The weekend in review…
EAST WRAP – Tim Costello
Just four points separate the top five teams in the conference after a weekend that saw contender battles tighten things up at the top. Endicott avenged an early season overtime loss by knocking off Nichols on home ice by a 5-3 score behind two goals apiece from Cam Olsson and Cam Bleck. Another battle among top-four contenders saw Suffolk knock off Salve Regina by a 3-2 score. The Rams spotted the home team a first-period lead of 2-0 before rallying over the final 20 minutes with two goals to take the lead. Brandon Smolarek made 34 saves in the win that ties Suffolk with Nichols at the top of the standings.
Hobart took games from Nazareth to maintain their grip on the top spot in the conference. Brad Robbins scored all three goals in Friday’s 3-0 win before opening the scoring for four in a row in Saturday’s 6-2 win.
Manhattanville surged into second place with a dramatic 5-4 overtime win over Elmira on Friday night. In a game with five lead changes, the Valiants won the game with just over a second remaining on a penalty shot goal from Stephen Gaul, who was awarded the shot when Elmira’s Rob Simpson was whistled for displacing the net in the final second.
Plymouth State tied Framingham State on Thursday before downing Fitchburg State by a 3-1 score. Forward Andrew Wigg tallied twice an added an assist to bring his career scoring total to 100 points.
Salem State inched closer to the Panthers with a 4-2 win over Fitchburg State on Thursday before dismantling Massachusetts-Dartmouth by a 7-2 score. Cam Moniz and Andrew Bucci scored two goals each for the Vikings.
In a game that saw a combined 112 shots on goal, Stonehill took an important conference win from Assumption by a 5-2 score. Garrett White scored two of the Skyhawks’ three first-period goals and chased Assumption’s starting goalie Nick Commesso as Stonehill cruised to the win and remained unbeaten in conference play.
Things are tightening up at the top as Babson took a pair of wins over Castleton and Skidmore, while conference leader and travel partner Massachusetts-Boston tied Skidmore 3-3 on Friday night before defeating Castleton 5-1 to yield a point back in the standings. The Beavers now trail by just two points.
Norwich remained in the third spot with a win over New England College and a tie at St. Anselm, while the University of New England won its lone game of the weekend against travel partner Southern Maine by a 9-2 score where 14 players recorded a point for the Nor’easters.
Trinity continued its winning ways with a pair of close wins over Tufts and Connecticut College, while Williams split a pair of games in Maine and Hamilton won its only league matchup over Amherst putting all three teams within just two points for the top spot in the conference.
Wesleyan broke into the win column with a big road win on Friday night when they knocked off Connecticut College by a 5-2 score. James Kline picked up a pair of goals for the Cardinals in the win.
Bowdoin played things close to the vest and took four points at home with a 1-0 win over Williams followed by a 2-1 win over Middlebury. Freshman Cody Tedesco scored the game-winning goals in both games for the Polar Bears.
Dillan Fox scored twice in Plattsburgh’s Friday night road win over Morrisville and Connor Gorman did him one goal better in recording a hat trick in the home win on Saturday over the Mustangs by a 4-2 score. The four points moved the Cardinals into the top spot alone in SUNYAC.
Anthony Marra scored twice and added an assist as Geneseo downed Cortland 6-1 keeping the Knights in the thick of the battle at the top, while Oswego appears to be making a late-season run following their 5-3 win at Brockport. The Lakers outshot the home team by a 51-30 margin, but needed the game winner from Shawn Hulshof in the third period to break open a 3-3 tie. Hulshof recorded a hat trick with a goal in each period in the win.
Bryan Green, St. Anselm – the freshman forward made his first goals of the season count in a big way for the Hawks when he scored a natural hat trick to open the scoring in a 5-1 win over Franklin Pierce last Monday night.
Brad Robbins, Hobart – the Statesmen forward made it easy as 1-2-3 in scoring a goal in each period as the only goals of the game for a natural hat trick in Hobart’s 3-0 win over Nazareth. Robbins made it four goals in a row when he opened the scoring on Saturday night’s rematch, also won by Hobart 6-2.
Andrew Wigg, Plymouth State – the senior forward figured in all three Panther goals in a 3-1 win over Fitchburg State that saw Wigg attain 100 points for his career in 93 games played.
WEST WRAP – Brian Lester
Augsburg and Concordia (Minn.) went into their weekend series tied for second place in the MIAC standings and they played like two teams jockeying for position at the top of the standings.
