Here’s the “performers and underperformers” in college hockey for the weekend of January 30 – February 1, 2015.
- Robert Morris University Colonials – The Colonials have an eight point lead in the Atlantic conference standings and even with a 16-3-3 conference record have a couple of teams breathing down their back. As such, the trip to Colorado Springs was a very important road trip for the Colonials. Considering the Colonials had a seven game losing streak in the ‘Springs it was a solid accomplishment to earn a sweep over Air Force. Friday saw RMU outshoot the Falcons 39-27 and earn a come from behind 5-4 overtime win. Trailing 4-2 in the third period the Colonials scored two straight with Tyson Wilson netting the extra attacker goal at 19:07 of the third. Wilson solidified his status as game hero with the GWG 2:48 into overtime. On Saturday, despite being outshot 28-20 the Colonials dominated the scoreboard getting two goals in each of the first two periods including the GWG from Brandon Denham in the 5-2 win and sweep. For earning this important road win the Colonials are my team “performer” of the week. Congrats.
- Boston College Eagles – The Eagles took on the Providence Friars in a key Hockey East matchup on Friday. This was destined to be a close game and it was with the Eagles edging a surging Friars squad at Conte Forum 3-2. BC held a two-goal third period lead only to see the Friars tie the game in a span of three minutes of the third. However, Zach Sanford scored the go-ahead goal for the Eagles at 10:52 and they hung on for the 3-2 win. Both teams were unable to score in 5 PP opportunities and the Eagles outshot the Friars 36-25.
- Bemidji State University Beavers – Following the Beavers upset win in the championship of the North Star Cup two weeks ago, they added two more impressive outings in a win and tie against #6 Bowling Green this past weekend. On Friday, Bemidji earned a solid 5-2 win with a good defensive effort limiting the Falcons to 20 SOG. Gerry Fitzgerald scored the GWG in the third period. On Saturday, BSU again contained the explosive BGSU offense and earned a come from behind 2-2 overtime tie. Brendan Harms scored with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to knot the game at 2-2.
- Bentley College Falcons – Bentley continued their pursuit of league leader Robert Morris with an impressive road sweep of Mercyhurst. In a tight battle on Friday, the Falcons stormed to a 3-0 second period lead and then held off a late third period rally to earn a 3-2 win. Ryan McMurphy scored the GWG. In the rematch, Mercyhurst racked up a 3-0 first period lead only to watch Bentley score the next four goals in a nice 4-3 comeback win. Kyle Schmidt scored the GWG with 16 seconds in regulation.
- St. Cloud State University Huskies – the Huskies earned two dominating wins on the road vs Colorado College. On Friday, they outshot CC 33-22, scored the first seven goals of the game and routed the Tigers 7-1. Jonny Brodzinski scored twice including the GWG. Saturday’s rematch was more of the same dominance as Brodzinski scored two more goals in a 6-1 win. Brodzinski surpassed the 100 career point mark and David Morley scored two goals as well in the route. Of interest was the Huskies were not whistled for a penalty on Saturday.
- Minnesota State University Mavericks – the Mavericks rebounded from their loss to Bemidji in the North Star Cup to post two 5-1 wins over a struggling Ferris State team. MSU outshot Ferris 31-22 Friday and Teddy Blueger scored the GWG early in the first period in a dominating win. In the Saturday rematch, Mankato outshot the visitors 35-18 and were 2/8 on the PP in the 5-1 win. Bryce Gervais scored twice as MSU polished off the sweep of the Bulldogs.
- Penn State University Nittany Lions – Penn State earned a come from behind 4-2 win over #15 Vermont in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff. After falling behind 2-0 PSU shut down the ‘Cats and scored four consecutive goals in the win. David Thompson scored the GWG at 16:51 of the third period. PJ Musico picked up his second win of the year in goal for Penn State.
- Michigan State University Spartans – In another single game, Michigan State clamped down defensively on league leader Michigan and edged them 3-2 at Munn Ice Arena. William Haag and Matt DeBlouw scored for the Spartans and Jake Hildebrand stopped 29/30 SOG in the win.
- Dartmouth College Big Green – Dartmouth salvaged an otherwise disappointing month of January with wins over RPI and Union this past weekend. Despite being outshot 31-23 Dartmouth leveraged a first period PP goal and a third period SH goal by Kyle Nickerson to a 3-1 win. James Kruger stopped 30/31 SOG in the victory. On Saturday, the Big Green pulled off another win for the weekend sweep over an inconsistent Union team. Dartmouth outshot the Dutchmen 41-22 and road a two-goal third period to the win. Carl Hessler scored the GWG with a minute and a half remaining in regulation. Dartmouth has now won three in a row.
