Archive for January, 2013

Hockey East Power Rankings: 1/23/13

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

For the first time in a month and a half, we have a new No. 1 (or, more accurately, an old No. 1 that has returned to the top). We also have a new No. 3 — a team that’s so hot it could climb even higher in the near future.

1. Boston College (14-5-2, 11-4-1 HE) — Last week: 2
The Eagles suffered a 5-2 upset loss to UMass on Friday, but bounced back with a 9-3 thrashing of Northeastern on Saturday. That rebound is just enough to move the Eagles ahead of UNH, which lost its only game of the weekend. On Saturday, the Johnny Gaudreau-Pat Mullane-Steven Whitney line exploded for four goals and eight assists, including a hat trick for Whitney. Gaudreau leads the country with 1.72 points per game, .22 more than anyone else.

2. New Hampshire (14-5-2, 9-4-1 HE) — Last week: 1
After a five-week run at the top, the Wildcats slip to second after losing 6-5 to Providence on Saturday. It was another rough game for Casey DeSmith, who got pulled for the second time in three games after allowing four goals on 15 shots. With the loss, UNH is now under .500 (3-4-0) since Dec. 6. Justin Agosta registered three points in the loss, while Kevin Goumas, John Henrion and Casey Thrush each had two.

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WCHA Power Rankings: 1/23/13

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The gap between first and second widens, two other top-six teams make big moves in opposite directions, and the bottom six stays pretty steady. Let’s get right to it.

1. Minnesota (17-3-4, 9-3-4 WCHA) — Last week: 1
The Gophers strengthened their hold on first by taking three of four points from North Dakota in the rivals’ final regular-season meetings for the foreseeable future. They won 5-1 on Friday before tying 4-4 on Saturday. Nate Condon tallied five points on the weekend, while Erik Haula, Nick Bjugstad and Zach Budish each had three. Haula, who missed the previous three games with an upper-body injury, has a 16-game point streak.

2. North Dakota (13-7-4, 8-4-4 WCHA) — Last week: 2
Despite taking just one point against Minnesota, UND hangs onto second. Clarke Saunders gave up four goals for the second straight start on Friday, while Zane Gothberg surrendered four for the third time in five starts on Saturday. Corban Knight had a point in each game to extend his point streak to 19 games. UND still sits sixth in the Pairwise and tied for third in the conference standings.

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The Takeaway: Merrimack makes program history at Alfond, beats Maine

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

ORONO, Maine — Merrimack College hung on for a 3-2 win at Alfond Arena Saturday night, taking three of four points in a weekend series with the Maine Black Bears. It’s the first time the Warriors have taken points in back-to-back games at Alfond Arena on the same weekend, as the Warriors took five of six points against Maine in three back-to-back-to-back games this season, starting last Saturday.

The Warriors got goals from Kyle Bigos, Jordan Heywood and Rhett Bly, while Mike Collins added three assists.

The Black Bears got goals from Connor Leen and Joey Diamond.

Sam Marotta made 22 saves for the Warriors, as he made his third straight start. He improved to 6-4-3 on the season, as his goals-against average dipped to 2.04 and his save percentage slid to .927. Martin Ouellette made 25 saves for the Black Bears.

Collins’ three assists keeps him second in Hockey East scoring behind BC’s Johnny Gaudreau, two points behind the BC sophomore, but Collins has the top points-per-game total in the conference.

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The Takeaway: UNH Struggles, Loses to Providence 6-5

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Durham, NH- Providence entered the game at UNH winless against the Wildcats in nearly five years, but no one would have guessed that with the way the teams exited the locker room. The first period was a relatively quiet period but Shane Luke would find the back of the net at five minutes, 23 seconds of the first to give the Friars the 1-0 first period lead. This 1-0 lead would hold until intermission, and PC would totally dominate UNH in the second taking a 5-2 lead into the third period.

The Wildcats would score three goals in the second period, and the Friars one but it was not to be as PC would hold on to defeat UNH 6-5.  Providence improves to 10-9-3, 8-5-2 in Hockey East and UNH falls to 14-5-2, 9-4-1 in Hockey East. The loss puts UNH four points behind Boston College, with two games at hand and the win puts Providence in a tie for third place in Hockey East with Boston University. UNH also falls to fourth, from second, in the Pairwise rankings, while Providence solidified there status as a TUC in those rankings. (more…)

The Takeaway: Gophers run away against North Dakota with 3 goal third period

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS- For the second straight Friday, Ben Marshall scored a game-winning goal in the final seconds of a period. Only this time the Gophers defensemen was aided by three additional goals in the final twenty minutes to turn what was a close game into a lopsided result.

Minnesota (17-3-3, 9-3-3 WCHA) scored five goals by five different players Friday night and Adam Wilcox made 24 saves as the Golden Gophers defeated sixth-ranked North Dakota (13-7-3, 8-4-3 WCHA) and extended their unbeaten streak to nine game.

North Dakota got on the board first following a scoreless first period. Sophomore forward Michael Parks found a way to get the puck over Wilcox while on their second powerplay of the night. Their lead, however, lasted a total of 2:32 as Minnesota forward Zach Budish found himself the benefactor of a Sam Warning pass and sniped it past UND goalie Clarke Saunders.

