Tournaments and nonconference play around the holidays is every conference’s chance to showcase their teams as proof of why they are worthy of respect and consideration amongst the best in the nation at the D-III level. This weekend saw its fair share of upsets, another unbeaten drop from the ranks without a loss ,and a surprise CCC winner in the Castleton Tournament, taking down teams from the NEHC and NESCAC to win the title.
Here is this weekend’s recap, and hopefully everyone is over their Turkey-day hangover.
Skidmore Invitational Tournament
Sometimes it is a special player, or two, that takes over a tournament, and that is exactly what the Neumann Knights did behind the offensive prowess of Jory Mullin and Shane Topf to outscore their opponents by a 14-1 differential in winning the tournament. Following a hat trick in Saturday’s 6-0 shutout win over Fitchburg State, Mullin added a second hat trick and four total points in an 8-1 romp over the hosts from Skidmore. Topf also had a productive weekend, recording a pair of goals in each contest and combined the two accounted for 10 of the 14 goals scored by the Knights on the weekend.
PAL Stovepipe Tournament
The Massachusetts-Dartmouth Corsairs should be thanking their netminder Drew Michals, who made 40 saves in Saturday’s 5-4 semifinal win over Suffolk before upping the ante with 45 saves in a 4-3 win over Johnson & Wales in the title game on Sunday. Michals has faced over 400 shots in just the first nine games of the season, so he is proving to be a workhorse for the Corsairs this season. Forward Casey Shea scored three times in the two wins that saw Mass.-Dartmouth move over .500 on the season at 5-4-0.
Rutland Herald invitational Tournament
Western New England spoiled the party for both the host school and previously unbeaten Tufts in winning the tournament. Goaltender Kevin Gollmer recorded over 65 saves in the two games while surrendering just one goal in the championship final against the Jumbos.
On Friday night, Gollmer shutout Castleton and the Golden Bears needed every single one of his saves in the 1-0 regulation win. Gollmer made 20 saves in the third period of the title game to fight off a furious comeback attempt by Tufts.
The host Plattsburgh Cardinals were downed by this year’s invited guest from the West, Concordia, and had to settle for a 5-2 consolation game win over winless Middlebury by a 5-2 score on Saturday.
Norwich had knocked off the hard-luck Panthers in overtime, 3-2 on Friday night, as Payton Baldillez netted his first of the season for the game-winner. On Saturday, the Cadets shutdown Concordia by a score of 3-0 behind 19 saves from Braeden Ostepchuk. Kevin Salvucci, Taeron Lewis, and Ian Williams scored for Norwich, with Lewis and Williams recording their first goals of the season.
Geneseo won the tournament with wins over Bowdoin and Colby by scores of 7-4 and 4-3 in overtime. Saturday’s win over Bowdoin saw the Knights overcome a hat trick from the Polar Bears’ Cody Tedesco. On Sunday, Pat Condon scored his second of the game with an extra-attacker on the ice and just 25 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime, where teammate Conlon Keenan scored his ninth of the season to win it for Geneseo.
Colby made the championship game with an 8-3 win over Becker to move to 3-0 on the young season before the overtime loss on Sunday.
Manhattanville hosted the No. 1 St. Norbert team in a two-game series and after dropping the first game by a 3-1 score on Friday, returned the favor with a hard-fought 3-2 win on Saturday behind 19 saves from Tyler Feaver and goals from Matt Lippa, Kevin Loppatto, and Cory Anderson.
Massachusetts-Boston, a recent victim of the upset bug, returned the favor on Friday, knocking Utica from the ranks of the unbeaten in posting a 4-2 win behind goals from Colin Larkin, Dakota Keene, Tyler Sifferlen, and Cody Wickline.
Amherst had a great weekend and some road miles, which probably don’t seem so bad following a 6-5 overtime win at Utica on Saturday before returning home to take down Babson on Sunday afternoon by a 4-1 score. In Sunday’s win, Amherst scored a man-up, man-down, and at even-strength before sealing the win in the third period with an empty-net goal. All told, nine different players scored for Amherst in the two contests.
Elmira earned a home series sweep against Nichols by scores of 4-1 and 7-4. Forwards Eric Bolden and Nick Ford combined for four goals and six points in the win, while goalie Parker Butler made 32 saves to help the home team extend their winning streak to three games.
Jory Mullin, Neumann: The Knights forward had his own personal invitation to score in the Skidmore Tournament, as he put up hat tricks in consecutive games over Fitchburg State and the host institution for six goals leading Neumann to the tournament win. Mullin, the tournament MVP, also added an assist for a seven-point weekend as the Knights outscored their opponents by a 14-1 margin.
Connor Fries, New England College: Appropriately so, the Pilgrims’ forward feasted on Wentworth this weekend, scoring a hat trick plus one in the 6-3 nonconference win. Fries scored once at even-strength, two on the power play, and added his fourth into an empty net to seal the deal.
Kyle Shapiro, Southern Maine: The Huskies netminder stopped 47 shots, including 41 in the final two periods in leading Southern Maine to a 2-1 upset win over Trinity. One day after the Bantams put up 12 goals on Franklin Pierce, they ran into a hot goaltender as Shapiro stopped all 17 shots in the second period before adding 24 more saves in the third to stymie the Bantams and push the Huskies record to 5-4-0 on the season.
Then there was one — Oswego, that did not play this week and is the sole unbeaten team remaining. If coach Gosek’s team did any scoreboard watching over Thanksgiving, they surely know that any game is in question, regardless of the records coming in. There are still a couple of weekends remaining in the first half, so still a lot of hockey to be played before the semester break.