Week In Review
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
Minnesota defeated CC, 3-2, on both nights. Saturday, CC came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie, but for the second straight night, the Gophers broke it in the third. This time it was Mike Carman's second of the game at 8:10 that won it. The Gophers have all but wrapped up the WCHA regular season, while CC is involved in a big three-way battle with Denver and North Dakota for the 3-4-5 spots. No. 3 is important to avoid the Thursday game at the Final Five.
North Dakota went defensive, and Philippe Lamoureux made all 19 stops to get a 1-0 shutout over Minnesota-Duluth. The teams had tied on Friday. Ryan Duncan's first-period goal held up, his 24th of the season. The sweep tied the Sioux with CC for fourth, one point back of idle third-place Denver.
Wisconsin's tie with St. Cloud State on Saturday leaves it two points out of fifth-place and a last home-ice spot in the WCHA playoffs. After we had him on the "Who's Not (hot)" after last week, Andrew Joudrey scored his third goal of the weekend, tying the game late in the third. "It's a huge point, and the thing we can hang our hat on tonight is the fact that the young men that we had — actually, both teams — the game was played with a lot of emotion," Badgers coach Mike Eaves told the Capital Times. "At times it wasn't very technical or tactical, but there was a lot of emotion out there, and that's kind of the signs of being a college hockey player."
Notre Dame is unbeaten in the last nine (7-0-2) after a weekend sweep of Alaska, which, more importantly, brought Notre Dame its first-ever CCHA regular-season championship. That was clinched Saturday with a 1-0 win, behind Ryan Thang's goal and David Brown's 28-save shutout. "Obviously this is huge for the program," said coach Jeff Jackson. "It's been a tough month for us. At times it's stressed us all out, including me and because of it we've played with stress and for the next three games we won't have that." ... Saturday, Garrett Regan scored twice, including the game winner in overtime.
T.J. Hensick scored twice, and Billy Sauer turned in an excellent effort in net, as Michigan defeated Lake Superior State, 3-1, on Saturday to earn a split of the weekend set.
Playing the weekend after losing Dominic Maiani for the rest of the season because of a torn ACL, Ohio State managed a split with Nebraska-Omaha. Saturday was an OT win for UNO, with Bryan Marshall scoring at 0:29. Ohio State only had two shots in the third, and UNO had three — a tractor pull if there ever was one.
The Michigan State staff and program gets all the respect in the world from here, but it's weekends like this that make you wonder just exactly where things are going. The Spartans were swept in a home-and-home with Western Michigan, getting shut out at home Saturday. Riley Gill made just 19 saves for the shutout for WMU. Friday, after scoring three PPGs previously, MSU had three more power plays in the third period, but only mustered seven shots for the whole 20 minutes and couldn't tie it. … The Spartans followed up a 7-0-2 stretch with three straight losses now, and has officially fallen to the edge of the NCAA bubble. It is still likely to get a first-round CCHA playoff bye, but may have to face these very same Broncos in the second round. ... By the way, on the flip side, WMU coach Jim Culhane was very much on his own bubble last year, but he stayed on as coach after his team won a first-round playoff series, and now he has the Broncos in fifth place in the CCHA, having a nice season.
New Hampshire came out Saturday determined to avenge the loss at home to BU from a night earlier, and staked out a 3-0 lead. But behind two goals from Peter MacArthur, the Terriers came back to tie it. UNH then outshot BU 7-0 in the OT, but had to settle for the tie. There was only one major scoring chance, though, late in the OT from Trevor Smith. John Curry made a career-high 43 saves for the Terriers. For UNH, this at least keeps it four points up on BU in first place, but it missed a chance to clinch outright.
Massachusetts leaped over Vermont on Friday, but Vermont gutted out a bounceback win Saturday, and in the process, moved back ahead of Maine and UMass into fourth place in the league. Joe Fallon stopped 32 shots for the shutout. Vermont stared into the abyss and survived to pull this one out. In a 0-0 game, getting outshot 16-4, the Catamounts got a five-minute major, then faced a 3-on-5. They killed it all off, then quickly thereafter, scored the first goal of the game, and away they went. "I was so proud of the way we killed the five, the way we killed the 5-on-3 and then obviously stepping out of the penalty box and getting one of our own," UVM coach Kevin Sneddon told the Burlington Free Press. "That was just huge."
