Performers / Underperformers #2

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Performers

  1. Omaha Mavericks – Conference sweeps on the road are huge.  Omaha did just that in sweeping Western Michigan in Kalamazoo 5-2 and 3-0. Dominic Zombo had a nice weekend in the sweep picking up 2-1-3. Omaha outshot WMU 63-44 in the series. A nice conference start for Omaha. They are my “Performer” of the week for this effort.
  2. Northern Michigan University Wildcats – The unranked Wildcats earned a neutral ice non-conference sweep of #18 Wisconsin at the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI. Wildcat  goaltender Mathius Dahlstrom had a strong weekend shutting out UW 2-0 on Friday and limiting them to one goal in the 4-1 win Saturday. He stopped 42/43 SOG over the weekend. Dominic Shine had 2-1-3 for NMU. Wisconsin has now lost  four straight and needs to find some offense.
  3. Miami University RedHawks -#11  Miami sweeps home state rival #17 Ohio State University 5-1 and 2-1 in a home and home series. In the 5-1 win Miami was 3/5 on the PP. On Saturday, Miami peppered OSU goaltender Christian Frey with 62 SOG – 46 in the third period.  So, despite the sweep, we give Christian Frey the honor of “Player of the Weekend”
  4. University of North Dakota – . #3 North Dakota traveled out West to Colorado and whooped up on the punchless Tigers 3-1 and 7-2. It was all Mark MacMillan with an 8 point weekend – 2-0-2 on Friday and 3-2-5 on Saturday. He scored in every conceivable manner including 5×5, short-handed and on the power play. In fact, MacMillan had two shorties on Saturday. UND had 5 PP goals in the 7-2 route Saturday. More on Colorado College below.
  5. Union College Dutchmen – The reigning National Champions just keep rolling along. They picked up their 15th and 16th straight wins in a road sweep of the University of Maine. They shut out the Black Bears 3-0 Friday and won 5-2 Saturday. The usual cast of characters provided the offense for Union including  Mike Vecchione with a five-point weekend and Matt Wilkins with goals. Colin Stevens is now 4-0-0 after stopping 60 of 62 Maine shots over the weekend. #2 Union will have an interesting home matchup with #8 St. Cloud State next weekend.
  6. University of Vermont Catamounts – Former ECAC rivals Clarkson and Vermont tangled in a home and home series. Vermont edged the Knights 2-1 Friday and rode a 28 save shutout performance by Mike Santaguida on Saturday for a solid weekend sweep.
  7. Colgate University Raiders – #6 Colgate continues to impress as they swept Northeastern in two shutout victories at home. Goaltender Charlie Finn has an outstanding weekend stopping all 52 Northeastern SOG over the weekend. Kyle Baum, (who else) adds two goals for the Raiders on the weekend.
  8. University of Alaska Nanooks – You have to hand it to the Nanooks, They won two at home vs Penn State and Air Force in close games. The point is they found a way to win. Thanks to a 40 save performance by Sean Cahill they won Saturday vs PSU despite being outshot 43-33. Last weeks co-performer of the week has had a nice start to the 2014-15 season.
  9. Denver University Pioneers – #16 Denver reeled off two solid wins over ECAC foe RPI 3-0 and 4-1 for the sweep. Evan Cowley earned the Friday shutout and Tanner Jaillet the win Saturday for the Pioneers. Quentin Shore and Zac Larraza both had four-point weekends for Denver.
  10. Robert Morris Colonials – the Colonials sweep the hapless Niagara Purple Eagles in a home and home series. They scored three times each night in the third period to bury the Eagles 5-2 and 4-1. Prolific scorer Cody Wydo picked up two goals in the series and the Colonials outshot Niagara 47-23 Friday.
  11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – the Irish rebounded from a poor weekend in their Icebreaker tourney to sweep Lake Superior State 5-3 and 5-1 in this non-conference series in South Bend. Steven Fogarty had two goals in the Friday win and Mario Lucia went 4-0-4 for the weekend with the hat trick on Saturday.
  12. Bowling Green University Falcons – The Falcons pick up two wins and a sweep of the series with Alabama-Huntsville on the road. They outshot the Chargers 89 to 41 in the series. Nuff said.
  13. University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves – There’s a certain advantage in hosting teams from the lower 48. The last two weekends success for UAA proves the point. They picked up a 4-1 win vs Air Force Friday and battled to a 3-3 tie with Penn State on Friday. Another solid weekend for the Seawolves.

