Performers and Underperformers Week #19

UND_0215_IMG_0579UND’s Zane McIntyre was outstanding in the weekend sweep of SCSU (photo prout)

Here are this weeks “Performers and Underperformers” in College Hockey for the weekend of February 27-28: Performers 

  1. University of North Dakota – The #1 ranked and #1 PWR UND squad entertained league rival SCSU and swept the Huskies 3-2 and 3-1 extinguishing the Huskies hopes for a home playoff position. The sweep also solidified North Dakota’s lead in the NCHC and clinched them at least a share of the Penrose Cup. UND charged out to a 3-0 lead each night and then held off late charges by SCSU on both nights to secure the wins. Connor Gaarder scored at 5:57 of period two for a 3-0 UND lead. The Huskies scored twice in an attempt to rally but fell short as Zane McIntyre shut the door in the late moments of the game. On Saturday, ditto…another three goal lead before the Huskies could get on the board. McIntyre was rock solid once again and Connor Gaarder netted the GWG for the second consecutive night. For their weekend efforts vs SCSU, North Dakota is this weeks performer of the week. 
  2. Dartmouth College Big Green – The Big Green doubled up both ends of the ECAC with a 3-1 win over last place Princeton on Friday and another 3-1 victory over first-place Quinnipiac on Saturday. Despite being outshot 27-22, Dartmouth scored twice in the first period and then hung tough the balance of the way for the two goal win. Brandon McNally scored the GWG and James Kruger stopped 26/27 SOG in the win. Dartmouth then knocked off first-place Quinnipiac on Saturday behind two first period goals including the GWG by Tyler Sikura. The Big Green face Princeton this weekend in the ECAC playoffs.
  3. Providence College Friars – Providence put it all together on home ice defeating visiting Maine by identical 5-2 scores. On Friday, they dominated the Black Bears outshooting them 42-21 and charging to a 4-1 lead in period two in the eventual 5-2 win. Shane Luke netted the GWG, his 10th of the year at 15:55 of the second period. On Saturday, it was just as dominating, outshooting Maine 44-19  in another 5-2 win. Nick Saracino scored twice on Saturday. The Friars have earned a first-round bye in the HEA playoffs.
  4. Union College Dutchmen – Union finished the regular season on the upswing defeating second-place St. Lawrence 3-2 and sweeping the weekend with a 3-2 win versus Clarkson the next night. The Dutchmen rallied from a 2-0 deficit to rattle off three power play goals in the third including the GWG by Max Novak for an exciting win against the Saints. They dazzled the home crowd once again on Saturday with another three-goal rally to top Clarkson by a 3-2 score. Tyler Hynes picked up the GWG Saturday. Union travels to Cornell for the first round of the ECAC playoffs.
  5. University of New Hampshire Wildcats – The Wildcats dumped a struggling Merrimack squad twice last weekend by scores of 4-1 and 3-0 to finish the regular season schedule on a high note. On Friday they outshot the Warriors 31-17 and broke open a 1-1 tie in the second period with three straight goals in the 4-1 win. Matt Willows scored his 18th goal of the season and it was the game winner for the Wildcats. On Saturday they limited Merrimack to 11 SOG as they cruised to a 3-0 win. Grayson Downing netted the GWG in the first period on the power play and Daniel Tirone picked up the shutout in goal. UNH hosts Connecticut in the first round of the HEA playoffs this weekend.
  6. Ohio State University Buckeyes – The Buckeyes defeated another struggling squad, Penn State by identical 5-3 scores for the weekend sweep. PSU outshot OSU 49-35 on Friday yet a persistent Buckeye squad scored twice in each of the last two periods to capture the 5-3 (EN) win. Matthew Weis scored twice and Christian Frey stopped 46/49 SOG for his 6th win of the year. On Saturday, OSU turned the tables on PSU outshooting them 44-27 and went 1/2 on the PP in another 5-3 win. Tanner Fritz ad a three-point (1-2-3) game for OSU.
  7. Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers – The Tigers swept Mercyhurst in an odd weekend of hockey. On Friday, the Tigers routed the Lakers 8-0 in a 44 shot outing. Matt Garbowsky scored the hat trick in a four-point game and Mike Rotolo earned the shut out. The Lakers responded to the embarrassing loss on Friday with a much better effort taking the contest to overtime in a 2-1 loss. They were still outshot by a wide margin – 42-23 including a 19-5 onslaught in period one. RIT earns a bye in round one of the AHA playoffs.
