Let me just make something clear, I am not a fan of the shootout. I get it, you want to have a definitive winner. However, when you have 3-on-3 overtime, there is no reason why neither team cannot score with that much space on the ice.
That said, let’s look at how those games came to be, and the rest of the action around the country this past weekend.
Friday, Jan. 22
Army-West Point def. Holy Cross, 4-1
The Army Black Knights completed the weekend sweep of the Holy Cross Crusaders, thanks to a trio of goals in the second period. Anthony Firriolo scored his second of the season, which ended up being the game-winning goal. Trevin Kozlowski picked up his fourth win of the season, stopping 23 of 24 shots.
No. 8 Michigan def. No. 16 Notre Dame, 3-1
After a convincing win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish the night before, the Michigan Wolverines completed the weekend sweep, with netminder Strauss Mann shutting the door on the Irish. The Wolverine captain earned his eighth win of the season, making 25 stops in the game. Jay Keranen scored the winner for Michigan, with Thomas Bordeleau picking up a pair of helpers.
Penn State def. No. 12 Wisconsin, 5-4
Penn State was able to earn a weekend split with the Wisconsin Badgers, but it almost was not the case. The Nittany Lions led 4-1 in the third before the Badgers were able to come back within one. Thankfully, Connor McMenamin’s empty-net goal erased any doubt, giving Penn State their eighth win of the season. McMenamin assisted on the other four goals for Penn State, with Aarne Talvitie finding the back of the net twice, and assisting on another, giving him a three-point night.
No. 10 Quinnipiac ties No. 14 Clarkson, 1-1 (Quinnipiac wins in a shootout)
In another battle between the top-two teams in the ECAC, the Quinnipiac Bobcats outshot the Clarkson Golden Knights, 33-24. However, Clarkson’s Ethan Haider kept his team in the game, making 33 stops. In regulation, Mathieu Gosselin scored for the Golden Knights, and TJ Friedmann did so for the Bobcats. After overtime solved nothing, a shootout was needed. In the sixth round, Peter DiLiberatore scored for Quinnipiac to give his team the extra point.
Connecticut ties No. 1 Boston College, 3-3 (UConn wins in a shootout)
In their first week as the top team in the country, the Boston College Eagles are showing chinks in their armor. After Casey Carreau scored to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead in the third period, the UConn Huskies stormed back with goals from Marc Gatcomb and Jonny Evans to send the game into extra time. The game went to a shootout, and that’s when Evans and Vladislav Firstov scored to give the Huskies the stunning win.
Boston def. Maine, 3-2 in overtime
The Boston Terriers, despite their late start to their season due to COVID-19 issues, have started off strong, now 4-1 on the season. Despite giving up a third-period goal to the Black Bears to force overtime, Robert Mastrosimone scored to give the Terriers the win.
David Farrance led the offense with a goal and two assists, with Drew Commesso making 23 saves in the winning effort.
No. 18 Providence ties No. 8 Massachusetts, 0-0 (Providence wins in a shootout)
No question, the goaltenders were the center of attention in this one. UMass Minutemen netminder Filip Lindberg stopped all 27 shots that he faced in regulation, with Providence Jaxson Stauber made 28 stops, including 17 in the third period.
After a scoreless overtime, Brett Berard, member of the U.S. National Junior Team that won gold at the World Juniors, scored the winner to give the Friars the extra point.
Merrimack def. New Hampshire, 5-2
After a tough weekend against Boston College, the Merrimack Warriors rebounded to pick up a win against the New Hampshire Wildcats. Jumping out to a 4-0 lead certainly helped. Conor Lovett, Zach Vinnell and Liam Walsh each had a goal and an assist, with Ben Brar scoring what ended up being the game-winning goal.
No. 6 St. Cloud State def. Miami (OH), 3-2
After being swept by Western Michigan, the St. Cloud State Huskies got back on the right track with a tight win over Miami. The team traded goals through the first two periods, but Jack Okabe helped give the Huskies the last laugh, scoring his second of the season, which ended up being the game-winner. Jaxson Castor earned his second win of the season in net for St. Cloud State.
