Monday reading: Recaps and reactions, updated WCHA standings

action_ffsemi2_bc_cross_2Here are recaps of Sunday’s notable games. The rankings will change later today.

No. 18 Wisconsin 3, No. 2 Minnesota 2

CHICAGO — Sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel made 36 saves while sophomore forward Brendan Woods had two assists to lead Wisconsin to a 3-2 victory against Minnesota on Sunday in the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

“Joel was given the game puck by the team,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “His performance in the first period allowed us to get or feet underneath us.”

No. 12 Notre Dame 2, No. 3 Miami 1

CHICAGO — Notre Dame clinched a first-round CCHA playoff bye with a 2-1 win over Miami at the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field, its first win over the RedHawks since Dec. 3, 2010.

Notre Dame freshman forward Mario Lucia opened the scoring midway through the second period. Junior forward Jeff Costello increased the Irish’s lead, finding the back of the net at the 8:33 mark of the third period.

Miami freshman forward Kevin Morris cut Notre Dame’s lead in half, but that was the only goal the RedHawks would score as Notre Dame held on for the win. Junior goaltender Steven Summerhays made 22 saves for Notre Dame, while Miami freshman goaltender Ryan McKay turned aside 26 shots.

Also, it was a tough week to be a top team as the Gophers beat writer points out.

No. 9 Minnesota State, the only top 10 team to sweep an opponent, is in third place in the WCHA entering a bye week.

2012-2013 WCHA STANDINGS
WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
1
St. Cloud State
22
15
6
1
31
74
47
18
11
1
99
72
2
Nebraska Omaha
24
14
8
2
30
83
70
18
12
2
112
88
3
Minnesota State
24
14
9
1
29
77
57
20
9
3
104
71
4
Minnesota
22
12
6
4
28
73
53
20
6
4
110
59
North Dakota
22
11
5
6
28
72
56
16
8
6
96
74
6
Wisconsin
24
10
7
7
27
54
53
13
10
7
68
62
7
Denver
22
10
7
5
25
70
64
15
9
5
98
77
8
Colorado College
22
8
10
4
20
72
77
11
14
5
100
105
Minnesota Duluth
24
8
12
4
20
59
72
10
16
4
73
89
10
Bemidji State
24
5
13
6
16
50
72
6
17
7
62
89
Michigan Tech
24
6
14
4
16
62
82
10
16
4
89
94
12
Alaska Anchorage
26
2
18
6
10
50
93
4
19
7
61
104

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.

Friday reading: CC, previews, UND video, UAH, outdoor hockey

CC Rylan Schwartz vs UNHThe Gazette’s David Ramsey talks about CC goalie Josh Thorimbert’s season. Both the Tigers and the visiting Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs know how big this series is for home playoff ice.

The buzz about the No. 6 North Dakota at No. 1 Minnesota series is reaching a fever pitch. Here are links to everything you need to know from the Grand Forks Herald.

The Mankato Free Press provides plenty of links about the other series.

Two future CC players were among the 19 future NCHC student-athletes who made the NHL Draft midterm rankings. Here are short previews on the future NCHC schools in action this weekend.

Here is the Air Force preview for its Saturday-Sunday road series at last-place Sacred Heart.

This news made my Thursday:  Here is more on the Alabama-Huntsville joining the WCHA from the Huntsville paper and details from USCHO which broke the news. There were some concerns that the travel subsidy and the fact that this means one less trip to Alaska each season apparently eased.

It was also a good night for me personally since I got to cover an outdoor club hockey game. Cold but a lot of fun. It was a good reminder what makes hockey such a great sport to be around.

Friday reading: Video, columns, predictions, features, previews

North Dakota released its weekly preview video:

Here is this week’s USCHO column on the WCHA. I wrote about CC’s defense, Mark Zengerle, the players of the week and provided the quick hits.

Here are my predictions for this weekend.

Here is the Gazette’s preview for the North Dakota at CC series. The Grand Forks Heralds says UND wants to generate greasy goals and keep an eye on senior Rylan Schwartz, who leads a potent Tigers offense. You may recall he had hat tricks two nights in a row at Grand Forks last Thanksgiving. Those links and plenty of others are provided here. More links including info on video streaming is included in links found here.

