I’ll get to this weekend’s games in a moment, but before I do I have one request: go on Twitter and give @LightTheLamp12 a follow. Instead of using my personal account to promote the blog, this is the account I’ll be using to share all recaps, previews, etc.
Last night marked the start of what should be an action-packed slate, with No. 9 UMass knocking off No. 4 Providence 3-2 in front of 6,357 fans that flocked to the Mullins Center for this showdown. The hero for the Minutemen turned out to be an unlikely one, as freshman defenseman Ty Farmer scored his second career goal with 1:25 left in the game on this play to give UMass the win.
After his team’s latest win, Minutemen head coach Greg Carvel called the win “probably the biggest one” during his time in Amherst. #NewMass will look to make it two for two against Providence when they face off Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
As for the rest of the top 20, the next couple of days look like this:
Games To Watch:
- As I mentioned earlier in the week, things are going to get a tad tough for No. 5 Denver and first year head coach David Carle, starting with a trip to Minnesota for a top 5 clash against No. 2 St. Cloud State. Carle will be standing opposite another rookie head coach in Brett Larson, who took over the Huskies following the departure of Bob Motzko and has led SCSU to a 7-1 start. If you’re expecting a shootout between these two teams, think again. Each team is in the top 5 of the nation in goals allowed per game, with Denver allowing 1.67 goals per game (4th-best) and the Huskies giving up 1.50 goals per game (3rd-fewest). A matchup I’m looking forward to is the Pioneers’ offense (4.33 goals per game) versus the SCSU penalty kill, which has the top ranked penalty kill in the NCAA. Prediction: If this were in Denver I’d give the Pioneers a win, but I have to go with the Huskies making a massive statement and defending home ice with a sweep.
- They met in football to start the season, now it’s time for Notre Dame and Michigan to take their rivalry to the ice. After splitting with No. 7 Ohio State last week, the sixth-ranked Irish will head to Ann Arbor for a weekend series against the No. 14 Wolverines. This will be the first time these two meet since they faced off in last year’s Frozen Four, a game in which Notre Dame scored a dramatic game winner with 5.2 seconds left in regulation to defeat Michigan 4-3 and advance to the NCAA Championship. For the Wolverines, sophomore Josh Norris leads the way with six goals and 12 points, and will be leaned upon to break down an Irish defense, led by senior blue liner Bobby Nardella, that is allowing only 2.12 goals per game. Prediction: Both programs earned a split last weekend, and that’s exactly how I see this two-game series going. Michigan will have revenge on its mind as they look to avenge their heartbreaking Frozen Four defeat from last April, but will only have the satisfaction of one win.
- One of the more intriguing two-game sets for me is between No. 16 Minnesota and No. 20 Wisconsin in The Border Battle. The Gophers and Badgers each enter this matchup looking to get back in the win column after suffering a pair of sweeps a week ago. Minnesota is in the midst of a three-game losing streak following two straight defeats to Minnesota State, but history is in its favor this time around, having won three of four games last season versus Wisconsin. The Badgers are in the midst of their own skid, losing two of three and four of its last six. Prediction: Big Ten play opens with a bang for Gophers head coach Bob Motzko, not only getting a victory, but a huge road sweep over Wisconsin.
Other Intriguing Games:
- No. 12 Union vs. No. 18 Princeton and No. 13 Quinnipiac
- No. 11 North Dakota vs. No. 20 Miami
- Harvard vs. Yale