A Banner Weekend

Compiled by D3hockey.com staff --

No matter if your weekend ended with two wins, two losses, or no games at all, hockey is back and so are we here at D3hockey.com. In a weekend full of new beginnings, the Women's season began with a rematch of the national title game, while St. Norbert raised its championship banner to celebrate last year's ending and continued the party with a win to start the new season. Also, a men's top ten matchup headlined the card not once, but twice in Utica as the No. 3 Adrian Bulldogs paid a visit to the No. 6 Pioneers, including a late Saturday afternoon classic. Geneseo dominated its opponents, Norwich and Endicott's men ended deadlocked, the Wilkes men got their landmark first win, and women's action out west started with another trifecta of top ten clashes. Read all about it right here and now. 

TJ Black did the job for St. Norbert's Men with a season-opening shutout. 
Photo: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com 

Payback on the Menu at Thunderdomes for Elmira Women

Ever since their national title hopes were dashed on a third period goal by Norwich's Sophie McGovern, the Elmira Soaring Eagles have been chomping at the bit for their chance to start the next quest for the national title on the right foot. For Elmira, that meant bringing the champion Cadets into their own building to start the year, and the home ice advantage paid off as the No. 3 Soaring Eagles dropped No. 1 Norwich by a 4-2 score. 

The crowd of nearly 600 was treated to a fireworks-laden opening period as the score through twenty minutes stood at two goals apiece. Katie Granato was on the ball to start the game for Elmira, as she scored on the game's opening shift to the glove side to put the Soaring Eagles ahead, 1-0. Amanda Conway netted an unassisted response at 7:41 to bring the Cadets back even, but the stalemate lasted for just 27 seconds before Elmira's Maddy Jerolman re-opened the advantage for the hosts. The Amanda Conway show continued as Norwich countered once more on the winger's second of the game, and the score was all tied up at the end of the first period. 

The entirety of the second period was left scoreless, setting the stage for a raucous third period, and Elmira would not let the home fans - or themselves down. Just past the halfway point of the third period, the Soaring Eagles were on the power play after Norwich's Morgan Trefft went off for interference at 10:18. Twenty seconds later, their leading returning power play scorer handled the rest. Granato struck a second time on the power play to give Elmira the lead for good, then added one more late for good measure as she collected Elmira's second hat trick performance in a season opener in as many years in the 4-2 win over the Cadets. 

Elmira goaltender Stephanie Martin impressed in her debut with a 22 save performance, while counterpart Alexa Berg stopped 21 for the Cadets. The two teams will meet again on January 6th in Northfield. 

The Champ Is Here
The No. 1 St. Norbert Green Knights men raised their championship banner at the Cornerstone Community Center on Saturday as they hosted the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Green Knights began their title defense with a decisive first period, outshooting the Raiders by a 14-5 count. They got their first goal of the campaign at just 3:27 of the opening frame when veteran forward Kurt Black scored at even strength. Peyton Frantti scored the first goal of his college career before the frame was over, and the Knights never looked back in a decisive 5-0 win. Roman Uchyn, Riley Christensen, and Brendon Gysbers all added scores for the Green Knights, while TJ Black delivered a 14 save shutout in goal for the hosts. The game was a non-conference game for both teams. '

Tied in Knots
The No. 2 UW-Stevens Point men did not escape the weekend unblemished, as a pair of first period goals from Trine left a lot of pressure on the Pointers to respond, and it took until just under three minutes left in the second before they did in a 2-2 tie. An early goal by Point's Zach Zech was quickly converted to a deficit by coach Alex Todd's Thunder, who got an even strength score from Corey Robertson at 9:48, and Blake Robertson scored an unassisted power play goal in the final minute to give Trine a key lead. Point got their long-awaited answer from Luke McElhenie, and the Thunder withstood a barrage from the Pointers in the third to ultimately end up with a tie. Thunder goalie Brett Young impressed with 44 saves. 