Bemidji State def. No. 5 Bowling Green, 3-1
For the first time this season, the Bowling Green Falcons were swept in a weekend series. Third-period goals from Alex Ierullo and Brendan Harris helped the Beavers pick up their fifth win of the season. Zach Driscoll picked up the win, once again, making 32 saves for Bemidji State.
No. 4 Minnesota def. Arizona State, 10-2
I don’t know what Arizona State did to Minnesota to deserve this, but wow did the Gophers do a number on the Sun Devils, a big number. The Gophers scored 20 goals in the two-game set.
Just like the previous game, seven Gophers had multi-point games. Blake McLaughlin and Nick Perbix each scored two goals and an assist, giving McLaughlin a seven-point weekend. Ben Meyers also had a three-point night, potting a goal and two assists.
Saturday, Jan. 23
Ohio State def. Michigan State, 5-1
The Ohio State Buckeyes came ready to play when they walked into East Lansing on Saturday, scoring five goals for only the second time this season, four of which came in the third period. CJ Regula and Collin Peters each had a goal and an assist for the Buckeyes, with Regula scoring the game-winner. Mark Cheremeta and Ryan O’Connell each contributed with two assists each in the win.
No. 10 Quinnipiac ties No. 14 Clarkson, 1-1 (Clarkson wins in a shootout)
The Golden Knights and Bobcats flipped the script from Friday night when they played again on Saturday. The Bobcats had a 1-0 lead heading into the final minute of regulation, but that’s when Mathieu Gosselin scored with just over 40 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
After the extra period solved nothing, Zach Tskeos played the hero to give the Golden Knights the extra point.
St. Lawrence def. Colgate, 4-3
After the Colgate Raiders picked up a big overtime win on Thursday, the St. Lawrence Saints earned a close win on Saturday, scoring three times in the opening 20 minutes to set the tone. Kaden Pickering had a great game, scoring two goals and an assist for the Saints, with David Jankowski and Greg Lapointe each had three-point nights.
Boston def. Maine, 5-1
The Terriers completed the weekend sweep of the Black Bears thanks to an impressive offensive display. Farrance helped out with three assists in the win, giving him five points on the weekend. Jay O’Brien led the charge with two goals, including the game-winner, with Mastrosimone also chiming in with a goal and an assist.
New Hampshire ties Merrimack, 2-2 (New Hampshire wins in a shootout)
The Warriors and Wildcats traded goals in the first two periods, with neither team able to find the back of the net in the third or overtime. Certainly not for a lack of trying on Merrimack’s end, as they outshot New Hampshire 34-23, with Mike Robinson shutting the door for the Wildcats. Robinson had to make two more saves in the shootout before teammate Patrick Grasso potted the winner for New Hampshire.
No. 8 Massachusetts ties No. 18 Providence, 1-1 (UMass wins in a shootout)
*Steam coming out of my ears*
Another low-scoring 65 minutes sees two teams need a shootout to determine who receives two points. After the Friars Patrick Moynihan and the Minutemen’s Josh Lopina traded goals in the second period, Filip Lindberg and Jaxson Stauber refused to get beat the rest of the way. The shootout needed to go five rounds, as neither netminder fretted. That was until Zac Jones scored for UMass to split the weekend with Providence.
No. 1 Boston College def. Connecticut, 4-2
After a tough loss on Friday, the Eagles bounced back to split the weekend set with the Huskies, despite UConn pushing late to tie the game. Casey Carreau led BC with a goal and an assist, with Marc McLaughlin’s seventh of the season-ending up as the game-winner. Spencer Knight had a great game in net, making 37 saves for the Eagles.
No. 6 St. Cloud State def. Miami (OH), 8-2
Friday night’s win over the RedHawks felt a little too close for comfort for the Huskies, so they came out with one of their best offensive performances of the season, with five players posting multi-point nights. Nolan Walker had a career night, scoring four times and assisting on another. Micah Miller assisted on four of the Huskies’ goals, with David Hrenak picking up win No. 8 on the season, stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced.
