Weekend Roundup: As The Calendar Turns...

Compiled by D3hockey.com staff --

As the calendar flipped from November to December, one thing that didn't change was the entertainment value this weekend across the nation in Division III hockey action. 

New England Matchups Highlight Weekend
A chance to create some major first half leverage in conference races was up for grabs amidst numerous huge games in the NEHC and the Commonwealth Coast this weekend. The biggest matchup of all from Friday was the Top 15 duel in the NEHC between No. 9 UMass Boston and No. 12 Hobart. A busy second period was central to the result as the teams combined for five goals, with the Beacons scoring three of them before polishing the game off with an empty net goal late in a 4-2 win over the Statesmen.  Veteran forward Garrison Sanipass scored twice for UMass Boston. 

Friday's other big game came in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, where defending champion Nichols sought to get back on track after a tough weekend in Wisconsin against none other than No. 7 UNE. UNE's Tucker Ross opened the scoring quickly as he lit the lamp just 1:24 into the matchup, but the Bison wasted little time turning the tide offensively in their first game without all-conference forward JB Baker, who was injured in the team's game against St. Thomas on Thanksgiving Weekend. Ben Campbell scored exactly four minutes after to tie the score, and Curtis Carlson pulled Nichols ahead temporarily at 8:38. UNE's top line typically can only be held off the board for so long before making an impact, and the high flying combo of Fleurent, Bengtson, and Bloom delivered before the end of the frame to tie the score as Bengtson netted his fourth of the season to even the tally at two after one period. 

Carlson struck again on the power play for the only goal of the second to grab the lead, and the Bison stretched the lead in the third period on Nick Mangone's third of the year. That bought enough cushion for Nichols to withstand an extra attacker goal in the closing moments as Nichols prevailed 4-3. 

On Saturday, No. 6 Salve Regina got in on the CCC fun with a 3-2 win over the Bison. The Seahawks trailed 2-1 after two periods, but their power play unit buoyed a rally as Salve scored twice with the extra man to win. Blake Wojtala stopped 28 of 30 to pick up the victory. 

The Nor'easters weren't quite as fortunate in their second game of the weekend, as Daniel Kucerovy's first career hat trick propelled Endicott over UNE by a rousing 7-3 score. 

In the NEHC on the same day, Hobart rebounded with a 6-3 win against Babson with a fast three goal start, and a furious conclusion with three goals to match the Babson total in the final 40 minutes. Meanwhile the Beacons kept it rolling with a 6-3 win of their own, this one over Skidmore. 

A Friday Fright for the Piper Women, a Saturday Scare for Gustavus

No. 7 Hamline nearly got caught in a tough position in the third period of their game against St. Catherine on Friday. It was a game of runs as the Pipers rolled out to a 3-0 lead on a three goal surge in the second period with Madison Gaffney, Katie Carlson, and Becca Zarembinski all striking for Hamline. The Wildcats had a

St. Kate's almost shocked Hamline, but came up just short of earning a weekend split. 
Photo: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

big third period up their own sleeves, as Dani Wright and Tori Gruett both lit the lamp for the hosts to help them battle back, but a 7-5 shot advantage in the third wasnt enough for St. Kate's as they came up just short, 3-2. The Pipers outshot the Wildcats 29-12 in the matchup. 

No. 8 Gustavus was also given quite a scare this weekend against Bethel on Saturday, but they earned the series sweep against the Royals, 4-3. Bethel had Gustavus in a percarious spot as a Bailey Thompson goal added on to a pair of scores by Sarina Goos to break a 2-2 tie and put the Royals up 3-2 after two periods. While Goos scored twice, so did Allie Stanger at that point, as she had both goals for Gustavus. She would later have her number called again for some last minute heroics. After Jamie Byrne tied the game at three, the Gusties went for broke with the extra attacker late and it paid off as Stanger landed the hat trick goal to polish off the hat trick and help the Gusties survive. 

A Conference Clinched - Already

The UCHC's conference within a conference, the MAC, already has a women's champion at the beginning of December. While that comes with the caveat that each team only plays six games in the MAC and the Valiants played all of theirs between the start of the season and now, the timing is still relatively impressive as it's the earliest any of us can remember a regular season league crown getting claimed, even if it isin't the team's primary hockey conference for NCAA purposes. The Valiants claimed the laurels this weekend by sweeping Lebanon Valley 4-0 and 5-1. 

Scholastica Men Make Waves

It would be fair to say St. Scholastica had one of the best weekends of any team in the nation. The Saints are riding high after a 5-1-1 start, and the news got even better this weekend as the Saints landed one of the big wins of the weekend in a 5-3 win over No. 4 Adrian, and followed that with a 3-2 win over a much improved Trine team at home on Saturday. 

