Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Welcome to February. The first Friday of the month brought with it a clash in the MIAC, a tie for the No. 1 Cadets, more traffic up and down the standings table in the NESCAC as Williams stayed on top, and a few teams in the ECAC West and SUNYAC had to outlast their opposition in overtime tonight. Dive in with us as we recap tonight.
|The Hamline didn't post a recorded win tonight, but the shootout point against Augsburg has closed the gap on the MIAC lead to one for the Pipers. Photo: Ryan Coleman, D3photography.com|
We begin with a tilt at the top of the MIAC, where four teams find themselves either tied for the lead, or within two points of the lead by night's end. Two of those teams met on the same sheet of ice tonight as the Hamline Pipers(10-8-4) and Augsburg Auggies(13-3-4) skated to a 4-4 tie at Johnson Arena. With both teams knotted and the game, per MIAC rules, going to a shootout, the Pipers turned to the man who scored two of their four goals in regulation to pick up the extra point.
Russ Jordan was that man, as his go-ahead goal in the shootout was decisive and the Pipers pulled to within a point of first place Augsburg and St. Thomas.
It was a wild back-and-forth affair, with the Pipers sprinting out to a 3-0 lead just past the midpoint of the second period. The Auggie attack, led by Nate Flynn's two goals would eventually get on pace to pull even. A Will Peterson tally with just over three minutes left in the second sparked the Auggie rally, and Flynn continued that momentum with a pair in the third to square up the game. Jordan scored his second goal of the contest at 15:23 to re-take the lead but the Auggies would not be denied a point in the MIAC standings with Lukas Gillett scoring in the closing minutes to send the game to overtime and the eventual shootout. Jordyn Kaufer stopped 29 of 33 Piper shots while counterpart Justin Quale stopped 31 of 33 for Hamline.
The next chapter between the two will be written tomorrow night at Augsburg, with massive implications. An Auggie win maintains at least a share of first place for Augsburg, who is tied with St. Thomas at the top after St. Thomas's OT setback at the hands of Concordia-Moorhead. A Piper win and a Tommie loss or tie against the Cobbers on Saturday would put the Pipers at the front of the pack on at least a shared basis.
St. Mary's could be as high as second after Saturday depending on the outcomes in front of them, but will have to win against Gustavus again after a 3-1 win tonight.
Williams stays atop the NESCAC, Big Move by the Mules
It's been well-documented now just how tight the NESCAC is right now. In a conference where seemingly anyone can beat anyone else, Williams(10-6-3) rose to the top with a four game unbeaten streak entering tonight, but held just a single point lead on second place Hamilton. By night's end, the Ephs had stretched that lead to two points on a second spot that changed hands tonight. Michael Pinios stopped 24 of 25 while the Williams offense erupted for three unanswered goals in the third period as the Ephs blew by No. 14 Trinity(11-5-3) by a 3-1 final in Williamstown. CJ Shugart and Roberto Cellini both beat Trinity's Alex Morin for tallies, while Frankie Mork scored on an empty net in the final minute to seal it for the Ephs.
The Ephs kept their hold on first, but the Colby Mules(9-5-4) are now in their rear view mirror. The Mules leapt over No. 9 Hamilton(12-3-4) for the second position in the league with a 1-0 win over the Continentals. Phil Kiltirinos scored the lone goal of the game, while Sean Lawrence posted a shutout for the hosts.
No. 13 Amherst could have joined the Mules in second place with a win, but just down the road in Brunswick, the Purple and White hit a roadblock. Bowdoin broke a 1-1 tie in the third period with a pair of goals to walk away from Amherst by a 3-1 score. Cody Tedesco scored twice for the Polar Bears.
Botcher Doesn't Botch this One, Beavers tie No. 1 Cadets
It's been a more challenging year at times than some recent ones for the Babson Beavers (12-7-3), but it may be all the more reason to savor the high points of the season for the Boys of Babson Park. The Beavers started tonight with a five game unbeaten streak, and continued to ride high tonight as Dan Casey's two goals, and a career high 45 save effort by Bryan Botcher enabled the Beavers to hand the No. 1 Norwich Cadets just their second NEHC blemish of the season with a 2-2 tie at home.