- Holy Cross University Crusaders – Holy Cross made up ground vs Mercyhurst in the Atlantic standings with a weekend sweep of hapless Niagara. On Friday the Crusaders outshot Niagara 44-27 and were 2/4 on the PP in a dominating 6-3 win. Brett Lubanski scored twice for HC in the win. Holy Cross cleaned up on the Purple Eagles again on Saturday outshooting them 47-24 in a 5-1 win. Nick Finn netted the GWG at 10:31 of period two. Holy Cross is now tied with Mercyhurst for fourth in the Atlantic.
- Northern Michigan University Wildcats – The Wildcats were 1-4-3 in January but rebounded with a home sweep of UAA to close out the month of January. Special teams were the difference on Friday as the Wildcats went 2/4 on the PP with Brock Machmeyer netting the GWG at 8:29 of the third period. In the rematch, Northern Michigan edged Anchorage 3-2 in overtime to complete the weekend sweep. Sami Salminen was the game hero with the GWG at 4:49 of overtime. NMU outshot UAA 37-13 in the game,
- Mercyhurst University Lakers – The Lakers took a big tumble at home losing twice to Bentley 3-2/4-3 falling further in the Atlantic standings and leaving their only hope for this season to put together a successful run in the conference tourney. The Lakers were still within distance of league leaders Robert Morris and Canisius but extinguished that possibility by being swept on their home ice.
- Bowling Green University Falcons – The #6 ranked Falcons traveled to Bemidji and left with only one-point to show in the two game series. They lost in dominating fashion on Friday by a 5-2 score and were limited to 20 SOG. On Saturday they salvaged a 2-2 tie after coughing up a 2-0 second period lead. The once high-flying Falcons are 2-3-2 in their last seven games. Not a good time to be playing uninspiring hockey.
- Air Force Academy Falcons – The Falcons were swept at home by league leader Robert Morris by scores of 5-4 in overtime and 5-2. The Falcons were in the driver’s seat with a 4-2 lead in period three only to see RMU score twice in the second half of the period to tie the game at 4-4. RMU prevailed with a goal 2:48 in overtime to break a 7 game winless streak in Colorado Springs. On Saturday, the Colonials were too much for the Falcons as they fell 5-2. the losses delegate the Falcons to a tie for 6th place in the Atlantic.
- Colorado College Tigers – Just when it appeared the Tigers were making some progress they took a big leap backwards as they were destroyed by scores of 7-1 / 6-1 by the SCSU Huskies. CC was dominated in nearly very facet of the game each night as they fell to 1-13-1 in the conference. The Tigers were outshot 75-46 in the series and yielded 6 power plays on 12 opportunities for SCSU. Not a pretty weekend.
- University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves – the last place Seawolves traveled to Marquette, MI and fell twice to Northern Michigan by scores of 5-3 and 3-2 in overtime. Northern was 3/8 on the PP over the weekend and limited UAA to a grand total of 13 SOG on Saturday. The Seawolves have not won a game outside of Alaska all season.
- Ferris State University Bulldogs – In predictable fashion, the Bulldogs were swept on the road by league leader Mankato by identical scores of 5-1/5-1. The Bulldogs were dominated in this series yielding 4 power plays on 11 opportunities and were outshot 66-30 in the series. Ferris has a 2-8 record in their last 10 games and has fallen to a tie for 5th in the WCHA. This is quickly becoming a lost season for the Bulldogs.
- University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers – Here’s another team that took a step backwards this past weekend getting throttled and outscored by Michigan Tech by a 16-1 goal margin in the two game series. Even more telling is that the Chargers were outshot 54-12 on Saturday and 91-32 for the series. This was a dismal weekend outing for UAH and a classic example of underperforming.
- University of Vermont Catamounts – A once promising season for UVM is quickly falling apart as they lost for the fourth time in five games. Of more concern is the lack of offense the team is generating winning only once in the last eight and averaging less than two goals a game in those losses. This past weekend the ‘Cats blew a two-goal lead in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff losing 4-2 to Penn State. Vermont finishes the season with New Hampshire, Boston College, Merrimack and Lowell. It won’t be pretty.
Congrats to the Robert Morris Colonials for being named this weeks “Performer “ of the week. The road sweep at Air Force snapped a seven game losing streak in Colorado Springs and solidified the Colonials lead in the Atlantic Conference standings.