The definitive factors in the Saints win on Friday against the Bulldogs were Carson Rose, and a power play unit that struck twice to help power past the Bulldogs. Rose recorded a hat trick with two goals in the first period to set the tempo, and an empty net goal late. After the early lead generated by Rose evaporated on a second period Adrian goal, the Saint power play re-opened a gap on goals by Nate Pionk and Cole Golka to open up a 4-2 advantage. Adrian made a bid at a third period comeback on a power play goal by Trevor Boyd, but the Saints sealed the game away for good on the empty netter in a 5-3 win. 

On Saturday, a 2-0 advantage was zapped by Trine, but the Saints found a way anyway on a late goal by Mike Nolan for a 3-2 victory. Pionk netted two power play goals in the Scholastica win. 

St. Scholastica is now 4-1-1 in the NCHA and is a point back of first in the North division. 

Tough Week For Trinity

After a 4-0-1 start, the No. 5 Bantam men didn't have their best weekend against tough NESCAC competition. 

On Friday, the Bantams ended up running into a mammoth performance from Hamilton's Anthony Tirabassi, who stopped 50 of 52 shots as the Continentals tied Trinity 2-2. Andy Chugg gave Trinity the early lead, and Nick Fiorentino's third period goal re-tied the score after a two goal surge in the second by Hamilton. The Continentals were doubled up on shots 52-25. 

On Saturday, the Bantams ran into a huge performance that actually came from a member of the Mammoths. Amherst's Jack Fitzgerald scored twice in the first 13:27, including a score on the opening shift, and the Mammoths topped the Bantams 3-2 in NESCAC play. 

A Tale Of One City

For teams near Rochester, it was the best of times for some, and far from it for some others this weekend. 

No. 2 Geneseo has been enjoying the best of times indeed, especially after their results recently. Shutouts were the order of the weekend for the cruising Knights, as they blanked Cortland by a 2-0 score on Friday, then held No. 8 Oswego off the board on Saturday in a definitive SUNYAC Contest as they won 3-0. Andrew Romano scored both goals in Friday's win as Devin McDonald posted a 17 save shutout. On Saturday, Third line winger Dan Bosio was the big hero as he scored twice, and the Knights scored in all three periods to drop Oswego. McDonald turned in a second 17 save shutout for the Knights. Geneseo has won its last eight games, and the defense has been rather stingy across the board allowing a goal or less in each game throughout that entire span. The Knights are 11-1-1.

Times were not quite as good for their travel partners, the fast-starting Brockport Golden Eagles this weekend. After an incredible 7-1-1 start to the year, an extremely young Brockport team that has shown vast potential was swept this weekend. Brockport was beaten by Oswego 5-2 on Friday as the Lakers got a goal and an assist each from Joseph Molinaro and Devin Campbell. On Saturday, they spotted an 0-2 hole to Cortland on goals by Dougie Elgstam and Shane Beaulieu, and while they split the lead in half on a Ryan Romeo power play goal, the Red Dragons held Brockport off from that point forward in a 2-1 triumph. 

And then, there was the case of the Nazareth Golden Flyers men, who seem to be the nation's most likely team to play beyond 60 minutes on a given night with four ties this year. Nazareth swept the weekend with a 4-1 win over Chatham and a 5-2 win over Stevenson to take advantage of a one game weekend by first place Elmira and move into what is now a four way tie for the top spot in the UCHC with one week of conference play remaining in 2018. Defenseman J.R. Wojciechowski was the biggest playmaker on Friday with two goals, and he had two more assists on Saturday while forward Austin Romzek netted a pair to help derail Stevenson. 

The Nazareth women continue their fascinating start as well, as they have won their first ten games in school history to start the year, a span that includes wins over Chatham this weekend by 5-0 and 3-0 scores. Emily Kromer had two goals and an assist in Saturday's 5-0 win. She leads the team with nineteen total points, while Hailey Redders has 18 and Keeley Rose has picked up 17 points. The start is the best by a first year UCHC Women's team since Utica's women rattled off the first eight wins of their existence. 

Welcome to the Win Column

Finally, the King's College men can breathe a sigh of relief. The second year program now has its first win after coming up empty in its first 35 tries, as the Monarchs took down Neumann 2-1 on Friday. Winger Tommy Green was the hero as he broke a 1-1 tie to lift the Monarchs to the win. 

A Bedeviling Start

If you haven't been paying attention to Fredonia, now may be a good time to begin. The Blue Devils are now 8-1-1 under longtime head coach Jeff Meredith, and could be ranked on Monday after their latest triumphs over Potsdam and Plattsburgh. Potsdam cut a 3-1 lead for Fredonia in the third period down to a 3-2 advantage on a Tyler Young power play goal, but a Luke Rivera empty net goal sealed the deal in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, Fredonia lost a 2-0 lead created by Jimmy Morgan and Ryan Dunner entirely, as the Plattsburgh Cardinals rallied right back with a late second period score by Liam Lawson, and a third period goal by Pat Egan. The Blue Devils had a narrow escape cooked up as Victor Tracy scored with just 39 seconds remaining to keep the Blue Devils rolling at 5-1 in the SUNYAC. 


No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.