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
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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

Monday reading: Badgers, MacNaughton race, Bachman, AHA, polls

bachman maskThe 19th-ranked Badgers play North Dakota for the last time this weekend in WCHA action, but their nonconference play will resume during the 2014-15 season.

Wisconsin’s Derek Lee suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over Anchorage. His status for this weekend’s road series at No. 7/8 North Dakota road series is unclear judging from this quote from coach Mike Eaves:

‘Well, talked to Mr. Hrodey this morning, and he passed his cognitive test. That’s step one. He still has some residual headaches, so those have to dissipate before he can get on the bike.

At this point, we’re hopeful. The fact that he passed the cognitive was a good step. He won’t go on the ice today, and tomorrow we’ll come back and see where he’s at.”

The Gophers beat writer says SCSU, Minnesota and Omaha have the best chance at the MacNaughton Cup regular-season title.

Former Tiger Richard Bachman’s “The Shining” mask, pictured, continues to draw rave reviews.

Here is a brief look at the Atlantic Hockey Association race with an eye on the Niagara at Air Force regular-season finale.

The latest USCHO.com poll is in as is the WCHA web media poll.

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.

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.

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.

Rothstein earns USHL weekly award

rothsteinThe United States Hockey League announced Monday that St. Cloud State signee Charlie Lindgren was named Reebok Goaltender of the Week while 2013 Colorado College commit Sam Rothstein, pictured, is the CCM Co-Forward of the Week. T

This is the third time this season Lindgren has won the award and second time for Rothstein. Both players have been instrumental in leading the Sioux Falls Stampede on their current nine-game winning streak.

Rothstein recorded five points (2g, 3a) and was a +5 in the three wins over the weekend. On Wednesday, Rothstein recorded a power-play goal and an assist in the win over Waterloo. On Friday, he set up two goals in the Stampede’s win in Des Moines and on Saturday, he posted a goal in a win at Sioux City. He has points in nine straight games, which is tied for the third longest streak in the league this season.

The Minnetonka, Minn. native leads the team in scoring with 32 points (12g, 20a) in 28 games and is third on the club in +/- with a +15 rating.  He has 9 power-play assists on the year and just 8 penalty minutes.