Saturday’s game was wild to say the least. The Cobbers trailed 3-0, but scored three goals in a span of 135 seconds to forge the tie. Jordie Bancroft fueled the rally with a pair of goals. Adam Wiertzema scored the game-tying goal. Eli May, Eric Brenk and Nate Flynn all scored for the Auggies, who are now 10-6-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the MIAC. Concordia is 7-8 overall and 5-2-1 in the conference. The Auggies are atop the conference with 19 points and the Cobbers are third with 17 points. Augsburg edged the Cobbers 4-3 Friday and the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie Saturday. The Auggies snapped a two-game losing streak Friday with the win and handed Concordia only its second conference loss of the year. Trevor Stewart scored twice in Friday’s win. Jon Grebosky scored his team-leading ninth goal of the year for the Cobbers. It was his fifth goal in the last six games … St. John’s wrapped up a sweep of Bethel Saturday with a 7-1 win. The Johnnies scored seven unanswered goals to secure the victory and catapult themselves into a tie for second with St. Thomas in the MIAC standings. Both teams have 18 points. The Johnnies have scored seven more more goals in their last three games and have punched in 20 goals in their last three games against the Royals. Mitch Fritz and Neal Smith each scored two goals to pace St. John’s, which is 8-9-2 overall and 6-4 in the MIAC. Smith his pushed his season goal total to eight. Saxton Soley racked up 19 saves for his sixth win. The Johnnies won 7-3 Friday as the fourth line combined for nine points. St. John’s trailed 2-0 early before striking back with fourth goals. Sam Valerius paced the Johnnies with two goals. Travis Payne scored his seventh goal in the last three games for the Royals, who are now 2-12-2 overall and 1-7 in the conference.
In the biggest showdown of the weekend, top-ranked St. Norbert and second-ranked Adrian duked it out on the ice. The two teams came away with a split as the Bulldogs grinded out a 5-4 win Friday before the Green Knights salvaged a split with a 2-1 win. Chris Leone scored the game-winner late in the third period to give Adrian the win on Friday. The Bulldogs extended the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at any level of college hockey to 16 games. Trevor Boyd and Brett Pinkerton scored to stake the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead but Michael Hill struck twice off the power play to tie the game. Riley Christensen gave St. Norbert a 3-2 lead before Byran Yim tied the game. Adrian led 4-3 after a goal by Jeremy Olinyk but St. Norbert tied it again on a goal by Erik Cooper. The game was rugged throughout as the two teams combined for 11 infractions. Saturday’s game was just as tight, only goals were tougher to come by. Ross Pavek scored the game winner for the Green Knights, ending Adrian’s impressive unbeaten streak at 16. Michael Hill also scored for the Green Knights. Daniel Lisi scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs. The two teas combined for 11 penalties and Adrian held a 32-15 advantage in shots. Adrian is now 15-2-1 overall and 11-2-1 in the conference. St. Norbert is 14-2-1 overall and 10-2 in the conference. T.J. Black made 31 saves for the Green Knights. Tyler Parks tallied 13 saves for Adrian … Marian capped off a sweep of Lake Forest over the weekend with an 8-3 win. The Sabres, ranked No. 15 in the nation, have swept the last three series they have played and are riding a six-game win streak at the moment. Jake Howie and Warren Carter both scored two goals apiece to pave the way. Howe also dished out three assists on a night when he came through with his third multi-goal game of the season. Mike Gudmanson racked up 19 saves as he earned his third win of the season. He is 3-3. The Sabres are 11-5-3 overall and 9-4-1 in the NCHA. Lake Forest is 6-11 overall and 4-10 in the conference. Marian scored five goals in the first two periods to earn a 5-2 win over the Foresters Friday. Curtis Lewington scored his first career goal in the win. Carter tallied his fourth goal of the season and Derek Thorogood dished out four assists. Mike Baldwin made 14 saves for his eighth win. Ian Pichel and Justin Pelock scored for Lake Forest.
Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-Eau Claire battled in a top 10 showdown Friday and the Blugolds used an overtime goal to pull off the win at home. Patrick Moore scored the game winner for eighth-ranked Eau Claire. It was one three goals for Moore. Jake Hopfner and Bryan Sinz also scored for Eau Claire, which improved to 12-5-2 overall and to 2-2 in the WIAC. Adam Knochenmus, the team’s leading goal scoring threat, racked up four assists as the Blugolds snapped a two-game losing streak. Knochenmus has tallied 16 goals and 12 assists on the year. The fourth-ranked Pointers erased a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead on goals by Jono Davis, Kyle Sharkey and Trace Strahle. Sharkey scored twice in the game … Stevens Point bounced back Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 win over No. 13 Wisconsin-River Falls. Alex Kromm punched in the game-winner with 14 seconds as the Pointers erased a two-goal deficit. The win ended the Falcons’ 11-game unbeaten streak. Stephan Beauvais scored the other goal during the comeback. Logan Lemirande also scored for Stevens Point, which improved to 13-4-1 overall and 2-2 in the WIAC. Mike Dietrich, Danny Hamburg and Taylor Burden all scored for the Falcons, who are 11-4-3 and 3-1 in the conference. Stevens Point has won seven of its last eight games. The loss was the first for River Falls since Nov. 21 when it fell 2-1 to the Milwaukee School of Engineering.