When Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings looks back on how he scheduled the beginning of his season, he might shake his head.
The Mavericks opened with No. 1 Massachusetts last weekend, before facing No. 2 St. Cloud State Friday and again on Saturday.
But Hastings head shakes certainly won’t be from disapproval, maybe instead from amazement as the currently top-ranked Minnesota State club shutout St. Cloud State, 1-0, on Friday behind a Nathan Smith second period goal.
In case anyone wants to relive the magic. pic.twitter.com/8uNETyZWRq
— Minnesota State Hockey (@MinnStMHockey) October 9, 2021
Goaltender Dryden McKay stopped all 20 shots he faced to earn his second shutout of the season.
On Saturday, Minnesota State will have the chance to complete the season opening grand slam in a rematch with the Huskies. A win would improve them the Mavericks to 4-0-0 and complete the domination of college hockey’s Murderer’s Row.
IceBreaker Tournament (Worcester, Mass.)
No. 6 Boston College 2, No. 9 Quinnipiac 2 (BC wins shootout, four rounds)
No. 18 Northeastern 3, Holy Cross 0
Boston College earned a shootout victory when Casey Carreau scored the shootout-winning goal in the fourth round, while Northeastern featured three different goal scorers and Northeastern’s Devon Levi posted his second consecutive shutout to begin his Huskies career as BC and Northeastern earned victories on day one of the IceBreaker Tournament in Worcester, Mass.
Because the tournament features a pre-determined field, those two won’t face-off on Saturday for the title. Instead points earned will determine a champion.
Northeastern, for its regulation win, earn three points. Boston College earns two for the shootout win. Quinnipiac, which rallied from two goals down against BC to force overtime and the subsequent shootout, earns a singles point. Holy Cross, the tournament’s host, didn’t earn first day point.
The Huskies could, however, guarantee themselves as champions should they defeat Quinnipiac in regulation on Saturday’s opening games. All other results would open the opportunity for either Quinnipiac or Boston College to earn the title.
In the opener, BC jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Colby Ambrosio in the game’s opening minute and a second-period tally by Patrick Giles. Sophomore Ty Smilanic got Quinnipiac on the board late in the second before Skyler Brind’Amour notched his third career goal early in the third.
— BC Hockey (@BCHockey) October 8, 2021
Northeastern had a bit smoother sailing as Aidan McDonough and Matt Choupani spotted the Huskies a 2-0 lead through two before Jack Hughes scored his first collegiate goal in the third to put the game away.
Aidan McDonough gets his 3️⃣rd of the season and gives the #HowlinHuskies the lead!!
1-0 NU | 2nd 🐾🏒 pic.twitter.com/E1Am2IW4Ah
— Northeastern Men’s Hockey (@GoNUmhockey) October 9, 2021
Levi stopped 20 shots for the shutout.
Bentley 2, Ohio State 1
Less than a week after falling, 7-0, at the hands of Northeastern, Bentley rebounded in its home opener, handing Ohio State a 2-1 defeat behind a 34-save performance by Nicholas Grabko.
The host Falcons jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Collin Rutherford in the first and Cooper Connell in the second.
After Ohio State climbed to within a goal in the third on Mason Loheri’s tally, it appeared the Buckeyes had tied the game in the closing minutes.
But a successful challenge by Bentley overturned the goal, giving the Falcons the victory. The two teams face-off again on Saturday.