Friday was a busy night in the world of college hockey. A talented freshman and top prospect for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft netted his first career hat trick. A recent draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks continued his hot streak. Finally, we will head the United States Hockey League (USHL) where a pair of new records were set for one of the league’s top programs.
Matty Beniers, More Like Hatty Beniers
The University of Michigan took down Arizona State 4-1 last night, with Berniers’ three-goal output being the difference. This was the first hat trick of his young college career and the performance only solidifies him as a top-five prospect for the upcoming draft. In fact, some draft experts, like our own Andrew Forbes, have him at the top of his rankings.
After leading scorer Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks) picked up an assist on Eric Cicconlini’s opening goal, Beniers took over for the No. 7 Wolverines.
Beniers scored a goal in each period to complete the first hat trick for Michigan since Nick Granowicz had one against the University of Wisconsin on Feb. 7, 2020.
“I was just around the net and guys were finding me,” Beniers said of his big night. “It was a cool feeling, but it is always a team effort. It’s not really one guy, it’s everybody.”
Beniers now has nine goals and 19 points in 19 games this season. He even earned some high praise from head coach Mel Pearson.
“Matty had a great game, besides the goals. The goals are the icing on the cake. He played well defensively. He played hard and had his motor running tonight. His linemates did a great job and made some great plays. Overall, he was into the game and he was ready to play.”
The Wolverines and Sun Devils meet again later on tonight in Ann Arbor, MI.
Landon Slaggert Stays Red Hot for Irish
The University of Notre Dame started their two-game weekend series versus Michigan State on Friday night with a 2-0 shutout win. Slaggert had the opening strike which stood as the game-winning goal, the first of his college career. Alex Steeves added an insurance goal while goaltender Dylan St. Cyr made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
Slaggert’s goal came by picking off a pass in the neutral zone, starting a 2-on-1 and then following up his own shot to knock home the rebound. The 2020 third-round pick (79th overall) of the Blackhawks now has six goals and 18 points in 21 games.
His numbers have skyrocketed of late. By also making the primary assist on Steeves’ goal, Slaggert now has multiple points in three straight games. He has a goal and five assists during this hot streak as he has been showing that he can both set up and finish a scoring play.
Sean Farrell & Matthew Coronato Set New Records
There is little doubt that the Chicago Steel has been the top junior program in the United States for the past few seasons. In addition to their success on the ice, they have been producing a ton of NHL draft picks as well.
The 2020-21 season has been no different, as the Steel have a 24-8-2-0 record and lead the entire USHL with 50 points. They have scored a league-leading 171 goals on the season, 20 more than the second-place Muskegon Lumberjacks. Their goal differential is currently a ridiculous plus-44.
The Steel had a crazy Friday night but finally earned their 24th win by outlasting the Des Moines Buccaneers 8-7, in overtime. Josh Doan, son of Arizona Coyotes’ great Shane Doan, scored the game-winning goal in the extra session.
Farrell, the Montreal Canadiens’ 2020 fourth-round (124th overall) pick, had a goal and two assists in the victory. The two helpers gave him 84 in his career to become the team’s all-time leader in assists. He broke the previous record held by Dan Charleston, who played for the Steel between 2002 and 2005. He also moved past Nick Abruzzese (Toronto Maple Leafs) for third in all-time scoring with 118 points. Charleston holds that record too, at least for the time being, with 124 points. Farrell has 19 goals and 62 points through 33 USHL games this season.
Coronato scored twice on Friday to become the Steel’s all-time leader in goals with 48. He passed Robert Mastrosimone, who was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (54th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing for Boston University. Coronato, 18, has 30 goals and 57 points, in 32 games, as he looks to add to his record. He is a top-rated prospect heading into the 2021 NHL Entry Draft as THW’s Matthew Zator has him at No. 10 on his latest list.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.