Despite her best efforts across the region, not even Mother Nature could get in the way of some great hockey this weekend. Yes, there were some postponements but the delay only kept building on the suspense of key outcomes among league leaders. Trinity had a bounce back weekend, St. Michael’s continued their torrid play, Wilkes, Utica and Stevenson all kept the chase going in the UCHC and the SUNYAC leaders who were moved from Friday to Sunday delivered a classic game with XXXXXXX coming out on top. Every league has some serious position battles and not all just at the top of the standings.
Here is this week’s recap of some terrific games in the East last week:
Endicott was able to take a pair of wins against Salve Regina over the weekend helping them move to the top of the CCC standings. On Friday night, the Gulls needed 41 saves from Conor O’Brien and Zach Mazur’s overtime goal for a 4-3 win. Saturday was also a one-goal contest as Jason Kalinowski scored a power play goal with just 24 seconds remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and give Endicott a big road win and more important points.
Wentworth earned a win and a tie over the weekend in their series with Becker College. After the teams exchanged two goals apiece in the first 40 minutes, each team had a lead they couldn’t hold in the third period leading to a 4-4 tie on Friday. On Saturday, the Leopards left no doubt of the outcome as the offense scored nine goals led by Alec Taillon’s hat trick and a four-point game from George Gorodetsky (2-2-4) in a 9-4 romp.
Curry swept their weekend series with Western New England winning in convincing fashion on Friday with four different goal scorers in a 4-0 win where they outshot the Golden Bears by a 54-21 margin. Saturday saw each team score three power play goals and WNE led 4-3 after one period. The game was tied at 5-5 after the second period of play before Curry scored three unanswered goals in the third period to earn the 8-5 win. Billy Vizzo and Joseph Thielen each scored a pair of goals for the Colonels.
After a horrible start to the season, look out for Nichols as they are riding a nine-game unbeaten streak following this weekend’s tie and win over the University of New England. After a 3-3 tie on Friday, the Bison moved into fifth place in the CCC after a 5-3 win over the Nor’easters. Two goals each from JB Baker and Filip Virgili along with 39 saves from goaltender Matt Efros rallied the Bison back from a two-goal deficit.
On Saturday, Bryn Athyn took a 4-0 home win over King’s led by Zach Pamaylaon’s two goals and an assist. Goaltender McKenzie Chambers earned the shutout win making 14 saves and evening his record at 4-4-2 on the season for the Lions.
Anna Maria picked up two wins on the week. On Friday night, Gavin Proeh’s third period goal broke a 2-2 tie with Albertus Magnus for a 3-2 win. In Saturday’s game against Stonehill, the AmCats surrendered the early lead but rallied with two goals in each of the final two periods for a 4-1 road win. Proeh was again the offensive star with two goals and Julius Huset picked up his tenth win of the season making 30 saves.
Fitchburg State earned a big overtime win over Plymouth State on Thursday behind 60 saves from goaltender Brian McGrath in a 5-4 win. Anthony Ceolin scored two goals including the overtime winner as the Falcons could not hold on to three one-goal leads in regulation against the Panthers.
Westfield State picked up two wins last week to draw near the top of the MASCAC standings. After dispatching Worcester State 5-0 on Thursday behind Jake Ratcliffe’s two goals, the Owls downed Salem State on Saturday to move within one point of Plymouth State in the conference. Danny Ferri, Daniel Backstrom, Wyatt Lawrence and Chris Melendez each scored a goal and added an assist in a 5-2 win over the Vikings.
Massachusetts-Dartmouth also stayed in contention with a pair of wins. After downing Framingham State 4-1 on Thursday, the Corsairs battled for a 6-4 win over Worcester State. Cameron Mack scored two goals while Sean and Steven Leonard each picked up a pair of assists to help UMD hang on for the win that moved them to 8-5-1 in MASCAC. Just four points separate first from fourth with two more weeks of regular season action.
St. Michael’s was still feeding off the momentum from last weekend’s come from behind victories against St. Anselm as the Purple Knights took two games on the road from Southern New Hampshire to move atop the NE-10 standings. On Friday, Tim Decker stopped all 31 shots he faced and Thomas Fleck, Sel Narby and Andrew Olevitz all scored third period goals to break a scoreless tie in the 3-0 win. Saturday saw the Purple Knights race out to a 5-0 lead in the second period on their way to a comfortable 6-2 win. Decker was again outstanding making 40 saves in goal for St. Michael’s.
Assumption stayed just one point back in the standings with a 4-1 win over St. Anselm on Saturday. Brendan Philippon and Dante Maribito each scored two goals to provide all the offense David Altman would need as he stopped 31 of 32 Hawk shots to earn the win.
After a nonconference win over Albertus Magnus on Tuesday, Franklin Pierce picked up a win and a tie against Post to move into third place in the NE-10. Friday’s game ended in a 2-2 overtime tie which left all the drama carrying over into Saturday’s game. Post took a 4-1 lead into the third period before Alex Lester took over the offense for the Ravens. Lester figured in four straight goals including the overtime winner for Franklin Pierce as they rallied for the 5-4 win. Lester finished with a goal and three assists in the final 23:07 of play.
Norwich only had one game to focus on for the weekend in facing travel partner Castleton on Saturday. The Spartans had upset the Cadets earlier in the season behind great goaltending from Brandon Collett. The return match went all the Cadets way as Tom Aubrun earned his eighth shutout of the season making 15 saves and five different players scored for Norwich in the 5-0 win.
