The first regular season college hockey games outside of North America ended in of all things – a shootout.
That’s what was used to to determine the winner of the Friendship Four tournament championship game between Massachusetts-Lowell and Brown Saturday in Belfast.
The River Hawks scored the tying goal with 39 seconds left to force overtime against the Bears, and then won the shootout to take the Belpot Trophy as tournament champions. The game will count as a tie for NCAA purposes.
Brown freshman Tommy Marchin was named the Player of the Tournament after finishing with four goals and two assists on the weekend. Marchin has six goals and six assists in nine games this season, and joins a crowded group of league rookies making a strong impression early on.
Brown reached the final after beating Colgate 5-0 on Friday.
It was a tough weekend for the Raiders, who lost 7-1 to Northeastern in the consolation game. Colgate gave up 12 goals on 44 shots against the Bears and Huskies, while managing one goal on just 26 shots over both games. The Raiders haven’t won since Nov. 7 and are 4-10-1 this season.
Colgate has been playing with a short roster, especially on defense, thanks in part to junior Ryan Johnston signing a professional contract with Montreal late last summer. The top-six group is solid, but from afar, the Raiders don’t seem to have the depth they have had in the past.
In net, the trio of Charlie Finn, Zac Hamilton and Bruce Racine have combined for a .882 save percentage. That won’t get it done.
Still, it’s worth noting that Colgate was 7-9-1 in the first half two years ago, and rebounded to make the NCAA tournament. That might be asking a bit much this season, but the Raiders could be a team to watch in the second half if they can get better defensive play.
A tournament title for Harvard
No, not that one. But the Crimson beat Rensselaer 4-0 in the Shillelagh Tournament championship game Saturday at Notre Dame. Merrick Madsen stopped 59-of-60 shots over the weekend to earn tournament MVP honors. The sophomore has three shutouts in five starts this season and has only given up three goals overall.
Harvard moved to 6-1-1 with wins against the Engineers Saturday and host Notre Dame Friday. It’s the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Crimson have won six of its first eight games.Harvard’s only loss this season came Nov. 13, a 4-1 setback at red-hot Quinnipiac. That’s also the only time Harvard has given up more than two goals in a game.
The loss snapped a nine-game unbeaten streak for RPI, who had beaten Western Michigan 4-1 Friday to reach the tournament final. It’s still been an impressive first half thus far for the Engineers, who are 4-0-2 in league play and 8-5-2 overall.
Quinnipiac keeps rolling
Fifteen games into the season and the Bobcats have yet to lose. Quinnipiac swept a home-and-home series with the University of Massachusetts to push its record to 13-0-2.
In addition to the unbeaten streak, the Bobcats had several players reach individual milestones last weekend. On Friday, junior forward Sam Anas had two goals and an assist to become the 37th player in Quinnipiac history to reach the 100 point mark. It took Anas 92 games to reach the 100-point plateau.
On Saturday, senior Michael Garteig blanked the Minutemen for his 59th career victory, which tied a program record. It was his fourth shutout of the year and 15th of his career.
One a team note, the fifteen-game streak is the longest unbeaten streak to open the season in Division I since Colorado College began 15-0-3 in the 1995-96 season.
As impressive as Quinnipiac’s streak has been, it’s still six games shy of the 21-game unbeaten streak the Bobcats ripped off in the 2012-13 season, when the school made its first national championship game appearance.
To reach that mark, the Bobcats will need to go unscathed at Yale and Brown, at home versus Boston University, home and away versus Princeton, and then at Northeastern.