BC pulled off the sweep of Maine and separated four points from the Black Bears in third place. It also had the effect of making BC a solid 10th in the Pairwise, well entrenched in the NCAA picture for the time being. This was an atypical game, with some old-school scoring going on. Maine never led, but tied it three different times — the third time coming 7:19 into the third period, when Billy Ryan's second of the game made it 4-4. But Brian Boyle, who last week was given back captaincy status by coach Jerry York, turned around and gave BC the lead back for good, 2 1/2 minutes later. Then Nathan Gerbe sealed it with his 17th, proceeding to celebrate in front of embattled Maine goalie Ben Bishop — eliciting a reaction from Bishop that caused a bit of a fracas. Shortly thereafter, BC was called for too many men, and Maine scored a PPG — but the Eagles held on. Bishop, meanwhile, wasn't great in his first start since a groin injury that sidelined him last weekend. Bishop had replaced Dave Wilson in the Thursday loss, when Wilson, who filled in admirably last weekend, had a shaky start against BC.
Clarkson earned three points on the weekend. After RPI scored two power-play goals in a 20-second span to take the lead Saturday, Matt Beca scored for Clarkson with four seconds left to tie it, and the Knights salvaged a tie. They nevertheless fall three points behind St. Lawrence for first in the ECAC. That's because St. Lawrence had a relatively easy sweep of RPI and Union.
Cornell had another four-point weekend, topping Princeton, 8-4, on Saturday. Ray Sawada, Mark McCutcheon and Byron Bitz each scored twice in the outburst. Cornell has crept into a 16th spot in the Pairwise, but getting to the necessary top 14 may prove difficult without an ECAC tournament win, in which case it makes it anyway.
WHO'S HOT/WHO'S NOT
1. Jeff LoVecchio, Western Michigan — Really, he's been consistent all year, but the sophomore from Chesterfield, Mo., is 3-1—4 in his last three games, now has 18 goals, and helped WMU sweep Michigan last weekend.
2. Kyle Rank, St. Lawrence — He's 4-2—6 in his last four, for a team that's gunning for an ECAC regular-season title.
3. Mark Dekanich, Colgate — The preseason all-league goalie pick had a dreadful start, but is allowing less than two goals per game since Christmas, even if the wins still aren't piling up.
1. Scott McCulloch, Colorado College — Did finally score Saturday, breaking an eight-game pointless streak.
2. Darin Olver, Northern Michigan — Is without a goal in his last seven games. His 11 goals is second on the team to Mike Santorelli's 26.
3. Keith Johnson, Maine — After a hot start, Johnson has cooled and scored just once in his last 11 games. He does have nine on the season, which matches a career high set as a sophomore.
NCAA TOP 10
1 Minnesota (25-5-3)
A two-game sweep at Colorado College reestablishes the Gophers' bona fides after an idle week that recharged the batteries.
2 St. Cloud State (18-6-6)
Just one point at Wisconsin last weekend, but enough to remain in second.
3 New Hampshire (22-6-2)
Also just one point, against BU, but also enough to stay in place because no one below did anything earth shattering.
4 Notre Dame (26-5-3)
A two-game sweep of Alaska was enough to clinch the CCHA, but not enough to move places.
5 Boston University (17-5-9)
The Terriers make the biggest leap, taking three points from UNH and winning the Beanpot.
6 Denver (20-11-3)
7 North Dakota (17-11-4)
A win and a tie, and the Sioux stay in place.
8 Maine (19-10-2)
The Black Bears tumble three spots after getting swept by Boston College.
9 CC (16-13-3)
Swept by Minnesota.
10 Clarkson (20-7-5)
Three points on the weekend, enough to surpass Michigan State, which was swept. The Golden Knights are fifth in The Pairwise, and are in position for a No. 2 seed in the NCAAs.
GAMES TO WATCH
Vermont at BU
The path to an NCAA at-large bid for Vermont, not to mention a home-ice bid in the Hockey East playoffs, goes through this weekend. It needs three points.
Wisconsin at Michigan Tech
The winner of this weekend duel, if there is one, has a chance to make up room on North Dakota for the final home-ice WCHA playoff spot, since North Dakota is in Denver.
St. Cloud State at Minnesota
This is unlikely to matter for first place in the WCHA, but it matters a lot to St. Cloud State, trying to hang on to a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, and to second place.