Each week, USCHO.com will pick the top 10 moments from the past weekend in our Monday 10 feature.
1. Great Lakes
The Great Lakes Invitational was contested for the 55th time back on Dec. 30-31. Michigan Tech ended 2019 on a high note, defeating Michigan State and Michigan by identical 4-2 scores.
Freshman Logan Pietila had a hat trick in the title game, earning tournament MVP honors. It was the first GLI title for the Huskies since 2012.
2. A mighty Fortress
This past weekend’s Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas featured the strongest field of any of the holiday tournaments, with all four teams ranked in the USCHO poll: Cornell (No. 2), Ohio State (No. 6), Providence (No. 14) and Army West Point (No. 20).
The Friars came away with the trophy, defeating Cornell in a shootout after the teams tied, 2-2 in regulation and overtime.
Tournament MVP Jack Dugan, a fifth-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, scored the only goal of the shootout. It won’t go into the scorebook as an official goal by Dugan, who leads the nation in points with 37, including a goal and an assist in the tournament.
3. Dress rehearsal
The Fortress Invitational could be a stepping stone for a Frozen Four in Las Vegas.
Attendance at T-Mobile Arena, while not great, met expectations with just under 5,000 at Saturday’s games.
The tournament also served as a potential dress rehearsal for the participants, who share the goal of playing in the NCAAs in a couple of months.
“This had the vibe of an NCAA regional,” said Army West Point coach Brian Riley. “I told them that this is a dry run. If we can ever get out of our league, which will be very tough, this is what it’s going to be like.”
4. Zero dark
Saturday’s lineup at T-Mobile Arena was a triple header, with the host Golden Knights taking the ice against St. Louis at 1 p.m. PST followed by the Fortress Invitational championship and consolation games.
All three games went to overtime, so the consolation game between Army West Point and Ohio State started at just after midnight on the East Coast and finished at 2:27 a.m. EST.
5. North Country success
Rensselaer was able to accomplish something only three other RPI teams have been able to do in school history — get all four points in a trip to the North Country.
On Friday, the Engineers upset fourth-ranked Clarkson 3-1 behind a 32-save performance by junior goaltender Linden Marshall.
On Saturday, it was rookie netminder Tristan Ashbrook’s turn to shine as he stopped all 25 shots he faced in a 3-0 blanking of St. Lawrence.
Rensselaer (8-10-1) has now won three of its last four games.
6. Home sweet home
North Dakota swept Alabama Huntsville by identical 5-2 scores, extending the Fighting Hawks’ winning streak to 13 games at Ralph Engelstad Arena, a new school record.
Starting with a sweep of Omaha to close out the home schedule last season, UND has swept Canisius, Bemidji State, Miami, St. Cloud State and now Huntsville. The streak also includes a 3-1 win over Michigan Tech in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in November.
North Dakota (16-1-2) hosts Omaha this coming weekend.
7. Advantage: Denver
Two heavyweights squared off at Magness Arena this past weekend, with No. 7 Denver taking on No. 9 Massachusetts in a rematch of last year’s national semifinal game, won by the Minutemen in overtime.
The Pioneers were able to erase UMass leads in both games, earning 4-2 and 4-3 wins for a sweep.
On Friday, Denver erased a 2-1 Minutemen lead with three third period goals. Cole Guttman got the game-winner with 2:07 to play.
Saturday saw Denver wipe away a 2-0 UMass lead with four consecutive goals, including a three in a 2:20 span in the second period.
8. Q rising
Most of the talk in the ECAC has been about Cornell, Clarkson and Harvard, but let’s not forget about Quinnipiac, which is playing its best hockey of the season.
The Bobcats exploded for 11 goals this past weekend in 6-1 and 5-1 wins over Harvard and Dartmouth.
Ethan de Jong and Odeen Tufto had multi-point games each night to lead the Bobcats. Keith Petruzzelli stopped 45 of 47 shots he faced on the weekend to lead Quinnipiac to its fourth and fifth wins in a row.
9. Too soon?
It’s rare that an early January series is considered crucial, but from here on out, they all are for Arizona State, which is on the PairWise bubble.
After winning the GLI mid-week, Michigan Tech visited the Sun Devils for a pair this past weekend and split the series, with ASU coming out on top 4-3 on Saturday, and the Huskies returning the favor with a 3-2 win on Sunday.
As a result of the loss on Sunday, the Sun Devils fell from 13th to 16th in the PWR.
10. A thousand times over
On Friday, Dartmouth defeated Princeton 3-2.
The game marked Big Green coach Bob Gaudet’s 1000th game behind the bench. Gaudet, who started his head coaching career at Brown before moving to Dartmouth in 1997, has a career record of 418-473-110 over 32 seasons.