Plattsburgh State cruises to preseason No. 1 ranking
Compiled by D3hockey.com staff
Fresh off a 9-2 win over Norwich in last season's national title game, Plattsburgh State remains a consensus number as the Cardinals head into their 2014-15 campaign. After posting a 28-1-1 record and having a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot a season ago, the Cardinals will rely on some new faces this year as five of their top eight scorers, as well as 2014 Laura Hurd Award Winner Sydney Aveson, have graduated.
|No. 4 Middlebury narrowly
missed out on last season's NCAAs but still commands plenty of
respect in the eyes of the voters.
On the heels of a national-runner up finish, Norwich grabs the No. 2 spot by a mere two points ahead of No. 3 Elmira. Despite missing the NCAA tournament for just the second time ever, Middlebury is again expected to be a player on the national scene and checks in at No. 4.
The fifth through seventh spots are the first to feature teams from the West Region and are held by UW-River Falls, St. Thomas and UW-Stevens Point, respectively.
Lake Forest lands at No. 8 after making it's first-ever NCAA appearance, while No. 9 Williams and No. 10 Gustavus Adolphus round out the poll.
The East region holds the top four spots and six of the top ten positions. The ECAC West, MIAC, NESCAC and WIAC all placed a pair of teams into the top ten, while one each from the ECAC East and NCHA make an appearance.
St. Norbert unanimous No. 1 in Preseason Men's Top 15
Compiled by D3hockey.com staff
Defending national champion St. Norbert claimed all 20 first-place votes and will commence its title defense as the top ranked team in the nation. The Green Knights have claimed the national championship in three of the past four seasons and nine of last season's top 11 scorers, as well senior goaltender and 2014 Sid Watson Award winner David Jacobson, all return for the Green Knights.
|No. 7 Trinity is up four spots from last season's final rankings.|
Last season's national runner-up, UW-Stevens Point, claimed 13 second-place votes and checks in at No. 2, while Oswego State, fresh off yet another Frozen Four appearance, lands behind the Pointers at No. 3. Geneseo State and St. Thomas round out the top five, respectively.
Adrian lands at No. 6 and gives the West Region four of the top six ranked teams, but the seventh through ninth places land in the East as Trinity, Norwich and Plattsburgh State fall in line after the Bulldogs.
UW-Eau Claire checks in at No. 10 and is the final West Region team to land in the top 15 as Babson, Elmira, Bowdoin, Utica and Hobart round out the final five spots.
Fourteen of the fifteen representatives finished as ranked teams last season with Hobart being the lone exception. Trinity was the biggest mover of the bunch as the Bantams are up four spots from where they finished a year ago.
From a conference standpoint, the SUNYAC and ECAC West both land three teams in the poll, though none from the ECACW are ranked higher than 12th. The ECAC East, NCHA, NESCAC and WIAC all place a pair of teams in the top 15, while the MIAC has a single representative.
Oswego proves early worth in win over USA NTDP
By Andrew Pugliese
Special to D3hockey.com
OSWEGO, NY- The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team opened its 50th season on the shores of Lake Ontario against the USA NTDP Under-18 team with a thrilling exhibition victory, 5-3 on Saturday night at the Marano Campus Center Arena.
|The always-explosive Lakers scored five times on 16 shots in Saturday's win.|
The Lakers received goals from three different players, including a pair from sophomore transfer Joey Davies. The team picked up goals at even strength, on the man advantage and shorthanded. It last did so as a squad in last year’s NCAA quarterfinals at Babson College.
The USA Under-18 team came out and put the pressure on the Lakers off the opening faceoff, forcing the home side to drop back in support of sophomore Matt Zawadzki. Zawadzki finished the night with 13 saves in two periods of play.
Head coach Ed Gosek felt both his goalies looked solid during their time between the pipes.
“They were both solid,” Gosek said. “They both tracked the puck well. They worked hard to see the puck coming. Coach Sears was here tonight and I’ll talk to him tomorrow to evaluate. All in all, I’m pleased with both of them. We want to build on that. The consistency of the goalie position is key.”
After the first few minutes, physical play along the boards, and a few rotations through the lines, helped Oswego State balance time of possession. Just minutes after sophomore Chris Waterstreet nearly beat NTDP goalie Luke Opilka on a breakaway, sophomore transfer Joey Davies broke open the scoring for Oswego State.At the 4:26 mark of the first, Davies was left alone at the right pipe when a puck from sophomore Dylan Smith found him. The newcomer, from University of Alaska-Fairbanks, lifted the puck past Opilka for the game’s first score.
