Performers / Underperformers #14…

 

UMD_bulldogs

Here is this weeks College Hockey team “Performers” and “Underperformers” for the weekend of January 31/February 1:

Performers:

  1. University of Minnesota – Duluth Bulldogs: After a nice showing in the North Star College Cup, the Bulldogs traveled to Kalamazoo, MI for a conference series with the WMU Broncos.  If there were any questions about the Bulldogs ability to challenge the leaders of the NCHC in the second half of the season, they were resolved this past weekend. The Bulldogs, 4-1-2 in the previous seven games engaged in a physical contest Friday racking up 20 penalties between the two squads. In a game tied at 2-2 after two, the Bulldogs exploded for three third period goals in a 5-2 win. Justin Crandell scored the GWG which was the first of his two goals on the night. Aaron Crandell stopped 17/19 in the win. In the re-match, the Bulldogs broke a 1-1 score with two goals in the second for a 3-1 win. Alex Iafallo got the GWG and Aaron Crandell picked up his second win of the weekend after stopping 32/33 shots on goal. For their efforts, the UMD Bulldogs are this weeks “View from Center Ice” team Performer of the Week. Congrats Bulldogs.
  2. Michigan Tech University Huskies: The MTU Huskies were barely keeping their head above water prior to their weekend battle with Bowling Green. They needed a successful weekend and got it in the sweep of the Falcons on their home ice. On Friday, the Huskies were led by two goals from David Johnstone and had a 4-0 lead until the Falcons were able to solve MTU goaltender Phoenix Copley. Final score 5-2. On Saturday, the Huskies fell behind 2-0 early and had to claw their way back to tie the game early in the third period and win it at 1:22 of OT on a goal by Blake Pietila. Jaime Phillips stopped 27/31 in the win. Solid weekend for the Huskies.
  3. Cornell University Big Red: The Big Red have not lost a game in the last two and a half months. Impressive.They continued that streak on the road this past weekend with solid wins over defending National Champ Yale and a strong Brown University squad. On Friday, they needed an overtime session to nail down the 3-2 win on a Brian Ferlin goal at 4:42. Andy Iles was strong in goal stopping 38/40 shots to pick up his 10th win. On Saturday, the Big Red were outshot 34-20 by the Bears but had enough fire power to lead by two goals after Cole Bardreau netted his 7th of the year at 13:51 of the third. Brown cut the lead to  2-1 late in the third but Cornell was able to hang on for the 2-1 win. Andy Iles earned win #11 on Saturday.
  4. University of New Hampshire Wildcats: The Wildcats are simply hard to figure. However, this past weekend they had their game together sweeping the visiting Notre Dame Fighting Irish by scores of 4-2 and 5-2. On Friday, the Wildcats were badly outshot 40-28 yet scored when it counted on the PP including the GWG by Kevin Goumas at 15:51 of the third. Casey DeSmith was stellar in-goal turning away 38/40 SOG in the win. On Saturday, the ‘Cats were outshot once again 34-23  but rode another strong performance by DeSmith and a SH goal by Matt Willows in a 5-2 win. UNH moves to 4th place in Hockey East.
  5. UMass-Lowell River Hawks: The River Hawks continued their successful run in 2013-14 with a home and home sweep of Merrimack. On Friday, UML needed a goal by Joe Gambardella late in the second to break a 2-2 deadlock and go on to a 4-2 win. Saturday, despite being outshot 33-24 on the Warriors home rink, all the River Hawks needed was a penalty shot goal by Adam Chapie at 11:51 of period one for the win. Connor Hellebuyck picked up his second win of the weekend in the 4-0 shut out.    
  6. Ohio State University Buckeyes: The Buckeyes hosted visiting Penn State and sent the Nittany Lions home with 2 more conference losses. Despite being outshot 47-32 on Friday, OSU scored the first 4 goals of the game including two by Max McCormick in the 5-1 win. Christian Frey stopped 46/47 SOG. On Saturday, OSU fell behind 2-0 in the first period then rallied for 2 PP goals in the first 4 minutes of the second period to knot the game at 2-2. Anthony Greco netted the GWG at 18:53 of the second and the Buckeyes cruised to a 5-2 win.  
  7. Boston College Eagles: The Eagles had one game under consideration but it was a big one with ranked Providence College. In a game dead even on shots, 30-30, Boston College won the 5×5 battle with the Friars via a GWG by Brendan Silk in the second and another for good measure by Johnny Gaudreau, his 23rd of the season. The Eagles have extended their Hockey East lead to 8 points over second place Lowell.  
  8. University of Alaska Nanooks: Ok it was another sweep of Huntsville but you still have to get it done. They destroyed the Chargers by identical scores of 6-1 out shooting UAH 93-27 over the two-game series. Colton Beck had a three-point game Friday and Cody Kunyk had 2-1-3 on Saturday in the sweep. The 4 point weekend lifted the Nanooks to a fifth place tie in the WCHA.    
  9. Robert Morris University Colonials: The Colonials have hit their stride with a 7-1-1 record in the month of January. They continued their streak with a sweep over Army. On Friday, they went 2/5 on the PP and outshot the Black Knights 35-23 in blanking them 4-0. Cody Wydo scored twice in the win. On Saturday, the Colonials had their hands full with Army and required a GWG by Brandon Denlan at 17:59 to finally put away the Knights. Final SOG were in favor of Robert Morris 47-32.  
  10. Quinnipiac University Bobcats: The Bobcats had one game on tap this past weekend and they made the best of it crushing Dartmouth 8-1. In a “Huntsville” like performance the Big Green were outshot 39-13 and defeated in every facet of the game. Offensive stats were inflated as Connor Jones and Travis St. Denis scored two goals each and Mathew Peca had a three-point night. Ugly.  
  11. University of Michigan Wolverines: This was an interesting conference series between Michigan and Wisconsin. On Friday, Michigan scored twice in the first period and never relinquished the lead in the 3-1 win. Michigan outshot the Badgers 34-27 and Alex Guptill got the GWG. On Saturday, Mark Zengerle scored on a penalty shot at 16:14 of the second to give Wisco a one-goal lead. Luke Moffat tied it for Michigan at 7:02 of the third and  the teams settled for a 2-2 tie after a scoreless OT. Of interest was that there were no special teams goals scored all weekend. Joel Rumpel of the Badgers stopped 39/41 shots in the loss Saturday. The Wolverines take over second place in the Big 10 conference with the shootout win. 
  12. University of Minnesota Golden Gophers: The Gophers have not seen a “L” on their game sheet since November 24, 2013. Surprisingly, the #1 ranked Gophers had a very difficult time putting away the Spartans of Michigan State this past weekend. On Friday, the Gophers had to rally for a GTG in the third by Justin Kloos to salvage the “official” tie. For the conference victory, the Spartans got the shoot out win. On Saturday, the Gophers outshot MSU 38-19 and dominated the contest yet had to rely on a lone goal by Kyle Rau at 6:44 of the first period for the win.  Minnesota now has a 9 point lead over second place Michigan and have the title wrapped up.   
  13. Holy Cross University Crusaders: In a big weekend for the Crusaders, Holy Cross picked up three points in a tie and win on the road at RIT. On Friday, the teams settled for a 3-3 tie. The Crusaders had scoring from three different players in the OT tie. On Saturday, Holy Cross scored three times in the third in earning the 4-2 win. Adam Schmidt scored twice and Matt Ginn picked up the win for Holy Cross.
  14. Mercyhurst College Lakers: In a battle for first place  in the Atlantic, Mercyhurst picked up a win and tie vs Bentley to extend their lead to 4 points in the standings. On Friday, the teams battled to a 2-2 tie. Kyle Cook scored the GTG at 10:51 of the third period. On Saturday, it was a convincing win for the Lakers out shooting Bentley 38-29 and winning 4-1. Once again, Kyle Cook had a strong night with 2 goals. Nardo Nagtzaam got the GWG at 4:33 of the second.  

