Monday 10: Minnesota loses first game, OT games galore, COVID cancels more college hockey

Wisconsin players celebrate a goal in the Badgers’ 3-1 upset win over No. 1 Minnesota this past Saturday night (photo: Tom Lynn).

Each week, will pick the top 10 moments from the past weekend in our Monday 10 feature.

1. Minnesota loses for the first time

The top-ranked team in the country is undefeated no more.

Minnesota’s first loss of the season was delivered by the Golden Gophers’ oldest rival, Wisconsin, a 3-1 road loss Saturday night. Senior Tarek Baker’s second goal of the season at 1:59 in the third period was the game winner, and Robbie Beydoun had 35 saves in the win.

The Gophers beat the Badgers 5-3 on Sunday, bringing Minnesota’s record to 11-1-0 for the season.

2. New Hampshire upsets Boston College

The No. 2 team in the country, Boston College, split a home-and-home series with New Hampshire, each team winning on the road and each doing so in overtime.

In Friday’s 4-3 UNH win, Kalle Ericksson scored with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 3-on-3 overtime to give the Wildcats the win. It was the sophomore defenseman’s third goal of the season – the third of his career – and his first game-winning goal. Senior Mike Robinson made 35 saves for New Hampshire.

In Sunday’s game at the Whittemore Center, New Hampshire tied the game, 2-2, on the power play late in the third period. Junior Marc McLaughlin had the game-winner for BC just 25 seconds into overtime on the power play. Spencer Knight returned to the Boston College net after earning the gold medal with Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championship, recording his fifth win of the season.

3. Another streak comes to an end

Bowling Green’s nine-game win streak was halted by visiting Bemidji State. After beating the Beavers 3-2 Thursday night, the Falcons found themselves trailing 3-2 when Aaron Miller scored a goal 4-on-4 for Bemidji State at 3:28 in the third.

Evan Dougherty answered for the Falcons at 11:12 and the game went into OT tied 3-3, but 13 seconds into overtime, senior Ethan Somoza scored his fourth of the season to give the Beavers the win, breaking the Falcons’ streak and making the roughly 900-mile, 15-hour bus ride home a bit easier.

4. Another home-and-home series, and it was lit

One of the most dramatic series of the weekend was the home-and-home split between archrivals Michigan and Michigan State. After suffering an embarrassing 9-0 loss Friday in Ann Arbor, the Spartans rebounded with a 3-2, last-minute win in East Lansing Saturday.

Remarkably, nine different Wolverines scored in Friday’s contest, with Thomas Bordeleau’s fourth goal of the season at 5:08 in the first holding up as the game-winner. It was the freshman’s third GWG this season. Strauss Mann made 21 saves in his second shutout of the season.

With a 2-1 lead and less than five minutes to go in Saturday’s rematch in Munn Ice Arena, the Wolverines were poised to sweep, but the Spartans scored two in the last three minutes to win the game. Cole Krygier tied the game at 17:59 and Josh Nodler’s first goal of the season at 19:23 put the Spartans on top. Michigan State junior goaltender Drew DeRidder, pulled after the third goal in Friday’s game, made 38 saves in the win.

The teams entered and exited the weekend tied for fifth place in the Big Ten.

5. Speaking of splits …

All seven Big Ten teams played this weekend along with guest Arizona State, and every series resulted in a split.

That’s it. That’s the note. That’s the exasperating note.

6. It really was a one-goal game

St. Cloud State won a pair of one-goal games on the road against Minnesota Duluth, but Saturday’s contest was quite literally a one-goal game, as junior defenseman Nick Perbix scored at 3:58 in 3-on-3 OT to lift the Huskies 1-0 over the Bulldogs.

The goal is Perbix’s fifth of the season, equaling the career-high total five goals from his freshman year.

Senior Dávid Hrenák made 28 saves in his first shutout of the season, the 10th of his career.

7. Keeping pace in Atlantic Hockey

Robert Morris needed overtime twice to sweep Niagara in a three-game series over the weekend, winning 3-2 (OT) Thursday, 5-4 (OT) Saturday and 6-2 Sunday.

In Thursday’s game, junior defenseman Brendon Michaelian’s first two goals of the season were the tying goal at 4:58 in the third and the game-winner at 1:04 of the 3-on-3 overtime. In Saturday’s game, Randy Hernandez tied the game for RMU with a minute left in regulation.

American International took two of three games from Army West Point, needing a third-period comeback and overtime Thursday as well. After a 6-3 win Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets were down 3-1 until the final two minutes of regulation. Goals by Aaron Grounds at 18:24 and Justin Cole at 19:35 sent the game to overtime, where sophomore forward Blake Bennett’s first career goal at 2:32 of the 4-on-3 OT won the game for AIC. Army took the third game of that series Sunday, 5-3.

The Colonials and Yellow Jackets are outpacing everyone else in Atlantic Hockey. With 25 points in 10 games, Robert Morris is at the top of the standings. American International is in second place with 20 points in eight games played, with Mercyhurst nine points behind AIC in six games played.

Because of COVID issues, though, the number of games played in the AHA varies from Sacred Heart’s low of three and Niagara’s high of 11.

8. The road warriors roll on

The Sun Devils picked up their split against Notre Dame this weekend by winning Sunday’s game 5-3 after losing 5-4 Saturday.

In the second half of the third period of Sunday’s game, the Sun Devils and Fighting Irish combined for three goals within a span of less than two minutes. On the power play that resulted from a major penalty to Notre Dame, Matthew Kopperud scored twice for ASU, at 12:38 and 14:46 to give the Sun Devils a 5-2 lead, and Max Ellis scored for Notre Dame six seconds after Kopperud’s second goal to cap the scoring.

Arizona State senior forward Johnny Walker reached and surpassed the 100-point mark (103) in the win with his goal and three assists. After the game, Walker said that he’d never thought about the milestone.

“Just so relieved to get a win against that team,” he said. “We played really well.”

Sophomore Justin Robbins had the win in net for the Sun Devils. After having his season shortened with an injury last year, Robbins made 26 saves in his first career start.

9. If you think that’s a lot of OT, you’re right

Of the 39 games played between Thursday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 10, 14 contests went into overtime, or just about 36% of the games that were played.

The visiting team won eight of those games, the home team won four, and two games ended in ties in which one visiting team took an extra shootout point and one home team did the same.

10. The hockey that wasn’t played

What’s not happening right now in college hockey seems as significant as what is. In the past week, five series were postponed because of COVID protocols: Canisius vs. RIT, Denver vs. Colorado College, Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota State, Sacred Heart vs. Bentley and UMass Lowell vs. Merrimack.

For Canisius, it’s the second time this season that COVID-19 has forced the program to pause team activities because a Tier-1 individual has tested positive for the virus. Tier-1 personnel are coaches, trainers, student-athletes and some support staff.

The other programs where COVID protocols triggered the postponements in last week’s series include Denver, Michigan Tech, Sacred Heart and UMass Lowell.