The visitors returned with pressure similar to that of the game’s opening moments off the next faceoff and, after Zawadzki was able to stop them the first two times down, the equalizer came at 7:22 from University of Michigan commit Brendan Warren. The Carleton, Mich. native sent a wristshot straight through Zawadzki’s legs, tying the game at one.
Throughout the opening period, turnovers plagued the Lakers; however, a few turnovers by the NTDP allowed Oswego State to pressure them. While, no goal came of it, it played a part in Christian Evers committing an interference penalty at 13:39 to give the home team its first power play opportunity, which sophomore Matt Galati took advantage of.
With just over six minutes to play, Galati sent a slapshot past Opilka from the left dot, off passes from junior Brandon Adams and sophomore Josh Timpano. Galati was fourth in the nation last season with nine goals on the man advantage.
Oswego State kept the pressure up but, with 29.2 seconds left in the opening frame, Grant Gabriele even the score up once again, 2-2. The assists were awarded to Jeremy Bracco and Auston Matthews.
In the middle 20 minutes of play, the Lakers were able to come out fast and control possession early. The momentum carried over into their play on the penalty kill when sophomore defenseman J.J. Hart was given two minutes for tripping. The hosts, tied for 46th in Division III last season on the penalty kill at 79.4 percent, were able to hold the national team off the board.
Gosek was very pleased with the performance of his sqaud’s shorthanded units throughout the evening.
“I thought we were aggressive when we should be aggressive,” Gosek said. “The mental part of the penalty kill was the key, forwards not drifting off out of passing lanes, D having awareness and getting sticks in passing lanes. Coach Digby has done a great job with the PK guys.”
The USA under-18 team kept up the pressure for several minutes following its advantage, but Zawadzki continues to keep his team in the game with a number of crucial saves. Galati picked up his netminder at 13:31 of the period with his second finish of the night, putting Oswego State back in front, 3-2. The sophomore beat Opilka from just inside the left circle with the wristshot off passes from his linemate, senior Chris Carr, and Davies.
The goal was the home team’s lone control of possession during a rather long stretch but, at 18:49, the Lakers broke through again. The fourth goal of the night came from Adams assisted by sophomore Chris Raguseo. Raguseo carried the puck to the goal line before sliding it to Adams in front.
Junior Justin Gilbert came out in net for the home side in the third and impressed throughout the period, finishing the period with 17 saves on 18 shots against.
Gilbert saw the win as just an example of the production his team will put on the ice throughout the 2014-2015 season.
“That’s definitely a good start in the right direction for myself and my team as well,” Gilbert said. “I think we surprised a lot of people tonight with how well we played and I think it’s just a good recipe for what’s to come.”
Gilbert’s play kept Oswego State ahead throughout the period as the visitors more than matched their shot total from the first two periods in the final frame.The USA under-18 team did get one more on the board in the third, starting the scoring at 7:28 off a goal by Joseph Masonius who beat Gilbert through traffic from the point.With the lead cut in half, the Lakers were forced on their heels for the next several minutes.
At the 12:00 mark, junior Morgan Bonner was sent to the box for tripping. It appeared the door was open for the visitors, but it was Oswego State that would capitalize.There was 45 seconds remaining on the penalty when Adams picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and found Davies streaking through the slot. Davies was able to beat Opilka to the right pipe for his second of the game, and his team’s fifth, and final score.
The Lakers had a trying first week of practice leading up to Saturday's exhibition, but Davies touched on the positives he saw in the contest.
“It was really tough,” Davies said. “We worked
really hard all week. Everybody was working really hard to get into
the lineup and to come out and get that first win was great. But,
to keep our legs throughout the whole game was pretty tough.
They’re a great team. They’re very, very talented, they
work really hard, and to keep pushing we just had to stay positive
on the bench and help everybody out, so it was nice.”
The 5-3 win was the second win over the US 18u squad by a Division III team in the past two seasons. In December 2013, Utica defeated a team that featured likely NHL first round draft pick Jack Eichel, who is now skating at Boston University at the age of 17. Before that, the last Division III team to get the win, and the most recent to pull it off on the road was Manhattanville back in October 2011. That year's 18u team featured current NHL players Seth Jones and Jacob Trouba.
Oswego State is back in action on Oct. 31 to start SUNYAC, and regular season play against Buffalo State. The puck drops at 7 p.m at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.
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