WCHA roundup: OT win puts Nebraska-Omaha in second place

UNO celebrationFrom the WCHA …

No. 16 Nebraska-Omaha 6, Alaska-Anchorage 5 OT

ANCHORAGE — Johnnie Searfoss scored with 32 seconds left in overtime to lift Nebraska-Omaha to a 6-5 win at Alaska-Anchorage, which scored four power-play goals.

The win pushes UNO (18-12-2, 14-8-2) into second place in the WCHA.

No. 2 Minnesota could tie UNO with a win over No. 18 Wisconsin in the Windy City Classic outdoor games on Sunday.

No. 9 Minnesota State 6, Michigan Tech 1

MANKATO — Freshman goaltender Stephon Williams tied a career high with 37 saves and five different Mavericks had multiple-point games to lead Minnesota State to Saturday night’s 6-1 win against Michigan Tech at Verizon Wireless Center.

Minnesota-Duluth 1, Bemidji State 1 OT

BEMIDJI – Brady Wacker scored his third goal of the season to break a scoreless deadlock late in the second period, but the Beavers were unable to hold the lead as Cody Danberg scored his first goal since 2010 to help UMD force overtime at Sanford Center.

With one point and the draw, the Beavers earned three points this weekend to garner their first series victory of the season, move to 6-17-7 overall and 5-13-5 in WCHA play to climb into a tie with Michigan Tech for 10th place in the league standings.

Tuesday reading: UND fans, polls, WMU, web media poll

UND rubber duck racesThe North Dakota team is back in Grand Forks as I am sure are most of the fans after a winter storm hit North and South Dakota when a few thousand UND fans tried to drive back from Omaha.

Most were stranded in towns all along the highway and did the best they could to entertain themselves as the GF Herald beat writer details here. I want in on the high-stakes rubber duck races too. Photo is courtesy of GF Herald.

Here is a look at the polls, SCSU and the Beanpot Tournament and a look back at the Minnesota-Huskies split.

Western Michigan, a future NCHC foe for CC, picked up a commit.

This week’s WCHA web media poll:

Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Minnesota (7) 138 1 19-5-4 1 3
2) St. Cloud State (5) 136 2 18-11-1 1 3
3) North Dakota 122 3 16-8-6 2 3
4) Denver 96 4 15-9-5 4 6
5) Nebraska Omaha 95 5 16-12-2 4 7
6) Minnesota State 88 7 18-9-3 4 7
7) Wisconsin 78 6 12-9-7 4 8
8) Colorado College 62 9 11-14-5 7 9
9) Minnesota Duluth 46 8 10-15-3 9 10
10) Michigan Tech 39 10 9-14-4 8 10
11) Bemidji State 24 11 5-17-6 11 11
12) Alaska Anchorage 12 12 4-17-7 12 12

CC commit among Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey finalists

LaboskyHere are the 10 finalists as provided by Mr. Hockey via Twitter. I included the schools they have committed too via Minnesota Hockey Hub’s listings:

Grant Besse (Wisconsin), Jake Bischoff (Minnesota), Zack Glienke, Jake Jackson (Michigan Tech), Adam Johnson (Duluth), Dan Labosky (CC, 2013 or 2014), Zach Lavalle, Parker Reno (RPI), TJ Roo, and  Tommy Vannelli (Minnesota).

The 2013 Frank Brimsek Finalists for best senior goaltender: John Dugas (Hill-Murray) and David Zevnik (St Thomas Academy).

Thursday reading: UND/SCSU series, Cornell injury, league news

rauNorth Dakota’s Mitch MacMillan takes on his old team this weekend.

Cornell sophomore center Cole Bardreau is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a neck fracture last weekend. The scary part is he finished the game after the injury.

Here is this week’s USCHO column on the WCHA and a preview of this weekend’s games for the future programs of the NCHC.

The NCHC is looking for officials.

Here are College Hockey News’ WCHA power rankings.

Minnesota coach Don Lucia continues to unfairly draw fire for not scheduling North Dakota for nonconference games in the next three seasons. Does no one remember the circus that was the Sioux nickname ban/repeal/lawsuit(s)/injunctions?

