Dec. 6th – Weekend Rewind

And Then There Were Four.

With Gustavus Adolphus, Trinity, and Wis.- Stevens Point all falling from the ranks of the unbeaten this week, only four now remain.

RIT didn’t show any signs of complacency in its first week as the nation’s No. 1 team. The Tigers took care of Neumann 7-1 and 6-1 to improve to 12-0-0 on the year.

Wis.- River Falls moved up to third in the latest USCHO.com Poll after downing Wis.- Eau Claire 7-4 and 3-2 in overtime to move to 8-0-0.

Middlebury continued to go about its business quietly with a 3-0 shutout win over Williams to finish the first semester at 6-0-0. The Panthers have scored exactly three goals in five of their games so far.

In the biggest matchup over the weekend, No. 2 Plattsburgh prevailed with a 4-2 win at No. 5 Norwich, despite being outshot 43-12. The Cardinals’ 12 shots on goal are believed to be the lowest total in a game in the 10-year history of the program.

Plattsburgh senior All-American goaltender Mandy Mackrell was simply brilliant between the pipes for the Cardinals, making Vezina type save after Vezina type save with sound positioning and clear sightlines at the puck.

After struggling through the first weekend of the season at the East/West Hockey Classic, New England College has made a nice little turnaround going 5-1 over their last six games, including a 5-3 win over Manhattanville on Saturday. The Pilgrims have been a thorn in Manhattanville’s side lately as they were the ones that upset the Valiants on home ice last year, denying Manhattanville a berth in the conference finals against Norwich.

Once again the MIAC looks like it will be a wide-open race this season for the playoff spots. St. Thomas split with Gustavus Adolphus to drop the Gusties from the ranks of the unbeaten, while St. Mary’s took three points from St. Catherine.

Gustavus is currently out front with 10 points and if history means anything, the Gusties are a tough team to bet against to be the one triumphant in the end. However, the increased level of competition from St. Catherine and St. Mary’s has helped increase the overall strength of the league over the last two years. St. Catherine, St. Mary’s, and St. Thomas are in a three-way tie for second right now with nine points.

In the NCHA, it appears that five teams have started to distance themselves from the rest of the conference. Currently, Superior leads the league with 13 points, while River Falls is second with 12. However, the Yellowjackets have played two more games than River Falls. Adrian follows closely behind in third with 11 points in six games played as well.

Stevens Point fell to Lake Forest for its first loss of the season, which was an important win for Lake Forest to close out the semester. They’ll hopefully have the services of NCAA D-III scoring champion Kim Herring back in the second semester making the Foresters a threat again.

Five Minutes of Fame

Elmira freshman forward Tori Charron has been filling up the score sheet all season as she not only leads all rookies, but she also leads the country in goals with 12. She may have saved her best performance to date though this past weekend when she scored the game-tying goal against Utica with five seconds left in the third period on Saturday and then added the game-winner with five seconds remaining in overtime as well to lift the Soaring Eagles to a 4-3 win. She followed up with a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 3-0 win as well.

Player of the Week – Tori Charron, Elmira
Tori, a freshman from Goodwood, Ont. netted three goals and an assist to help lead Elmira to an important ECAC West sweep over Utica. She scored the game-tying goal with five seconds left in the game and then scored the game-winner with five seconds left in overtime on Saturday. She has 12 goals and three assists for 15 points on the year.
Rookie of the Week – Brook Story, Wis.- River Falls
Brook, a freshman from Warroad, Minn., scored three goals and an assist to help lead the Falcons to a sweep of Wis.- Eau Claire over the weekend. She scored two goals in Friday night’s 7-4 win and then added a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win. Story has seven goals and two assists for nine points on the season.

Goalie of the Week – Mandy Mackrell, Plattsburgh
Mackrell, a senior from Cleveland, Ohio made 41 saves to help backstop Plattsburgh to a 4-2 win at No. 5 Norwich on Friday night. Mackrell is 5-0-0 on the season with a 0.60 goals against average, .966 save percentage, and three shutouts.

  • Rich

    Or how bout the Mavs beat Michigan in every facet of the game in their own building. 4-2 Mavs win, wouldn’t be surprised to see it again tomorrow.

  • Baty0501

    I like the 3 pt. picks…gutsy.

  • Sloe Gin

    don’t tell Hak about the 2nd half surge…he doesn’t know anything about it. ;-)

  • Fredct

    In case you didn’t notice, the same is true of the ECAC… does that mean everyone got shafted? or is it just the way the cookie crumbled?

  • farce poobah

    Once again, a tip of the hat to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey leadership for putting in place and objective process to select teams for the tournament. After hearing all the whining, and seeing the apparent political moves in basketball, this is a meritocracy at its finest.

  • Hey Guys & Gals…..ease-up! This is a GAME. It sounds like politicians in the House & Senate. Enjoy the games.

