Archive for November, 2012

Atlantic Hockey Recap

Monday, November 19th, 2012

This is going to sound really familiar, because it’s how this weekend recap has started the last two weeks, but can anyone beat Carsen Chubak and Niagara. In the last six games, Chubak has given up just two goals and leads the nation with an incredible .970 save percentage and 0.99 goals against. His five shutouts also lead the nation. It helps that the Purple Eagles are averaging just under four goals a game during that the stretch. The Purple Eagles are a perfect 7-0-0 in conference play and have a six point lead over third place Bentley and one point up on second place Holy Cross. (more…)

The Takeaway: Mass. Lowell Cruises Past UMass, 8-2

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. - Five different River Hawks scored a goal against two different goaltenders as Massachusetts-Lowell rolled past Massachusetts, 8-2, Sunday night at the Mullins Center. Riley Wetmore recorded a hat trick for the River Hawks, the first by a UML player since David Vallorani did so Dec. 5, 2009, also against the Minutemen.

UMass got poor goaltending efforts from both Jeff Teglia and Steve Mastalerz. Teglia lasted 16 minutes, 26 seconds and gave up three goals on eight shots. Mastalerz replaced him and also struggled, making just 10 saves on 15 shots in his first appearance since his last start Oct. 26 in a 5-2 loss to Boston University.

Doug Carr was solid in net for the River Hawks, making 24 saves on 26 shots. Carr’s two goals allowed both came on a 5-on-3 advantage for UMass when the game was well out of reach.

What I Saw

  • UML has struggled to find its scoring touch all season long, but certainly found it in a big way Sunday, scoring eight times despite being outshot 26-23 on the night. The River Hawks clearly brought significantly more energy on both ends of the ice, which helped lead to high-quality scoring opportunities while UMass had to settle for a majority of its shots from the outside. UML scored its first three goals with relative ease while Teglia clearly looked uncomfortable between the pipes. The first goal was scored by Dmitry Sinitsyn on a soft shot that went off the pad of Teglia and right through him to the net. With six players scoring 10 or more goals last season, the River Hawks found a way to get back to what made it successful last season with five different players scoring Sunday, while Wetmore and Joseph Pendenza each had multi-goal efforts. Pendenza’s second tally came shorthanded on a breakaway following a UMass turnover which gave UML a 7-1 advantage at the time.  (more…)

The Takeaway: DeSmith Stops 45, UNH Beats BU 3-1

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

BOSTON – New Hampshire earned its fourth straight win Sunday, beating Boston University 3-1. Before giving up BU’s goal, the Wildcats broke the program record for longest shutout streak. UNH opened the scoring with 8:26 left in the first when Dalton Speelman forced a turnover in the BU zone, allowing Kevin Goumas to grab the puck in the high slot and beat Matt O’Connor glove-side. Maxim Gaudreault added to the lead a few minutes later when he collected a rebound off Justin Agosta’s point shot and put it home for his first collegiate goal.

The Terriers (6-4-0, 5-3-0 Hockey East) cut the lead in half 4:40 into the second when Matt Grzelcyk led a rush down the right wing and put a shot on net that produced a rebound for Danny O’Regan to bury. BU badly outshot UNH (8-1-1, 6-1-1 HE) the rest of the way, but couldn’t manage to get another one past DeSmith. Goumas sealed the victory with an empty-netter. (more…)

The Takeaway: Wisconsin ties Minnesota behind Landon Peterson’s 41 saves

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Minneapolis, MN – What appeared to be a high scoring game with two goals in the opening 4:15 turned into Wisconsin’s Landon Peterson having a remarkable night. The sophomore goaltender, starting for only the second time this season, made 41 saves Friday as the Badgers tied WCHA and Big Ten rival Minnesota 2-2 at Mariucci Arena.

The Gophers got on the board first after a rare Wisconsin defensive breakdown saw redshirt junior captain Zach Budish all alone in front of Peterson. Their lead was short-lived, though. 19 seconds later Badgers junior Michael Mersch scored the first of his two goals when he roofed a rebound past Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox to tie the game at one.

Wilcox, who made 22 saves, wasn’t as tested as his Wisconsin counterpart. He made a few good saves to keep his team tied yet also gave up a lot of rebounds that the Badgers took advantage.

The Gophers regained the lead 48 seconds into the second period following a Frankie Simonelli penalty for tripping Kyle Rau. Solid puck movement between Rau, Nick Bjugstad, Nate Schmidt and Zach Budish resulted in Erik Haula being open for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. However, it was the lone bright spot for a power play that went 1-5 – including two five minute majors – a week following Minnesota scoring 5 power play goals against Alaska-Anchorage.

