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.

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Saturday reading: AFA, upsets, WCHA recaps, CCHA, M. Schwartz

SCSU_KossilaThe Falcons’ special teams came up big as Air Force moved from fourth to a tie for second place in the AHA with a 2-0 home win Friday over Robert Morris. Goalie Jason Torf (30 saves) is why Falcons fans can again hope for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Around college hockey, it was a tough night to be a top 5 team. Only idle No. 2 Quinnipiac did not lose. Here are recaps from the WCHA and about those upsets.

No. 15/16 St. Cloud State 3, No. 5 North Dakota 1

GRAND FORKS —  No. 15/16 St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (15-10-0, 12-5-0 WCHA) took advantage of a dominant defensive performance to score a 3-1 victory at No. 5 North Dakota (13-8-4, 8-5-4 WHCA) on Jan. 25 in Grand Forks, N.D.

The victory helped the Huskies move into sole possession of first place in the WCHA with 24 league points thanks to a 2-1 victory by No. 14 Minnesota State at No. 1 Minnesota on Jan. 25.  The Gophers fell into second place tie along with Nebraska Omaha at 22 points.

SCSU outshot UND 33-16 in the contest and also held it scoreless until a third period power play goal broke the shutout for the Huskies.  In the first period, SCSU set the tempo by giving up only three shots on goal and followed with five shots allowed in the second period.

SCSU freshman Jonny Brodzinski opened the offense with a goal at 4:15 of the first period while senior captain Ben Hanowski added the game winner with his ninth goal of the season at 16:36 of the first period. Freshman Kalle Kossilla assisted for his 11th of the season.

No. 14 Minnesota State 2, No. 1 Minnesota 1

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s 10-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Friday night after No. 14 Minnesota State’s Brett Knowles tallied the 2-1 game winner with 44 seconds left in regulation.

For the first time in Minnesota’s last 10 games, the Gophers failed to reach the four-goal plateau although freshman goalie Adam Wilcox did his best to try and pick up the win regardless of the offensive production. The rookie netminder (16-3-4) made 31 saves – one off his career high – for his first loss of 2013. MSU goalie Stephon Williams recorded 37 saves to move to 13-6-2 this season.

Despite Minnesota State’s third period goal, the Gophers held a 38-33 shot advantage and rallied from what would have been only the third time this season an opponent outshot the squad with 20 shots in the third period (the Mavericks had nine in the final stanza).

Minnesota returns to action on Saturday in Mankato for the series finale against Minnesota State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS.

No. 13/14 Nebraska Omaha 5, Bemidji State 3

BEMIDJI —  Nebraska-Omaha got two goals and an assist from Matt White while Johnnie Searfoss and Jaycob Megna each pitched in a goal and helped on another to help the Mavericks hold off a late charge by Bemidji State and earn a 5-3 WCHA victory at Sanford Center Friday.

No. 20 Wisconsin 5, Alaska-Anchorage 2

MADISON — Junior forward Michael Mersch posts two goals and an assist while Mark Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles scored a goal and an assist each to lead Wisconsin to a 5-2 victory against Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Kohl Center.

Maine 4, No. 3 Boston College 1

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On paper, it was a mismatch – Hockey East’s top team against the league’s cellar-dweller.

Maine flipped that mismatch on its head, however, in defeating third-ranked Boston College 4-1.

In pulling off the upset, Maine spoiled the return of BC coach Jerry York to the bench after missing four games while recuperating from surgery for a detached retina.

Martin Ouellette stopped 34 of 35 shots including all 20 in the second period when BC threatened on three power plays. He also benefited from a goaltender’s best friend, the pipes behind him, as the Eagles twice clanged iron.

The Black Bears, who hadn’t scored more than two goals in 20 of 23 games this year, took a 2-0 first-period lead, expanded it to 3-0 in the second, and after BC closed the gap to 3-1 in the third, added an empty-netter for the final margin.

“Frankly, we got some puck luck, which we perhaps haven’t had a lot of,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “It could have been very different if we hadn’t had some of those bounces.

“Marty [Ouellette] was fabulous. A lot of guys made some key blocks. Any time we didn’t make the block, Marty was able to bail us out.”

Here is the rest of the article.

Merrimack 3, No. 4 New Hampshire 2

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — After taking a brief 2-1 lead in the second, UNH allowed two unanswered Merrimack goals. The game-winner came from freshman Brian Christie, who started the third period by winning the opening faceoff, driving the middle and netting a marker through a defender’s legs just seven seconds into the final frame from captain Jordan Heywood and junior Mike Collins.

Collins and Christie both finished with three points on the night and Merrimack held the Wildcats scoreless for the remaining 19:53, winning 3-2.

“I didn’t even see it go in,” Christie said. “Fortunately, it did.”

Here is the rest of that article.

Of note from the CCHA: No. 9 Western Michigan defeated Michigan to take sole possession of first place and Miami beat Bowling Green to give RedHawks’ head coach Enrico Blasi his 300th career win. The RedHawks are now in second place while Notre Dame, losers in its last five, fell to third.

Also, this columnist tells us why Mandi Schwartz still matters to her teammates, loved ones and Yale.

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.

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

Saturday reading: UND, Eveland, UNO-MSU, game notes, Duluth

UND Grimaldi actionA bored NHL writer for Sports Illustrated found himself in Hockey Shangri-La when he went to Grand Forks.  Whatever you think of North Dakota, fans of other teams, his description of the vibe at the Ralph is spot on. This is definitely an article worth a click.

