The battle in every conference is on for regular season supremacy and playoff seeding.
Some teams helped themselves a lot this weekend while others lost out on chances to move up with the remaining weekends in the regular season swindling down as the calendar turns to February. There are just three weekends remaining and a handful of games to define the season and postseason opportunities.
The highlights of this past weekend certainly set up some interesting matchups for the remainder of the season with no one having clinched anything just yet.
Just four points separate the top five teams in conference and three points separate the top three with Nichols holding a game in hand on their conference foes. Tyler Beasley’s two goals and two assists led a massive comeback on Wednesday night as the Bison rallied from a 6-2 deficit to upend Salve Regina by a 7-6 score. Colin Brennan came on in relief of Alex Larson and recorded 19 saves to pick up the key conference win and two points.
Salve Regina rallied back to pick-up a key road win downing Endicott on Saturday by a 4-0 score, while the Gulls also picked up a split on the week’s play having knocked off contending Suffolk by a 6-3 score behind two goals from Parker Wood.
Johnson and Wales had a chance to make up some ground after downing Curry 5-2 on Thursday, but could not keep the momentum and gain a valuable two points. The Wildcats dropped Saturday’s game to Wentworth by a 4-1 score. The Leopards got 33 saves from Joel Miller and three points from Jake McDonough to key the win for Wentworth.
Hobart created some room at the top of the ECAC West with a pair of home wins over Utica by scores of 7-3 and 4-2. The Statesmen continued to display balanced scoring led by Brad Robbins, who notched five assists in the two wins.
Manhattanville lost some ground on Hobart as they split a pair of games at Nazareth losing by a 6-3 score on Friday before rallying from a two goal deficit on Saturday to get a big two points with a 5-4 win. Stephen Gaul led the Valiants with a pair of goals in the win.
Plymouth State and Salem State are in a battle for the top spot that will go right down to the final week with both teams recording a pair of wins over the past week in conference play. The Panthers fought off a determined Worcester State 2-1 behind Ian McGilvrey’s goal and assist and then added a 5-2 win at Westfield State with Michael Economos potting a pair of goals and Dan Dupell adding three points.
Salem State stayed hot on the Panthers’ trail by winning both games in convincing fashion. The Vikings shutout Framingham State 5-0 on Thursday before dominating Worcester State by a 7-0 score on Saturday. Seven different players scored for the Vikings and Marcus Zelzer picked up his fourth shutout on the season.
Stonehill remained unbeaten in conference play at 5-0-2 with a 1-1 overtime tie at Franklin Pierce on Saturday. Skyhawks goaltender William Palmer and Ravens’ goaltender Tom McGuckin were terrific with both recording over 40 saves in a game that didn’t lack quality scoring chances.
Massachusetts-Boston and Babson both earned four-point weekends with wins over common opponents. Southern Maine and the University of New England provided the opposition, but the league leaders kept the race at the top close with back-to-back home wins. Goalie Matt Pompa earned a pair of wins and a shutout for the Beavers.
Norwich lost ground on the league leaders by dropping a 3-1 result at Castleton where Fabio Klay scored twice for the Spartans. The Cadets then tied Skidmore 2-2, leaving them eight points back in the standings.
One of the streaks had to end and it was Hamilton’s 11-game unbeaten streak that was stopped by Trinity on Friday night with a convincing 4-0 win. The Bantams won their sixth in a row on Saturday dropping Amherst 4-1 with Nathaniel Heilbron picking up both wins in goal for Trinity.
Williams matched the Trinity wins with a 4-0 win over Tufts and 3-2 win over Connecticut College. Defenseman Zander Masucci picked up a goal in each of the wins and three points overall for the Ephs.
Not a team that would take anyone lightly, Plattsburgh made their swing of western New York State and came home with a pair of wins over Fredonia and Buffalo State. Friday’s 4-3 win was a see-saw affair where four different Cardinals chipped in with goals. Saturday night, Michael Radisa’s first-period goal was the only tally as Spencer Finney and Mike DeLaVergne were outstanding in their respective nets to keep the game a 1-0 Cardinal win.
Geneseo recorded two wins and a tie during the week, including their rescheduled game with Oswego which they won on Tuesday by a 3-1 score. Over the weekend, the Knights tied Morrisville 4-4 before taking the win on Saturday by a 2-1 score. Trevor Hills scored his 15th goal of the season as the game winner for the visitors.
Marcus Zelzer, Salem State – the Viking netminder turned back 38 shots in recording back-to-back shutouts and extending his goal-less streak to 146 minutes.
Tyler Beasley, Nichols – the senior forward recorded two goals and two assists, including set-ups on the game tying and game winning goals in the Bison’s 7-6 comeback win over Salve Regina.
