Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Regular season clinchers abound for some, the NESCAC and MIAC come down to the wire tomorrow, and playoff hockey begins in earnest. That's a lot to digest, but that's also why we're here. All the Division III hockey news that's fit to print for Friday is straight ahead.
|Adrian claimed the NCHA's regular season trophy, the Peters Cup, for a third straight season.
Photo: Adrian College Athletics
The Ship Has Sailed, The Birds Have Flown, Call Off the Dogs
Add two more teams to the list of regular season title clinchers tonight, while another SUNYAC team announces their plans to enter the playoffs on a roll.
No. 2 Oswego was one of them, as the Lakers jumped out to a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes, then allowed just half the lead to be cut in a tight checking third period as they squeezed out a 2-1 victory over Fredonia to win their fifth SUNYAC regular season title in the last eight seasons. The eighth minute of the period was the witching hour for the evening, with Chris Waterstreet striking with the first period icebreaker at 7:26, and Andrew Barton doubling the lead at 7:48 of the second period. Fredonia would throw in one last gasp of air when they cut the lead to one on a Samuel Wilbur tally that occured, fittingly, at 7:54 of the period but the Devils couldn't add another on just five third period shots. Stephen Johnson assisted on both Laker goals while David Jacobson posted 19 saves to pick up the win.
However, the Lakers may want to keep an eye on their rear view mirror because a familiar rival is on fire heading into the SUNYAC playoffs. Plattsburgh State continued an eye popping turnaround and will enter the final day of the regular season in sole possession of second place as they beat No. 6 Geneseo by a 1-0 score. Brady Rouleau notched a 26 save shutout and got all of the goal support he needed when Matt Quilty tipped a shot by Charles Barber past Matt Leon to spoil an otherwise perfect evening by the Geneseo netminder. Leon finished with 22 saves. Plattsburgh now holds a two point edge over Geneseo and Buffalo State headed to tomorrow's finale after going unbeaten in its' last 10 games. The win was the 596th career win behind the Cardinal bench for head coach Bob Emery.
The Dogs have been called off in the NCHA.... At least as far as the regular season title hunt is concerned. No. 5 Adrian needed just two standings points to lock down the NCHA regular season after St. Norbert took a fall yesterday at the hands of MSOE, and they got those points tonight. Adrian (16-5-2) broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of shorthanded goals in the second period, and tacked on three more for good measure as they stormed past St. Scholastica to claim the Peters Cup for a third consecutive year by a score of 6-2. Taylor McCloy, Kyle Brothers, and Mathew Thompson all pulled down a goal and assist for the Bulldogs as Adrian had six different players score. The Bulldogs nearly doubled up the Saints on shots by a 39-20 margin and got three goals from their special teams. Brandon Millin and Kale Derkson scored for the Saints.
Let the Games Begin
Postseason games, that is. The WIAC started off our postseason on Friday with game number one in the lone quarterfinal series between fourth-seeded UW-Stout and fifth-seeded UW-Superior taking place at the Dunn County Ice Arena in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Stout's Gavin Smith broke a 3-3 tie early in the third period to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead in the series, which is conducted in a two game plus minigame format. Anton Svensson scored twice for the Jackets, who will now have to win both remaining legs of the series tomorrow in Menomonie to stay alive. Adam Kresl notched a goal and an assist for the Blue Devils.
NESCAC Stays Interesting, to No One's Surprise
At a point where most leagues have a team creating separation at the top, the NESCAC naturally defies convention. That's great for us, as it creates an entertaining scenario for tomorrow. This season's most interesting league was full of surprises as the lead swapped hands, and Colby stayed within striking distance by pulling into a tie for second by night's end. This all means that one of three teams could walk out of tomorrow with the top seed in the conference tournament.
The series of events began at the top, where Williams found themselves on the wrong end of a clean sheet against NCAA No. 10E Amherst, who got a perfect 26 save performance by Conor Girard while Thomas Lindstrom's second period goal gave the Purple and White the lead for good in a 1-0 rivalry win.
That left the top spot up for grabs to the only team that could take it outright on Friday, and the No. 9 Hamilton Continentals answered the call by making Middlebury pay for 54 penalty minutes on 16 infractions with four power play goals en route to a 5-2 win in Clinton, New York. Rory Gagnon scored twice for Hamilton and Evan Buitenhuis picked up the win in goal.
Colby also hung around by jumping into that second place tie with Williams with a 2-1 win over Connecticut College. Kevin Doherty and Kienan Scott netted goals in the first period, and that lead would be maintained until Camel forward Jeff Thompson notched his eighth of the season in the third period.
Hamilton grabs the top spot outright with a win tomorrow, or a tie and a non-winning result by Colby. Williams claims top honors by itself with a win over Hamilton, and a non-winning result by Colby. Colby cannot claim the top points total by itself, but could grab a hold of the top seed on a head-to-head tiebreaker against Williams tomorrow if the Mules and Ephs both win their games.
MIAC Madness Comes Down to Final Games
The MIAC will also be settled on the last day with the two leaders still tied at the top of the standings with three more points apiece. Augsburg did its' part as their special teams struck three times, while Eric Brenk and Luke Dietsch struck twice apiece to pace the attack in a 5-1 win over St. John's in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
St. Thomas returned serve in dramatic fashion. St. Olaf's Tuuka Totro netted the 3-3 equalizer with just over three minutes to play in regulation, but Johnny Panvica saved the day for the Tommies. Panvica delivered with just two seconds left in overtime to pick up the full compliment of three standings points with a 4-3 win. Panvica finished with two goals for the Tommies, and Brett Gravelle tacked on two assists.
With a tie in the standings on the final day, the rules of engagement are simple. With three points for a win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss, and no points for a loss of any other kind, whomever walks out of the final day with more points in their last game will take the title. If the teams are tied, Augsburg will claim the top seed on the season's head-to-head competition against the Tommies with a recent win and tie.
|Fredonia||1||No. 2 Oswego State||2||Final||• *||BX RC|
|St. Scholastica||2||No. 5 Adrian||6||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 15 Plattsburgh State||1||No. 6 SUNY Geneseo||0||Final||• *||BX RC P|
|No. 7 Hobart||Elmira||Postponed||• *||V LS A|
|Middlebury||2||No. 9 Hamilton||5||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 11 Augsburg||5||St. John's||1||Final||• *||BX|
|Nazareth||4||No. 12 Utica||1||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 13 Buffalo State||4||Cortland||3||Final||• *||BX|
|No. 14 Trinity (Conn.)||7||Wesleyan||2||Final||• *||BX|
|Conn. College||1||Colby||2||Final||• *|
|SUNY Potsdam||3||Brockport||8||Final||• *||BX RC|
|Lake Forest||3||Lawrence||2||Final - OT||• *||BX|
|Gustavus Adolphus||3||Hamline||1||Final||• *||BX|
|Northland||6||Concordia (Wis.)||4||Final||• *||BX|
|Marian||4||Aurora||4||Final - OT||• *||BX|
|St. Olaf||3||St. Thomas||4||Final - OT||• *||BX|