Puckato provides links to preview from all around the WCHA on his morning blog post. Check it out.

Here is a preview of the Wisconsin at Denver series focusing on the college debut of freshman Nic Kerdiles tonight, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. Mountain. Goalie Juho Olkinuora will start for Denver on Friday with Sam Brittain slated for Saturday, the Denver Post reports.

Here are capsules previews for all three series being played along the Front Range this weekend and a more detailed DU preview with an injury update on Josiah Didier.

Here is the NBC SN schedule this weekend:

Nov. 30 – Boston College vs. Boston University, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Wisconsin vs. Denver, 10 p.m.

Dec. 1 – Boston University vs. Boston College, 7:30 p.m.

The NBC executives certainly picked the right games: BC coach Jerry York is one win away from tying Ron Mason for most Division 1 wins all time.

Saturday reading: Friday recaps, Enga, Heil, Roos, Slavin

Here is The Gazette’s game story on No. 2 Denver’s 6-5 road win over No. 14 Colorado College from Friday night and the Denver Post’s take.

Not surprisingly, all four WCHA games were very tight, decided by a total of two goals in two wins with two ties.

From the WCHA …

No. 3 Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Junior forward Michael Mersch scored his second goal of the game at 5:06 of the second period to lift Wisconsin into a 2-2 tie with Minnesota on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

Minnesota Duluth 4, No. 5/6 North Dakota 4

GRAND FORKS — Senior defenseman Drew Olson scored at 14:08 of the third period to propel Minnesota Duluth into a 4-4 tie with North Dakota on Friday night at Engelstad Arena.

Michigan Tech 5, Bemidji State 4 OT

BEMIDJI — Freshman forward Alex Petan scored 2:12 into overtime as Michigan Tech scored the final four goals of the game to emerge with a 5-4 victory against Bemidji State on Friday night at Sanford Center.

This may cheer up a few CC fans. The USHL Chicago Steel are enjoying an 8-3-1 start entering  league play this weekend and three future Tigers are a big reason why.  CC signee Alex Roos leads the team in scoring with 13 points (7 goals) in 12 games, while Christian Heil leads the team in goals with 10 (12 points).

Both Roos, a 17-year-old Prairie Grove, Illinois native, and Heil, an 18-year-old who hails from Westminster, Colo, are joined by former Tiger and Steel assistant coach R.J. Enga and Carolina draft pick Jaccob Slavin, of Erie, Colo., also a Tigers signee. Enga and Slavin, a defenseman, missed games to win gold for Team USA at the the recent World Junior A Challenge.

Friday morning reading: Previews, videos and features

Here are the weekly USCHO predictions.

No. 2 Minnesota (5-2, 2-2 WCHA) at Alaska-Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1)

The Gophers hope the long plane trip will help them focus on better play. UAA’s Scott Allen and his offensive contributions are featured.

No. 3 Denver (5-1, 3-1) at Minnesota State (3-3-2, 1-3)

Denver junior forward Nick Shore is enjoying a good start and is featured here. There are a couple MSU stories available through links at Puckato, the MSU beat writer’s blog.

No. 6 North Dakota (3-2-1, 1-0-1) at No. 15 St. Cloud State (5-3, 3-1)

Here is video of the weekly UND press conference with head coach Dave Hakstol and players Corban Knight, Dillon Simpson and Andrew MacWilliam.

SCSU’s Garrett Milan is featured by his hometown newspaper. Nic Dowd is benefiting from hard work this summer. You can see he has grown out his hair for the Locks of Love charity in the picture with the St. Cloud Times article. Here is a radio interview of coach Bob Motzko about the upcoming series.

Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1) at No. 19 Colorado College (5-3, 2-0)

Here is CCTigers.com’s weekly preview. The BSU players hope to rengain momentum after a bye week following a four-point weekend at Nebraska-Omaha in late October. This link goes to Thursday reading, which has a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore, a CC preview and a feature on Eamonn McDermott.