Matt Lemire, Massachusetts-Boston – the senior forward posted one goal and three assists in two wins over the weekend, including three points in the Beacons win over UNE that snapped the Nor’easters seven-game unbeaten streak in conference play.
WEST WRAP – Brian Lester
Augsburg maintained its hold on first place in the MIAC standings with a weekend sweep of St. Mary’s. The Auggies are now 12-6-1 overall and 8-1-1 in the conference, four points in front of second place St. John’s. Augsburg wrapped up the sweep Saturday with a 5-0 win. Nate Flynn came through with two goals and Jordyn Kaufer earned his first shutout in goal as a member of the Auggies. The transfer from Concordia (MN) has two shutouts in his career. As for Flynn, he now has 24 points on the year, including 13 goals, and he ranks fifth in the league in points. Drew Anderson dished out two assists, coming through with a multi-point game for the fourth time this year. The win marked the 10th time this season that Augsburg has scored four or more goals in a game. They picked up a 4-1 win on Friday. Augsburg forced the Cardinals into an 0-for-6 showing on the power play … The rivalry between St. John’s and St. Thomas lived up to the hype as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in both games of their weekend series. On Saturday, Andrew Commers scored to give the Johnnies a 4-3 win in the shootout. St. Thomas won 1-0 in a shootout Friday night. Commers also scored a goal in regulation. Kevin Becker scored the other goal for the Johnnies, who are now 8-9-4 overall and 6-4-2 in the MIAC. Willie Faust and Ben Vikich both scored for the Tommies. Saxton Soley made a career-high 40 saves for the Johnnies. The Tommies came into the game ranked fourth in the nation in the power play, but went 0-for-5 in the two games. St. Thomas is now 9-6-3 overall and 6-2-1 in the MIAC. Faust scored in the shootout in Friday’s game. Michael Dockry and Bobby Murphy both scored for the Tommies while Mitch Fritz and Neal Smith scored goals for the Johnnies. St. John’s and St. Thomas are both tied for second in the standings with 21 points apiece.
Marian continued its win streak with another series sweep. The Sabres took down the Milwaukee School of Engineering 4-1 in both games to stretch their win streak to eight games. Marin has swept through four consecutive weekends. Devin Stuermer stole the show in the series finale, coming through with a hat trick in the second period. The Sabres scored all four of their goals in the period — Derek Perl had the other goal — as they improved to 13-5-3 overall and to 11-4-1 in the conference. Patrick Dwyer scored the lone goal for the Raiders, who are 12-7 overall and 7-7 in the NCHA. Mike Baldwin won his 10th game in goal on Saturday, racking up 16 saves. Friday was an historic night for the Sabres, who nailed down the 300th win in program history. They also clinched a spot in the NCHA tournament. Gianni Mangone, Travis Meyer, Cole McCaig and James Mathias all scored goals for the Sabres. Omar Mullan scored the only goal for MSOE … St. Norbert capped a sweep of Concordia (Wis.) with a 3-0 win over the Falcons Saturday. The Green Knights won 8-1 Friday night and scored a total of six power play goals in the two games. Riley Christensen scored his ninth goal of the season on Saturday. The Green Knights held a 37-13 advantage in shots and T.J. Black came through with his second shutout of the year as he racked up 13 saves. Black has six wins on the season. St. Norbert, the co-No. 1 team in the country, is now 16-2-1 overall and 12-2 in the NCHA.
Kyle Sharkey recorded a hat trick to help Wisconsin-Stevens Point roll to a 9-2 win over Lake Forest in nonconference action Saturday. Sharkey scored two of his goals during a six-goal second period. The Pointers improved to 15-4-1 overall and have won their last three games. The Pointers owned a 38-8 edge in shots, including a 16-1 advantage in the opening period. It was the fewest shots allowed by the Pointers in a period since limiting St. Norbert to seven in November of 1991 in a 22-1 win. Sharkey also dished out an assist in addition to his three goals. Jacob Barber dished out three assists in the win. Jesse Gordichuk made six saves en route to picking up his fourth victory of the season. On Friday, Stevens Point topped Lake Forest 3-1 on Wednesday in the first game of the series. Lawrence Cornellier scored his second game-winning goal of the season in the win … Wisconsin-Eau Claire picked up its second WIAC win of the year Saturday, topping Wisconsin-Superior 5-2. The Blugolds are 13-5-3 overall and 3-2-1 in the conference. Todd Koritzinsky scored two goals while Adam Knochenmus, Jake Hopfner and Patrick Moore also scored goals in the win. The goal by Knochenmus was his 17th of the season. Tyler Green made 27 saves and is now 9-4-2 on the year. The win was the second in three games for the Blugolds.