  • Dbznd

    So, it is by-the-book that 4 of the 5 WCHA teams are in the West/MidWest Regionals? LOL Can’t have anything to do with a few years ago when all 4 teams in the Finals were from the WCHA, can it? What a joke. As the selection committee knows that the PairWise can & does accomplish this goal, why would they ever listen to the KRACH Poll? Placing Denver with UND in Green Bay proves their intent of an easier road for some of the schedule-deficient eastern teams…

    Be carefull HE fans, one day things will shift, and it will be you left looking at this joke! BTW: As a measure of the joke caled NCAA Selsction Committee, the 3 HE teams in the field have SOS rankings of 26 (DC), 34 (MERR) & 23 (NH), while the 5 WCHA teams have rankings of 7 (UND), 6 (DU), 11 (UMD), 7 (UNO) & 8 (CC).

    Guess we will know where the regular season strength was at. It will be interesting to see how it all goes in the NCAA’s. Just too bad conferences aren’t seperated better, but what the hell, lets go play hockey!@

    Good Luck to all of the teams/players. Personally, I think that ND’s season-long schedule (& the other 4 WCHA teams) will give them the on-ice experience to finally win Coach Hak a National title. If not, we will always be damned proud of the Fighting Sioux!

    • Matto

      Yes, it is by the book. That’s why I, Jason and many others had it correctly pegged last night. There were no surprises.

      There is no rule preventing a repeat of 2005. In fact, we have had two occasions since 2005 to repeat an all-conference final — the WCHA in 2008, and the CCHA is 2009. You don’t remember 2008, only because the WCHA was 1-4 against non-WCHA teams that year, including two losses that were embarrassingly lopsided, and one to an ECAC team (the one win was also over an ECAC team).

      Placing Denver with UND is nothing more than the simple fact that UND is #2 and Denver is #7 by pairwise, which means they SHOULD be in the same regional. There’s no conspiratorial intent, beyond that.

      • Anonymous

        Funny how you defend the PairWise, when even the NCAA has admitted that it has major flaws, as anyone knows by looking at what has transpired again, this year. The KRACH does have it right, and it’s parameters track the reality of schedule strength. No biggie! The proof will come out in a week. Enjoy your rankings and brackets. I stand by my prediction that the WCHA & CCHA will prove that their tougher conferences, as well as their non-confefrence scheduling, puts them in a stronger position that HE. Before you bring it up, yes, Cornell did have a great weekend in Grand Forks! Take care and stay close to your heart doctoer!

        • Matto

          Lay off the caffeine, brother.

          ParWise, whether you like it or not, is the selection system for who makes t he tournament, and the default system for who they play. This year’s bracket was obvious last night, which is how I and many others called it. Your “solution” would be to place Denver in Manchester, which makes no sense at all: it would displace a higher seeded team (Merrimack) that is also closer to home. All for the sake of soothing your WCHA bias. That was a non-starter, all along.

          As for who proves what, sure. It could happen. But it’s been 5 years since the WCHA had a winning record in the tournament, and that includes WCHA teams losing to Yale, Clarkson and RIT. So color me unconvinced that Denver is so regal by their WCHA runner-up status that they somehow merit being shifted.

          Krach is interesting, but… they have it right? Krach routinely has the 4/1 gap much, much wider. Their rating system wouldn’t have come remotely close to predicting any of the Atlantic or CHA upsets of the past few years, let alone a pair of ECAC teams taking out WCHA teams. I suppose it’s nice if you want to claim that Minnesota deserves a spot (me, I don’t think UNO deserves a spot). It’s moot, anyway: Krach isn’t the selection system, Pairwise is. And this year’s brackets are about as simple as can be.

          • Anonymous

            LOL You keep repeating that “PairWise is the selection system”!!! DUH!!! What I, and others, say is that PairWise does not take Strength of Schedule into consideration at a high enough level. That works to the favor of HE teams that do not play the same, high-concentration of top level competition year-in & year-out. This is just one year, but over the past decades, Western teams traditionally play more top-level teams. Its a fact! Taking an average of PWR, RPI, KRACH, USCHO & USA TODAY, here are the rankings:
            TEAM AVG Rank
            1 UND 1.4
            2 BC 2.2
            3 YAL 2.6
            4 MI 4.8
            5 MIA 5.0
            6 DU 5.4
            7 MER 7.2
            8 UNI 8.4
            9 UMD 9.4
            10 ND 9.4
            11 UNH 11.0
            12 WMI 12.2
            13 UNO 12.6
            14 CC 13.8
            15 RPI 19.0
            16 AF 26.3

            And here are the brackets after eliminating 1st round inter-conference matchups & UNH host:
            East Regional:
            1 YALE
            4 CC
            2 DU
            3 UNH

            MidEast Regional
            1 MI
            4 UNO
            2 MIA
            3 UMD

            West Regional
            1 BC
            4 RPI
            2 MER
            3 ND

            MidWest Regional
            1 UND
            4 AF
            2 UNION
            3 WMI

            looks a lot more representative of what the actual team strem/league strengths were this season! Oh, well, enough effing-off & back to working for myself! Have fun and looking forward to some great HOCKEY!!!

          • Matto

            Yikes. Really. Lay off the caffeine. Enjoy the games.