Here’s my week #4 “Performers and Underperformers” in college hockey:
- Michigan Tech University Huskies – Here they are again for the second consecutive week. It was a tough choice between the top two contenders. However, you’ve got to hand it to the Huskies. They hadn’t played host to the Michigan Wolverines in Houghton, MI since 1983. This is a great college town and I’m sure the crowd was absolutely electric. They bolted to a 3-0 lead on Friday and cruised to a 4-1 win. On Saturday, they scored 4 PP goals and destroyed the Wolverines 6-2. My only regret was I wasn’t there to take in this one. Obviously this team is the real deal. Sweeps over Ferris on the road and now Michigan prove the point.
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers – I’ll admit I was down on this team after getting outscored 9-2 last weekend by Bentley University on their home ice. So, they entertain heated rival Union on Friday in Troy and suddenly find some offense in a 6-1 dismantling of the #2 Dutchmen. Riley Boubannais gets the hat trick in the win and Colin Stevens get torched. On Saturday the Engineers get the job done again edging Union at Messa Rink 2-1. What a rebound.
- UMass -Lowell River Hawks – I’m impressed by the weekend performance of Lowell and scratching my head over the performance by the UNH Wildcats. Kevin Boyle gets the shut out for Lowell in the 2-0 win in Durham where the River Hawks are outshot 33-16. On Saturday, the Wildcats are torched in an 8-2 win for Lowell. Lowell is on a roll.
- Bemidji State University Beavers – The Beavers have been playing well. On Friday, with the game tied after one, they pour on 5 straight goals in the 6-1 win over the Alaska Nanooks. On Saturday, Cory Ward gets the GWG at 2:03 of the third as the Beavers win 4-3 and earn the sweep of Alaska.
- University of Maine Black Bears – Maine nips UMass by scores of 6-5 in OT on Friday and 3-2 Saturday in the Weekend sweep. On Friday, Brian Morgan nets the GWG in OT and Blaine Byron gets the GWG in game two. Dennis Kravchenko scores three times on the weekend in a losing cause for the Minutemen.
- Robert Morris Colonials – The Colonials extend their unbeaten streak to 8 games with their weekend sweep of RIT. A four-goal second period buried the Tigers 6-1 on Friday. On Saturday, they win 4-2 to improve their conference record to 5-0-1. A very nice run for the Colonials.
- Penn State University Nittany Lions – Bentley came down from their high after sweeping RPI on the road last weekend to drop two to Penn State. Penn State out shot the Falcons 103-61 over the weekend and continued their winning streak at home with identical 3-2 wins.
- Quinnipiac University Bobcats – QU rebounds from a tough loss to Connecticut at home to sweep Northeastern 3-2 and 4-3. Andrew Tavernen gets the QWG on Saturday and Soren Jonzzon on Sunday.
- American International College – This was a battle of two teams routinely on the underperformers list. Something had to give and it was the Niagara Purple Eagles, one of the bottom feeders of college hockey right now. In a feel good weekend for the Yellow Jackets, Alex Murray stops 82 SOG over the weekend and Alexander MacMillan nets two goals including the GWG on Friday.
- Omaha Mavericks – Omaha travelled to Cornell and battled Cornell in two low scoring games. The Mavericks earn a 1-1 tie on Friday and edge Cornell 2-1 Saturday. A hard-earned weekend of success for Omaha.
- Ohio State University Buckeyes – OSU travelled to Buffalo to play Canisius in the inaugural college hockey game at the Harbor Center. Despite the hoopla, the Buckeyes salvaged a 3-3 tie on Friday and cruised to a 4-1 win on Saturday.
- St. Lawrence University Saints – In another rivalry series, the Saints end up deadlocked 2-2 vs Clarkson on Friday at home. On Saturday, in front of the hostile Clarkson crowd, they bury the Knights 4-0. Big road win for St. Lawrence.
- Union College Dutchmen – Just a week ago, the Dutchmen were sporting a 16 game winning streak until it was snapped by the SCSU Huskies. Facing their most heated rival, RPI, they fell flat getting destroyed 6-1 at RPI on Friday and losing 2-1 at home on Saturday. They Dutchmen have now lost three games in a row. Hmmm.
- University of Michigan Wolverines – The Wolverines hadn’t been to Michigan Tech for a game in 30 years. They may want to reconsider their next trip back. They were swept by the Huskies 4-1 and 6-2 and have lost three games in a row. They get a much needed break before they take on American International in two weeks.
- University of New Hampshire Wildcats – This was a frustrating weekend for the Wildcats. They out shoot Lowell 33-16 on Friday yet lose the game 2-0. On Saturday, they provided no response in a 8-2 pounding. Not agood weekend at all for UNH.
- Alaska Nanooks – After a five game winning streak to start the season, the Nanooks have now lost three in a row after dropping two games at Bemidji State University. They were ambushed in a 6-1 loss on Friday and lost a OT game on Saturday. They have another battle on their hands in a conference series with Bowling Green next weekend.
- Bentley University Falcons – After an exciting road sweep of RPI things came to a screeching halt on a road trip to Penn Sate University. Two identical 3-2 losses most likely brought things back to earth for the Falcons. On the positive side they have Niagara at home. If that isn’t a tonic to cure-all ills I don’t know what is.
- Northeastern University Huskies – The Huskies have started the season 0-6 after being swept by Quinnipiac on the road last weekend. It doesn’t get any easier for the Huskies as they face UMass-Lowell next.
- Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers – RIT was swept by Robert Morris by scores of 6-3 and 4-2. They’ve started off the year 1-3 in conference play. We’ll defer any opinions for a few weeks. They have Holy Cross, Canisius and Sacred Heart over the next three weeks.
- UMass Minutemen – I’m not going to be too harsh on the Minutemen. They lost an overtime game to Maine 6-5 on Friday and a 3-2 game on Saturday. Yet, they were still swept in conference play. That will always get you on this list.
- Niagara University Purple Eagles – Sadly, the Purple Eagles are becoming a regular here. There’s little positive to say about this program right now. They were swept by American International College. Not much more needs to be said.
Congratulations to the Michigan Tech University Huskies for their sweep of the University of Michigan this past weekend. As a result, they are our “Performer of the Week” for the second consecutive week.