Each week, USCHO.com will pick the top 10 moments from the past weekend in our Monday 10 feature.
1. Western Massachusetts teams capture AHA, HEA regular-season titles
It was quite the weekend for Division I hockey for the western part of the sixth state in the Union as American International College captured the Atlantic Hockey title Saturday night with a 4-1 win over Sacred Heart to claim the first regular-season title in program history
The Pioneers jumped out to 1-0 lead before the Yellow Jackets scored four unanswered goals, highlighted by Tobias Fladeby’s goal and an assist.
Massachusetts, located in Amherst, 28 miles north of Springfield, where AIC is located, started the weekend early as the Minutemen captured their first regular-season Hockey East title in program history with a 4-2 victory over Merrimack.
Just like the Yellow Jackets, a come-from-behind victory was needed. Bobby Trivigno, Jake Gaudet and Cale Makar scored in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit. Makar had the Minutemen’s first goal and added an assist.
UMass continued the party Saturday night with a 6-0 win over Maine on senior night.
2. Quinnipiac, Cornell share Cleary Cup; Bobcats get No. 1 seed in ECAC playoffs
It’s only fitting the race for the ECAC title came down to the final day of the regular season. It’s also fitting there was a tie at the top at the end of the night for the Cleary Cup as Quinnipiac and Cornell each finished with 30 points
The Bobcats defeated rival Yale 4-1 on Saturday while Cornell skated to a 2-2 tie with Clarkson.
Quinnipiac is the No. 1 seed as the Bobcats owned the tiebreaker over the Big Red, who will be the No. 2 seed.
Both teams will have a bye next week along with Clarkson and Harvard, who are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively.
3. North Dakota still alive for home-ice advantage for first round of NCHC playoffs
North Dakota has had a playoff series at home the past 17 years, and that streak will now extend to 18 years.
The Fighting Hawks earned a split with Colorado College over the weekend as the Tigers won 3-1 Friday night. North Dakota came back Saturday night with a 2-1 victory.
With the split, North Dakota assured itself at least the No. 5 seed. The Fighting Hawks are four points behind Western Michigan for the key fourth position to host in the first round. The Broncos would need to be swept by Miami next weekend while North Dakota needs to get five of the possible six points against Omaha to leapfrog.
4. Arizona State ends regular season dropping two against Minnesota
It was a rough weekend for the Sun Devils as they visited the Golden Gophers to cap off the regular season.
They began the weekend with a 5-1 loss and on Saturday, dropped a 5-2 decision. ASU ends the regular season 21-11-1. They went 11-2 at home while going 9-9 on the road and 0-1-1 in neutral-site contests.
As the nation’s lone independent, Arizona State has to sit and wait for the next three weeks to find out its fate. They currently sit eighth in the PairWise rankings, which should be comfortable for them to get into the NCAA tournament.
5. Controversial plays highlight Saturday’s action
With close races throughout the six conferences and Arizona State ending its historic regular season, you would think that would be the talk of the weekend.
Sadly, that’s not the case as two on=ice incidents dominated the conversation Saturday night involving Quinnipiac’s Chase Priskie and Arizona State’s Jacob Wilson — plays that saw both players leave the game because of their actions.
Priskie, who is a Hobey Baker candidate, kicked Yale’s Tyler Welsh in the chest multiple times when Welsh was lying on the ice. Priskie received a kicking penalty and a game disqualification for the incident. The game DQ carries an automatic one-game suspension, but the ECAC could offer additional supplemental discipline.
Here is close up of Chase Priskie’s major plus DQ for kicking. Right skate into upper chest area of Yale player who was down. This one will likely go to league office for review, and potential for supplementary action towards the QU captain. #ECACHockey pic.twitter.com/GRH3IrX4Al
— M.J. Baird (@MJ_Baird17) March 3, 2019
Wilson, meanwhile, took out Minnesota’s Sampo Ranta with somewhat of a blindside hit that caused Ranta to get stitches, but he did return to the game. Wilson received a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game DQ.
ASU's Jacob Wilson ejected for this hit on UMN's Sampo Ranta pic.twitter.com/iZyGsLiUmw
— Board Man Gets Paid (@cjzero) March 3, 2019
The WCHA handles supplemental discipline for Arizona State.
6. Nation’s leading scorer held pointless this weekend
Michigan State’s Taro Hirose was held pointless in the series against Michigan State as the Spartans split the weekend with the Buckeyes.
The junior from Calgary has 15 goals and 35 assists for 49 points in 34 games this season.
Meanwhile, Joseph Duszak of Mercyhust inched closer to Hirose with two assists in a 5-4 loss to Robert Morris on Friday. The junior defender has 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points in 35 games for the Lakers.
7. Still a tight race for second in Hockey East
With one weekend remaining in the regular season for Hockey East, the race for second place is heating up.
Northeastern and Providence have 29 points while UMass Lowell has 28 points and Boston University has 27.
Entering the final weekend, Northeastern hosts New Hampshire while Providence hosts Boston College. Lowell travels to Vermont while BU travels to Orono to take on the Black Bears.
The Friars play the Eagles on Thursday and can end the drama with a win as they would own the tiebreaker over the Huskies.
8. Northern Michigan extends winning streak to four
The Wildcats swept Michigan Tech over the weekend to climb to second place in the WCHA standings with a weekend to go.
On Friday night, Troy Loggins had a hat trick in a 4-2 win while Atte Tolvanen made 58 saves. On Saturday, Loggins added two more goals and Tolvanen made 20 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
The Wildcats take on Alaska in the final weekend of the regular season. Bowling Green is one point behind NMU in third has Michigan Tech to cap its regular season.
9. St. Cloud still has something play for
The Huskies captured the NCHC’s Penrose Cup last weekend as regular-season champions, but they still have something play for in next weekend’s final series against Minnesota Duluth.
With a 17-2-3-2 record in conference and an .841 win percentage, SCSU is on pace to set the record for the league’s best winning percentage. Via College Hockey Inc. the previous high marks were 2015-16 North Dakota (.812), 2016-17 Denver (.812) and 2017-18 St. Cloud State (.750).
10. Notre Dame on bubble for NCAA tournament
If the tournament started tomorrow, Notre Dame would be the last at-large team into the NCAA tournament.
The Fighting Irish are ranked 15th in the current PairWise.
Conference rival Penn State would be the first team out at No. 16 with the Atlantic Hockey champion getting an automatic bid. For this exercise, it will be AIC as the regular-season champion.
The Fighting Irish and the Nittany Lions split this past weekend. Notre Dame hosts Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament this weekend while Penn State hosts Wisconsin.
Bowling Green is No. 17 and UMass Lowell is No. 18. Union is No. 19 while North Dakota and Minnesota are tied for 20th.