So I had a feeling that the Wolverines would beat St. Lawrence last night, but 10-3? Not surprisingly, someone had a hat trick. Senior Luke Glendening — who had eight goals in 44 games last season — recorded his first career three-goal game.
Including last night’s win, here’s how I’m doing so far with the picks.
Last week (including Thursday): 13-7-1
Season to date: 16-7-1
I correctly picked last weekend’s QU-OSU and NMU-UW series to split, but I picked the wins and losses on opposite night, so four in the “L” column for me. I can live with it.
The CCHA opens its 41st season of conference play with two league series. There’s a slew of nonconference play, including the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks. Everything is Friday-Saturday, and all games start at 7:05 p.m. local time except for the NMU series, which begins at 7:35 p.m.
MSU at LSSU
The Spartans came away from last weekend’s Ice Breaker with head coach Tom Anastos’ first career win, 3-2 in OT over Air Force in the third-place game. The Lakers were idle last weekend after opening their season with two road wins over Alabama-Huntsville Oct. 1-2. Last year, the Spartans defeated and tied the Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie; the last LSSU win over MSU came Jan. 31, 2009.
Lee Reimer leads MSU in scoring so far with two goals and an assist, and it was Will Yanakeff with that win in net against Air Force. Newcomer Chris Ciotti has four points (1-3–4) for the Lakers, but Nick McParland leads them in goal scoring with two, and the very capable Kevin Kapalka had the sweep in net against UAH. Very hard to call, but I’m favoring the Lakers Friday because of their bye week. LSSU 3-2, MSU 3-2
OSU at ND
Each of these teams split last weekend in their first D-I action of the year. The Buckeyes beat Quinnipiac at home Friday night, 2-1, before losing 4-3 Saturday. The Irish traveled to Duluth where they had to watch the Bulldogs — the team that eliminated ND from last year’s Frozen Four — lift the national championship banner before losing to UMD 4-3 Friday, but ND rebounded with a 5-3 win Saturday. Freshman Ryan Dzingel — that’s Ryan, not Danny, Dzingel, over whom it is reported that 12-year-old girls swoon — leads OSU with two goals and an assist, while Cal Heeter has the win for the Buckeyes. It is completely unsurprising that T.J. Tynan (1-3–4) and Anders Lee (2-1–3) top the scoring for ND; Steven Summerhays has the win in net for the Irish.
The teams split last season in Columbus, with each squad limiting the opponent to one goal in its loss. The series is 12-12-4 at the Joyce Center — and these will be the last CCHA games to be played in that venue before Notre Dame moves into Compton Arena. This gives the Buckeyes the chance to return an old favor; ND and OSU played the last regular-season series in OSU’s Ice Rink in 1998 before the Buckeyes moved into the Schottenstein Center in January of 1999. OSU swept that series. Perhaps Notre Dame will return that favor. ND 3-2, 3-2
BGSU at UAH
The Falcons defeated and tied Connecticut at home last weekend to open their series, with Bryce Williamson recording two goals and Andrew Hammond in net for both games. The Chargers are looking to pick up their first win of the season, after four straight losses to CCHA teams; last weekend, UAH was swept on the road by the Broncos, who outscored the Chargers 11-1. Mac Roy has two goals through four games for UAH; John Griggs and Clarke Saunders have split time in net. BGSU beat UAH three times last season — two close games early and a 5-1 win in the RPI Holiday Tournament at Thanksgiving. I’d like to see the Falcons continue that streak, but BG’s defense and net are still fairly vulnerable. UAH 3-2, BGSU 4-3
Miami at Colgate