Underperformers

  1. University of Wisconsin Badgers – Really, who else can we give this weeks award to? The #18 Badgers have scored three times in the past four games and have been shutout twice. They’ve lost four games in a row and will certainly drop out of the rankings this week. This is a humbling learning experience for the youngsters on this years squad.
  2. Western Michigan Broncos – Speaking of humbling it’s a killer to be swept at home in your opening conference series. Western was limited to 42 SOG over the weekend and responded poorly to Friday’s 5-2 loss in getting shutout 3-0 on Saturday.
  3. University of Maine Black Bears – similar to Wisconsin, the Black Bears stumbled last weekend in Alaska and lost two more this past weekend at home to Union. Granted, it’s a tough draw to take on Union and Colin Stevens but it’s still two losses on your home ice.
  4. Colorado College Tigers – After getting destroyed 7-2 by North Dakota on Saturday, new CC coach Mike Haviland commented that “we were not prepared”. Huh? A coach with a 15 year pro coaching resume did not have his team prepared? Obviously they were not prepared allowing 5 power play goals and two shorthanded goals in the 7-2 loss. Lots of work to do for Haviland for this team picked to finish in the cellar of the NCHC.
  5. Niagara University Purple Eagles – There’s very little positivity with this squad right now. They coughed up three goals each night in the third period vs Robert Morris in this home and home in getting swept. They were outshot 47-23 Friday. It’s going to be a trying season for the Eagles.
  6. Ohio State University Buckeyes – After a 5-1 loss on home ice Friday the Buckeyes dropped another at Goggin on Saturday by a score of 2-1. However it could have and should have been much worse as OSU yielded 46 SOG in the third period.
  7. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers RPI fell flat in two games in Denver being outscored 7-1 in the series. It’s been a tough start for RPI on the road thus far. They certainly miss forward  Ryan Haggerty who departed early after last season.
  8. Northeastern University Huskies –  It’s not a surprise that the Huskies were swept on the road by #6 Colgate. The surprising thing was the lack of offensive production. Losing both games by a 3-0 margin is an indication that they faced a tough goaltender in Charlie Finn. It’s also an indication there could be some offensive challenges for this squad.
  9. Clarkson University Knights – The Knights were edged by Vermont 2-1 Friday in Burlington in a very close game. On Saturday, Clarkson simply did not respond getting shutout 3-0 on their home ice. I would have expected a better effort at home on Saturday.
  10. Lake Superior State University Lakers – the Lakers were swept in South Bend by Notre Dame. It was expected but they can’t be criticized for the effort on Friday in a very close game. In the Saturday rematch, Mario Lucia took over for the Irish and scored three times in a game never in doubt.
  11. Air Force Academy Falcons – The Falcons lost twice on their trip to Alaska. A Friday loss to Alaska 4-3 and a 4-1 loss to Anchorage. Not unexpected yet still two losses in a tough venue.
  12. University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers – I’m not sure we can accuse the Chargers two losses to Bowling Green as “underperforming”. It was expected and Bowling Green is just a better squad right now. UAH made this list a lot last season and will populate this list many times in 2014-15. However, they did get swept on their home ice so here they are.

Congrats to the Omaha Mavericks. Road sweeps are not easy in the NCHC but they got it done. This was a great start to  a long and grueling season. They are this editions  “Performer of the Week”.

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