There’s plenty to discuss today after an action-packed weekend that saw four of the top five teams in the nation go down, as well as some tough openers for ranked schools from the Ivy League.
Here’s how the top 20 fared over the weekend:
- We can start with the Frozen Four rematch, in which I was right about Minnesota Duluth taking down Notre Dame on Friday. What I didn’t anticipate was the Bulldogs winning Saturday too and leaving South Bend with a sweep of the then-No. 1 program in the nation. UMD, winners of six straight, was able to hold the Fighting Irish to three goals combined, just one week after ND scored 12 in two against Omaha. Give all the credit goes to Scott Sandelin’s defensemen for limiting a potent Irish attack, including junior goalie Hunter Shepard, who is now tied for most wins in the country with six. Friday’s contest was highlighted by two third period goals scored by Bulldogs sophomores Nick Swaney and Dylan Samberg less than five minutes apart to erase a 2-1 deficit and turn it into a 3-2 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Cates brothers (Jackson and Noah) stole the show in the series finale, each recording a goal and assist for UMD. The stay at No. 1 was a short one for ND, which will not want to face the Bulldogs again anytime soon.
- After this weekend, I am ALL-IN on Bowling Green and the Falcons’ trio of Max Johnson, Brandon Kruse and Stephen Baylis. In BG’s 8-2 thrashing of Ohio State on Friday night in Columbus, Johnson scored his first career hat trick (all PP goals), Baylis scored a goal and assisted on two and Kruse added an assist of his own. It was the Falcons’ first win over a top 10 team since 2012, and boy, was it an emphatic one. Saturday’s matinee had less scoring but didn’t lack excitement in a 2-2 tie that saw the Buckeyes, who were without Tanner Laczynski and Ronnie Hein, rescue the stalemate on a Freddy Gerard goal with 2:58 left in the game.
- It may have been in Vegas, but Saturday night’s U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in the desert between North Dakota and Minnesota was basically a home game for the Fighting Hawks, who knocked off their nemesis 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd mostly made up of North Dakota fans. A pair of Colton Poolman goals were the difference makers for the Fighting Hawks, who picked up another destination game win and can add Las Vegas to a list of places where UND won, including Winnipeg, Omaha (outdoors) and Madison Square Garden. Joel Janatuinen added an empty netter for the Fighting Hawks to seal the victory over the Gophers. Chalk this one up as another correction prediction.
Other Notable Results:
- No. 18 Northeastern 3, No. 2 St. Cloud State 2: Two days after SCSU dominated Boston College, the Huskies traveled to Matthews Arena where they allowed three straight goals to squander a 2-0 lead for their first loss of the season. Eric Williams, Biagio Lerario and Grant Jozefek scored for Northeastern, which knocked off a team in the top 3 for the first time since 2014. Also, it’s gotta be rare when two teams with the same mascot name play each other, right?
- It wasn’t the prettiest season opening weekend for both No. 13 Princeton and No. 8 Cornell, as both programs kicked off their campaigns in defeat. The Big Red was swept by Michigan State, while the Tigers traveled to Happy Valley where they fell 4-2 to Penn State.
- No. 11 Union falls: Just one week removed from an eye-opening sweep over Northeastern, the Dutchmen were on the opposite end of a sweep this weekend, losing both of their games to Rensselaer. Some consistency will be the key to Union making some noise later in the season.
- No. 6 Providence 5, Boston University 0: The winless streak to start the season continues for the Terriers. That is all.
I’ll have a rankings post tomorrow, as we have another new team at the top.