Underperformers:

  1. Western Michigan University Broncos: In a highly disappointing weekend, the Broncos were swept on their home ice 5-2/3-1 by visiting UMD. Being swept erased an opportunity for WMU to make a run at first-place in the NCHC standings. The losses drop them 6 points behind league leader SCSU. You have to earn league points at home. Now they hit the road for 4 straight NCHC games. Lost opportunity.
  2. Bowling Green University Falcons: The Falcons are another team that lost crucial league points in a series on their home ice. And, to a team that has had their share of struggles. The Falcons were swept by the Michigan Tech Huskies 5-2 and 5-4 (in OT) further depriving themselves of an opportunity to close ground on an idle Minnesota StateMankato for second place. Upcoming trips to Anchorage and Northern Michigan simply don’t help matters.
  3. Notre Dame University Fighting Irish: Notre Dame continues to have their struggles in Hockey East exemplified by being swept by New Hampshire last weekend. The losses place them in an 8th place tie in the Hockey East with UMass. The amazing thing is they are still within NCAA striking distance with a Pairwise ranking of 16. Nevertheless, they’ve been a prominent “underperformer” this season.
  4. Colgate University Raiders: Things came to a screeching halt for the Raiders who were in the midst of a 7 game unbeaten streak. On Friday, both their goaltending and offense failed them in the 5-2 loss to Brown University. On Saturday, Yale stormed out to a 3-0 lead before Colgate found the twine. The final was a 4-1 loss and a real setback for  a team that really had things going their way. They drop to 4th place in a very tight ECAC conference.        
  5. Princeton University Tigers: The Tigers drop two more conference games to Ivy rivals Harvard (3-2) and Dartmouth (5-3). Princeton has not won a conference game since November 23 and have sunk to last place in the ECAC. Not much more to say for this New Jersey squad.
  6. Merrimack College Warriors: The last place Warriors dropped two more league games to UMass-Lowell by scores of 4-2 and 4-0. This is a season to forget for Merrimack.  
  7. Penn State University Nittany Lions: This squad has not won a game since November 14th when they defeated  Atlantic team Robert Morris. They are in last place in the Big 10 and have not defeated a team with a record greater than .500  thus far this season. They surrendered a 2-0 lead to Ohio State and then saw them score 5 straight in the 5-2 loss Saturday. Two more losses are on tap this weekend when they face Michigan. I wonder what the Vegas odds are on winning a single Big 10 game this season.   
  8. University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers:More of the same for the Chargers. Two 6-1 losses to Alaska reduce their conference record to 1-16-1. They were outshot 93-27 in the series. Ugh.  
  9. Army Black Knights: Army has won one game since December 1st and lost two more to Robert Morris this past weekend. They were blanked 4-0 on Friday and actually put together a competitive effort in a 6-4 loss on Saturday. Two more losses solidify their last place standing in the Atlantic.  
  10. Dartmouth Big Green: Normally a weekend split will keep you off this list. However, the way the Big Green  lost to Quinnipiac on Friday can’t be ignored. Let’s just say they had to have mailed it in on Friday as they were destroyed 8-1 by the Bobcats. They mustered an anemic 13 SOG while QU put 39 on the Dartmouth goaltender. An embarrassing effort to say the least.

This weeks “View from Center Ice” team “Performer” of the Week is the University of Minnesota-Duluth as they swept the WMU Broncos on the road. Congrats to the Bulldgs as they continue to climb the standings in the NCHC.

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