Archive for January, 2012

Around the WCHA: Friday Edition

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

A crazy night around the WCHA tonight:

- Michigan Tech fell behind the defending champs, in Duluth, 4-0 after one period. But this isn’t last year’s Huskies anymore. One goal in the second and three more in the third sent the game to overtime, and Michigan Tech earned a point. Huge point for the Huskies, which keep themselves in the home ice race with the point. On the other side, just a brutal tie for UMD. With Minnesota’s win tonight, the Bulldogs are now three points back of the Gophers in the MacNaughton Cup race. This could be a point the Bulldogs look back on at the end of the season…

(more…)

The Takeaway: Maine rallies, defeats BU, 4-2

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

BOSTON — Maine’s Marc Anthoine scored at 10 minutes, 8 seconds of the third period to give Maine a 3-2 lead over Boston University Friday night. The Black Bears added an empty-net goal to seal a 4-2 win at Agganis Arena. The win was Maine’s third in a row and 10th in its last 14 games.

For BU, the loss was its first in its last six games. Despite a 1-0 lead entering the first period, the Terriers struggled to generate offense throughout the night. A 20-minute delay caused by an issue with the lighting at Agganis resulted in BU dominating the second half of the second period at the restart. However, Maine goaltender Dan Sullivan (28 saves) kept BU from running away with the game.

What I saw

  • Maine clogged the neutral zone effectively throughout the game. Both the forwards and defensemen pressured puck carriers and stepped into passing lanes well, forcing BU to defend against the Maine transition attack. All four lines confidently pressured BU when they could, opting against any high-risk plays and trusting their coverages. The Terriers’ offense was especially effective when they managed to cycle the puck. Maine limited those opportunities with their strong play through the neutral zone. Late in the game, Maine sent its forwards into the BU zone, preventing the Terriers from breaking out cleanly. After the Black Bears went up, 3-2, in the third, they managed possession with an effective cycle that kept the Terriers from creating chances. BU coach Jack Parker commented after that the game that the play was atypical of Maine. However, creating turnovers through the neutral zone has helped Maine on its current 10-2-2 run. (more…)

The Takeaway: Pair of Late Goals Lift BC Over UNH

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – A pair of goals in the final 3:05 lifted Boston College to a 4-3 win over New Hampshire on Friday night. Scott Pavelski gave UNH a 3-2 lead with 4:42 remaining, but the Eagles answered 1:37 later when Johnny Gaudreau tipped home a beautiful slap pass from Brian Dumoulin. Then with just 51 seconds to go, Pat Mullane found Steven Whitney streaking through the slot for the game-winner.

The Eagles (15-10-1, 11-7-1 HE) opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game when Kevin Hayes corralled the puck below the goal line and banked in a shot off UNH (9-13-2, 6-10-1 HE) goalie Casey DeSmith’s skate. The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead with two goals early in the second from Austin Block and Stevie Moses, but BC answered later in the period with a shorthanded goal from Chris Kreider. The Eagles peppered DeSmith with 34 shots, while the Wildcats managed to test Parker Milner just 13 times.

What I saw

-The Eagles carried play in the first period. They outshot UNH 13-5 in the frame, but time of possession seemed even more lopsided than that. They pinned the Wildcats in their own end for entire shifts at a time, limiting UNH to an occasional one-and-done opportunity at the other end. Through 10 minutes, the Wildcats had just two shots on goal, and one came from the neutral zone while the other was a soft wrister from the point. The only thing BC didn’t do was score more than one goal, which was largely attributable to DeSmith’s stellar play in net. (more…)

The Takeaway: UML defeats rival UMass, takes season series

Friday, January 27th, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. — UMass-Lowell defeated in-state rival UMass at the Mullins Center Friday night, 4-2. Josh Holmstrom scored twice for the River Hawks, as the team enjoyed an appreciable power-play advantage, with five more opportunities than their opponent.

The River Hawks sealed the victory with an even-strength goal late in the third period. Lowell’s sustained pressure in the final minutes prevented Mastalerz from leaving the net for an extra-attacker. That effort was a microcosm of the game for the River Hawks, whose spirited play created multiple scoring chances and stifled the UMass offense. The Minutemen had cut the deficit to one goal

With the victory at the Mullins Center, the River Hawks clinched the season series. Both teams meet again Saturday night in Lowell.

(more…)

WCHA Week 13 Power Rankings

Friday, January 27th, 2012

A late and abbreviated edition of the WCHA Power Rankings, as I’ve been on the road all day and am in Bemidji for this weekend’s Beavers-Mavericks series. I am also looking forward to my first games at the Sanford Center.