No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth def. Western Michigan, 5-1
The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs snapped the Western Michigan Broncos four-game win streak with their seventh win of the season, with three goals in the third period doing the trick. Jackson Cates led the charge with a hat trick, en route to a four-point performance, with Koby Bender assisting on three of them.
No. 3 North Dakota def. Colorado College, 4-1
The North Dakota Fighting Hawks continued their impressive start to the season with a win over the Colorado College Tigers on Saturday night. Linemates Shane Pinto and Jordan Kawaguchi each scored a goal and an assist in the win, with Adam Scheel having a rather calm night, only tasked with stopping 18 shots.
No. 19 Denver def. No. 11 Omaha, 4-1
The Omaha Mavericks have had a great start to the season, but fell in the first of two tough contests against a Denver Pioneers team vying to turn their sluggish start around. After the teams traded goals 17 seconds apart in the first period, the Pioneers took control from there on their way to their sixth win of the season. Antti Tuomisto and Jaakko Heikkinen each scored a goal and an assist.
No. 2 Minnesota State def. Ferris State, 4-0
Another game, another shutout for the Minnesota State Mavericks’ Dryden McKay. In his sixth shutout of the season, he now ties former Vermont goaltender Joe Fallon for third all-time on the NCAA shutout list with 20 donuts, one behind Michael Bitzer for second. Offensively Reggie Lutz led the Mavericks with a goal and two assists, with Dallas Gerads picking a pair of points as well.
Sunday, Jan. 24
Michigan State def. Ohio State, 2-0
After a rather embarrassing loss on home ice the night before, the Spartans came back with a more controlled game to help get the weekend split. Michigan State saw goals from Tommy Apap and Brody Stevens and an excellent goaltending performance from Drew DeRidder. The junior netminder picked up his second shutout of the season, making 28 saves.
No. 14 Clarkson def. No. 10 Quinnipiac, 4-2
Finally, a game between these two that did not need a shootout!
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Golden Knights had a great start to the game that helped them to their ninth win of the season. Grant Cooper and Anthony Callin each picked up and a goal and an assist, with Ethan Haider looking solid with a 37-save performance in the win.
Colgate def. St. Lawrence, 4-3
For the third time in their weekend set, the Raiders and Saints fought to a 4-3 final score, and it was Colgate to pick up the win on Sunday to come out of the weekend victorious. The Raiders scored twice early in the third period to take the lead before Pickering tied it for the Saints with less than three minutes to play. Then, just 50 seconds later, Arnaud Vachon scored his second of the season, and Colgate was able to hold on from there to get the win.
Vachon ended the game with three points, along with Alex Young scoring a goal and an assist.
No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth def. Western Michigan, 4-1
The Bulldogs completed the weekend sweep of the Broncos thanks to a great start. Three first period goals sent Minnesota-Duluth their eighth win of the season. Cole Koepke, Ben Almquist, Connor Kelley and Noah Cates were the goal scorers for the Bulldogs.
No. 3 North Dakota def. Colorado College, 5-0
North Dakota continues to roll as they have now won nine of their last 10 games and finished off another weekend sweep off the Tigers. Pinto scored twice for the Fighting Hawks, giving him four points on the weekend. Collin Adams also chimed in with a goal and an assist.
No. 11 Omaha def. No. 19 Denver, 5-2
The Mavericks earned the weekend split with the Pioneers after pulling out the win late on Sunday. Omaha led 2-1 into the third, and despite Denver pushing late, three goals in the final frame helped the Mavericks to victory. Taylor Ward had a great outing, finding the back of the net twice while assisting on another. Isaiah Saville stood on his head, stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced.
No. 2 Minnesota State def. Ferris State, 4-1
The Bulldogs were able to at least get on the scoreboard in this one, but the Mavericks proved to be way too strong once again. Brendan Furry, Julian Napravnik, Cade Borchardt and Walker Duehr all had two points in the win. Napravnik’s fifth goal of the season was credited as the game-winning-goal.