College hockey saw some more great games over the weekend. Impressively, on Sunday, half of the games were rescheduled due to positive COVID-19 cases in other programs. No question, the folks in charge of schedules in the northeast have been on their ‘A’ game this season.
Saturday, Jan. 16
Penn State def. Michigan State, 3-1
The Penn State Nittany Lions completed the weekend sweep over the Michigan State Spartans. After the two teams traded goals in the opening 20 minutes, Aarne Talvitie and Kevin Wall scored for Penn State, sending them on their way to the .500 mark. Oskar Autio picked up win no. 6 on the season, making 21 saves in the contest.
Notre Dame def. No. 1 Minnesota, 2-1
As if losing one game to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was not enough, for the first time this season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were swept in a weekend series. Even though they out-chanced the Irish, the Gophers only beat Dylan St. Cyr once on Saturday, as the senior won his fourth game of the season with a 25-save performance.
Goals from Max Ellis and Solag Bakich were all the Irish needed to pick up their seventh win of the season.
No. 9 Michigan def. Ohio State, 5-0
The Michigan Wolverines finished off the Ohio State Buckeyes in convincing fashion to complete a weekend sweep over their Big Ten rivals. Outshooting the Buckeyes 37-30, Michigan was led by Owen Power, who had a goal and an assist, and a pair of assists from Matty Beniers. In total, 11 Wolverines etched their names onto the scoresheet, and Strauss Mann stopped all 30 shots he faced, earning his third shutout of the season.
No. 16 Providence def. Maine, 3-2
After falling to the Maine Black Bears on Friday night, the Providence Friars bounced back to at least get a weekend a split with the win. Third-period tallies from Craig Needham and Albin Nilsson gave the Friars enough of a cushion to win their fifth game of the season. Jaxson Stauber stopped 21 of the 23 shots and improved his record to 5-2-2.
Connecticut def. New Hampshire, 8-3
After squeaking out an overtime win over the New Hampshire Wildcats the night before, the UConn Huskies won with a more dominant performance to complete the weekend sweep, scoring six of the final seven goals in the contest. Jonny Evans and Hudson Schandor both found the back of the net twice for the Huskies, and Ryan Tverberg and Ryan Rigali each scored a goal and assist.
No. 3 Boston College def. Merrimack, 2-1
The Boston College Eagles picked up their sixth win of the season, squeaking out a win over the Merrimack Warriors. Danny Weight and Eamon Powell were the goal scorers for BC, while Spencer Knight picked up the win in net, stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced.
Western Michigan def. No. 4 St. Cloud State, 3-1
The Western Michigan Broncos earned a shocking 6-2 win on Friday night, and they followed that up by knocking off St. Cloud State for a third time this season, sweeping the Huskies in a weekend set. Ethen Frank’s two goals led the Broncos, while Cole Gallant earned a goal and an assist in the win.
No. 8 Bowling Green def. Northern Michigan, 6-2
For the fifth time this season, the Bowling Green Falcons swept a weekend series, this time to the dismay of the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Max Johnson had another goal and an assist for the Falcons, giving him four points on the weekend. Cameron Wright and Will Cullen led the attack for BGSU, both posting three-point performances.
The win was the Falcons’ 1,000th win in program history.
No. 5 Minnesota State def. No. 19 Lake Superior State, 6-2
The matchup between the Minnesota State Mavericks and Lake Superior State Lakers was expected to be a meeting between the top two teams in the WCHA. The Mavericks pegged themselves as the favourite to take the conference crown after completing the weekend sweep over the Lakers. Sam Morton scored a pair of goals, picking up an assist as well for Minnesota State. Riese Zmolek helped the offence immensely, picking up a trio of assists in the win.
Long Island def. Army-West Point, 3-2 in overtime
In the second battle between Army Black Knights’ head coach Brian Riley and his nephew, Long Island Sharks head coach Brett Riley, it was the younger of the two’s team that was victorious.
It was not an easy win. Neither team scored in the first 40 minutes, with Long Island taking a 2-0 lead early in the final frame thanks to two goals from Jacob Franczak. Then, the Black Knights came back, tying the game in the final minute of regulation. In overtime, Jordan Di Cicco scored his second goal of the season to give the first-year program their third win of the season. Vinnie Purpura earned his first win as a Shark with a 32-save performance.
No. 12 Wisconsin def. Arizona State, 4-0
Three first-period goals propelled the Wisconsin Badgers to the win over the Arizona State Sun Devils. Linus Weissbach posted a pair of assists in the win and now is tied with Cole Caufield for the team lead in scoring with 15 points after assisting on Ty Pelton-Byce and Tyler Inamoto’s goals.
Sunday, Jan. 17
No. 20 American International def. Holy Cross, 1-0
In a matchup that was put together late last week, the AIC Yellow Jackets became the fourth team to reach 10 wins by besting Holy Cross. Julius Janhonen scored his first goal as a Yellow Jacket, the lone tally in the contest. Jake Kucharski also earned his first collegiate win and shutout, thanks to stopping all 21 shots he faced.
No. 11 Quinnipiac def. Colgate, 3-0
The Quinnipiac Bobcats completed the weekend sweep of the Colgate Raiders thanks to another 3-0 win. Ty Smilanic scored twice, giving him a team-leading 10 goals on the season. Keith Petruzzelli earned another shutout, stopping all 17 shots he faced.
No. 13 Clarkson def. St. Lawrence, 2-1
After falling to the St. Lawrence Saints on Friday night, the Clarkson Golden Knights earned a split. Despite falling behind 1-0, Zach Tsekos and Luke Mobley each scored to give the Golden Knights their eighth win of the season. Freshman Ethan Haider picked up his fourth win of the season, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
Boston def. No. 6 Massachusetts, 4-2
The Boston Terriers earn their second win of the season, thanks to an outstanding performance from goaltender Drew Commesso. The Minutemen outshot the Terriers 35-17, with Commesso making 33 saves. Three unanswered goals in the latter half of the game helped Boston to the win with Logan Cockerill scoring two of those goals.
No. 3 Boston College def. Merrimack, 5-3
The Eagles earned the weekend sweep of the Warriors, but it was not easy. They trailed 3-2 heading into the late stages of the third period. Then, less than three minutes apart, Logan Hutsko and Marc McLaughlin scored to put Boston College out in front. Spencer Knight held the fort from there, earning his seventh win of the season. McLaughlin had a three-point night, and Nikita Nesterenko scored a goal and an assist for the Eagles.
No. 18 Denver def. No. 2 North Dakota, 4-1
The Denver Pioneers were looking to turn the corner on their rough start to the 2020-21 season, and a win over the second-best team in the country might do the trick. Two goals scored in each of the first and second period helped give Denver their second win over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks this season. Ryan Barrow scored a goal and an assist for the Pioneers, and Reid Irwin’s third goal of the season was credited as the game-winner.
No. 12 Wisconsin def. Arizona State, 5-2
The Badgers completed the weekend sweep over the Sun Devils. A pair of power-play goals in the first period, and two empty-netters in the third, helped Wisconsin to their eighth win of the season. Linus Weissbach tallied a goal and an assist, giving him four points on the weekend. Cole Caufield, Dylan Holloway and Ty Pelton-Byce also had two-point performances.
I’m a broadcast journalist from West Michigan, with an incredible passion for the game of hockey. After playing in goal for 16 years, I realized that my time on the ice was up, and chose a slightly different path working in the media. It is just as demanding, just a little less physical.