Then it was Marshall, who scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left against Alaska-Anchorage, with another. The sophomore defenseman pinched in on the power play to slam home a puck lying in traffic  with 5.8 seconds left. That goal proved to be the difference as Nate Schmidt, Nate Condon and Erik Haula (suiting up as a wing after missing 3 games with an “upper body injury”) each scored in the third period to give the Gophers comfort room. (more…)

The Takeaway: Saponari’s Late Winner Saves Northeastern at BU

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

BOSTON — Former Boston University winger Vinny Saponari scored with 2 minutes, 3 seconds left in regulation to lift Northeastern to a 6-5 win at Agganis Arena on Friday. Saponari’s tally undid a furious three-goal comeback from BU that saw a 5-2 Northeastern lead at the start of the third period become a 5-5 tie with 13:24 to play in the frame.

A pair of second period goals from Braden Pimm and Cody Ferriero helped Northeastern build the three-deficit heading into the third. Evan Rodrigues scored twice and Danny O’Regan added a third to pull BU even. Kevin Roy led the way for the Huskies with a goal and two assists. Rodrigues scored a pair of goals and added two helpers for the Terriers.

What I Saw

  • Northeastern’s forecheck caused serious problems for the BU defensemen on Friday night. The Huskies worked the puck below the circles effectively throughout the game. BU’s talented defenders had little answer for the aggressive Huskies. What’s more, Northeastern turned their lengthy cycles into quality scoring chances. The Huskies put 14 shots on BU goaltender Sean Maguire from the goalmouth. Generating offense from below the circles has been the hallmark of Northeastern during its more successful nights. On Friday, five of the Huskies’ six goals came from rushing the net and making it difficult for Maguire to corral rebounds. (more…)

The Takeaway: UMass Exorcises Demons, Beats BC

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For the third time this season, Massachusetts led Boston College in the third period. For the third time, the Eagles came back to tie the game. But unlike those first two games, when the Eagles went on to win, the Minutemen exorcised their demons and scored three times in the final seven minutes en route to a 5-2 victory. It marked their first win at Conte Forum since November 2007.

BC’s Steven Whitney tied the game 4:08 into the third off a nice backhand feed from Johnny Gaudreau, bringing on flashbacks to UMass’ blown leads in the first two meetings. But the Minutemen didn’t roll over this time. With 6:57 to go, Michael Pereira ducked a check along the boards, drove hard to the net, and buried his own rebound to give UMass the 3-2 lead. K.J. Tiefenwerth scored a minute later, and Branden Gracel sealed the win two minutes after that.

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The Takeaway: Yale defeats Harvard En Route to Third Straight Win

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

From Dec. 10 against UMass-Lowell, to Jan. 12 at Dartmouth, Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard has given up at least three goals per game. Girard continued his streak tonight at Yale, as the Bulldogs blanked the Crimson by a final score of 4-0. Yale forward Trent Ruffolo recorded two goals, while Bulldogs Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere each had an additional tally. Yale goaltender Jeff Malcolm also made 21 saves on as many shots. (more…)

The Takeaway: Holy Cross continues Atlantic Hockey challenge with win over Niagara

Friday, January 18th, 2013

WORCESTER — Holy Cross defeated Atlantic Hockey leading Niagara Friday night at the Hart Center, 5-3. The loss ended a run of form for the visitors, which yielded 11 wins in 13 games and sent the Purple Eagles to the top of the league standings.

The Crusaders dominated puck possession at times and exposed a poor goaltending performance from the Purple Eagles. Senior Brandon Nubb scored two goals for Holy Cross and sophomore Matt Ginn made 38 saves for the victors.

What I Saw

The second period was marked by unusual goals — and certainly ones that the goalies from each team would like the chance to stop again. Early in the frame, Albers attempted to insert the puck into the offensive zone from the near blue line seconds before a line change. It bounced awkwardly into the crease and through Ginn’s legs. Then immediately before the end of the period, the Crusaders experienced luck of their own. Nunn took the puck into the zone and sent it towards Chubak. Just as before on the opposite end, the junior let the puck slowly slide through his legs. (more…)

ECAC Picks

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Friday 1/18

Dartmouth @ Brown- This one looks like a straight forward win for Dartmouth. It seems that Brown is going to have some goalie problems with Anthony Borelli having a flu. This is going to force Marco DiFilippo to come back early from injury to start tonight. 3-1 Dartmouth

Colgate @ RPI- The Engineers still have fight in them this season and nobody will want to meet them in the playoffs. It has been awhile since Colgate has been really tested, so can they hold the form they had going into break? 3-2 RPI

Cornell @ Union- The Dutchman were very close to knocking off the best team in the ECAC last weekend at Qunnipiac. That should make them very hungry at home this weekend, as they look for a momentum boosting sweep. Cornell’s recent form has been dipping. Union 2-0

Harvard @ Yale- This one is on NBC Sports tonight. Harvard had a tough loss to travel partner Dartmouth last weekend on the road. Yale is on a hot streak and that keeps going Friday night. Yale 3-2

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