The new USCHO polls were released earlier today and I’ll get to them tomorrow, but first let’s take a look at how the top 20 fared and recap some of the biggest games from the last couple of days, starting with some breaking news outside of the rankings…..
THE BOSTON SCHOOLS WON A GAME!!! Let’s begin with Boston University and head coach Albie O’Connell, who won his first game in charge of the Terriers on Saturday night in a convincing 4-1 victory over then-No. 13 Northeastern at Agganis Arena. BU junior Dante Fabbro led the offense with two goals, defenseman Chad Krys assisted on three goals and Jake Oettinger made 37 saves between the pipes in the Terriers’ first W of the year.
Over at Conte Forum, a four point effort (2G, 2A) from junior David Cotton spearheaded BC to an identical scoreline in the series finale over Hockey East opponent Merrimack. Sophomore Logan Hutsko recorded two assists, while junior Julius Mattila found the back of the net to go along with an assist. For both teams from Boston, just getting that first win should provide them with confidence moving forward as they attempt to charge back into the top 20.
Now, for the games I focused on in my preview:
- My prediction for the Minnesota State – Minnesota came true, unfortunately for Gophers head coach Bob Motzko. In two losses versus the Mavericks, Minnesota was only able to muster a goal in each game, making it three consecutive contests that the Gophers have failed to score multiple goals in a game. On the other hand, Minnesota State looked good both nights, highlighted by senior Marc Michaelis‘ four point game on Friday. Mike Hastings‘ squad is now winners of four straight, and is led by a defense that has allowed just three goals during this win streak. Running the risk of getting exposed for making a prediction like this on November 5, I’m close to locking in Minnesota State as a Frozen Four participant in April. There’s work to be done for Motzko and Co., whose Gophers are now 1-3-1 and will travel to Madison for an upcoming weekend series with Wisconsin.
- In a South bend showdown between Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Notre Dame, the honors were shared (another prediction nailed) as the Fighting Irish salvaged a series split in a pair of games where offense was not the leading story. Notre Dame only needed two goals on Saturday from Colin Theisen and Joe Wegwerth for the win, just one night after the Buckeyes shutout the Fighting Irish 1-0 thanks to a Mason Jobst goal. Not much to really separate these two programs, who will most likely be the class of the conference for the duration of the season.
- North Dakota vs. Wisconsin lived up to the hype on Saturday with the Fighting Hawks prevailing in overtime by a score of 3-2 over the Badgers. On Friday night, it was the Rhett Gardner show, as the senior forward recorded a hat trick in a blowout 5-0 win for UND, now winners of four straight. Wisconsin has now lost three of four, and things won’t get any easier for the Badgers as their next four opponents are Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Yikes.
Other Notable Results
- Arizona State splits with Penn State: The Sun Devils were able to split with the then-No. 6 Nittany Lions courtesy of an OT winner from Johnny Walker, who leads the nation in points with 17 and goals (11).
- UMass wins again: It was another successful weekend for the Minutemen, who defeated UNH on the road for the first time since 2006. Cale Makar tallied another goal and assist to boost his point total to 13. UMass welcomes Providence to the Mullins Center on Thursday night for a massive Hockey East showdown.
- Cornell records 2-0 weekend: After a disappointing opening weekend for the Big Red, Cornell bounced back with two weekend victories over Yale (4-2) and Brown (3-2).
Goal Of The Week: Penn State’s Evan Barratt