Norwich put the pressure on the Beavers early by outshooting them by a 16-10 margin, but the pressure was to no avail before the horn in a scoreless first. That changed quickly in the second when Norwich's Todd Jackson drilled in a slot rebound to put the visitors ahead 1-0. Dan Casey would turn the tide almost singlehandedly before the period was over. He scored on an own-zone giveaway by the Cadets, and once more shorthanded to give Babson a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Botcher held strong for the Beavers with 14 third period saves, but a fifteenth shot by red-hot offensive defenseman Cody Smith would deny the Beavers the win as he beat Botcher with just over ten minutes to go to secure the tie. Norwich, who clinched the NEHC regular season crown last weekend, will see UMass-Boston tomorrow. The Beacons scored a win over St. Mike's today.
Oswego survives Potsdam challenge, Whiteout matchup holds familiar promise
With a 4-1 lead at home in the third period, most at the Campus Center Ice Arena likely thought No. 2 Oswego's outcome against Potsdam wasn't in doubt tonight. Little did they know Potsdam planned to stay a little bit longer. The Bears rallied with three goals in the final 10:30 to ship the game off to an overtime period but the Lakers would not be denied as Mitch Herlihey scored 1:39 into the frame to lift the Lakers to a 5-4 win. Bryce Ferrell scored twice for the Bears. Recap
Tomorrow's visitors for Oswego are all-too-familiar for the Lakers, in the form of rival Plattsburgh. The Cardinals started the year with a subpar run through January 7th, posting a below .500 record at 7-8, but now find themselves as an emerging dark horse within the league as playoffs approach with a seven game unbeaten streak. The Cardinals are now 12-8-1 following tonight's 4-3 win over Cortland.
That all sets the table for a matchup that looks tighter on paper than it was at midseason as the rivalry renews in Oswego on Saturday night.
Neumann, Utica weather OT with winners, Pioneers to take on Statesmen Saturday
When the Neumann Knights came to town, the power was on in Owings Mills, Maryland. In fact, the power play was the guiding light for the visitors in an ECAC West matchup with Stevenson that needed the extra session to be decided. The Knights got three goals out of their power play unit, including the game-winner in overtime from Johannes Sallila and a pair from Ryan Luiten to outpace the host Mustangs by a 3-2 final. Netminder Jacob Caffrey made 41 saves for Stevenson to force overtime.
Meanwhile in Utica, the championship host has now won four straight games after a sharp midseason slide. For a second straight game, the Pioneers needed overtime to keep that run alive, and they walked away winners once more as defenseman Dalton Carter crushed a one-timer into the top right corner to break a 1-1 regulation tie and the Pioneers walked off 2-1 winners over Elmira, who loses a second overtime game in their last three. Recap.
Utica's win, and a resounding 7-2 win by No. 3 Hobart over Nazareth sets the table for what could be a classic at the Utica Auditorium on Saturday night. The Statesmen sit four points back of Utica, and a Hobart win closes the gap to two points with a game in hand on the leaders, while evening the season series at a game apiece. If Utica wins, they could hold a six point lead by night's end, with the prospect of Manhattanville grabbing sole possession of second place with a Hobart loss. With Hobart and Utica standing as the league's strongest At-Large contenders, the head-to-head just may go a long way in the selection room.
How the Top 15 Fared
|No. 1 Norwich||2||Babson||2||Final - OT||• *||BX RC|
|SUNY Potsdam||4||No. 2 Oswego State||5||Final - OT||• *||BX RC RC|
|No. 3 Hobart||7||Nazareth||2||Final||• *|
|Northland||1||No. 4 St. Norbert||5||Final||• *||BX P|
|UW-Stout||1||No. 5 UW-Stevens Point||6||Final||• *|
|No. 6 SUNY Geneseo||5||Brockport||2||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 9 Hamilton||0||Colby||1||Final||• *|
|No. 10 Buffalo State||4||Morrisville State||2||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 11 Augsburg||4||Hamline||4||Final Shootout - Home||• *||BX RC|
|No. 13 Amherst||1||Bowdoin||3||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 14 Trinity (Conn.)||1||Williams||3||Final||• *||BX P|
|No. 15 Concordia (Wis.)||3||St. Scholastica||2||Final - OT||• *||BX|