While Peterson and the Badgers were out-shot 32-15 over the final 40 minutes, they weren’t outscored. Mersch scored his second goal 5:06 into the second when the Gophers were unable to clear the puck out of the zone and a pass by Jake McCabe found him wide open to Wilcox’s left. Minnesota had 8:35 of power play time on two separate 5 minute majors (to Joseph Labate and Tyler Barnes) and multiple opportunities but was unable to get past Peterson.

With the tie, Wisconsin moves to 1-2-2 in the WCHA (1-4-2 overall) while Minnesota is 3-2-2 in conference play (6-2-2 overall). (more…)

The Takeaway: Providence rolls over Northeastern, 6-2

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Providence, RI – A first period goal from assistant captain Tim Schaller gave the Friars the early advantage in their first meeting of the season with Northeastern. That goal, shot off the glass before rebounding in front of Rawlings, might have been flukey but the five that followed were not, bringing the Friars to a 6-2 win over the Huskies.

Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan opted for Clay Witt after starting goaltender Chris Rawlings gave up three, but the damage was done. Chris Rooney and Derek Army each notched an even-strength goal in the second to make it 3-0. Then the second worst power play unit in Hockey East capitalized on the one-man advantage when Mark Jankowski got one past Witt at 13:06 in the second.

Army went for two on the night when he flew one past Witt’s shoulder at 4:44 in the third period, putting the Huskies in a whole they wouldn’t be climbing out of. He upped it to a hat trick about four minutes later, bringing PC to a 6-0 lead.

Despite four power play opportunities through the second, the Huskies remained 0-4 with the advantage. Finally, they were able to capitalize in the third with power play goals from Cody Ferriero and captain Vinny Saponari to keep the Huskies from being shut out.

With the win, Providence moves to 4-3-0 in conference play while Northeastern falls to 2-5-1.

What I Saw

  • Gillies, a Northeastern de-commit, singlehandedly warded off a flurry of Northeastern offensive opportunities during their first period power play. Pimm and Ferriero created chances with back-to-back shots, but Gillies was on top of both. He stayed strong through four power play chances for the Huskies, even when his defense wasn’t solid in front of him.
  • As most teams would be, Northeastern’s players were visibly frustrated by the time the second period rolled around. However, it resulted in sloppy penalties the Huskies couldn’t afford to be taking and some after-the-whistle shoving and stick slamming that was generally unnecessary. Disciplined play has been an issue for this team in the past, and they need to keep their focus if they want to return to the kind of success they were seeing early in the season, like in wins over Merrimack and Boston College.

What I Thought

  • The Northeastern power play unit still needs serious work, and will continue to be a main area of focus for the team moving forward. While Ferriero and Saponari were able to get the Huskies on the board late in the game, it was too little, too late. If they had been able to take advantage sooner, the Huskies might have been able to avoid the 6-0 hole they found themselves in by the middle of the third period. On the season, Northeastern is 7 for 48 on the power play. That’s a conversion rate of .146.
  • This could be a turning point for Providence. They’ve struggled to score in the recent past, getting shut out by both Vermont and Massachusetts in their last two games. The offensive ability is clearly there, and Gillies is dependable in net. If the Friar defense can get on the same level as their offensive counterparts and goaltender, this could be a turning point for Providence.

What They Said

  • “I thought we played well in the first period. We worked hard, got pucks in deep. We didn’t get a sustained forecheck going, but we started riding it out down there. The first goal was a fluke goal, but we’re given up two many bad goals during the course of a season, and it was a bad goal that gave them some momentum.” – Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan
  • “We got some puck luck tonight. Jon Gillies was the difference in the game. Some of the chances were probably pretty close to being even. I thought we finished on ours and I thought Jon played really well. I thought we played sloppy defensively and he kind of bailed us out. It was really good for us to score some goals. because we had been struggling to score some goals.” Providence head coach Nate Leaman

What Else You Should Know

  • This was the first game in which Northeastern has scored multiple power play goals this season.
  • Northeastern returns to action Sunday on the road at Vermont. The Friars will get some non conference action at Quinnipiac on Tuesday.

The Takeaway: UNH’s Desmith Earns 3rd Straight Shutout

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Lowell, MA.- The first 35 minutes of the game were played to a scoreless tie, until Trevor van Riemsdyk worked his way down the right slot, received a pass from Kevin Goumas and roofed it to give UNH the 1-0 second period lead. UNH would increase that lead midway through the third period on a goal by Grayson Downing. From that point on the game was never in doubt and UNH would win it 3-0.

