Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
And here we come to the finish line. As Friday fell onto the Division III landscape, it was indeed in sight, as we found out a lot more about which teams may stand at the top of the standings after next week. Little is finalized, but some strong cases were made. We start off with the MIAC in our Friday men's wrap.
|Augsburg's Eric Brenk scores the game-winner, and the MIAC lead-grabber by beating UST's Ben Myers on this second period goal
Photo: Caleb Williams, D3photography.com
MIAC Revolving Door Continues, Auggies, Cardinals now share lead
At the end of Friday's games, Augsburg and St. Mary's each had a hand on the hot potato known as the MIAC lead.
No. 11 Augsburg bent, but did not break in a Twin Cities showdown. The Auggies (14-3-5), had to weather a back half surge by the lone team ahead of them in the standings but Nate Flynn's empty net goal had them breathing a bit easier as they took down St. Thomas(11-7-4), 5-3 in Mendota Heights.
The Auggies built a 4-0 lead in the game, only to come crashing back to earth when the Tommies scored three times to tie it just past the midway point of the third, with two off the blade of Brett Gravelle. Eric Brenk netted the eventual game-winner for Augsburg just past the midway point of the second period, which gives the Auggies a one point advantage on the second place Tommies in the standings.
Augsburg doesn't hold that spot alone. Enter the Saint Mary's Cardinals (13-8-3). The Cardinals got to the 29 point mark in the MIAC by the end of the night, but needed overtime to take down St. John's in a 3-2 overtime decision in St. Cloud. Kevin Walz scored the game winner at 1:54 of overtime.
Check out Caleb Williams' D3photography.com gallery from the Auggie-Tommie game here.
Statement Made: Bulldogs bury Falcons, keep NCHA lead
While the guard once again changed in the MIAC, things stayed the same in the NCHA. At least as far as the names in front were concerned. No. 2 St. Norbert held up its' end of the bargain as Ross Pavek and Dominic Sacco connected 92 seconds apart to break a scoreless tie and lift the Green Knights to a 2-0 win over St. Scholastica. Zane Steeves stopped 32 of 34 for the Saints, while TJ Black needed to stop just 13 shots for the Green Knights.
But that wouldn't be enough to erase a one point gap in the NCHA. No. 7 Adrian returned serve and maintained their lead by bulldozing the team that swept St. Norbert not long ago, CUW. Vincent Paquette and Trevor Boyd each scored twice apiece to lead the Bulldog attack as they piled on five second period goals to rout the Falcons in Mequon, 8-1. Concordia-Wisconsin kept shots close at 28-25, but three power play goals from Adrian, and a tough goaltending night from starter Nate Eminger, and backup Jack Romaniuk spelled CUW's demise. The two teams meet again in Mequon.
Utica grabs ECAC West top seed, Hobart falls again
After winning 11 out of 12 league games with two left on the schedule, No. 13 Utica(16-7-0) has now left little doubt that they are now the team to beat in the ECAC West. The Pioneers grabbed at least a share of the league's regular season crown, and will hold home ice throughout the ECAC West playoffs after their win tonight. Patrik Virtanen recorded the first shutout of his collegiate career, and Anthony McVeigh scored twice as the Pioneers bolted past Stevenson by a 5-0 score in Owings Mills, Maryland. The regular season title is Utica's third in the last five years, a run that goes back to the 2012-13 team that advanced to the national semifinals.
The other team to win the league in the last five years, No. 5 Hobart, saw their chances of getting home ice in the league semifinals and a first round bye shrink tonight. And it happened against the very team they needed to beat to pull even for that opportunity. The Statesmen are now out of room for error in that regard, as a loss will force them into the first round. A win by tonight's opponent going forward will do the same. The second place Manhattanville Valiants opened up a four point gap on the third place Statesmen and improved their own semifinal hosting chances with a 5-3 road win in Geneva tonight. The Valiants never trailed in the contest, and led 4-1 after two periods to sweep Hobart for the year, and hand them a second straight loss for the first time all season. Matt Lippa scored twice to expand his team lead in goals.
Knights sing the Blues in Fredonia, Plattsburgh Pushes Onward
While nothing changed at the very top of the SUNYAC standings with No. 2 Oswego enjoying a comfortable lead, and a convincing non-league win over Canton tonight, the second spot now has one sole occupant.
Despite what the D3hockey.com Top 15 would tell you, that occupant is not Buffalo State or Geneseo. It's Plattsburgh.
The Cardinals extended their streak to nine straight games, but would need overtime to finish the deed. Sophomore Jakob Engvall continued the Cards' fortunes while exhibiting a flair for the dramatic, as he scored 3:22 into overtime to elude last place Potsdam by a 3-2 score at Maxcy Hall Ice Arena.
All the while their fellow second place team entering the evening, took a step back. Geneseo was outshot 34-32, and used two different goaltenders as Fredonia blasted by the No. 6 Knights, 5-1. Fredonia led the game from wire-to-wire, and was paced by a pair of goals from Marcus Ortiz. Buffalo State leapt back into a third place tie, surviving a matchup with Brockport, 2-1. Anthony Passero had two assists for the Bengals. Brockport sits a point back of Cortland, who tied Morrisville 3-3 tonight, for the final playoff spot.
How the Men's Top 15 Fared:
|SUNY Canton||1||No. 2 Oswego State||6||Final||•||BX|
|St. Scholastica||0||No. 3 St. Norbert||2||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 4 UW-Stevens Point||7||UW-Stout||4||Final||• *||BX|
|Manhattanville||5||No. 5 Hobart||3||Final||• *||BX RC|
|No. 6 SUNY Geneseo||1||Fredonia||5||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 7 Adrian||8||Concordia (Wis.)||1||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 8 UW-Eau Claire||2||UW-Superior||0||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 10 Hamilton||2||Conn. College||1||Final||• *|
|No. 11 Augsburg||5||St. Thomas||3||Final||• *||BX P P|
|Brockport||1||No. 12 Buffalo State||2||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 13 Utica||5||Stevenson||0||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 15 Colby||1||No. 14 Trinity (Conn.)||2||Final - OT||• *||BX RC|