Big Series Goes To The Dogs

Many neutral observers around the nation had their eyes fixed on what was happening in Utica as the No. 3 Pioneers collided with the No. 6 Adrian Bulldogs. In the second and third all-time meetings, the Bulldogs had just a bit more in the tank as they defeated Utica 3-1 and 3-2 to earn the sweep. 

Adrian looked right at home on Friday in their first return trip to the Aud since appearing in the 2017 Frozen Four as they produced a dominant opening period. The Bulldogs rode multiple power plays, including an in-zone possession that lasted for an entire minor penalty, and a stifling forecheck to a lopsided opening frame where the shots were 14-1, but the game was scoreless after one period. Utica goaltender Gianluca Baggetta was spectacular in the first period, and continued to be spectacular long enough for the Pioneers to strike first. At 9:08 of the second, Shawn Lynch took the puck hard to the right wing post, and it came loose across to freshman Tyler Dill, who slid it home to open up a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs had still carried much of the play, and turned to some new blood to get the job done in a 1-0 hole to start the third. Freshmen Jared Domin and Austin Bottrell each scored once each in the first 10:10 of the third period, and veteran forward Dino Balsamo added an empty netter to seal the deal as the Bulldogs were rewarded for their efforts with a 3-1 win. 

Saturday looked to be more of the same at the outset for Adrian, and their trademark special teams also got involved to storm out to a late first period lead. Three-time All-American defenseman Cory Dunn delivered the lid-lifter on the power play, and Matt McNair took a brilliant pass from newcomer Niko Coffman on a shorthanded rush and made a big move on Utica netminder Sean Dickson to double the advantage at the end of one at 2-0. Rookie Jared Domin added his second of the weekend on the power play just three minutes into the second period to further extend the Adrian lead to 3-0, but the game was all but over. In the waning minutes of the second period, the Pioneers needed a spark and got one from captain Gregg Burmaster. Brett Everson provided the cornerstone of the transition attack with a perfect pass to lead Burmaster into the zone, and Burmaster delivered a snipe into the top corner to get the Pioneers back in it at 3-1 after two periods.

The Pioneers exited the second period in a high leverage situation with about a minute to burn on a late second period power play, and they wasted little time taking advantage of that chance to begin the third. Off the opening draw, Everson streaked down the right wing and dished to the middle to a wide open Conor Landrigan for the tap-in finish in just eight seconds to slash the deficit to a one goal game, but that's as close as the Pioneers would come. Adrian netminder Kevin Entmaa turned in a superb third period with 13 saves, including several key stretch run stops to help the Bulldogs preserve the lead and win 3-2. Utica thinly outshot the Bulldogs 37-35. Dino Balsamo had two assists for Adrian after a very active game on Friday. 

Utica (0-2) is back in action with their UCHC opener against Manhattanville on Tuesday. The Bulldogs (2-0) will host Lawrence and Marian this weekend in NCHA play. 

You'll Never Forget Your First

Welcome to the win column, Wilkes University. 

The Colonel men dropped their Friday game at Canton by a 6-4 score, a game that included an absolutely brilliant power play goal by Canton's Jeffery Gauld that ended up getting play on ESPN. In the game, Wilkes got their first goal in team history off the stick of Donald Flynn at 3:41 of the first and added to it seven minutes later, but the early lead was not enough as the Roos rallied with the next three goals on their way to the win. 

While Canton grabbed the first leg of the weekend, a serviceable debut was a springboard for the Colonels to win the following night as they topped SUNY Canton by a 7-5 score on Saturday. Two goal nights from Wade Novak and Tyler Barrow led the way for Wilkes, while Roos goaltenders Josh Erickson and Austin Washkurak had a tough night as they let in seven goals on just 20 shots by the Colonels. Both teams went 2-for-8 on the power play in the game, and Brandon Gordon made 26 saves to earn the first ever win for Wilkes University. 

For the weekend, Flynn led the Colonels with a team-best five points. Wilkes opens UCHC play at Elmira on Saturday, as Friday's game with Lebanon Valley was postponed due to air quality concerns at Hersheypark Arena. 

