Week in Review
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
The Beanpot concluded Monday with another championship for Boston University, its 28th in the storied 55-year history of the event. This time, Brian McGuirk scored in overtime to give the Terriers the win, though it was goalie John Curry who again stole the show, preserving the tie in regulation numerous times. He finishes his Beanpot career 5-0, and with an all-time Beanpot shutout streak.
Of course, it was also business as usual in the rest of the nation.
After a St. Cloud State win Friday, the Huskies tied Colorado College on Saturday. Along with Denver’s tie against Michigan Tech, everything stayed the same in the tight race for 2-3-4 in the WCHA. Andrew Gordon (19) had both Huskies goals Saturday.
Another top team, North Dakota, could only get a tie on Saturday, 4-4 with Minnesota State. The Mavericks fell behind 3-0, then rallied, getting two extra attacker goals in the last 1:13 of regulation. Jon Kalinski scored during a 4-on-4 with the goalie pulled — then, when the power play started for the Mavericks, it created a 6-on-4, during which Travis Morin capitalized with five seconds left on the clock. Jonathan Toews (11), who continues his renewed scoring output, scored twice for the Sioux, as he did in Friday’s 8-3 win. That game was marred by an ugly fight with 48 seconds remaining. Minnesota State's Trevor Bruess, Lucas Fransen and Matt Tyree were given game disqualifications for fighting, while Erik Fabian and Brian Lee got them for North Dakota. All players sat out Saturday.
Michigan Tech, meanwhile, with its win Friday over Denver, now has the highest win total for the program since 1998 (17-20-3).
Michigan played poorly in a loss to Bowling Green on Friday, so came out throwing a lot of shots on net against rival Michigan State on Saturday in hopes of reversing course. But when that it didn't, it went into a funk again and a 3-0 hole. Then the Wolverines finally mounted a rally, and wound up pouring 57 shots on net and earned the 3-3 tie. It could've been long over for the Spartans had Jeff Lerg not made 54 saves. Chris Summers scored twice, just his second and third goals of the season, and Andrew Cogliano (20) tied it with 1:51 remaining.
Michigan State had trouble the night before, too, needing overtime to defeat Ferris State 2-1. Bryan Lerg scored his 19th of the season at 1:26 for the win, and cousin Jeff was a hero here too, keeping MSU in the game with 33 saves.
Miami swept Lake Superior State and jumped back ahead of Michigan into second place. They nearly let a 3-0 lead slip away Saturday, but held on for the final 6:09. Every win is important right now for Miami, which is looking like an NCAA bubble team. The RedHawks snapped a season-long winless streak at four games.
Notre Dame was yet another top team to only get a tie Saturday, going 2-2 with Nebraska-Omaha 2. The Irish uncharacteristically blew a 2-0 lead in the final 4:12. "It was a fluky goal that changed the momentum, but that's the way the game is," said ND coach Jeff Jackson. "We didn't lose. We had a three-point weekend and that's good in my opinion. … You have to give them credit. They played hard right to the end. We didn't respond well in the last 10 minutes. The encouraging thing for me is that I saw signs of us coming out of the funk we've been in the last month in the first part of that game. We were moving our feet better, moving the puck better, coming out of our zone a lot better. That's a good sign.”
UNO was playing its first games since the suspension of two players for the remainder of the season for an alcohol-related incident. Earlier in the season, four players were suspended for a few games for another alcohol-related incident.
Both BU and BC earned lackluster wins on Friday in advance of the Beanpot, relying on goalies John Curry and Cory Schneider to get one-goal wins over Massachusetts and Providence, respectively.
Maine swept Vermont at home, and moved one point ahead of Vermont for the final home-ice spot for the Hockey East playoffs. That means the usual four suspects are again in the top four spots in the league. The story here was Dave Wilson, starting his second straight game for the injured Ben Bishop, getting the 31-save shutout. After an almost penalty-free game, 12 different players earned 34 penalty minutes with 18 seconds left in the game.
Cornell jumps back into the final first-round bye spot with a convincing win, one night after blowing a 3-1 lead to Union, defeating Rensselaer, 6-1.
St. Lawrence stayed in first place, rallying late to tie Brown, then winning in overtime, 2-1. Drew Bagnall scored at 1:58 of overtime, beating stellar Brown freshman goalie Dan Rosen on the Saints' 48th shot of the game.
It's looking increasingly difficult for Clarkson to secure a top four spot in the Pairwise, and thus a No. 1 seed in Rochester (N.Y.) in the NCAAs. But to have a chance, it may need to win out. So it took some steps toward that by winning both games this past weekend.
How about the Colonials? Robert Morris has won five in a row, including a win over Princeton followed by sweeps on consecutive weekends against the two top teams in the CHA, Niagara and now Bemidji State.
WHO'S HOT/WHO'S NOT
1. Jonathan Toews, North Dakota — Six-game point-scoring streak during which he’s 7-9—16.
2. John Curry, Boston University — Rode a Beanpot shutout streak into the third period of the final game, and finishes his Beanpot career 5-0.
3. Ryan Duncan, North Dakota — He’s 5-9—14 in his last five games.
1. Tim Crowder, Michigan State — Pointless in his last five games, though the whole team is struggling.
2. Dean Strong, Vermont — Eleven goals before the break. None now in his last nine.
3. Ryan Dingle, Denver — Hot start, he has 19 goals for the season, but just one in his last nine games.
NCAA TOP 10
1 Minnesota (23-5-3)
2 St. Cloud State (18-5-5)
A three-point weekend against Colorado College maintains the No. 2 spot.
3 New Hampshire (22-5-1)
The Wildcats took care of business against Merrimack.
4 Notre Dame (24-5-3)
If things hold, the Irish would be the No. 1 seed in the Rochester (N.Y.) regional.
5 Maine (19-8-2)
Two wins against Vermont were enough to propel the Black Bears up five slots.
6 Denver (20-11-3)
Just a one-point weekend, but no one else rose to surpass the Pioneers in the ratings.
7 North Dakota (16-11-3)
A three-point weekend.
8 CC (16-11-3)
Five WCHA teams in the top eight.
9 Michigan State (18-8-3)
Held on for a tie against Michigan, which held the Spartans in the Top 10.
10 Clarkson (19-7-4)
A sweep, plus a loss by Michigan to Bowling Green, enabled Clarkson to sneak back in.
GAMES TO WATCH
Maine at Boston College
BC gets no time to rest off the Beanpot, with two crucial games this week.
Boston University vs. New Hampshire
Home and home, as BU also has to go right back into the fire.
Notre Dame at Alaska
The Irish are poised to claim their first-ever CCHA title with a sweep.