It is holiday tournament season for teams across the country, with some having already seen action and others still to come over the next few days.
Minnesota has already shocked the college hockey world awake with a big win in their home tournament. It will be interesting to see how Michigan’s premier event, the Great Lakes Invitational, goes over the next two days as two WCHA teams, Michigan Tech and Ferris State, take on two Big Ten opponents in Michigan and Michigan State.
Here are ten thoughts from the weekend that was and the week to be:
1. Minnesota reigns supreme within the state
The Golden Gophers entered the Mariucci Classic as underdogs this weekend. All they did during the tournament was beat Bemidji State 5-2 on Saturday and St. Cloud State 4-1 on Sunday.
On Saturday, Scott Reedy led the way with two goals. His second was part of a three-goal third period and four-goal run that first evened the game at 2-2 and then pushed the Gophers over the top.
Sunday, Reedy again struck, giving the Gophers a lead the Huskies could not overcome.
2. Minnesota State settles for third
Minnesota State was stunned by St. Cloud State 7-2 on Saturday in their semifinal matchup of the Mariucci Classic.
The Huskies struck four times before the Mavericks got on the board with a goal from Parker Tuomie at 5:45 of the middle frame.
Sunday, the Mavericks bounced back with a 2-0 win over Bemidji State. Marc Michaelis got the Mavericks on the board just 3:10 into the game. Reggie Lutz added the second tally late in the first period.
Dryden McKay made sure the lead stood up for the rest of the contest.
3. Laczynski helps Ohio State to sweep of Colgate
Ohio State forward Tanner Laczynski scored twice on Friday to help the Buckeyes first even the game at 2-2 against Colgate and then scored again 7:50 later to lift his team to a 3-2 win.
On Saturday, he assisted on Quinn Preston’s tally just 16 seconds into the contest. The Buckeyes then added two more goals in the third period to hold on for a 3-0 victory.
4. Harvard makes a statement
With a 4-1 win on Saturday and a 4-4 tie on Sunday in a pair of neutral-site games at the Great Park Ice Arena in Irvine, Calif., Harvard had a strong showing against Arizona State.
On Saturday, the Crimson got goals from Austin Wong, Jack Badini and Casey Dornbach during a four-minute stretch in the first period and then added one more by Nick Abruzzese in the third to get the win.
On Sunday, the Crimson struck twice in the first and twice more in the second to carry a 4-2 lead into the third. The Sun Devils scored a pair of goals less than a minute and a half apart in the third to earn the tie.
5. Michigan Tech leads heads into GLI on a roll
Having gone 7-2-1 in its last 10 games, Michigan Tech has erased a 3-6-0 start to the season. A big part of their resurgence is the play of Alex Smith.
One of the top faceoff takers on the team, Smith is showing his work ethic in all facets of his game this season, and has proven to be just as valuable defensively as he has offensively. After scoring just 14 points and being a minus-14 last season, Smith has 10 points and is plus-2 at the midpoint this season.
6. Canisius earns sweep over Holy Cross
Canisius earned a key sweep over Holy Cross on Saturday and Sunday.
After struggling through their first seven Atlantic Hockey Games, the Griffins earned wins of 5-2 Saturday and 3-1 Sunday to pull within a point of Mercyhurst for 10th.
Matt Hoover led the way on Saturday with two goals in the first period, including one on the man advantage as the teams skated to a 2-2 tie through 20 minutes. Hoover then assisted on Nick Hutchison’s goal in the second period to give the Griffins a 4-2 lead.
Hutchinson then struck twice Sunday, once in the second period and once more in the third after picking up an assist in the first period to help give the Griffins the win.
7. Lake Superior State’s nonconference troubles continue
With a 2-1 loss in overtime to Providence on Saturday and a 2-0 loss to Vermont on Sunday, Lake Superior State dropped both games in the Catamount Cup.
On Saturday, Max Humitz scored on the power play 6:25 into the third period to force overtime. However, Greg Printz struck 4:39 into the extra session to seal the win for the Tigers.
Sunday, the Catamounts got goals from Ace Cowans and former Michigan Tech forward Thomas Beretta to earn the win over the Lakers. Mareks Mitens made 26 saves in the loss for the Lakers.
8. Dartmouth wins Ledyard Classic
With a 5-2 win Saturday over Colorado College and a 4-3 win over Connecticut Sunday, Dartmouth won the Ledyard Classic.
In Saturday’s win, Drew O’Connor struck twice and Quin Foreman added a tally. O’Connor also assisted on a goal from Matt Baker in the second period.
Foreman scored twice and O’Connor also added a goal in Sunday’s win. Both forwards were named to the All-Tournament Team with Foreman taking MVP honors.
9. Tough weekend for Beavers
Bemidji State, who came into the Mariucci Classic with high hopes, had them all dashed thanks to a 5-2 loss Saturday to Minnesota and a 2-0 loss to Minnesota State on Sunday.
The Beavers twice had one-goals leads against Minnesota after Ross Armour scored 13:33 into the game and Owen Sillinger scored shorthanded in the second period, but neither lead held up as Gophers found ways to get pucks past Zach Driscoll in all three periods of action.
10. Bulldogs still looking for consistency
After dropping five straight games in late October and early November, Ferris State is still looking for anything that resembles consistency heading into the GLI as the fourth team in the tournament.
The Bulldogs are 4-2-2 in the their last eight games with wins over Bemidji State, Alaska, Alaska Anchorage and Alabama Huntsville.
Freshman Jake Willets has been a revelation for the Bulldogs this season, as he leads the team in scoring with two goals and 14 points. The youngster has also proven to be poised in his own end, as he is plus-2 on the season thus far.