Penn State looks almost ready to be a factor in the Big Ten next season with a respectable showing (9-12) so far.

RIT is making a bit of a comeback after a poor start. Merrimack readies to take on the elite in Hockey East.

Three Hobey Baker winners made the CCHA’s final all-decade team.

In the pros: J. Schwartz, Prosser, Crabb, Sterling, Testwuide fight video

ProsserFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz is making a good impression on Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

He is one of a number of young stars according to NHL.com who may benefit from their  time in the AHL while veterans played in the ECHL, overseas or tried to stay in game shape on their own.

Nate Prosser and Justin Falk look ready to be the Wild’s third defensive pair. Brian Connelly is injured.

Joey Crabb took part in this Q&A.

Brett Sterling scored a natural hat trick in just over eight minutes during the first period of a 3-1 win for AHL Chicago on Friday night.

WCHA roundup: UNO, Denver tie keeps both atop WCHA

rylan roadNo. 7 North Dakota 5, Colorado College 3

GRAND FORKS — Senior forward Danny Kristo had two goals and two assists and junior forward Mitch MacMillan added a goal and an assist to lift North Dakota to a 5-3 victory against Colorado College on Saturday night at Engelstad Arena.

CC’s Scott Winkler a nine game goalless streak with two in the first period while Rylan Schwartz scored to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period.

Here is the article on CCTigers.com.

No. 13 Nebraska-Omaha 3, No. 9 Denver 3 OT

DENVER — Junior forward Ryan Walters scored at 17:43 of the second period to lift the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks into a 3-3 tie with the Denver Pioneers on Saturday night at Magness Arena.

No. 1 Minnesota 7, Alaska-Anchorage 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore Kyle Rau recorded his first career hat trick and Nate Schmidt posted a career-high four assists as No. 1 Minnesota earned a decisive 7-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday night, picking up the Gophers’ first Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep of the season in the process.

With Minnesota’s first hat trick since Nick Bjugstad against St. Cloud State in a 5-0 win on Nov. 19, 2011, Rau ended Bjugstad’s one-day reign as Minnesota’s leading goal scorer on Saturday night against the Seawolves. The sophomore ended the night with 13 scores this season, enough to move into a tie for second in the league this year – one off the WCHA lead.

Here is video of Rau’s third goal.

Minnesota Duluth 5, Michigan Tech 4

DULUTH — Freshman forward Tony Cameranesi posted two goals and an assist and senior forward Mike Seidel added three assists to lead Minnesota Duluth to a 5-4 victory against Michigan Tech on Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Wisconsin 2, No. 11 Minnesota State 1

MANKATO — Senior defenseman John Ramage scored his second overtime goal in as many nights to lift Wisconsin to a 2-1 win against Minnesota State on Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Center.

2012-2013 WCHA STANDINGS
WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
1
Denver
16
8
4
4
20
54
44
13
6
4
82
57
Nebraska Omaha
16
9
5
2
20
59
49
13
9
2
88
67
3
Minnesota
14
8
3
3
19
47
34
16
3
3
84
40
North Dakota
14
8
3
3
19
52
37
13
6
3
76
55
5
St. Cloud State
14
9
5
0
18
45
33
12
10
0
70
58
6
Minnesota Duluth
16
7
6
3
17
46
44
9
10
3
60
61
Wisconsin
16
6
5
5
17
35
36
8
7
5
47
43
8
Minnesota State
16
8
8
0
16
48
43
14
8
2
75
57
9
Colorado College
16
6
9
1
13
53
62
9
13
2
81
90
10
Bemidji State
14
4
7
3
11
34
43
5
11
4
46
60
11
Michigan Tech
16
3
10
3
9
38
59
6
12
3
57
69
12
Alaska Anchorage
16
1
12
3
5
28
55
3
13
4
39
6

WCHA roundup: CC snaps winless skid; Denver downs UNO

Howe road saveFrom CC sports information and the WCHA …

Colorado College 4, No. 7 North Dakota 3
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Streaks, good or bad, often don’t mean that much.

