins over NEHC opponent Skidmore at home by 2-1 and 4-3 scores while in league action, Manhattanville took an overtime thriller from Neumann despite a hat trick from the Knights’ Shayne Morrissey. Matt Lippa scored the game-winning goal for the Valiants after assisting on teammate Cory Anderson’s tying goal with the goalie pulled for an extra skater and just 58 seconds remaining in regulation.
Congrats to the newest coaching member of the 500-win club. Fitchburg State’s Dean Fuller achieved the milestone with the Falcons’ win over Franklin Pierce on Saturday afternoon. On Thursday night, Massachusetts-Dartmouth and its 500-win coach, John Rolli, delayed the celebration with a 3-3 tie at FSU.
The Corsairs also had the game of the weekend on Saturday in a wild 7-6 victory over Framingham State that saw a seesaw affair decided in the final six minutes of regulation by the Corsairs’ Brendan Gillmore. Both team surrendered two-goal leads in the game and Tyler Colacchio scored a hat trick in the losing effort for the Rams.
Southern New Hampshire was outshot 55-28 in its game with Assumption, but chased Chris Hemhauser from the net with four goals on just 12 shots and opened up the margin with two more goals in just over a 30-second span late in the third period to seal a 6-3 win. Ryan Slatky made 52 saves in the win for the Penmen.
The weekend battle among the top three teams ended well for Massachusetts-Boston and Babson, while Norwich recorded its first three-game losing streak since the 1995-96 season, coach Mike McShane’s first in Northfield.
The Beacons knocked off the Cadets in overtime on Friday night and then avoided the hangover effect by beating a game St. Michael’s team by a score of 3-0 behind the shutout from Zack Andrews. Goalie Chris Johnson made 57 saves in the loss for the Purple Knights.
Babson recorded a pair of 5-1 wins to remain undefeated in conference play. Rob Deveney scored two goals in the first period as part of a four-goal outburst for the Beavers that was enough to beat the offensively-challenged Cadets on home ice for the first time in coach Jamie Rice’s 12-year tenure behind the Beavers’ bench.
The University of New England built on its PAL Cup Tournament win with a solid three-point weekend in conference play. Friday saw a Nor’easter tie with St. Anselm 2-2 followed by a win at New England College by a 3-2 score that saw a third-period rally from a one goal deficit.
The annual Bowdoin-Colby weekend ended with both teams holding serve on their home ice. Colby took Friday night’s affair 3-0, while the Polar Bears returned the favor on Saturday by a score of 4-2.
Amherst and Trinity faced off on Sunday with the Lord Jeffs taking the game by a 4-2 score. Topher Flanagan’s empty-net goal sealed the win for Amherst, which was backed by Dave Cunningham’s 34 saves.
Williams was the only team to sweep a pair of weekend games, posting a 2-0 win at Tufts followed by a 3-1 win over Connecticut College. The sweep keeps the Ephs unbeaten and untied in conference play.
Plattsburgh was the last team to fall from the ranks of the unbeatens as the Cardinals tied Brockport on Friday night before falling to Geneseo on Saturday night by a 5-4 score. The Knights also took down Potsdam on Friday night to secure four big points in the SUNYAC standings.
Oswego took a pair of games, as well, posting a 4-2 win over Buffalo State where the Lakers amassed 62 shots on goal. Saturday night, the Lakers eked out a 3-2 overtime win over Fredonia as Alex Botten scored just 40 seconds into the extra session for the win and a big four-point weekend that moved the Lakers to 5-3-1 in league play.
Rob Deveney – Babson – The freshman forward netted two first-period goals for the Beavers who knocked off Norwich on home ice for the first time in more than 12 years.
Shayne Morrissey – Neumann & Tyler Colacchio – Framingham State – Both forwards picked up a hat trick in a losing effort. Neumann fell in OT to Manhattanville, while the Rams lost a heartbreaker to UMD.
Dean Fuller- Fitchburg State- The veteran coach achieved an elite milestone with the Falcons in reaching his 500th career win as a coach in his 32nd season with the school.
