Monday reading: M. Stuart, commits, weekend reviews, Minnesota

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Stuart, left, knocks down Washington Capitals left wing Jason Chimera during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Friday, March 23, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Former Tiger Mark Stuart makes this blogger’s Top 5 Underrated list.

Last weekend’s home win impressed two Michigan Tech recruits who were in attendance. They committed soon after.

Here is Three Things about this past weekend worth noting.

Penn State is 4-1 against Atlantic Hockey and would be in first place in the league if it had joined that league instead of going independent for a year.

Here is a look at Hockey East.

With so many series splits, there may be no clear favorite in the CCHA for some time.

No. 2 Minnesota 1, Canisius 0

MINNEAPOLIS – Rookie goaltender Adam Wilcox played perfectly from start to finish on Sunday afternoon to earn his first career shutout as the No. 2 Minnesota men’s hockey team topped Canisius 1-0 in nonconference action at Mariucci Arena.

Wilcox backstopped the Gophers past the Golden Griffins, making all 20 saves on the day to improve to 3-0-0 on the season. The freshman from South St. Paul, Minn., turned away a flurry of saves in the final minutes after Canisius pulled Tony Capobianco in favor of the extra attacker. Capobianco also put together a stellar performance in net for the Golden Griffins, making 41 saves on 42 shots.

Minnesota (4-1-0 overall, 1-1-0 WCHA) came out of the gates in full force as Kyle Rau tipped Jake Parenteau‘s shot past Capobianco just 12 seconds into the contest. Raus’ goal – his second of the year – was also assisted on by Nick Bjugstad.

The quick start swiftly turned to a defensive battle, however, as the two teams closed out the night with 59:48 of scoreless hockey in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Minnesota more than doubled its opponents in shots with a 42-20 edge – an appropriate representation of the Gophers’ offensive advantage until Canisius’ final push in the game’s final minutes.

Both teams would go 0-for-2 on the power play on Sunday afternoon. Canisius (1-4-1, 0-0-1 Atlantic Hockey) would also end the Gophers’ streak of consecutive periods with a goal at 13. Up until the second period of Sunday’s game, the Gophers had tallied in every period of play this season.

Minnesota returns to Western Collegiate Hockey Association action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Minnesota State. The series kicks off Friday at Mariucci Arena before concluding Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 20-plus years of experience.

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