Performers / Underperformers #11

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Here’s this weeks “Performers and Underperformers” for the games played between 12/27 and 12/30/14

Perfomers

  1. University of Michigan Wolverines – College hockey can be a funny game. The Wolverines most likely should not have won their first round game vs Michigan Tech in the all-Michigan school Great Lakes Invitational. After all, they were outshot 41-21 and even coach Berenson admitted MTU was the better team that afternoon. But the Wolverines scored first and garnered another key power play goal at 3:44 of the third period to edge Michigan Tech 2-1. little used Steve Racine stopped 40 SOG in the win. In the championship game against Michigan State, it was Deja Vu all over again as Racine stopped 31 shots on goal and Zach Hyman netted the GWG for the second consecutive game in another 2-1 win. The weekend may not have been pretty but they were two methodical victories over the two Michigan schools. For their effort the Wolverines are this weeks “Performer of the Week”.
  2. Providence College Friars – Having attended this years Catamount Cup I was able to see the Providence Friars in action and they didn’t disappoint. They are proving that defense does win games shutting down UMass 4-1 in the opening game and snapping Vermont’s seven game win streak in a 3-0 shut out in the championship game. Against UMass goalie Jon Gillies stopped 22/23 SOG and Mark Jankowski scored the game winner in the 4-1 win. On Monday, Gillies stonewalled the Catamounts on their home ice stopping 29/29 SOG in a quick two-hour game. Shane Luke’s PP goal at 12:43 of period two proved to be the game winner.
  3. Colgate University Red Raiders – In a couple of interesting matchups in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, Colgate won twice to capture the Trophy via a 2-1 win over Western Michigan and a 6-1 drubbing of home team Robert Morris.  In the opener, the Raiders outlasted a game WMU squad getting outshot 29-27 but scoring the first two goals of the game to edge the Broncos 2-1. Charlie Finn was solid stopping 28/29 SOG. In the championship game, Colgate took Atlantic leader Robert Morris to task outshooting the Colonials 52-27 and thrashing them 6-1. After yielding a first period 1-0 lead to Robert Morris Colgate cranked it up and scored the next six goals in the blowout. Kyle Baun, Joe Wilson, Tyson Spink and Darcy Murphy all had two points in the route.
  4. Lake Superior State University Lakers – I have to admit the Lakers performance in the Florida College Hockey Classic was a surprise as they defeated Cornell and Notre Dame to take home the championship trophy. In a defensive battle versus Cornell, the squads skated to a 0-0 overtime tie. A shootout was needed to determine who would advance and it was Chris Ciotti who netted the shootout winner. In the championship game, the Lakers Eric Drapluk broke a 1-1 tie with the GWG at 15:53 of period three to give LSSU the championship trophy. After a stretch of 6 consecutive losses it had to feel good for the Lakers to have this success.
  5. UMass – Lowell River Hawks – The River Hawks were the class of the Webster Bank Arena Frozen Holiday Classic and they proved it with a 5-1 win over an overmatched Sacred Heart squad and 3-1 win vs Connecticut. Lowell outshot the Pioneers 46-22 in the opener and broke open a 1-1 early second period tie to score four straight goals in the win. C.J. Smith was the #1 star with two goals. In the follow-up game with Connecticut, the River Hawks had a tighter battle on their hands but still prevailed 3-1 (EN). Kevin Boyle improved his record to 9-1-3 in the 23 save win.
  6. Quinnipiac University Bobcats – In a primer for a road trip west to play St. Cloud State University the Bobcats edged Princeton by scores of  2-0 and 1-0 in this home and home conference series.In the home opener, Mathew Peca netted the GWG at 15:41 of the first period in the win. In the follow-up game at Princeton, the lone goal was scored by Devon Toews and Michael Gartig picked up the shutout win in the series sweep.
  7. Harvard University Crimson– My mid-season #1 ranked Harvard continued their winning ways with a convincing 6-2 win over visiting RPI. After falling behind 2-1 in the first period, the Crimson scored three times in the second period and twice in the third as they destroyed the Engineers 6-2. Steve Michalek earned his 10th win on the season Tyler Moy had two goals on the evening. Harvard just keeps rolling along and are now 10-1-2.

Underperformers

  1. Cornell University Big Red – What a disappointing weekend for the Big Red in the Florida College Hockey Classic. First they skate to a 0-0 overtime yawner with the LSSU Lakers and then follow that up with another lackluster offensive performance in a 3-0 loss to Miami. On top of that the Big Red were limited to15 SOG in the game. So, zero goals on this trip to sunny Florida. That weekend effort may have deserved a bus trip back to New York.
  2. Penn State University Nittany Lions -Just when I thought the Nittany Lions were hitting their stride they fall flat in the Three Rivers Classic Tourney. Against in-state opponent Robert Morris PSU yielded two PP goals to the Colonials in the second period and never recovered losing 4-2. In game two, Western Michigan proved to be too much for Penn State in the 4-1 loss. The Broncos surged to a 3-0 lead before the N-Lions were able to get on the board to close out a frustrating weekend.
  3. Ferris State University Bulldogs – Ferris State stumbled in the Great Lakes Invitational losing twice to in-state teams Michigan State 2-0 and Michigan Tech 4-2. An obvious lack of offense was their downfall in the tourney opener as MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand earned the shutout stopping all 31 SOG. In the follow-up game vs Michigan Tech, it was more frustration as the Bulldogs outshot MTU 36-20 but yielded the first 4 goals of the game and were never able to claw their way back in losing 4-2.
  4. Air Force Academy Falcons – The 5-12-2 Falcons were overmatched vs Vermont and UMass getting swept in the ‘Cat Cup 4-2 and 5-1. Getting drilled by 5-13-0 UMass pretty much says it all.
  5. Princeton University Tigers – The Tigers are hugging the cellar of the ECAC after getting swept by Quinnipiac in a home and home series 2-0 and 1-0. Getting swept hurts but going scoreless over 120 minutes makes it even that much more painful. The Tigers can pretty much start their 2015-16 season planning at this point.
  6. Sacred Heart University Pioneers – The writing was on the wall as the Pioneers faced Union and UMass-Lowell in the Frozen Holiday Classic. They were outshot 46-22 and lost 5-1 to Lowell in the opening game and outshot 31-22 and defeated 3-1 by Union in the next game. I don’t think these outcomes were ever in doubt. The Pioneers record falls to 5-11-2. However, hope is on the horizon. They have a series with Niagara next.

Congratulations to the University of Michigan Wolverines for being named this weeks Center Ice View “Performer of the Week”.

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