That certainly played out tonight as Colorado College snapped a 7-game winless streak (0-6-1) and ended North Dakota’s 7-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) with a 4-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) victory.

“Our shoulders aren’t as slumped as you think they’d be,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.  “Despite our six or seven weeks, because we have played decent, we come to work every day with a smile on our face and work hard. It’s just nice for the kids to get rewarded a little bit. We’ve been bad some games and pretty good some games that we haven’t won either. So we will take it as a positive, enjoy it for an hour and square ourselves away.”

The loss, just North Dakota’s second in 11 games at Ralph Engelstad Arena this season. deprived North Dakota of a chance to move into a tie for first place in the WCHA, with league-leading Nebraska Omaha losing to Denver tonight.

Instead, Colorado College won it on a goal-mouth deflection by junior wing Jeff Collett at 12:56 of the third period, snapping a 3-3 tie. It was just his second goal of the season. North Dakota had tied it at 2:44 of the final period on a dazzling dash down the right wing by sophomore center Mark MacMillan.

MacMillan used his great speed to go around CC defensemen Aaron Harstad and Eamonn McDermott, then cut across the crease and slid his shot past the stick of sprawling CC goalie Joe Howe. Here is video of that score:


I will post a CC video when available.

No. 9 Denver 7, No. 13 Nebraska Omaha 4
DENVER — With the game tied 4-4, sophomore forward Zac Larraza scored twice in a 1:56 span of the third period to give Denver a lead it would not relinquish as the Pioneers defeated Nebraska Omaha, 7-4, on Friday at Magness Arena.
Wisconsin 4, No. 11 Minnesota State 3 OT
MANKATO — Senior defenseman John Ramage scored at 4:28 of overtime to lift Wisconsin to Friday night’s 4-3 win against Minnesota State in a back-and-forth battle at Verizon Wireless Center.
No. 1 Minnesota 4, Alaska-Anchorage 3
MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore defenseman Ben Marshall scored Minnesota’s third power-play goal of the game at 19:09 of the third period to propel the Gophers to a 4-3 win against Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.
Minnesota Duluth 1, Michigan Tech 0
DULUTH — Junior forward Joe Basaraba scored the only goal of the game and freshman Matt McNeely earned his first career shutout with 28 saves as Minnesota Duluth topped Michigan Tech, 1-0, on Friday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Tigers battle back to tie No. 4 Minnesota (with interview video)

Minnesota was only 20 minutes from reclaiming a spot atop the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings as it headed into its holiday break with a road sweep of Colorado College on Saturday night.

The Tigers would have none of that.

The never-say die Tigers rallied with three unanswered goals to stun No. 4 Minnesota and pick up a huge home point with a 4-4 tie after entering the third period trailing 4-1. CC senior Rylan Schwartz completed the rally when he ripped a one-timer past Minnesota freshman goalie Adam Wilcox with 24.6 seconds left in regulation after CC junior Alexander Krushelnyski, another Tigers hero in the third period, sent a crossing pass from along the near boards to the far post where Schwartz was unmarked.

Schwartz finished with two goals and an assist, including two points in the third period, while Krushelnyski recorded two goals and an assist in the final 16 minutes of regulation.

“Every night, certain guys step up and spark the team,” Krushelnyski said. “It just happened to be my turn. You have to give credit to Rylan for burying that puck to tie it. You also have to give credit to (Thorimbert) for shutting them out over the final 45 minutes.”

The comeback was big for a Tigers squad that has now gone 1-5-2 over its last eight games to drop into seventh place in the WCHA with two fewer league games played than most of the league. CC travels to third-place St. Cloud State, which is tied with Minnesota State, this weekend.

“We took a little step in the right direction,” Schwartz said.