  8. Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks – In the series of the weekend in college hockey, the Mavericks outlasted the MTU Huskies and earned three league points to solidify their lead in the standings with one weekend remaining. On Friday, MSU threw the kitchen sink at MTU goaltender Jamie Phillips but was only able to beat him once on 44 SOG. And, that only goal was on the power play by senior Jean-Paul Lafontaine. MTU’s Reid Sturos netted the equalizer for the Huskies at 11:18 of period two. In the rematch, the Mavericks again peppered Phillips with 31 SOG beating him four times in a 4-2 win. MTU took an nearly 1-0 lead only to have MSU outscore the Huskies 4-1 by games end in the 4-2 win. Carter Foguth netted the GWG and Stephon Williams earned his 20th win of the season in goal.
  9. UMass Lowell River Hawks – UMass-Lowell wrapped up fourth place in the regular season HEA standings with a win and tie with Vermont. Balanced scoring and a solid outing by Kevin Boyle stopping 30/31 SOG led the River Hawks to the 4-1 win on Friday. On Saturday, the squads skated to a 2-2 draw facing a much more determined Catamount team. The GTG was scored at 17:15 of the third period by UVM’s Mike Paliotta.
  10. Colorado College Tigers – The Tigers picked up only their second conference win of the season as they skated to a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday and a 5-0 win on Saturday. In an outstanding effort in goal on Friday, Tyler Marble  faced 52 SOG and turned away 50 in the overtime tie. Western Michigan won the shootout for the extra conference point. On Saturday, Colorado College burned WMU goaltender Lucas Hafner for four goals on 17 SOG in the eventual 5-0 shutout. Cody Bradley led the Tigers with two goals and four points on the evening.
  11. Yale University Bulldogs – The Bulldogs finished the ECAC regular season with a 2-2 draw vs Colgate and a 4-0 shutout of Cornell. On Friday, in a game marred with penalties, Colgate scored at 2:47 of the third period to salvage a 2-2 tie. A total of eleven penalties were called in period two for 22 minutes on both squads. On Saturday, Yale put forth a dominant effort outshooting Cornell 31-16 and earning a 4-0 shutout. The GWG was scored at 1:27 of period one by Chris Izmirlian and Alex Lyon picked up his 16th win of the season in goal.
  12. Colgate University Red Raiders – Colgate clinched a bye in the first round of the ECAC tournament  with a hard-fought 2-2 tie with Yale and a 4-2 win over Brown University. In a battle on Yale’s home ice, the Raiders outshot the Bulldogs 33-25 and got the GTG from Tyson Spink at 2:47 of the third period to earn the overtime draw. On Saturday, Colgate had another battle on their hands versus a game Brown University squad. Behind 2-1 at the end of one period it tooks three consecutive goals by Colgate in the third period to put the Bears away. Tyson Spink was the hero once again with the GWG at 3:12 of period three.
  13. Bemidji State University Beavers – The Beavers took over sole possession of fourth place in the WCHA with a three-point weekend on the road vs Ferris State. Cory Ward and Phil Brewer scored to give BSU the two goal lead and they then hung on for a 2-1 win despite getting outshot 36-24 by Ferris. On Saturday, Ferris threw 42 SOG and Michael Bitzer stopped 41/42 in the 1-1 overtime tie. Justin Buzzeo finally solved Bitzer at 8:23 of period three to tie the game at 1-1.
  14. Rensselear Polytechnic University – RPI finished the regular season on a positive note skating to a 3-3 overtime tie with Clarkson and then upending second place St. Lawrence 4-3 on Saturday. The Engineers were badly outshot 39-18  yet Jason Kassdorf turned aside 36/39 SOG in the Friday deadlock. On Saturday, in a very closely contested game, Mark McGowan of RPI scored on a penalty shot at 13:38 of period three and it turned out to be the GWG for the Engineers.
  15. University of  Michigan Wolverines – Michigan is back in first place in the BIG 10 after a weekend sweep of lowly Wisconsin by scores of 3-0 and 5-2. Michigan was 2/4 on the PP on Friday and Zach Hymann scored the GWG at 1;35 of the second period in the shutout. In the rematch, the Wolverines were 2/4 on the man-advantage once again in a 5-2 win. The Wolverines scored three times in the third period to break a 2-2 tie. JT Compher netted the hat trick in the win.
  16. University of Alaska Nanooks – The Nanooks picked up a hard fought sweep on the road at Huntsville with 4-2 and 4-3 wins over the Chargers. Alaska outshot UAH 41-15 on Friday but Carmine Guerriero stood tall once again as the Nanooks edged UAH 4-2. After falling behind 2-0 Alaska scored the next four goals including three in the third period in the win. On Saturday, the Chargers were badly outshot once again 41-19 but Guerriero had another  outstanding outing carrying the game to overtime only to see Alaska’s Colton Parayko win it at :15 seconds with his 6th goal of the year.

