In the first weekend of conference play for the New Year, two teams earned a little breathing room at the top of the standings in the MCHA and MIAC, while the NCHA conference race tightened up. Adrian and St. Thomas each earned weekend sweeps in which all games were decided by a goal. St. Norbert gained ground with a sweep as Wis.-River Falls faltered by earning a split in NCHA action.
Adrian survived numerous trips to the penalty box in the third period that gave Lawrence a chance at the end of the game to win 3-2 on Friday. Shelby Gray’s power-play goal in the second gave Adrian a 3-0 lead. Lawrence converted a pair of power-play goals, one on a five-on-three power play, to cut the lead to 3-2. However, Adrian withstood a flurry from Lawrence in the final minutes as Lawrence outshot Adrian 38-25 in the game. Saturday, Lawrence could not stay out of the penalty box, as Adrian went 3-for-10 on the power play to defeat Lawrence by another 3-2 score. Zach Graham scored twice and Doug Clifford scored the game-winner on a power play at 10:07 of the third for Adrian.
Marian used a weekend sweep of Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to jump into second place in the MCHA, just one point behind Adrian in the standings. Dakota Dubetz scored the game-winning goal at 3:23 of the third period as Marian beat MSOE 4-2 on Friday. Tom Glomski secured the sweep for Marian with a game-winning short-handed goal with under two minutes left in the game, giving Marian a 4-3 victory. Marian hosts Adrian next weekend for top billing in the MCHA.
Concordia (Wis.) split with Finlandia over the weekend, as the Stanley Cup made a promotional visit to the Ozaukee Ice Center. Greg Douglas led Concordia (Wis.) with two goals in a high-scoring 7-6 affair. Both offenses were in full force again on Saturday, as Finlandia evened the series with a 5-4 win. Alex Heinonen scored the hat trick for Finlandia, while Tanner Tryggestad had two goals for Concordia (Wis.)
Northland swept Lake Forest in their weekend series. Kraig Wright had two goals and Colin McIntosh added a goal and five assists in Saturday’s 6-3 win for Northland. Northland completed the sweep Sunday as it defeated Lake Forest 4-2.
St. Thomas swept Hamline over the weekend to create some space at the top of the standings. Robby Phillip scored both goals for St. Thomas, including the dramatic game winner, 50 seconds into overtime Friday, for a 2-1 win over Hamline. Saturday’s game was just as intense, as Chris Cass scored the game-winning goal with just 24 seconds left in the game to give St. Thomas a 5-4 win. Brian Arrigoni had a hat trick for Hamline.
Concordia (Minn.) had difficulty keeping up with St. Thomas this weekend, as it fell to Augsburg 5-1 Friday. Ben McClellan had a goal and an assist, while Justin Lochner made 31 saves for Augsburg. Chris Neamonitis made 29 saves, and four different players scored for Concordia (Minn.) as it won Saturday 4-1.
Bethel gained sole possession of third place in the MIAC with a win and a tie over St. Mary’s. Three third period goals helped Bethel defeat St. Mary’s 5-3 on Friday. The two teams skated to a 2-2 overtime draw on Saturday.
Gustavus and St. John’s split their weekend series. Gustavus scored four unanswered goals to wipe out a three-goal deficit for a 4-3 win on Friday. St. John’s evened the series with its own 4-3 victory Saturday. John Haeg had two goals to pace St. John’s on Saturday.
St. Norbert swept Wis.-Superior to leapfrog into second place in the NCHA. David Jacobson stopped all 21 shots he faced, as St. Norbert shutout Wis.-Superior 3-0 on Friday. Five different players scored, as St. Norbert used a balanced scoring attack to down Wis.-Superior 5-2 Saturday. St. Norbert is only one point behind Wis.-River Falls in the conference standings.
Wis.-River Falls lost only its third game of the season, as it split with Wis.-Stout. Wis.-Stout pelted goalie Scott Lewan with 41 shots on Friday, but could not get the equalizer, as Wis.-River Falls won 4-3. Mike Hartviksen scored the game-winning goal Saturday at 7:43 of the third period, as Wis.-Stout defeated Wis.-River Falls 2-1 Saturday.
St. Scholastica earned three-out-of-four points with a tie and a win at Wis.-Stevens Point. St. Scholastica scored two goals in the third to earn a 3-3 overtime tie Friday. St. Scholasitca jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the third period en route to a 4-3 victory over Wis.-Stevens Point. St. Scholastica and Wis.-Stevens Point are tied for third in the NCHA.
Wis.-Eau Claire and St. Olaf skated to a 1-1 overtime draw Saturday. St. Olaf held a 1-0 lead going into the third period, but a goal by Jordan Singer for Wis.-Eau Claire tied the game.