Saturday’s result was comparable to the 4-4 tie against then-No. 5 New Hampshire, which had the Division I’s best scoring defense then. This time the rally came against the WCHA’s best scoring defense (11.88 goals),

Despite Denver’s 6-3 loss at North Dakota, the Pioneers are one point ahead of the Gophers (11-3-3, 6-3-3) as DU heads into its final weekend before the holiday break. UM is idle until it plays Air Force in the Mariucci Classic Dec. 29 while Denver (9-5-2, 7-3-2) travels to Bemidji State Dec. 14-15. DU’s winless streak is now at six games, the program’s longest such stretch since the 1999-2000 season.

“Some ties feel good and others feel like a loss,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “This feels like a loss. We were up 4-1 and could have made it 5-1 but we didn’t put it away and to their credit they battled back. It is disappointing we let a point slip away.”

Colorado College (8-8-2,-5-4-1)  got back into the game when Krushelnyski scored a shorthanded goal with 15:46 left and scored again 1:47 later to trim the Minnesota lead to 4-3. Krushelnyski’s first goal of the night came after Rylan Schwartz collected a loose puck in the Tigers zone and passed to the junior to  start a 2-on-1 breakaway. Krushelnyski fired the shot past Wilcox’s glove attempt to energize what had been a silent announced crowd of 6,954 fans at World Arena.

They were quiet no longer.

Krushelnyski’s second tally came after CC senior defenseman Mike Boivin fired a hard shot that went off Wilcox’s leg pad and ended up in front where Krushelnyski beat a UM defender to the puck to knock in the rebound.

And suddenly, Minnesota was battling to hold on. CC drew a penalty a couple minutes later but was unable to generate more than one shot (Krushelnyski). The Tigers continued to harass Wilcox but Minnesota weathered the storm.

CC came close to tying the game with 1:23 prompting a video review when Wilcox had to reach back to grab a loose puck in the crease. It was ruled the puck did not cross the line.

The rally continued a pattern of the Tigers falling behind only to battle back, usually falling short during this stretch, which included losing last Saturday against North Dakota after leading in the third period and falling after entering the third tied on Friday against the Gophers. CC has led in only 14 if its 18 games this season.

“It is starting to get kind of embarrassing,” Schwartz said. “We need to start better.”

“We know we can come from behind,” Krushelnyski said. “It’s a good asset to have. If we could add good starts we could be unbeatable.”

“It is a big point for us, especially after last Saturday and last night.” Tigers head coach Scott Owens said. “It reinforced a few things we have been talking about. I am proud of the team’s effort.”

Earlier, Schwartz scored the Tigers’ fourth power-play goal since the Bemidji State series in October. His wrister whizzed over Minnesota freshman goalie Adam Wilcox’s shoulder to make it 3-1 with 11:30 left, coming only 11 seconds into the man advantage.

The Gophers regained control when Mike Reilly scored an unassisted goal after collecting a loose puck in the Tigers zone and beating CC junior goalie Josh Thorimbert on a hard-angle shot inside the far post.

Minnesota seized control early when Tom Serratore, the Colorado Springs native who scored the game-winner on Friday, banged in a rebound after Nate Condon’s shot caromed off Thorimbert’s chest pad into the air and landed to Thorimbert’s left in front of an open net with 15:21 left in the first period.

Only 28 seconds later, a CC penalty set up Kyle Rau’s power-play goal only six seconds into the man advantage. Zach Budish won the faceoff, sending the puck back to Nate Schmidt who passed to the opposite faceoff circle from where Rau wristed a shot over Thorimbert’s shoulder as he slid over. That score made it two Gopher goals in only 34 seconds.

The game was the final WCHA regular-season game between the two programs with Minnesota leaving for the new Big Ten league and CC headed to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with the start of the 2013-14 season.

Seth Ambroz fired a hard shot through traffic from the right point with 5:28 left to make it 3-0.

No. 4 Minnesota 4, No. 19 Colorado College 4

Minnesota          3              1              0              0              –4

Colorado College             0              1              3              0              –4

First period – 1. Minnesota, Serratore (Condon, Ambroz) 4:39; 2. Minnesota, Haula (Schmidt, Budish) 5:13; 3. Minnesota, Ambroz (Schmidt, Boyd) 14:32. Penalties – CC, King, tripping, 5:07; UM, Helgeson, cross checking, 12:21; CC, Skalbeck, slashing, 12:21; CC, Rapuzzi, roughing, 19:22.