Speaking of Firsts....

Two women's programs also collected their first-ever victories on Friday. For the Nazareth Golden Flyers, the first goal in the history of Anna Maria's program scored by Kahtahdin Whitney was hardly a deterrent. The Golden Flyers scored the next five goals while putting up over 60 shots as they posted their first win in school history, 5-1. Nazareth's first program goal came off the tape of Taylor Hudon at 12:44 of the first. Adrianna Brehm got the start and was perfect after the early goal with twelve saves. 

For King's College, victory was over a year in the making, but the Monarchs finally got the job done as they dispatched cross-street rival Wilkes by a 3-1 score in Wilkes-Barre. King's scored on the power play at 7:27 of the first on the first career goal for Maggie Gould, then nursed that advantage into the third before getting a second goal from returner Raeann Clancy. Wilkes made history on their first program goal at 9:16 of the third as Kendall Castro became the first Colonel women's skater to slide it across the goal line, but the Monarchs restored order on a goal from Kellie Munro to alleviate the tension of the last few minutes as head coach Jen Kindret and the Monarchs got their first victory. Kiva Sierra Stoltz had 25 saves for King's College. 

Wild, Wild, West

A triumvirate of top ten matchups from the D3hockey.com Women's Top Ten also stood tall this weekend as the fans in the West region were treated to a pair of one-goal games. 

On Saturday, No. 4 Hamline threw down the gauntlet with a 4-0 run through two periods against No. 7 UW-Eau Claire, only to have the lead totally collapse in the third period. The Blugolds came roaring back on a pair of minor penalties from the Pipers, as Sami Meister and Hannah Zavoral each scored on both portions of a five-on-three to cut the deficit in half. The Blugolds kept digging as Zavoral found the net unassisted at 16:16, and the power play struck again as Zavoral set up Holly Turnbull at 19:02. As if a switch had been thrown, the Pipers got an answer to avoid overtime. Hamline's Madison Kolbow landed a nail in the coffin on the Eau Claire rally with her goal at 19:20, and the Pipers walked away with the thrilling win on the road at Hobbs. McKenna Hulslander stopped 44 shots in net for the Pipers, while fellow returning starter Erin Connolly turned away 30 for the Blugolds. Bre Simon and Zavoral finished with two goals apiece. 

The other two games were a two game series between No. 8 River Falls and No. 6 Adrian, and neither team gave an inch in a split of one-goal games. On Saturday, Adrian was the winner as Jessica Vonruden struck gold in overtime to lead the Bulldogs to the 4-3 win. Tory Harshman scored and added an assist for Adrian. 

On Sunday, UW-River Falls turned the tables on Adrian as an early 2-0 lead for the Bulldogs was wiped out by four consecutive Falcon goals, and Falls withstood a late comeback charge by the Bulldogs to hang on and win 4-3. Jessica Vonruden scored twice for Adrian, while Bella Wagner was vitally important in the Falcon cause with a goal and two assists. Both goals in the third came on special teams as Erica Schramel scored on the power play for the Falcons, and Kortney Diaz evened the period with a shorthanded score for Adrian. 



  • No. 5 Geneseo looks to be entering the year with guns blazing after coming up just short of a semifinal appearance last year. The Knights blew the doors off two non-conference opponents this weekend, running past King's, 10-0, and then thumping Neumann partly on the strength of the second career hat trick for Tyson Empey in an 8-0 rout of the Knights. Empey's six points total sit tied for the national lead after the pair of lopsided wins. 
  • Curry won the Buffalo State tournament with a 3-2 win over the host Bengals on Saturday night. The first period of the game was a rough-and-tumble affair that ended scoreless, with eight roughing minors handed out at the buzzer. The Bengals got out to a fast second period start when Mac Wood and Braeden Doust lit the lamp, but the Colonels had the last laugh as Michael Curran, Lionel Mauron, and Viktor Jansson scored three unanswered goals to rally for the purple and white as they nailed down the win in Buffalo. 



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