Here is more on UND’s 6-1 win at Michigan Tech and on Minnesota State’s 6-3 win at Nebraska Omaha.

Here is a feature on retired Tigers player Dakota Eveland and the game story on CC’s road loss.

The Miami goalie tandem is profiled.

It was a strange reunion for former UNO assistant, now MSU head coach Mike Hastings, and former MSU head coach, now UNO assistant Troy Jutting on Friday.

Minnesota Duluth 5, Alaska-Anchorage 1

ANCHORAGE — Sophomore defenseman Chris Casto (his first of the season) and freshman forward Tony Cameranesi each scored two goals to lead Minnesota Duluth to a 5-1 win against Alaska Anchorage late Friday night at Sullivan Arena.

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

Tuesday reading: CCHA, WCHA lookahead, web media poll

Here are notes of interest from the CCHA’s weekly Need to Know press release …

Miami- Miami split its CCHA opening-weekend series at Michigan, falling 4-2 Friday before rebounding for a 4-3 win Saturday. The RedHawks’ win was just their sixth victory in 53 tries at Yost Ice Arena. Miami is 6-46-1 all-time at Michigan.  On Saturday, U-M held a 2-1 lead entering the third period only to surrender three straight goals in a 4-3 loss to the RedHawks.

Notre Dame- Notre Dame’s 5-1-0 start this season equals the best start for the Irish since going 5-1-0 to start the 2010-11 season.  The last time that Notre Dame had a better start than that was in 2006-07 when the Irish started that year 6-1-0 on the way to a 9-1-1 start and a 32-7-3 final record.

Western Michigan- After a weekend off, the Broncos travel to Compton Family Ice Arena to take on Notre Dame. Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski made all four starts against the Fighting Irish last season, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

From the WCHA …

The month of November launches later this week with four, two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the docket for Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd as Michigan Tech hosts Nebraska Omaha, Colorado College travels to Wisconsin, Minnesota State visits Minnesota and Denver hosts St. Cloud State.

There will also be one non-conference set contested over the weekend as North Dakota entertains Hockey East Association-member Boston University.

At John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan Tech (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) will take on Nebraska Omaha (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) in a pair of 7:07 pm ET face-offs on Friday and Saturday. The two teams will then conclude their four-game series on Feb. 1-2 in Omaha.

At the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin will play its first regular season home games of 2012-13 as the Badgers (1-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) go up against visiting Colorado College (3-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in back-to-back 7:07 pm CT puck drops. These will be the only two regular season meetings of the two clubs and will also be the Tigers’ first two league games this season.

Defending conference champion and pre-season favorite Minnesota (4-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) will play a home-and-home WCHA set against Minnesota State (2-2-2, 0-2-0 WCHA), with Friday’s contest at 7:07 pm CT at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and Saturday’s match up at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato at 7:07 pm CT. The No. 2-ranked Golden Gophers and Mavericks will then meet again on Jan. 25 in Minneapolis and Jan. 26 in Mankato.

And in the west, unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Denver (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) will entertain No. 18-ranked St. Cloud State (4-2-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) for a pair of league contests at Magness Arena, with game times at 7:37 pm MT on Friday evening and 7:07 pm MT on Saturday night. The Pioneers and Huskies will then meet again in St. Cloud on Jan. 18-19.

Outside the WCHA this coming weekend, No. 5-ranked North Dakota (2-1-1) will play host to No. 12-ranked Boston University (3-1-0) of the Hockey East Association. Face-offs at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks are 7:37 pm CT on Nov. 2 and 7:07 pm CT on Nov. 3.  Through 37 non-conference games so far this season, WCHA member teams stand 20-14-3 (.583) against other Div. 1 teams. Against each of the other leagues, the WCHA is 5-0-1 vs Atlantic Hockey, 7-9-0 vs the CCHA, 3-2-1 vs ECAC Hockey, 2-3-0 vs Hockey East, and 3-0-1 vs independents.

Three teams – Alaska Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA), Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) and No. 17-ranked Minnesota Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – are idle this week.

Looking ahead to the conference schedule for the weekend of Nov. 9-11, North Dakota will play at St. Cloud State (Friday/Saturday), Denver heads to Minnesota State (Friday/Saturday), Alaska Anchorage hosts Minnesota (Friday/Saturday), Colorado College entertains Bemidji State (Friday/Saturday), and Minnesota Duluth visits Nebraska Omaha (Saturday/Sunday). Both Michigan Tech and Wisconsin will be idle.

Here are more details from the Tech Hockey Guide WCHA Web Media Poll for Week 3:

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (7) 138 2 4-0-0 1 3
2) Minnesota (5) 136 1 4-1-0 1 3
3) North Dakota 120 3 2-1-1 2 4
4) St. Cloud State 109 7 4-2-0 2 5
5) Colorado College 74 6 3-3-0 4 10
6) Wisconsin 72 10 1-2-1 5 11
7) Michigan Tech 69 5 2-4-0 6 10
8) Minnesota Duluth 64 4 2-3-1 5 11
9) Bemidji State 55 11 2-1-1 5 11
10) Nebraska Omaha 52 8 2-3-1 6 10
11) Alaska Anchorage 29 12 2-2-2 6 12
12) Minnesota State 18 9 2-2-2 10 12