Performers / Underperformers #11…

Bemidji_hockey

Here’s my ranked “Performers” and “Underperformers” for the weekend of January 11/12:

Performers:

  1. Bemidji State University Beavers – Having been swept at home last weekend by Northern Michigan University the Beavers had their back against the wall in this key series with the Lakers. Entering the series tied with LSSU in the WCHA standings, it was key for both teams to at least hold a split. Never mind the split. Tom Serratore’s Beavers took both games in an impressive sweep on the Lakers home ice. On Friday after falling behind early BSU buried 4 straight goals in the 5-2 win. Brendan Harms had two goals. On Saturday, once again, the Beavers fell behind early 1-0 but scored the next three for a 3-1 win and sweep of this conference series. Jesse Wilkins picks up two wins in goal in the sweep. Impressive weekend sweep for Bemidji State University and this weeks “View from Center Ice” Team of the Week. Congrats.  
  2. University of Minnesota -Duluth Bulldogs – Really? UMD sweeps? They probably had no business winning a single game this past weekend. UNO put 93 SOG over the weekend and get outscored 6-3. Incredible. And that describes the play of Bulldog netminder Aaron Crandell – incredible. The series of his career. UMD dominated one period (period two) on Friday with goals from Duluth area products Dominic Toninato and Adam Krause  and that buoyed them to the 3-2 win. On Saturday, Crandell stops 52/53 SOG and Caleb Hebert scored 14 seconds into period two in the 3-1 win. Incredible.
  3. University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves – The Seawolves can be tough at home. However, the MSU Mavericks have been on a roll and doing their best to stay within striking distance of Ferris in the WCHA. The two-week trip to Alaska may have taken its toll as the Seawolves get a sweep on the heels of some fine goaltending from Chris Kamal. UAA gets outshot 28-10 on Friday but hang on to win via a GWG by Jordan Kwas at 11:13 of the third. On Saturday, the Seawolves get badly outshot 36-16 yet get two goals on 9 SOG in the first period and again ride the goaltending of Kamal for the sweep. A devastating weekend for the Mavericks who fall 6 points behind Ferris and 1 point behind Bowling Green.
  4. University of Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers are beginning to look like they could be trouble down the stretch. In their first Big 10 meeting, the Badgers disposed of the Big 10 rival Michigan Wolverines in a weekend sweep.  On Friday, the Badgers jumped out to a 3 goal lead  and rode a big night from Michael Mersch ( 3-1-4) in the 5-2 win. On Saturday, the Badgers scored first and never looked back in the 3-1 win. Chase Drake got the GWG at  12:04 of the second period. The Michigan lone goal was on the power play. UW outshot the Wolverines 32-29. A statement weekend for UW in Big 10 play.
  5. Quinnipiac University Bobcats – In a battle of two of college hockey’s finest, the Bobcat’s squeeze out a 2-1 win over Union on a Bryce Van Brabant GWG at 4:57 of the third period. QU simply has the Dutchman’s number. Final SOG 28-28. On Saturday,  Quinnipiac dominates a reeling RPI in a 6-2 win. QU rang up 4 straight goals before RPI got on the board. The Engineers have now lost 4 straight and the Bobcats earn a one point lead over Union in the ECAC standings.
  6. Ferris State University Bulldogs – After losing to Colgate in the Mariucci Classic, the Bulldogs returned to their winning ways sweeping the Michigan Tech Huskies at home in WCHA conference play. However, it was not easy winning 1-0 on Friday in a very tight defensive battle. Garrett Thompson got the GWG at 8:25 of the third. On Saturday, the Huskies did everything but win. They outshot Ferris 46-20 including 21-8 in the second period but could not bury the puck. Ferris gets a short-handed goal from Kenny Babinski in the second that’s the backbreaker. Ferris is now 12-0-2 in league play. They travel to Mankato for a huge series this weekend.
  7. Air Force Academy Falcons -It doesn’t get any better than this. The two military schools do battle in front of sellout crowds at West Point. Throw Army’s last place standing in the Atlantic out the window as you just knew both games would be close. The Falcons win Friday 3-1 on a Jason Fabian goal at 8:11 of the second. On Saturday, the Black Knights put up a valiant battle with the game tied at 2-2 midway through the second. AFA gets a late second period goal and an empty netter in the win. Outstanding series.
  8. University of North DakotaNorth Dakota adds to their undefeated streak by winning their 8th in a row in the weekend sweep of Colorado College. Michael Parks added two goals on  Friday in the 5-3 win. On Saturday, it took a Rocco Grimaldi goal at 8:20 of the third to salt away the sweep for UND.
  9. Mercyhurst College Lakers -Atlantic Conference League leader Mercyhurst got back into conference play and added to their  win column with a 1-0/4-2 sweep at Holy Cross.  But not so fast. On Friday, Holy Cross outshot the league leader 51-26 yet were shutout 1-0. Kyle Cook buried the GWG at 2:01 of the third period. On Saturday, the Lakers were once again outshot 38-27 but broke open a 2-2 tie with a winning goal by Matthew Zay at 16:04 of the second period. Seems the Holy Cross squad deserved a better fate than being swept.
  10. Bentley College Falcons – The Bentley Falcons are fighting to stay close with Mercyhurst in the Atlantic standings and certainly helped their cause with a sweep of the RIT Tigers. It was no contest on Friday as they rung up 6 straight goals and buried RIT 8-2. Alex Grieve had 3 goals and 4 points and Brett Gensler went 2-3-5. The next night was more of the same as the Falcons outshot the Tigers 38-29 in a 4-1 win. Gensler picked up three more points for an 8 point weekend.
  11. University of Minnesota Golden Gophers -The #1 ranked Gophers faced off against Penn State at Pegula Arena in their first meeting in the Big 10 conference. It wasn’t easy but the Gophers picked up the sweep 3-2/5-2 over the 4-12-1 Nittany Lions. The Gophers had to rely on a third period GWG by Ben Marshall at 15:59 in the 3-2 win. On Saturday, the game Lions hung in the best they could but couldn’t hold up to the more talented Gopher squad. Minnesota outshot PSU 38-25 and rode the GWG by Sam Warning for the win. The question is not “can PSU win a Big 10 game” but “if” they will.
  12. Ohio State University Buckeyes – The Buckeyes have had so many games with Atlantic conference teams this season it’s been very difficult to get a read on this team. Against one of college hockey’s top  underperformers, the Spartans, they picked up three league points with a 3-1 win on Friday and 1-1 ot tie on Saturday. the Buckeyes went 2/3 on the PP Friday and scored three times in the second in the Friday win. Saturday, the Spartans held a 1-0 lead until Darik Engel tied it at 8:10 of the third period. The OT tie sealed three points for OSU. Their big test comes this weekend in an outdoor game vs the University of Minnesota.
  13. Bowling Green State University Falcons – The Falcons appear to be on the upswing again getting three points from the visiting Nanooks and hanging within 5 points of league leading Ferris State. Alaska apparently forgot their skates Friday getting outshot 34-16 and getting shutout 3-0. Falcon goaltender Tommy Burke gets the win and shutout. In a reversal on Saturday, Alaska outshot Bowling Green 32-27 yet could only garner their lone goal of the weekend – the GTG at 7:44 of the third to earn the tie.
  14. Boston College Eagles – the Eagles picked up a quality win over league rival Providence on Friday with a 5-2 win. Johnny Gaudreau had a four point night with 2 goals and two assists. On Saturday, they settled for a 3-3 OT tie with a suddenly resurgent Brown University squad.

