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Although non-conference series are all well and good in terms of PairWise and whatnot, they just don’t seem to generate the same kind of excitement as league battles do. Either that, or I still have too much tryptophan in my brain to process. Mmm, leftovers.

– CC’s Tyler Johnson scored two goals in the Tigers’ loss to UAA on Friday night. While this is good, more interesting is that Johnson scored his first even-strength goal of the year with his first. Out of the senior’s seven goals this year, six have come on the power play.

– When I saw the result of MSU’s game against Mass.-Lowell on Friday, I about did a double take. Eight goals? Holy offense, Batman. Five of them came from two players – Justin Jokinen had a hat trick and Rylan Galiardi netted another two.

– The Mavs followed it up the next night with their first sweep of the season, thanks to a lucky break on Saturday’s game-winning goal.
“I’d rather be a little lucky at times than good every time, coach Troy Jutting told media afterwards.

– Denver did basically as expected, beating Lake Superior State and Air Force to win the Denver Cup.

– It was mostly thanks to sophomore Drew Shore’s six points (four goals, two assists), including Shore’s hat trick on Friday night.
“I think it was midgets,” he responded when asked when the last time he scored a hatty was.

– Bemidji State exchanged shut-outs with Northern Michigan for the split, winning on Saturday.
“After losing Friday night I felt this was probably a must win,” coach Tom Serratore told media on Saturday. “Our guys responded and I really respect our effort and respected how our guys responded because we played with a lot of desperation tonight.”

– The Gophers had an interesting weekend, losing to Michigan State and beating Michigan (the opposite of what both Tyler and I thought would happen).

– What’s probably most interesting was Don Lucia switching to Alex Kangas about midway through the first on Friday and sticking with him on Sunday. It appears that he’s just going to go with the hot hand in net for now …

– Wisconsin tied Michigan and beat Michigan State, in part thanks to some goal scoring by the Badger defensemen.

– Jake Gardiner almost became the first Badger blue liner to score a hat trick since 1992. However, without prompting, he said this his first goal should be credited to Sean Dolan, as it went in off his hip.

– Gardiner’s two actual goals brought the Badgers back into the game, one being the game-tying goal.
“There’s no lead you can’t overcome. No matter how much you are down, you can’t give up. That’s our motto here,” he told media after Friday’s game.

– While Gardiner didn’t get that hat trick, teammate Justin Schultz did manage the feat in Saturday’s victory over the Spartans.
“I got four, he said when asked to confirm whether he did indeed become the fifth defenseman in program history to get a hat trick, referring to an MSU goal that went in off his skate.

– North Dakota took three points from Notre Dame, winning on Friday and tying on Sunday. Despite the fact that taking three points from a non-conference foe is a pretty good thing, coach Dave Hakstol wasn’t exactly thrilled afterward.
“When we have a one-goal lead, these are games we want to close out,” he told media afterward (the Irish tied the game up with about three minutes to play). “We’re going to take it for what it is. It is a good three points. It is a series win. But at the same time, we had a lead with a little over three minutes to go.”

– Sioux captain Chay Genoway was also unhappy with the tie and, more particularly, his performance in the game (he was on the ice for both Notre Dame goals). As a result, he decided to skate himself afterwards on the Olympic ice sheet at the Ralph Englestad Arena, found out accidentally by Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald. As for what “he decided to skate himself” means, think the infamous “AGAIN!” scene from Miracle. Anyone who’s played hockey (or, for that matter, had to run what we called “suicides” back in the day) knows that those are probably about one of the least enjoyable things you can do on the ice so for him to do that voluntarily speaks volumes about what kind of leader he tries to be for his team.

– Also, I missed this in my e-mail after I had already posted last week’s weekend round-up, but I wanted to mention this. Reader David Harrington sent me the following interesting factoid:
“I don’t know if this came across your radar or not, but Bemidji scored on its first shot against Denver on Friday night, making it a string of 4 games in a row where they scored on their first shot. The string was broken on Saturday night.”
How cool is that?