The RedHawks split a pair at home last weekend against Bemidji State, losing 5-3 Friday before Saturday’s 3-2 win. Colgate is 2-0 after emerging victorious from last weekend’s Maverick Stampede, beating Robert Morris 3-1 and host Nebraska-Omaha 4-3. Matt Tomassoni has two goals for Miami; Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard continue to split time in the Miami net this year as they have for all three of their previous seasons, with Knapp picking up last weekend’s win. Kurtis Bartliff and Joe Wilson each have two goals for Colgate, with Alex Evan and Eric Mahalik each picking up one of those wins. The teams have met just twice before, the last time Dec. 27, 1998, a 7-2 Colgate win at a holiday tournament in my hometown of Syracuse. Miami 3-2, 3-2
Rensselaer at FSU
The Engineers opened their season last weekend with a loss and win against visiting Minnesota State, a series in which they allowed just two goals. Scott Diebold and Bryce Merriam each played a game, with Merriam getting the Saturday win. The Bulldogs swept St. Lawrence on the road — successfully defending the realm — with freshman C.J. Motte and senior Taylor Nelson each picking up a win in net. Kyle Bonis and Travis Ouellette each has three goals for the Bulldogs. It’s a homecoming for RPI head coach Seth Appert, who manned the FSU net (1992-96) under current coach Bob Daniels. The teams have met just once before, a 3-2 FSU win in Big Rapids in January 1998. I’m thinking that FSU may have some guns this season — and that the Bulldogs will continue to defend the realm. FSU 3-2, 4-2
SCSU at NMU
Each of these teams is 1-1 in the early going. The Huskies lost the title game of last week’s Kendall Hockey Classic in overtime to Alaska-Anchorage, 4-3, after beating Alaska Friday to get a chance for hardware. The Wildcats exchanged a pair of 3-2 decisions with Wisconsin last weekend, winning in OT Friday. The game winner was scored by sophomore Reed Seckel, and it was his first career goal in 13 games. SCSU has a trio of seniors — Travis Novak, Jared Festler, Drew LeBlanc — leading in scoring, and Novak has the most goals with two. Mike Lee (2.44 GAA, .911 SV%) has been the only goalie of record. Justin Florek has three goals for the Wildcats; Reid Ellingson (1.85, .931) and Jared Coreau split time in net last weekend, with Ellingson picking up the win. The last time these teams met was Mar. 26, 2010, in the NCAA West Regional in St. Paul, a game in which SCSU’s Tony Mosey scored the game-winner 23 seconds into the second overtime. He’s gone now. NMU 3-2, SCSU 3-2
WMU at Union
Here’s a match between two teams that demolished opponents last weekend. The Broncos swept visiting Alabama-Huntsville, 7-1 and 4-0, while the Dutchmen beat Army on the road, 8-1. Shane Berschbach leads WMU in goals (3-1–4), but Chase Balisy leads the scoring (1-4–5). Freshman Frank Slubowski began his D-I career with the shutout; Nick Pisellini had the other win for WMU. Wayne Simpson had three goals and a helper against Army and Troy Grosenick had the win. Last season, WMU took two close games from Union in Kalamazoo. WMU 4-2, 3-2
Mercyhurst and UNO at UAF
This is the Brice Goal Rush in Fairbanks, with UAA rounding out the field. Mercyhurst and UNO have had a look at each other already, as the Lakers played in the Maverick Stampede, which the Mavs hosted.
The Lakers lost both of their Stampede games, 5-1 to UNO and 2-1 to Robert Morris. Grant Blakey and Trent Frey are the sum of Mercyhurst’s goal scoring so far this season. Max Strang was in net for both games.
After beating Mercyhurst, UNO lost to Colgate in the title game, 4-3. Brock Montpetit, Terry Broadhurst and Josh Archibald each has two goals this season; the very capable John Faulkner played both games with numbers (2.51 GAA, .878 SV%) that will surely improve.
The Nanooks lost to St. Cloud, 4-1, and beat Clarkson, 3-1, in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage last weekend. Four Nanooks each has a goal, while Scott Greenham (2.00, .889) manned the net for both games — and we know his numbers will improve, too.
I see the Nanooks getting past Mercyhurst, but their old CCHA rivals the Mavericks? I don’t think so. UAF 3-2, UNO 4-2