Underperformers:

  1. Lake Superior State University Lakers – In a key WCHA series the Lakers were swept at home by Bemidji State. In the midst of a battle for position in the WCHA it was simply a costly weekend for a team that has blown an opportunity to hang with the league leaders as they start the second half of the season. Just a poor weekend performance on home ice.
  2. Minnesota State University – Mavericks – It’s always tough to win two games in Alaska. Granted they were on a two-week swing against both Alaska teams but if you’re going to contend you have to perform. Getting swept at UAA may have sealed the league title for Ferris even with a home series against the league leader this weekend. In their defense, the Mavs played well enough to secure at least two points but still lost both games.
  3. University of Michigan Wolverines – The Wolverines were swept by Wisconsin in a key Big 10 series. The loss of four points puts them 10 points behind Minnesota in the standings and it may be lights out for any chance at the Big 10 title. UW was just the better squad in this series.
  4. Rensselear  Polytechnic Institute Engineers – Seth Appert’s squad has been on the skids since the two losses at the Mariucci Classic. The loss to Quinnipiac was expected. The loss to Princeton, a 3-15-0 squad was not. The Engineers have lost 4 straight and the prospects don’t look good against Dartmouth and arch rival Union this weekend.
  5. Michigan Tech University Huskies – After an encouraging November, the Huskies have  been on a downward slide for a month and a half. They’ve now won 1 of their last 10 games. It was a tall order to earn a win in Big Rapids vs Ferris and they didn’t. They were swept and continue to slide in the  WCHA standings.
  6. Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers RIT had a 6 game undefeated streak and after being swept by Bentley are now on a 4 game skid. They were outscored 12-3 over the weekend and simply were outmatched. An unimpressive weekend for a team we expected more out of.
  7. Colorado College Tigers -The best 2 win team in college hockey traveled to North Dakota and while they put up a good battle in both games they were still swept reducing their overall record to 2-15-3. A dreadful season for the Tigers.
  8. Holy Cross University Knights -Another tough weekend for Holy Cross as they outshoot league leader Mercyhurst 89-56 over the weekend yet still get swept. Offense is lacking and contributes heavily to their misery. The Knights have now lost 6 games in a row.
  9. Army Black Knights – The Atlantic’s cellar dweller fought hard but still were swept by the Air Force Academy in a battle of the military schools. The record now stands at 3-16-0 and they’ve won once since December 1.
  10. Penn State University Nittany Lions – If you like moral victories Penn State cornered them this past weekend vs Minnesota. They were upended 3-2 and 5-2 in two surprisingly close games. However, winning against anyone has been a battle for this Big 10 squad. They’ve won four games all season – all against Atlantic teams and haven’t defeated a team with a record greater than .500.  It’ll be a struggle to get a win in the Big 10 this season.
  11. University of Alabama – Huntsville Chargers – Different weekend, same story. The Chargers were defeated by scores of 7-1 and 5-0 by Notre Dame. They are now 1-23 on the season.
  12. Michigan State University Spartans – College hockey’s most disappointing team earned one point versus Ohio State in Big 10 play. In my opinion their is no excuse for a Big 10 school with the tradition of the Spartans to have 3 wins in the last 13 games. Change is needed.
  13. University of Alaska Nanooks – You might get a reprieve on this list by earning a point on the road in conference play but their dreadful play vs Bowling Green last Friday sealed it. They didn’t show up to play and were duly outshot 34-16 and shutout by the Falcons 3-0. C’mon Nanooks you are better than that.
  14. University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks -I’m not sure we can call a weekend where you out shoot your opponent 93-43 “underperforming”. Yet they lost both games at the hands of a very hot UMD goaltender, Aaron Crandall. What is concerning however, is that the Mavericks are winless in their last 6 games.

Based on a strong performance on the road in league play by the Bemidji State University Beavers they are this weeks “View from Center Ice” Performer of the Week. Congratulations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.