No.  20 Minnesota-Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1) at Nebraska-Omaha (4-3-1, 2-1-1), Saturday-Sunday

Here is the Duluth News-Tribune’s preview and the UMD preview notes. Here is College Hockey News’ praise for Nebraska-Omaha. The Omaha World Herald examines the strong UNO penalty kill. The Mavs’ Matt White, who sat out last week due to academic issues, will be available this weekend.

Michigan Tech and Wisconsin are idle

Monday reading: Zengerle, UM postmortem, UND fan angst, Lemieux

Wisconsin standout Mark Zengerle will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken left index finger, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

A talented Minnesota squad cannot put away weaker teams and it cost them on Saturday. The Gophers beat writer breaks it down.

North Dakota fans are a wringing their hands over Saturday’s loss to a good Boston University team. Goon’s World points out how North Dakota gets better as the season progresses.

As expected, UND 2014 commit Brendan Lemieux, son of former NHLer Claude, is headed to the OHL.

Sunday reading: UMD, CC, Zengerle injury, Denver, Air Force, USHL

Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin hopes his Bulldogs will use their off week to develop more consistency (video).

The Wisconsin State Journal does a postmortem about Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Colorado College and an injury to leading scorer Mark Zengerle.

Here is the Post’s story on Denver’s 6-1 win over St. Cloud State, including a hat trick for Colorado Springs’ Chris Knowlton.

From Air Force sports information …

Air Force 7, Holy Cross 0

Jason Torf recorded his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career as he made 23 saves in a 7-0 win over Holy Cross in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena. The two teams split the weekend series as the Falcons improved to 2-3-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the league. Holy Cross fell to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the AHA.

Seven different Falcons scored goals as AFA scored two in the first, two in the second and three in the third. Air Force scored a power-play goal, a short-handed goal, a penalty shot goal and three even-strength goals.

Torf made 23 saves in the game, including 21 in the final two periods, and stopped 63 of the 66 shots he faced in the series. The shutout was his first since a 4-0 win over RIT in last season’s AHA championship game. Kump made 25 saves for the Crusaders. AFA was 2-for-6 on the power play while Holy Cross was 0-for-3. AFA outshot Holy Cross, 32-23, in the game.

Air Force is on the road next weekend for a two-game non-conference series at Penn State, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 9-10, in University Park, Pa. Faceoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET each night.

Also, the schedule for the Air Force-UConn hockey series, Nov. 23-24, in Connecticut has changed. The first game of the series will be Friday, Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. ET at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on the UConn campus in Storrs, Conn. The game was previously scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The teams will conclude the two-game Atlantic Hockey series on Saturday, Nov. 24, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn, at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be the first of a doubleheader at the XL Center as the Connecticut Whale (American Hockey League) hosts the Norfolk Admirals at 7 p.m. The Nov. 24th game was originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in Storrs, Conn.  The 15,635-seat XL Center is the home of the AHL’s Connecticut Whale and the part-time home of the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams.

From the USHL …

The United States Hockey League announced that the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, presented by League equipment partner CCM, will take place on Jan. 23, 2013, returning to Muskegon, Mich. for the second consecutive year.

The game features the top NHL Draft-eligible players from the USHL competing in front of a full battery of NHL scouts and front office personnel at the L.C. Walker Arena, home of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  Forty players will be chosen for the event based on a selection process that includes input of the 16 USHL General Managers, NHL Central Scouting, and NHL team scouts and decision makers.

“We’re excited to have the Prospects Game return to Muskegon, one of the proudest and longest-standing hockey markets in the United States,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “These are America’s best, gathered together for a special night with the Muskegon Lumberjacks as host and all of hockey as spectators.”

The 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game takes place just after NHL Central Scouting releases its midterm rankings of players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.  Prior to the season, a total of 39 players skating in the USHL were designated as “Players to Watch” by NHL Central Scouting.  Five of those players were ranked as “A” skaters, meaning they are first-round pick consideration, including defensemen Ian McCoshen (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Michael Downing (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and forwards Luke Johnson (Lincoln Stars), J.T. Compher (Team USA), and Hudson Fasching (Team USA).

“We are proud that our organization and city can host this event and showcase this community to NHL personnel,” said Josh Mervis, Owner and CEO of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  “It will be the highlight event of ‘Hockey Week in Muskegon’ and fans will be treated to an event featuring young talent that will be playing professional hockey in the very near future.”