Underperformers

  1. St. Lawrence University Saints – The second place Saints stumbled in their last two games of the regular season getting swept by Union and RPI on the road. Despite the losses SLU finished in second in the ECAC and earned a first round bye in the playoffs. On Friday, the Saints surrendered a 2-0 lead and saw Union score three consecutive PP goals in the third period to earn a 3-2 win. The game saw 14 penalties for 39 minutes with nine of those penalties on the Saints. St. Lawrence followed up the Union loss with another to a beat down RPI squad that garnered just it’s first win in 10 games. In a crazy play that dictated the outcome, RPI was awarded a penalty shot in the third and it turned out to be the game winner. Not a good way to wrap up the regular season for SLU.
  2. St. Cloud State University Huskies – Winners of 6 of their last 8 games, including a recent sweep of Omaha, the Huskies had to feel good about their chances vs North Dakota. After all. SCSU was 4-1-1 in their last 6 games in Grand Forks. A slow start out of the gates each night spelled doom for the Huskies as they were swept by #1 North Dakota by scores of 3-2 and 3-1. Late rallies by SCSU each night made both contests exciting but in the end, the Huskies dug themselves too much of a hole each night to recover against one of college hockey’s top teams. The losses removed any chance of home ice for the NCHC playoffs and dropped them from #14 to #17 in the PWR.
  3. Merrimack College Warriors – A promising season for Merrimack, crumbled quickly in the month of February as the Warriors went 0-7-1 including two losses on the road at UNH. The late season swoon is partly due to a tougher schedule but also just a lack of good defense that was much better prior to January. This past weekend both offense and defense failed them giving up 7 goals over the weekend and scoring just once on Friday. This weekend they have a major obstacle in Northeastern in the first round of the HEA playoffs. The season could end quickly for the Warriors.
  4. University of Maine Black Bears – In my opinion Maine was possibly playing their best hockey of the season with a 6-3-2 record since January 18 including wins over Boston College, New Hampshire, Merrimack and Northeastern. Unfortunately, their dates with Providence didn’t go well at all losing both games last weekend by identical 5-2 scores. Providence is a strong defensive team and it showed holding Maine to 21 SOG on Friday and 19 on Saturday. Maine’s opponent in the first round is Vermont.
  5. Penn State University Nittany Lions – Another team that has gone down the tubes lately is PSU loser of 5 of their last 6 games after being swept by Ohio State, a marginal team in its own right. Both losses were by identical 5-3 scores The Nittany Lions were not good defensively either game and it showed in the results.
  6. University of Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers have struggled all season and it continued last weekend vs Michigan getting swept by scores of 3-0 and 5-2. They were shut out Friday and simply don’t have the offense to continually rely on Joe Rumple to bail them out game after game. The Badgers fall to 4-22-4 overall.
  7. Ferris State University Bulldogs – The Bulldogs have had a rough go of it since the start of the year with a 5-10-1 record. They faltered again on home ice last weekend earning only one league point vs Bemidji State. They were unable to solve BSU netminder Michael Bitzer on Friday placing 36 SOG but beating him only once at 16:45 of the third as they were edged by the Beavers 2-1. In the rematch, they peppered Bitzer with 42 SOG but once again were only able to get one by him in the 1-1 overtime tie. As a result, Ferris falls to seventh in the WCHA standings.
  8. Western Michigan University Broncos – The Broncos were given a reality check in Colorado Springs as they salvaged a 2-2 tie on Friday and were blitzed on Saturday in a 5-0 shutout by last place Colorado College. The perplexed Broncos placed 52 SOG on goal in Friday’s contest but Tyler Marble turned aside 50 in the tie. The Broncos had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to salvage the tie. The next night it was all Colorado College in perhaps their best game of the season in the 5-0 win. Once again, Marble was rock solid turning aside all 27 WMU SOG.
  9. University of Vermont Catamounts – The Catamounts slipped to 7th in the HEA standings after a one-point weekend at UMass-Lowell. In a game with SOG dead even at 31-31 Lowell simply outscored UVM in the Friday 4-1 win. Kevin Boyle earned his 15th win in goal for the River Hawks. On Saturday, Vermont did everything but win the game holding Lowell to 15 SOG in a 2-2 overtime draw. UVM faces Maine at home in the first round of the HEA playoffs.
  10. University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers – Huntsville hosted Alaska and were swept by scores of 4-2 and 4-3. On paper, the games were close. However, Alaska outshot the Chargers 82-34 over the weekend and were it not for the outstanding effort by goaltender Carmine Guerriero the result would have been much worse.
  11. Mercyhurst College Lakers – Here’s another squad that’s trending in the wrong direction losing their last four games after being swept this past weekend by RIT. On Friday, they were drilled by RIT 8-0 after a 45 shot onslaught by the Tigers. The game was out of touch after the first period getting outshot 16-8 and down 3-0. And, the 8-0 final did not include a power play goal by RIT. The rematch wasn’t much closer in terms of dominance as RIT placed 42 SOG to the Lakers 23. However, on paper it was close as the GWG was an empty netter when the Lakers went for the win to keep pace with Bentley in the AHA standings. The tactic didn’t work and the Lakers finish 5th in the standings.
  12. Princeton University Tigers – This has been a tough year for new Princeton head coach Ron Fogerty. There have been few bright spots and certainly the month of February was a downer with a 1-6-1 record. On the road at Dartmouth and Harvard they added two more losses to their record currently at 4-21-3. Friday was a 3-1 loss to Dartmouth and Saturday a 5-0 shutout by Harvard. Let’s just leave it at that as they ponder strategy vs Dartmouth this weekend in the first round of the ECAC playoffs.

Congrats to North Dakota, our most recent “Performer” of the week after a home sweep of conference rival St. Cloud State University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.