Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Another Battle at the Top
Quietly, methodically, and to almost no one's surprise, No. 1 St. Norbert is back to being the early-season king of the mountain. The Green Knights (6-0), have staked that claim by taking on all comers out west, as five of their six wins have come against opponents that are currently ranked in the latest D3hockey.com Poll.
After last night's 3-1 win over No. 12 UW-Eau Claire, add another to the list by a razor thin margin as their attention shifted to No. 5 UW-Stevens Point tonight. An opportunistic St. Norbert side broke the ice with two goals in the second period, and held a narrower one goal lead for the final 16:41 as the top-ranked Green Knights prevailed by a 2-1 score at K.B. Willett Arena in Stevens Point.
Following a scoreless first period, the Green Knights needed next to no time to establish their permanent lead. Tanner Froese continued his strong start with his third goal of the season just 21 seconds after the drop of the puck. At 12:05 of the period, that lead was doubled up when Luke Karakas scored at even strength for his first of the season. Willem Nong-Lambert slashed the deficit back to one early in the third period, but the effort wasn't quite enough as the Green Knights kept it rolling, and the Pointers fell short for a second straight loss on the heels of last night's loss to Marian despite a workmanlike effort.
St. Norbert goaltender TJ Black made 30 saves for the Green Knights in his sixth win of the season.
Budding Badger State Women's Rivalry Writes Next Chapter
For the past year or so, the top spot in the WIAC for No. 5 UW-River Falls (5-1-1) hasn't been quite as secure for the Falcons. Under the direction of Erik Strand, the fast-rising program at UW-Eau Claire (3-2-1) repeatedly gave the Falcons a hard time last year, working a 2-2 split and taking the defending champs to overtime in the WIAC final.
Tonight's matchup appeared to be headed in a similarly competitive direction. The Blugolds jumped in front at 6:53 of the first period on Elizabeth Bauer's third goal of the season, and would hold serve with an 11-3 shot advantage and 1-0 lead through twenty minutes of play. The Falcons had other ideas for the final forty minutes, particularly as it relates to special teams play. The first two penalties committed in the second period by the Blugolds would cost them dearly, with Carly Moran and Madi Nolan both canning power play tallies for the Falcons to assume a permanent lead. The Falcons would score a shorthanded empty netter from Moran, and added an early third period score from Maddy Illikainen in what went on to be a 4-1 win.
River Falls got a strong goaltending performance from multi-year starter Angie Hall, who stopped 27 of 28 in a game where the Falcons were outshot in all three periods.
Role Reversal in the North Country
Before tonight, the Potsdam men had lost 15 consecutive games against Plattsburgh. As of tonight, that streak is no more as the two teams entered tonight at a somewhat unusual crossroads. When the dust settled in tonight's North Country rivalry game, the Bears continued to progress on their blazing 5-1-1 start, while the Cardinals' hard luck start, their worst since the 2011 season, continued. The Bears erased a 1-0 first period deficit with three straight to turn the tables on Plattsburgh by a 3-1 score at Maxcy Hall Ice Arena.
Plattsburgh dictated the terms of engagement for much of the first period, and were rewarded with an early go-ahead at 7:28 off the stick of Noah Batis. Veteran forward Dylan Vander Esch squared the score at 14:44 of the second, and the good fortunes for the host were enriched just 1:05 later when Jacob Juron gave the Bears an eternal lead. Vinny Guimond rounded out the scoring, and Brenden McMenimen made several of his 30 saves down the stretch to take home the win for Potsdam. Recap
Camel Women Get Better of Mammoths - Again
Amherst's bad opening weekend luck against Connecticut College continues. The No. 9 Mammoths opened last season at 0-2 after a sweep at the hands of the Camels. Fast forward to this season, and it has happened again. Bailey Mertz improved to 2-0 on the year with a 34 save shutout, and the Camels needed just 22:12 to build the entirety of their lead in a 2-0 win over Amherst. Elena Gualtieri and Jordan Cross posted the goals for the Camels.
On the Rebound
While the Pointers men faced tough odds of bouncing back, other squads that suffered notable losses or ties last night got back into the win column today.
- The No. 12 UW-Eau Claire Men, who lost to the Green Knights yesterday, got a positively brilliant performance from Mac Jansen tonight, as his four goals comprised all of the Blugold offense in a 4-1 win over Lawrence University. Jansen's total included two power play goals and a pair at even strength as well. Lucas Kohls and defenseman Johnny Mueller each assisted twice for the Blugolds.