Second period – 4. Colorado College, Schwartz (McDermott, Winkler) 8:30 (PP); 5. Minnesota, M. Reilly (unassisted) 15:41. Penalties – UM, Ambroz, holding, 1:32; CC, Schwartz, slashing, 5:59; UM, Haula, tripping, 8:19; CC, Collett, tripping, 10:59; UM, Isackson, hooking, 15:52; CC, Boivin, roughing, 16:15.

Third period – 6. Colorado College, Krushelnyski (Schwartz) 4:14 (SH); 7. Colorado College, Krushelnyski (Boivin, Rapuzzi) 6:01; 8. Colorado College, Schwartz (Krushelnyski, Winkler) 19:36 (EX). Penalties – CC, Bradley, high sticking, 2:30; UM, Isackson, roughing, 8:56.

Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – none.

Power play – Minnesota 1-6, Colorado College 1-4. Shots on goal – Minnesota 11-10-5-3 — 29; Colorado College 11-6-9-1 – 27. Saves-minutes – Minnesota, Wilcox 11-5-6-1- 65:00; Colorado College, Thorimbert 8-9-5-3- — 64:01. Referees – Bokai, Thul. Linesmen – Stankevich, Stodgell. Attendance – 6,954.

Saturday’s lines: Minnesota at CC

rp_primary_2012-13_Rapuzzi_MN1Minnesota

LW-C-RW

Rau-Bjugstad-Isackson

Warning-Haula-Budish

Serratore-Condon-Ambroz

Reilly-Boyd-Holl

LD-RD

Parenteau-Schmidt

Marshall-Alt

Helgeson-Skjei

Goalies – Wilcox, Coyne

Colorado College

LW-C-RW

Skalbeck-Schwartz-Rapuzzi

Krushelnyski-Winkler-Taft

Wamsganz-Bradley-Hamburg

Morin-Collett-Hanson

LD-RD

Stoykewych-Boivin

Marciano-McDermott

Young-King

Goalies — Thorimbert, Howe, Lockwood.

Serratore lifts Gophers past Tigers in third

serratoreNo. 4 Minnesota kept up the pressure and the Colorado College defense finally cracked, with hometown boy Tom Serratore scoring on a shot through traffic with 6:37 remaining in the third period to lift the visiting Gophers to a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

“For Tom, it’s big to score the game-winner in his hometown,” said Minnesota head coach Don Lucia. ”He has been such a good solider. We moved him up to the third line and he has been producing.”

The goal came 47 seconds after a CC clearing attempt failed and the tiring Tigers could not clear the zone before the puck ended up in front for a shot CC goalie Joe Howe did not appear to see clearly with the four players locked up in front screening him. Serratore, the son of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, was happy to bang the loose puck in.

“It is always good to score against the Tigers,” he said.

Minnesota’s Zach Budish scored an empty-netter with 1:08 left for the final margin.

The loss drops CC to 1-5-1 in its last seven games during a stretch of 10 straight games against ranked opponents to close out the first half. The Tigers have struggled to close out the close games, dropping to 4-6-1 in one-goal games (not including empty-netters).

“We have to find a way to win those close games,” said Tigers head coach Scott Owens. “I like the team. It was 6:37 left and we were right there. I would like to see someone step up and take charge.”

The Tigers held a upperclassmen-only meeting following the loss.

The game was delayed for seven minutes when Minnesota defenseman Justin Holl broke the Zamboni door glass as he tried to check CC junior wing Archie Skalbeck. Holl went high, missed the crouching Skalbeck and busted the glass to the delight of the announced crowd of 7,021 fans at Colorado Springs World Arena with 2:43 left in the third.

The Tigers awoke from their slumber in the second period thanks to their top line.

Senior captain William Rapuzzi took a pass as he skated across the face of the Minnesota net and backhanded the puck past UM freshman goalie Adam Wilcox to tie the game at 2-2 headed into the third period.