WEST WRAP – Brian Lester
St. Thomas swept a weekend series against Hamline, completing the weekend with a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Pipers in a pivotal MIAC matchup Saturday. Five players scored goals and a total of nine players tallied points as the Tommies improved to 7-3-2 overall and to 5-1 in the conference. Johnny Rosium’s goal off the power play with 2:07 left in the third broke a 3-3 tie. Connor McBride scored three times in the two game, including once on Saturday. Chris Benson and Ben Vikich also scored goals in Saturday’s win. One of the keys to success for St. Thomas was ability to kill off penalties. The Pipers were just 1-of-8 on power-play opportunities against the Tommies. Hamline dropped to 4-5-2 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference. Brandon Zurn scored two goals on Saturday for Hamline and Charlie Adams dished out two assists … Augsburg took advantage of a balanced attack to to knock off St. Olaf 5-3 Saturday and complete a sweep of the Oles in MIAC action. Five Auggies scored goals and a total of 10 players figures into the scoring. Nate Flynn and Drew Anderson each scored a goal and dished out an assist in the win, while Jordyn Kaufer made 32 saves. Augsburg improved to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. St. Olaf is 2-7-3 overall and remains winless in conference play with an 0-4-2 mark. Patrick Sivets, Drew Otto and Peter Lindblad all scored goals for St. Olaf. Augsburg won 6-2 in the series opener as six players scored goals in the victory. Anderson scored his first goal of the year in the win as did Andy Faust, a transfer from Army. Kaufer made 26 saves.
Marian pulled off an upset of No. 11 St. Scholastica Friday night as it improved to 3-2-2 against nationally-ranked opponents this season. The Sabres went up 2-0 early on goals by Scott Milnthorp and Mike Zajac. The goal by Milnthorp was his third of the year. Zajac’s goal was his first of the year. The Sabres were outshot 21-14 gut forced the Saints into an 0-for-4 performance on the power play. Jack Howie scored his fifth goal of the year and Gianni Mangone tallied his fourth goal. Mike Baldwin won his third game of the year as she stopped 20 shots in the win. St. Scholastic bounced back the following night with a 2-1 win in overtime. Brandon Millin tallied the game-winning goal for the Saints, who improved to 5-2-1 overall and 4-2 in the conference. Marian fell to 5-4-3 overall and 3-4-1 in the league. Marian led 1-0 until the third period. Howie gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead before Joel Paiement tied the game … Northland knocked off Lake Forest 5-1 Friday for its second conference win of the year. The Lumberjacks are 2-8 overall and 2-6 in the NCHA. Chris Belhumeur, Lucas DeBenedet, Josh Racek and Darius Cole and Anthony Stempin all scored goals for the Lumberjacks. Lake Forest bounced back on Saturday with a 5-2 win as Billy Kent came through with the first three-point game of his career. Kent scored two goals in the victory. He has five goals on the season. Jack Lewis struck for his fourth goal, while Robert Wiener and Bron Loiselle also scored goals for the Foresters. Lake Forest improved to 4-6 overall and to 3-5 in the conference.
Wisconsin-River Falls had the upper hand in both of its weekend games in the WIAC, defeating No. 6 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 3-2 and topping 10th-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire 2-1. The Falcons and Pointers were playing for the first time since the conference tournament championship. Jeff Bergh scored the first goal for the Falcons and River Falls went ahead 2-1 on a goal by Zach Schrotenboer. Christian George scored the game-winner with less than 10 minutes to play in the third. River Falls held a 31-29 edge in shots en route to the victory. The Falcons scored twice in the opening period against Eau Claire and never looked back in a 2-1 win. Kyle Gattelaro and Mike Fazio both scored for River Falls while Tanner Milliron tallied 30 shots to help the Falcons get an early jump on the race for the conference championship. River Falls is 5-4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. River Falls came into the game having lost three in a row, all but one goal, but now come out of the weekend with a wave of momentum after wins over two of the better teams in the country … Wisconsin-Stout picked up first conference win of the year Saturday with a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin-Superior. The Blue Devils pushed their record to 4-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the WIAC. Six players scored goals in the win while Chase Hollander stopped 24 shots. Justin Moody scored a goal and dished out three assists while Jake Useldinger came through with a goal and two assists. The Blue Devils were blanked 7-0 by Eau Claire the night before thanks to a remarkable performance by Adam Knochenmus, who scored five goals in the victory. Knochenmus set a school record with the five-goal effort. He scored all of his goals in the first two periods, scoring on every shot he took in that stretch. Knochenmus has scored a team-best 14 goals on the year and has also dished out four assists. He has 18 points in 12 games for Eau Claire, which is 7-3-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.