Three things: Oct. 29

Shepard steals the show
Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin told USCHO earlier this week that he didn’t know if either Hunter Shepard or Nick Deery had made the Bulldogs’ No. 1 goaltender job their own six games into the season. Eight in, we might have a better idea.

Shepard played a key role this weekend in UMD’s road sweep against Maine, making 26 saves both Friday and Saturday while only giving up one goal in the series. After a 2-1 win Friday over the Black Bears, Shepard blanked Maine on Saturday and firmly shut the door with 11 third-period saves.

A sophomore, Shepard has started each of Duluth’s last three games. Deery, a junior, last saw time in the Bulldogs’ 5-5 home tie on Oct. 20 against Merrimack.

All four of UMD’s wins so far have been credited to Shepard, and while he entered this weekend with a save percentage below .900, it’s since been upped to .911.

Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip next weekend to second-ranked St. Cloud State, fresh off a bye.

Tigers’ solid start continues
Another weekend, another couple of opportunities for Colorado College to turn heads.

Both myself and NCHC writing partner Candace Horgan picked the Tigers to finish last in the NCHC this season, but I’m starting to wonder just how wrong I could end up being on this one. CC is 5-3 and picked up a win and a high-scoring loss this weekend at home against fourth-ranked North Dakota.

Goals from Mason Bergh and Nick Halloran helped the Tigers to their 2-1 win Friday against UND before the Fighting Hawks bounced back to win 6-4 Saturday night. Halloran and Bergh scored 2:02 apart in Saturday’s second period, and while CC found plenty of offensive success that night, they might have had more if not for an 0-for-6  power play showing.

Still, things are very much looking up in Colorado Springs. CC already has three times as many home wins (three) as it did last season, and putting six goals past a top-five team looks encouraging on anybody.

CC visits Miami next weekend before hosting Omaha on Nov. 10-11. After that come back-to-back series against SCSU and top-ranked Denver.

Pioneers do Boston double
Denver isn’t invincible, but has it ever been fun to track so far.

The Pioneers (4-0-2) kept the good times rolling this weekend with two road wins, outlasting Boston University 4-3 on Friday before routing Boston College 6-1 on Saturday.

Two power play goals Friday against BU helped. Both came in a five-goal first period, with Colin Staub scoring twice on the man advantage. Goalie Tanner Jaillet was there when DU needed him, too, making 11 saves in both the second and third periods before Staub found Troy Terry for the game-winning goal with 17 seconds left.

Denver looked a more complete product of itself Saturday against BC. Three power play goals proved more than enough, and two goals directly off of offensive zone faceoffs helped to show just how high of a rate the Pioneers were working at.

Henrik Borgstrom and Blake Hillman both scored twice, and the only blemish at the other end came on a BC power play goal 1:45 into the third period.

DU is on the road again next weekend at Western Michigan before hosting SCSU and UND in back-to-back weeks.