Last June, a total of 28 players who spent the 2011-12 season in the USHL were selected in the 2012 NHL Draft, including a record six players chosen in the first round.  Additionally, 11 USHL alumni were drafted by NHL teams.

The inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January 2012 saw Team East earn a 5-3 win over Team West.   Forward Robbie Baillargeon (Indiana Ice) scored a pair of goals for Team East to capture his team’s MVP of the game and then went on to be selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.  More than 100 NHL scouts and personnel attended the inaugural event for the USHL.

CC battles back for 5-4 road OT victory

Junior Alexander Krushelnyski one-timed a pass from behind the Wisconsin net by Charlie Taft for the game-winner 25 seconds into overtime as Colorado College defeated host Wisconsin 5-4 at the Kohl Center.

Taft knocked down a pass by Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel and immediately passed toward the front where Krushelnyski was attacked the net.

The win, CC’s first in OT since Dec. 16, 2011 at Minnesota State (David Civitarese), ended a three-game losing skid.

“This was a good character win,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said in a radio interview afterward.  “You have to respect our determination tonight. The Kohl Center is not an easy place to play when the students get into it.”

Wisconsin jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring only 89 seconds into the game after the puck deflected in off a CC defenseman’s skate.  The Tigers (4-3, 1-0 WCHA) did not look sharp but shook off their slow start by dominating the second period.

CC freshman Hunter Fejes scored his first goal as a Tiger and CC added a power-play goal by defenseman Mike Boivin, his first of the season, to tie it at 2-2 headed into the third period. CC, which out shot the host Badgers 17-7.

Wisconsin (1-3-1, 1-1-1) scored a power-play goal less than a minute into the period before CC responded and took its first lead of the contest. Scott Winkler one-timed a pass from the corner by Krushelnyski to tie the game at 3-3 and senior captain William Rapuzzi added a power-play goal with nine minutes left for a 4-3 edge.

Rauzzi hauled in a long pass from defenseman Eammon McDermott from inside the CC zone and got behind the Badgers defensemen for a one-on-one chance against Rumpel.

“Eammon McDermott continues to dazzle with his long passes,” Bonnett said. “Winkler is a big guy with a strong stick in the paint.”

It was Rapuzzi’s third goal, matching his total from his junior season, which included two empty-netters.

Wisconsin would answer when Keegan Meuer batted in his own rebound with about four minutes left to force overtime.

More Friday reading: Colorado College at Wisconsin TV/video stream options, McElhinney, Denver, Air Force, North Dakota, predictions

Photo: Kyle Daudelin

A tape-delayed free streaming option for any CC fans who don’t have access to Altitude2 (6 p.m. Mountain) is available for the Tigers at Wisconsin game Friday night. Wisconsin Public Television will broadcast the game at 9 p.m. Mountain on The Wisconsin Channel  at http://wpt.org/wisconsinchannel/ .

Colorado College is sixth in the WCHA in scoring at 3.17 goals per game but has struggled on the power play. The Tigers have not converted on their last 12 power-play chances and are ninth in the league at 13 percent (4 of 30).  Senior forwards Andrew Hamburg (four goals, one assist), William Rapuzzi (two goals, three assists) and Scott Winkler (three goals, two assists) are tied for the team lead in points at five.

Former Tiger goalie Curtis McElhinney, pictured, of the Springfield Falcons is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for October. In six appearances during the month, McElhinney went 5-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average, a .949 save percentage and two shutouts, helping the Falcons to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Here are the rest of the details.  Former Wisconsin standout Justin Schultz was named as player of the month suggesting that all the summer hype was not too overblown.

Here is the Denver Post’s preview for all three Front Range schools.

No. 12 Boston University is playing at No. 5 North Dakota for the first time since December 1996. Expect more such nonconference match-ups with the new league alignments forcing more nonconference games. Expect more such trips for the Terriers and Boston College, including to the state of Colorado. Fun fact: The last time UND and BU played in Grand Forks, both teams played in the national championship game (UND won 6-4 in spring 1997).

Here is Western College Hockey blog’s weekend preview and the USCHO predictions.