The goal was CC’s second in only 101 seconds.

“There were good things,” Owens said. “I like how the defensive corps played after (sophomore Aaron) Harstad went down.”

Harstad is out with an undisclosed upper body injury and will not play on Saturday, Owens said.

Rapuzzi’s ninth goal of the season came with 3:22 left, only 1:41 after Archie Skalbeck, who made the pass to Rapuzzi, scored off a pretty crossing pass from senior Rylan Schwartz to spark the host Tigers only 1:45 after Minnesota’s Sam Warning scored his second goal of the night and season. Skalbeck’s score made it 2-1 Gophers.

Warning scored three seconds after a UM power play expired on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle to stake the visiting Gophers to a 1-0 lead in the first period.

He added his second goal of the night and the season when he corralled a loose puck in the left faceoff circle and wristed the puck under CC goalie Joe Howe’s arm as he slid over.

“It’s good to see Sam score,” Lucia said. ‘He had been hurt (nine games, upper body injury) and it took him a couple games to get back to speed. We needed him to score those two big goals or we would not have won.”

UM out shot the host Tigers 12-4 in the first period, but CC came back with a superior effort in the second to trim the advantage to 20-15. The Tigers, which gave up 88 sots last weekend and the 97 two weeks ago made some progress by allowing only 31.

“We did a good job keeping out of the box,” Owens said. “We had 2-3 pretty good efforts late but either (freshman goalie Adam) Wilcox came up with a play or we could not convert. I would like to have us get one goal on the power play.”

Notes

U.S. national junior prelim camp roster invitee Brady Sjkel of Minnesota was a coach’s scratch on Friday. … The Gophers’ ranks were depleted by the flu. … The Tigers held a seniors-only meeting after the game. … Last night’s CC lineup was identical to the previous Friday when it beat No. 9 North Dakota 5-2. … Minnesota coach Don Lucia served as head coach at CC from 1993-99, leading the Tigers to three WCHA titles, a 1996 national runner-up finish and a return to the 1997 Frozen Four. … UM sophomore Kyle Rau, younger brother of former Tiger standout Kyle, is a good harbinger of the Gophers’ success. They are 10-0-0 this season when he records a point. The Gophers won for the first time when he did not record a point. … Erik Haula’s two assists makes it 11 games in a row with a point or more. … Baseball Hall of Famer “Goose” Gossage, a Colorado Springs native, dropped the ceremonial first puck before the game. … Rapuzzi has recorded a point in eight straight games.

No. 4 Minnesota 4, No. 19 Colorado College 2

Minnesota          1              1              2 —         4

Colorado College             0              2              0              –2

First period – 1. UM, Warming (Marshall, Reilly) , 7:36. Penalties – CC, Hamburg, hooking, 5:33; UM, Isackson, boarding, 12:51.

Second period – 2. UM, Warning (Schmidt) 13:12; 3. CC, Skalbeck (Schwartz, Rapuzzi) 14:57; 4. CC, Rapuzzi (Skalbeck, Schwartz) 16:38. Penalties – UM, Reilly, interference, 3:29; UM, Haula, unsportsmanlike conduct, 6:33; CC, Bradley, unsportsmanlike conduct, 6:33; UM, Serratore, charging, 10:12; UM, Rau, unsportsmanlike conduct 17:10; CC, Hanson, unsportsmanlike conduct, 17:10.

Third period – 5. Minnesota, Serratore (Budish, Haula), 13:23; 6. Minnesota, Budish (Condon) 18:52 (EN). Penalties – UM, Holl, tripping, 6:54; UM, Helgeson, roughing,  19:50; CC, Taft, roughing, boarding. 19:50.

Power play – Minnesota 0-2, Colorado College 0-4. Shots on goal – Minnesota 12-8-11 – 31; Colorado College 4-11-11 – 26. Saves-minutes – Minnesota, Wilcox 4-9-11 – 60:00; Colorado College, Howe 11-7-9 – 59:48. Referees – Bokai, Thul. Linesmen – Stankevich, Stodgell. Attendance – 7,021.

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