Casey Desmith shutout his third straight opponent, becoming the first UNH goaltender with three consecutive shutouts since the 1928-1929 season. The 178 minutes, and 52 seconds of shutout hockey is also the longest such streak for UNH in over 40 seasons. UNH improves to 7-1-1, 5-1-1 in Hockey East, while the River Hawks fall to 2-5-1, 1-4-1.

What I Saw

  • Both UNH and UML played a desperate defensive game. Both teams were willing to put body and limb on the line to block shots. The teams combined for 28 blocked shots in the game, with UNH having the edge with 18 of those. Many of them would have been quality opportunities on net if they had gone through, but both defenses played committed on this night.

(more…)

The Week Ahead Hockey East 11/15/12

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Last weekend kept Hockey East in a rank and file Boston College, Boston University and New Hampshire world. This weekend is filled with lots of conference matchups and a weird scheduling quirk, as no teams will play on Saturday night. It will be highlighted by one matchup, on Sunday, which will pit Boston University and New Hampshire at Agganis Arena. Here’s to my weekly try of previewing the games: (more…)

11/15 CCHA Power Rankings

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

It’s been two weeks since we published our CCHA Rankings and much has transpired within the league since that time. Here now is our latest edition of the Power Rankings:

1. Miami (6-2-2, 3-2-1 CCHA). Last time: 2.

The RedHawks have cut down on the number of opportunities they’re allowing to opposing teams, and the end-result has been two wins and a tie (with the added point of a shootout win) in their last three games. Riley Barber’s 14 points leads the nation in rookie scoring by a long shot, while Austin Czarnik paces the country in shorthanded goals (3) thus far. The duo was honored in October as the CCHA’s Rookie and Player of the Month, respectively, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Can rookie netminder Jay Williams continue to carry the load between the pipes through the winter in Oxford?

2. Alaska (5-3-2, 3-2-1 CCHA). Last time: 4

The Nanooks have lost just one time in their last five games and enter this weekend’s series with Western Michigan after earning a win and tie in Columbus last weekend against Ohio State. Though Alaska has benefited from timely scoring from upperclassmen like Andy Taranto and Colton Beck and a penalty kill (89%) that ranks ninth nationally, the intriguing story has come in net, as coach Dallas Ferguson has equally played three goaltenders thus far. Rookie John Keeney was in net for both games at OSU last weekend and played well, turning aside 65 of the Buckeyes’ 67 shots on goal. (more…)

Atlantic Hockey Power Rankings

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

It was an up and down week for Atlantic Hockey teams. Some teams continued to succeed while others just can’t get going. As of right now the team to beat in Atlantic Hockey is Niagara. The Purple Eagles are perfect in league play and just continue to roll behind the play of Carsen Chubak.

1. Niagara – It was same old, same old for the Purple Eagles, who remained perfect in league play with a sweep of Army. The bad news: Chubak finally allowed a goal. Just one.

2. Holy Cross – The Crusaders got back to winning with 4-3 victory over Bentley, keeping them tied for first with Niagara. Now it’s time to see if the Crusaders can put a winning streak together. (more…)

ECAC Power Rankings 11/14/12

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Last week may have been one of the strangest weeks that the ECAC could ever have because few expected to win did so. In some ways it should just be a wash because of the strange results, but we did learn some valuable lessons from the weekend. These realizations have changed the rankings immensely.

I am convinced after their win against Union that Dartmouth is a contender and have thus moved them up to the top spot. Harvard is better than their recent results and so is Cornell. But Power Rankings are based more on a what are you doing for me now than what we think of the particular teams. Conference wins and losses also have much more weight than non-conference wins because it is easier to compare teams when they play each other. These concepts leave us with a lot of movement this week.

1. Dartmouth (5-0-1, 4-0-0)- Last Week 4

The Big Green are the final undefeated team remaining in the country and have proven to most casual observers that they may in fact be for real. With a big win against Union under their belt, Dartmouth will hit the road to take on Colgate and Cornell this weekend. They have won five games in a row led by a balanced attack on both offense and defense. The defense is ranked second in the country, allowing a meager 1.50 goals per game. The scary thing about Dartmouth is that their diamond in the rough, Dustin Walsh, has been gaining strength and has seen his playing time increase. Last weekend he was moved up to the second line with proven scorer Eric Robinson. This could be an indication they could be in this position for a while as Walsh will only get better and so will Dartmouth. (more…)