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 1)

A pair of one-goal wins over Alabama-Huntsville is more than enough to keep the ‘Dogs out front.

2 — Minnesota (Last week: 2)

Nothing wrong with a split against CC, but the Gophers need to figure out what ails them on Friday nights. This team is virtually unbeatable on Saturdays though…

3 — North Dakota (Last week: 3)

Wisconsin has just one road win this season, meaning UND needs to make some hay this weekend at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

(more…)

Atlantic Hockey Power Rankings

Friday, January 27th, 2012

1. Mercyhurst – The Lakers have taken point in five of their last six conference games and continue to hold onto first place in the standings. A showdown with second place RIT awaits them this weekend.

2. RIT – The Tigers host first place Mercyhurst with a chance to jump into first themselves. A four game winning streak as the Tigers riding high.

3. Air Force – The Falcons won for the first time since Dec. 30 and won their first Atlantic Hockey game since Dec. 3. The Falcons finish their four game road trip with a visit to Canisius.

4. Robert Morris – The Colonials have taken points in 13 of their last 14 Atlantic Hockey games and have risen to third in the standings. The Colonials have a home-and-home series with Niagara this weekend. (more…)

ECAC Picks

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Feel free to follow my ECAC coverage this weekend on twitter ( @chn_justin)

Friday Night:

Clarkson @Union

3-1 Union

Brown @ Dartmouth

2-1 Dartmouth

Yale @ Harvard

3-2 Harvard

St. Lawrence @ RPI

2-1 St. Lawrence 

Colgate @ Cornell

4-3 Cornell

(more…)

The Week Ahead Hockey East 1/26

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

After nine league games last weekend the standings are starting to take shape. Boston University, despite the midseason losses of players, have come to the top of the standings seemingly to stay. Their impressive weekend against Providence, outscoring the Friars 14-1, prove to many that this team has finally gotten over the hump and become the great team that many people thought they would be at the beginning of the year. With the University of Maine coming in this weekend hot off a weekend sweep of Boston College, the Terriers will be facing off with another hot team.

This weekend features a weekend that could go a long way in shaping the standings going forward. With a five point lead over fourth place Maine, Boston University could put a huge cushion between themselves and the Black Bears in the standings. On the other side, Maine could make a race of it. UMass-Lowell and UMass will renew their rivalry in a home and home series that will deeply impact the standings. UMass is battling UNH for the seventh spot in the conference while also keeping track of Northeastern, who is in ninth on the outside looking in 4 points back of them and three points behind eighth. Northeastern heads up to Vermont to hopefully gain four points as they are three points out of a playoff spot. Every game is crucial going down the stretch here is my weekly attempt of previewing the games this weekend. (more…)

Hockey East Power Rankings: 1/25/12

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The only spots I really feel confident about this week are first and 10th. Spots two through five are virtually inseparable in my mind, and the same goes for spots six through nine. Only one of those middle eight teams is in the same spot as last week.

1. Boston University (15-6-1, 12-4-1 HE) — Last week: 1

The Terriers strengthened their hold on the top spot by smoking Providence 6-1 on Friday and 8-0 on Saturday. They went an absurd 8-for-15 on the power play, moving them up to fifth in the country on the man advantage. They’ve scored two or more power-play goals in four of their last five games, and Saturday marked the first time they’ve scored six in a game since 1996. BU now ranks third nationally in offense and first in the PairWise.

2. Merrimack (13-5-5, 9-4-3 HE) — Last week: 3

The Warriors lost to UNH 2-1 on Friday before rebounding with a 3-2 overtime victory Saturday. They’ve allowed exactly two goals in each of their last five games, maintaining their league-leading 2.00 goals-against average. Joe Cannata stopped 59 of the 63 shots he saw and now ranks second in the conference with a .928 save percentage. Merrimack lost Carter Madsen (7 points) for the season when he suffered an ankle injury Saturday. (more…)

Atlantic Hockey Wrap

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Another weekend is done and things are getting more tighter in the standings. Five teams are within four points of first place and nine teams are within seven points. Every game is becoming crucial as we start to wind down the season.

Air Force – The Falcons won for the first time in six games against Army. The Falcons took three points from Army and now sit in fourth place. Jason Fabian, Paul Weisgarber, and John Kruse all scored twice on the weekend. Cole Gunner assisted twice to bring his Atlantic Hockey leading total to 18. Jason Torf picked up his first win of the season, stopping 16 shots. Since returning from injury, Torf has split starts with Stephen Caple.

AIC – The Yellow Jackets were outscored 10-2 while being swept by Niagara. Michael Penny and Steve Mele both had a goal and assist. Chandler Long started his second game of the season and surrendered six goals. (more…)