It proved to be fantastic finish to the regular season for the Milwaukee School of Engineering despite the challenges faced during a season played amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Raiders crushed Lake Forest 6-1 in their finale Saturday. A night earlier, MSOE rolled to a 4-1 win.
They close the regular season unbeaten in their last four games.
The Raiders (8-5-1, 3-4-1 NCHA) fell behind 1-0 early but proceeded to take control with six unanswered goals.
Jeff Makowski and Garrett Gintoli paved the way, scoring two goals apiece, and Logan Halladay dominated between the pipes as he stopped all but one of the 26 shots he faced.
Makowski and Gintoli are the top scoring threats for the Raiders. Both players have seven goals. Gintoli has also dished out 10 assists while Makowski has tallied four assists. Halladay owns a 6-4-1 record on the year.
MSOE is 30-20-5 all-time against Lake Forest and now awaits its playoff fate. The Raiders are assured of a berth in the NCHA tournament.
Kyle Cote scored the lone goal for Lake Forest (0-3 overall and in the NCHA).
The Raiders and Foresters weren’t the only two teams in action this past week.
Below is a look at how some of the other games played out in the west region, including a big weekend for Concordia in the NCHA and an long-awaited win over Wisconsin-Stevens Point for Wisconsin-Stout. The MIAC also returned to action after two weeks of no hockey.
St. Thomas kept its road unbeaten streak intact Saturday with a 4-2 win over St. Mary’s Saturdays. The Tommies are unbeaten over their last nine road games dating back to February of last year.
Jackson Bond scored twice and dished out an assist while Luke Manning also punched in a pair of goals for the Tommies (3-0-1, 1-0-1), who played three games last week, blanking Gustavus 3-0 on Thursday before playing rival St. John’s to a 2-2 tie on Friday.
Pipers win a thriller
Hamline played its first game in three weeks and made the most of the moment, edging Gustavus 3-2 Saturday.
The score was tied in the third when Joe Collins scored with less than two minutes to play to secure the first win of the year for Hamline (1-3-1, 1-1 MIAC). Gustavus (0-5, 0-3) is still searching for its first win of the year.
Tyler Nyman and Zak Lambrecht also scored goals for the Pipers.
Hat Trick for Froesse
St. Mary’s didn’t lead until overtime against Gustavus last Tuesday night, and it was Andrew Froese who came through in crunch time for the Cardinals.
Froese scored his third goal of the night less than two minutes into OT to lead the Cardinals to a thrilling 5-4 win over the Gusties.
The hat trick was the first of Froese’s collegiate career.
Gustavus actually led 2-0 eight minutes into the game but te Cardinals found a way to rally, tying the score at 4-4 on Froese’s second goal of the night. Froese has four goals and two assists on the season.
Five is the magic number
Adrian scored five goals in each of its two games against Aurora over the weekend, and both times the total was enough to propel the Bulldogs to a victory.
Though on Saturday night, it almost wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs held on for a 5-4 win over the Spartans one night after rolling to a 5-0 win.
Adrian trailed 3-1 after one period but stayed the course and rallied to improve to 14-0 all-time against Aurora. The Bulldogs (12-5, 5-0 NCHA) have won their last eight games, outscoring the opposition 39-11 during that win streak.
Alessio Luciani provided the game-winner midway through the third period to lift Adrian to the win. It was his third goal of the game. He finishes the month of February with a pair of hat tricks.
Zach Goberis also scored two goals for Adrian while Cameron Gray made 35 saves. Adam Keyes scored twice to pace the Spartans 4-4, 3-3). Josh Boyko made 26 saves.
Guerra on top of his game
Concordia put itself in a position to win the NCHA North Division after finishing off a sweep of Lawrence Saturday with a 6-3 win.
Nick Guerra played a key role in the victory, scoring four times to pace the Falcons (8-10, 5-1) to their third consecutive win.
Guerra scored twice in the opening period and the Falcons never looked back against the Vikings (2-4, 2-4). He added goals in both the second and third periods. He now has 13 goals on the year to go along with nine assists.
Luc Kreuser added an empty-net goal in the final minute to finish off the scoring.
Bo Didur racked up 39 saves. If the Falcons split their series with Marian next weekend, they will be crowned champs of the division.
Concordia opened the weekend with a 3-2 win. Nick Guiney, Kreuser and Brandon MacKinnon all scored for the Falcons. Guiney is second on the team in scoring with 12 goals.
Streak is over
Wisconsin-Stout put an end to a 14-game losing streak against Wisconsin-Stevens Point Wednesday with a 4-1 win. It’s the Blue Devils’ first win over the Pointers since Feb. 8, 2014.
A strong start proved to be the difference. The Blue Devils scored three goals in the opening period and remained in control from there.
Peter Verstegen, Raphael Gosselin and Logan Nelson all scored in the opening period. Kobe Keller finished off the scoring with an empty-net goal late in the third. Colin Raver scored the lone goal for the Pointers.
Brennan Kitchen turned in a solid performance in goal, stopping 28 shots for the Blue Devils (4-4 overall and WIAC). Eli Billing made 20 saves for the Pointers (3-3).
Wisconsin-Stevens Point avenged the loss Friday with a 6-3 win thanks to a four-goal second period. Zach Zech scored twice in the win to pace the Pointers.
Falcons bounce back
Burned by a 2-1 loss Wednesday against Wisconsin-Superior, Wisconsin-River Falls came back in a big way Friday and earned a 4-2 win.
The Falcons scored in every period en route to the victory as they improved to 5-3 on the year. Dysen Skinner made 24 saves.
Vilho Saariluma scored twice for the Falcons. Cayden Cahill and Josh Arnold also scored.
The Yellowjackets (3-3) ended a two-game losing streak Wednesday with their win. Will Blake and Dylan Johnson both scored for Wisconsin-Superior. Charles Martin tallied an assist on both goals for the Yellowjackets, who were playing their third consecutive game on the road.