Here’s a quick look at the Performers and Underperformers from last weeks schedule in college hockey:
- Quinnipiac University Bobcats – The Bobcats keep rolling along and in the early calculation of the Pairwise are ranked #1. It won’t be long and they’ll have an auto bid to the NCAA tourney all wrapped up. This past week QU added three more wins knocking off highly touted Harvard 4-1, Dartmouth 6-2 and Connecticut (on the road) 6-2. This improves their record to 11-0-0 on the season and sets a new school standard. Next up are two games at home vs “North Country” schools Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Bobcats get my vote for “Performer of the Week”.
- St. Cloud State University Huskies – The Huskies traveled to Kalamazoo and crushed NCHC opponent WMU by scores of 5-2 and 11-1. The Saturday beating was the worst loss in history by a Bronco squad. Jimmy Murray scored twice on Friday and Joey Benik scored four times on Saturday. Both Benik and Ethan Prow had six point nights and were named NCHC Players of the Week.
- Cornell University Big Red – Cornell improves their season record to 5-1 after a home and home sweep of league rival Colgate. The Big Red scored three times in period one on Friday en-route to a 5-1 win. With the tables turned and on the road in the rematch, Cornell rallied from a 2-1 deficit after period one to earn at 3-2 win. Solid weekend for Cornell against their top rival.
- University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks -Now nicknamed the “Fighting Hawks”, North Dakota earned a key home sweep over Miami by scores of 6-2 and 4-3 (ot). The ‘Hawks scored the first five goals of the game on Friday before the RedHawks got on the board. Nick Schmalz had a four-point night in Friday’s win. On Saturday victory did not come so easy as it took an overtime GWG by Luke Johnson to wrap up the sweep. Walk on goaltender Matt Hrynkiw added two more wins to his record in the sweep. UND battles St. Cloud State in a key weekend series next.
- UMass Lowell River Hawks – The River Hawks solidified their position on top of the standings in Hockey East with a home and home sweep of struggling Maine. They edged Maine at home 2-1 on Friday and buried the Black Bears 6-0 in the rematch on Saturday on the road. Michael Louria scored twice in the Saturday blowout. With the sweep, the River Hawks record improves to 8-1-2.
- Denver University Pioneers – Apparently the early season hype of the Bulldogs left no impression on the Pioneers as they earned a win and a tie in a road trip to Duluth. Jarod Lukosevicius scored the first two goals of the game – both on the power play and Evan Cowley earned the shutout in Friday’s 3-0 win. The two squads skated to a 1-1 tie on Saturday with Tanner Jaillet turning aside 45/46 Bulldog SOG. Nice weekend for DU on the road.
- Arizona State University Sun Devils – The Sun Devils are proving they are not a pushover in their first season of Division I Hockey. This past weekend they traveled from the warm climes of Arizona to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan to take on the LSSU Lakers. In a surprising result, ASU earned two 3-2 wins and an impressive road sweep of the Lakers. Joe Lappin scored twice in the Friday win and Jordan Master the OT GWG on Saturday. The sweep improves the Sun Devils record to a commendable 5-6-0.
- Ohio State University Buckeyes – The Buckeyes currently sit at #47 in the Pairwise with a 3-7-0 record. They swept #53 Canisius on their home ice by scores of 4-1 and 6-4. The Buckeyes have not been impressive thus far this season but I’m giving them credit for getting a sweep at home over a team they needed to sweep.
- Penn State University Nittany Lions – Let’s just say the Nittany Lions schedule has not been a grueling one. However, they’ve defeated the likes of Canisius, American International and now Sacred Heart – teams they need to be successful against. This past weekend they bested Sacred Heart by scores of 8-2 and 3-2 for a weekend sweep. Chase Berger racked up three goals for PSU in the series.
- St. Lawrence University – St. Lawrence has had a nice start to season and improved their record to 7-3-1 with a 3-0 shutout over their top rival Clarkson. Kyle Hayton made 32 saves in this key ECAC win.
- Western Michigan University Broncos – The Broncos got blown out on their home ice by a combined score of 16-3 by the SCSU Huskies. After the 5-2 loss on Friday WMU got dominated in every aspect of the game on Saturday in the 11-1 dismantling. This historic loss places them on top of this weeks list.
- University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs – The Bulldogs continue to underperform after being annointed the league favorite in the NCHC. they are 0-3-1 in the NCHC and 3-5-3 overall after a loss and tie to Denver on home ice. They are winless in their last five games. The magic elixir should be this weekends trip to winless Colorado College. If not, the Bulldogs are in serious trouble.
- Lake Superior State University Lakers – The Tradition rich Laker program has fallen on hard times over the last decade and was dealt another frustrating blow by Arizona State last weekend. The upstart Sun Devils swept the Lakers on home ice dropping the Lakers record to 2-8-2. Let’s be honest, this was an embarrassing result for the Lakers on home ice.
- Colgate University Red Raiders – Colgate has won once in the last six games after being swept 5-1 / 3-2 (OT) by rival Cornell. The overall record falls to a disappointing 4-7-0.
- University of Maine Black Bears – Another once proud program that has fallen on hard times is the Maine Black Bears. They have yet to win a game this season after being swept by Lowell by scores of 2-1 and 6-0 in a home and home series. The Black Bears overall record drops to 0-8-3.
- Union College Dutchmen – Two years removed from a national championship, the Dutchmen are having a tough go of it this season. They lost two overtime games to Brown and Yale and are 1-5-1 in the ECAC. They’ve won once in the last eight games. My how things have changed.
- University of Connecticut Huskies – The Huskies are winless in November and have lost seven straight after three losses in seven days to Army, Vermont and Quinnipiac. They scored a total of three goals in those games. With a very tough schedule over their next four games it’s quite likely their next win won’t come until the new year. At 3-9-0 it’s becoming a big hill to climb for UConn.
- Sacred Heart University Pioneers – Sacred Heart was swept by Penn State to even their overall record to 5-5-1. They were destroyed by PSU 8-2 Friday and were edged 3-2 in the rematch.
- Canisius University Golden Griffins – The Atlantic continues to struggle in non-conference games and it was no different as the Griffs were swept by Ohio State on the road by scores of 4-1 and 6-4. Canisius record falls to 2-7-0 as they enter a stretch of conference games.
- Niagara University Purple Eagles – The Purple Eagles have yet to win a game this season after being crushed on the road by Michigan 7-1 and then following that up with an exhibition loss to the US Under-18 squad. Maybe a dose of American International this weekend will lead to some better times.
Congrats to Quinnipiac for a solid week of play going 3-0-0 and extending their 2015-16 winning streak to 11 games. They are this weeks “Performer of the Week”