Next weekend’s MCHA and MIAC tournaments will have a tough first round act to follow, after what transpired in the NCHA’s opening round.
Home teams had more than they could handle in the first round of the NCHA tournament. The Peters Cup started Friday with two road teams being victorious and the other earning a tie. St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Stevens Point overcame their Friday home woes, but needed overtime games to put away the competition. Wisconsin-River Falls could not find an equalizer for Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The MIAC has its tournament seeding set. Gustavus Adolphus took three-of-four points against St. Olaf to secure the second seed. Hamline held onto the fifth and final position for the tournament, even though it did not play, thanks to wins by St. John’s and St. Mary’s. St. Olaf will host Hamline on Thursday, as St. Thomas will await the winner of that game on Saturday. St. John’s will travel to St. Peter, Minn., to take on Gustavus Adolphus Saturday as well.
Adrian claimed its fifth straight MCHA title and No. 1 seed in the South Division, while Marian did the same, securing the other No. 1 seed in the MCHA’s North Division. Both teams earned a bye from the first round of the MCHA playoffs, which begin next week.
Adrian defeated Finlandia, 7-5, Friday, as it battled back from a 3-2 first period deficit. Zach Graham scored two goals for Adrian, while Warren Webster had two goals for Finlandia. Adrian concluded its season with a 2-0 shutout of Finlandia and a fifth consecutive MCHA regular season title. Scott Shackell stopped 20 shots to earn his second shutout of the year.
Lake Forest built a pair of two-goal leads as it upended Lawrence, 5-2, Friday. Curren Forgue scored two goals for Lake Forest as Brendan Sullivan made 41 saves in the win. Phil Bushbacher’s power-play goal at 18:37 proved to be the game-winner as Lawrence bounced back to win, 2-1, Saturday. Lawrence will host Finlandia next week in the first round of the Harris Cup playoffs.
Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) shutout Northland, 3-0, on Friday, on the strength of Conner Toomey’s 27 saves. It was Toomey’s 10th career shutout. Jordan Keizer contributed to all three MSOE goals with two goals and assisting on the third. MSOE jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Saturday, but Northland battled back to tie the game at 3-3. Mike Lennon had two of those goals for Northland. Keizer scored his second game-winning goal of the weekend at 12:15 of the third period, as MSOE finished the regular season with a 4-3 win. MSOE hosts Lake Forest next weekend in the other Harris Cup first round matchup.
Marian defeated Concordia (Wis.), 5-1, Friday on the strength of two goals from Brendan Roberts. The victory, along with Lawrence’s loss to Lake Forest, moved Marian ahead in the standings of the MCHA’s North Division. Marian finished off the regular season with a 6-2 win over Concordia (Wis.) after constructing a 4-0 lead. Tommy Fitzpatrick collected two assists, which gave him 76 career points, a record for Marian defensemen.
Augsburg put an end to the 11-game winning streak of St. Thomas Friday with a 4-3 win. St. Thomas had not lost to Augsburg since Feb. 7, 2003, going 18-0-1 during that span. Tim Serratore scored twice for Augsburg, while Brandon Bahnemann had two goals for St. Thomas. St. Thomas outshot Augsburg 46-28 in the game, but Augsburg goaltender Justin Lochner was up to the task, making 43 saves. St. Thomas’ losing streak was short-lived, as Drew Fielding stopped 18 shots and St. Thomas killed off eight Augsburg power-play opportunities Saturday in a 2-0 victory. Bahnemann had the game-winning goal on the power play for St. Thomas
Gustavus Adolphus battled back to win in overtime Friday over St. Olaf, 3-2. After St. Olaf scored the first two goals of the game, Adam Smyth tied the score for Gustavus with two goals of his own. Dane Erickson put the game away with an unassisted goal with only 1:15 left on the clock. On Saturday, Gustavus spotted St. Olaf a three-goal lead before scoring three unanswered goals in the third period, settling for a 3-3 overtime draw.
St. John’s went two-for-three on the power play Thursday and secured a spot in the MIAC playoffs with a 4-1 victory over Bethel. Bethel went 0-for-6 with the man advantage in the game. It was a reversal of fortune for Bethel Friday, as it scored three power-play goals in a 7-4 win. Colin Mayer had two of the power-play goals for Bethel. St. John’s tied the score at 4-4 midway through the second period with a pair of goals by Jascha Pettit and John Haeg. Jake Iray put Bethel ahead for good at 14:44 of the second period with an even-strength goal.
St. Mary’s won on the road for the first time all season, as it knocked Concordia (Minn.) out of contention for the MIAC playoffs Friday. St. Mary’s scored four unanswered goals in a 5-1 victory. Concordia (Minn.) scored five times in the second period en route to a 7-0 shutout over St. Mary’s on Saturday. Glen Gayet had 22 saves in his first start of the year, and Marc Harrie scored two goals for Concordia (Minn.)
Wisconsin-Stout overcame a 4-0 deficit to squeak out a 4-4 overtime tie against St. Scholastica Friday. Tyler Miller scored 1:19 into overtime on Saturday to send St. Scholastica to the next round of the NCHA tournament. Wis.-Stout continued Friday’s momentum into Saturday’s game, taking a 2-0 lead before St. Scholastica scored the next three goals.
Wis.-Eau Claire came away with a 3-1 upset win over Wis.-River Falls Friday. Jordan Singer scored the game-winner at 15:48 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie. Kurt Weston scored his second goal of the game for Wis.-Eau Claire, an empty-netter with 20 seconds left in the game. On Saturday, with the game tied at 1-1 and 1:20 left in overtime, Wis.-River Falls pulled goalie Scott Lewan in an attempt to force a mini-game. Singer again became the hero for Wis.-Eau Claire, as he put the game away with an empty-net goal.
Andy Singerhouse scored the game-winning goal at 5:48 of the third for Wisconsin-Superior, as it defeated Wis.-Stevens Point, 2-1, Friday. In Saturday’s rematch, it was all Wis.-Stevens Point as it defeated Wis.-Superior, 3-0, to force the decisive mini-game. Chad Boeckman and Kyle Heck scored power-play goals for Wis.-Stevens Point. In the mini-game, Justin Faryna drew first blood for Wis.-Superior for a 1-0 lead, but Boeckman and Heck rose to the occasion for Wis.-Stevens Point. Boeckman scored with the goalie pulled with just 36 seconds left in regulation of the 20 minute mini-game. In sudden death overtime, Heck scored on the wraparound to give Wis.-Stevens Point the series win.