It’s only October, but seven of the top 15 goaltenders in the country — based on current goals-against average — are from the CCHA. Courtesy of collegehockeystats.net:
1 C.J. Motte Ferris State FR 180:00 1 0.33 2 Joe Howe Colorado College JR 80:00 1 0.75 3 Frank Slubowski Western Michigan FR 124:56 2 0.96 4 Doug Carr UMass Lowell SO 60:00 1 1.00 5 Joe Cannata (VAN) Merrimack SR 179:54 4 1.33 6 Taylor Nelson Ferris State SR 179:24 4 1.34 7 Dan Clarke Quinnipiac SR 259:05 6 1.39 8 Alex Evin Colgate SR 125:00 3 1.44 9 Troy Grosenick Union SO 249:44 6 1.44 10 Andrew Hammond Bowling Green JR 363:47 9 1.48 11 Shawn Hunwick Michigan SR 316:52 8 1.51 12 Nick Pisellini Western Michigan JR 249:40 7 1.68 13 Stephen Caple Air Force SR 246:33 7 1.70 14 Paul Karpowich (STL) Clarkson SR 363:53 11 1.81 15 Kevin Kapalka Lake Superior SO 358:22 11 1.84
The big story, of course, is Ferris State’s 6-0 start, thanks in large part to its pair of goaltenders — senior Taylor Nelson and freshman C.J. Motte, who combined for a weekend sweep against a struggling Miami team that finds itself at the bottom of the CCHA standings. Motte has two shutouts in three starts and boasts a .986 save percentage to go along with his 0.33 goals-against average.
And the Bulldogs — who travel to Ann Arbor this weekend for a Thursday/Friday series against Michigan — are off to their best start to a season since 1979-80, their first year in the CCHA.
Motte and Nelson aren’t the only CCHA duo off to a hot start between the pipes this season. Junior Nick Pisellini and freshman Frank Slubowski have shared time in net for Andy Murray’s Western Michigan Broncos, who are undefeated at 3-0-3… and will face Northern Michigan this weekend. The Wildcats are also coming off an impressive three point weekend, after going toe-to-toe with Michigan at Yost Ice Arena.
- Bowling Green and Lake Superior split their weekend series, as both are off to great starts to the season. For the Falcons, junior goaltender Andrew Hammond — who has been an early iron-man for Bowling Green — has two shutouts this season. And for the Lakers, sophomore netminder Kevin Kapalka is proving himself as one of the most consistent goaltenders in the country. And with Lake State on top of the CCHA standings, more people are going to notice.
- Miami has four losses in its first six games for the first time since 2003, when the RedHawks started 1-4-1. Miami has not scored on its last 14 power play opportunities.
- Notre Dame opened its brand new Compton Arena with a 5-2 win over Rensselaer on Friday. Anders Lee — who, again, is an early contender for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s goal-scoring leader (8) — had a hat trick and thrilled a record home crowd for the Irish. The standing-room only audience of 5,022 was the largest crowd to ever see Notre Dame play at home.