Hobart leveraged a 5-3 win over Southern Maine and 3-2 win over New England College to move into third place in the NEHC standings behind Norwich and Babson. Saturday’s game against the Pilgrims saw Blake Coffey’s goal become the game winner in the third period as the Statesmen went just 1 for 7 on the power play. Liam Lascelle earned the win moving Hobart to 16-4-3 overall on the season.
Babson’s Friday night game at Suffolk was re-scheduled for Monday, 2/10 so the Beavers took advantage of the added rest and had their biggest offensive game of the season in an 11-2 win over Johnson & Wales on Saturday. Patrick Flynn recorded a hat trick while Ryan Black and Matt Wiesner each had four-point games in the rout of the Wildcats.
In what might be the most contested conference in the East, NESCAC again showcased what a difference one week can make. Reeling after four consecutive losses and two zero-point weekends, Trinity bounced back with big wins over Middlebury and Williams. Friday night the Bantam offense broke out of its recent doldrums scoring six times against the Panthers. Barclay Gammill led the way with two goals in the 6-2 win. Saturday, against the team they are now chasing, Trinity again was led by Gammill who recorded a hat trick in a 5-3 win over Williams. The four-point weekend for Trinity closed the gap to just one point between them and Williams for the top spot.
Hamilton is right behind the two leaders after the Continentals picked up wins over Bowdoin and Colby. After downing the Polar Bears on Friday night 4-2 behind Jordi Jefferson’s hat trick, Hamilton picked up another goal from Jefferson in a 4-1 win over the Mules. Goaltender Anthony Tirabassi made 24 saves to earn the win. Just two points separate first from third in the NESCAC standings and two weeks left in the regular season.
It’s chaos from fourth, last home playoff seed, to ninth, first team out of the playoffs as just four points separate six teams. Middlebury still holds on to the fourth position on the strength of their bounce back win over Wesleyan on Saturday, 4-1. Goaltender Brian Ketchabaw returned to the crease for the Panthers and earned the win making 29 saves.
Amherst has moved into a fifth-place tie after a three-point weekend. Following a 1-1 tie with Colby, the Mammoths scored four unanswered goals to erase a 2-1 deficit and down Bowdoin 5-2. Giancarlo Ventre stopped 37 shots in the win that moved Amherst to 5-6-3 in NESCAC play.
Geneseo and Oswego’s big matchup was postponed to Sunday meaning both teams would have to focus on a Saturday night opponent before the Sunday make-up date. On senior night, Geneseo unleashed a four-goal first period on Cortland on the way to a 7-1 win. Andrew Romano scored two goals and added an assist while linemate Conlan Keenan picked up three assists for the Knights. The Lakers had a much more challenging night in a 2-2 overtime tie with Brockport. Despite a 39-24 advantage in shots, the Lakers could not find the game winner against goaltender Matt Schneider who made 37 saves including 19 in the third period and overtime combined to preserve the tie. The Sunday night game did not disappoint as Geneseo took an early 2-0 and then 3-1 lead before Oswego’s Max Novick and Michael Gillespie scored to level the game at 3-3 and just under seven minutes remaining in regulation. Cam Russell scored his second of the game with 89 seconds remaining and Conlan Keenan iced it with an empty-net goal for a 5-3 win for the Knights who stretched their first-place lead to five points over Oswego.
Potsdam picked up a three-point weekend on the road with an overtime win against Buffalo State and a tie at Fredonia. Bryce Ferrell was the hero for the Bears on Friday night as he netted a game tying goal in the third period and the game winning goal in overtime. On Saturday, Ferrell was again key for Potsdam as he scored two third period goals including the game tying goal in the final 90 seconds of regulation.
Both Fredonia and Buffalo State made it a tough weekend for Plattsburgh as each picked up a win over the Cardinals. Fredonia earned a 5-0 win on Friday with Jasper Korican-Barlay scoring two goals and goaltender Anton Rosen making 33 saves for the shutout. On Saturday, Buffalo State also won by five goals scoring five times in a row to break open a 1-1 game. Just five points separate third from seventh in the SUNYAC standings.
Stevenson picked up two wins over the weekend to stay in the thick of the UCHC race for the top seed. On Friday, the Mustangs saw six different players score as they broke open a 3-3 tie with three consecutive goals in the 6-3 win. Saturday the Mustangs hosted Manhattanville and the offense, led by Carl Lydon’s two goals took a 5-0 lead before winning 5-1.
Utica also picked up a pair of critical road wins to move into third in the UCHC standings. On Friday, Jarrod Fitzpatrick and Kasper Kjellkvist scored third period goals to rally the Pioneers to a 3-2 win over Elmira. There was no hangover effect on Saturday as Utica outshot Lebanon Valley 42-12 in a 5-0 win that moved them to just two points behind Wilkes and Stevenson.
On Thursday, Michael Gurska recorded four assists while Tyler Barrow, Nick Fea, Donald Flynn and Phil Erickson all picked up three points in a 9-3 rout of King’s by UCHC co-leader, Wilkes.
Brian McGrath – Fitchburg State – made 60 saves in the Falcons 5-4 overtime win over league leading Plymouth State on Thursday. McGrath made 44 saves in the first two periods alone.
Alec Taillon – Wentworth – opened the scoring for the Leopards on the way to recording a hat trick in a 9-4 win over Becker on Saturday afternoon.
Barclay Gammill– Trinity – scored five goals in two Bantam wins including a hat trick in a 5-3 win over league-leading Williams on Saturday.
The battles in each conference are staying hot right to the end and that means some stressed coaches and some very excited fans viewing some really good hockey to close out the final weekends of the 19-20 campaign.