- The No. 13 Utica Men fell Friday to resurgent Lebanon Valley for the first time since 2002, but a frustrating two game skid now appears to be firmly in the rear view mirror after a historic offensive performance tonight. Paced by a three goal, two assist night from rookie Conor Landrigan, all 18 skaters cracked the points column in a game for the first time in Utica history, and the end result set a new team mark as well as they scored a program record 13 times in a double digit, 13-1 throttling of newcomer Chatham University in Pittsburgh. The Pioneers attempted over 80 shots in the game, and landed 65 of them on goal in the dominating win.
- On a semi related note, another UCHC men's team, Manhattanville, put up their best total since 2007 to rebound from last week's shutout loss against Stevenson with an 11-2 win over King's College. Chatham and King's continue to chase their first-ever wins.
- The No. 3 Adrian Women tied St. Scholastica yesterday, but left no doubt today by outshooting the Saints 46-13 in an 11-0 NCHA rout at Arrington Arena. Kristi Zink set the bar for the Bulldogs with a goal and three assists as they ran their unbeaten streak to four games since their lone loss to Northland.
- The No. 3 Norwich Men also took a step forward after last night's setback vs. New England College, as the Cadets notched their third shutout win of the season in a comfortable 4-0 romp over Southern Maine. Four different Cadets scored in the win.
- While they didn't play last night, the No. 2 Plattsburgh women are back in the win column today after the 9 day gap in the schedule that followed their loss to now-No. 1 Norwich. Courtney Moriarty struck for a pair of goals, and Melissa Sheeran posted two helpers in a 4-0 shutout win over rival Oswego at Stafford Arena.
- The No. 7 Gustavus Adolphus women were defeated for the first time ever by Hamline on Friday, but the script flipped back on Saturday as the Gusties ran out to a 4-0 lead, and avoided a prospective third period collapse as they topped the Pipers, 4-2.
Lebanon Valley (2-3-1) strikes again. A night after shocking Utica, the Dutchmen were at it again to post their first conference weekend sweep since their 2016 reboot. The men of chocolate world were seemingly on a mission to further validate last night's win from the start, and they succeeded in eye popping fashion as they rode a special teams explosion to grab a 4-0 lead on home ice, and they never looked back in a 5-2 win over visiting Nazareth in Hershey, Pa.
The Dutchmen had the Golden Flyers by the throat with their opening quartet of goals, all of which came before the game's midway point. Three of them came from Brett Johnson, whose hat trick came on a team-high eight shots. Kevin VanBokkelen and Cole Hepler also each scored for Lebanon Valley, who finished 4-of-10 on the power play for the night. Freshman Ray Falso, the 2017 New York State High School Division II Player of the Year continued an impressive start to his career by scoring to extend a four game point streak for Nazareth.
Oswego's Ridiculous Escape
Fredonia had No. 10 Oswego (5-1-0) on the ropes tonight.... Or so they thought.
Approaching the midpoint of the third period, the Blue Devils (3-3-1) had answered an early 1-0 hole with three goals, two of which came on the power play, to hold a 3-1 advantage going into the home stretch on the road. 3:11 after that lead was secured on a Bobby Polachek power play score, it went completely up in smoke for the Blue Devils. 55 seconds after the Polachek goal, Tanner Spink started the rally at even strength. Special teams did the rest, as a triumvirate of roughing minors put the Lakers on the power play to give way for Aaron Huffnagle's game-tying second of the year. An additional minor penalty shortly after that goal compounded the Devils' woes, as Josh Zizek cashed in nine seconds into the ensuing power play to give the Lakers the lead. Zizek added a second goal on an empty net late to seal a 5-3, come-from-behind win. Recap.
Long Live the Queen
At another school in the Keystone State, there is a new all-time goal scoring queen. Highly skilled forward Bek Lucas, who leads the nation with 12 goals, made that 12th one a huge one for Neumann, providing a bright spot in a 4-1 loss to Utica that snapped the Knights' impressive five game winning streak. The lone Neumann goal was Lucas's 57th career, breaking the school record previously held by Jessica Schroeder '11.
A journey of many miles begins....
With a single step. Congratulations are in order for two different head coaches tonight for achieving their first wins as collegiate head coaches.
Williams College interim head coach Mike Monti snared his first college win tonight as his Ephs edged Bowdoin 4-3 on the weight of a three goal second period. Monti is serving as coach on behalf of Bill Kangas, who was granted an institutionally approved sabbatical for this season.
Last, but certainly not least, Aurora women's coach Grant Kimball is in the win column, as are his Spartans. 2-0 was the score of the first win in program history, as Becca Binder's 47 save shutout performance boosted Aurora to an NCHA win over Northland. Nicole McKernan and Lexie Martinez netted the goals for the hosts.