NCAA Weekly Review: UConn Lands on Hockey East Map
After winning just one of its first seven games, the UConn men’s hockey team put itself on the Hockey East map in a span of just three days.
The drama began last Wednesday in its home opener against Boston College, when the Huskies got 35 saves from Rob Nichols and the only goal of the game off the stick of BC transfer Evan Richardson to post a stunning 1-0 victory over the Eagles. It was UConn’s first-ever Hockey East victory. The Huskies then took their show on the road to Boston University, where they got a late third-period, power-play goal from Shawn Pauly to earn a 4-4 tie with the Terriers.
Not sure anyone saw this one coming, least of all Top 5 teams BC or BU, which battled each other in a high-profile Friday night clash in between their respective meetings with a UConn squad that had gone just 1-4-2 over its first seven games.
Here’s some of the other highlights on Week 7 action around NCAA rinks:
• Notre Dame’s five-game unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt when the Fighting Irish were swept by No. 1 Minnesota on the road over the weekend. The Golden Gophers, playing without one of its top defenseman in Brady Skjei, rolled to a 5-0 win on Friday before posting a 4-2 victory on Sunday.
• In the NCHC, Minnesota-Duluth made a statement against in-state rival St. Cloud State as the Bulldogs swept the Huskies on the road for the first time in 15 years. Cal Decowski’s overtime goal gave the Bulldogs the win on Friday, their first victory over St. Cloud in seven years, before Kasimir Kaskisuo’s 27 saves helped the visitors earn a 3-1 decision on Saturday.
• Michigan Tech now has the honor of carrying the nation’s longest winning streak after the Huskies remained perfect on the young season at 8-0 with a weekend sweep of Alaska-Anchorage in WCHA play. The Huskies’ perfect mark should be tested this weekend when they play a pair of games on the road at Bemidji State.
• In WCHA news off the ice last week, the NCAA banned Alaska from 2014-15 postseason play among a series of penalties handed down to the school due to a series of eligibility infractions.
• Facing a winless and desperate Wisconsin team on the road, North Dakota continued to impress with a pair of victories that pushed their season record to 7-1-1, including a perfect 5-0 mark on the road. Junior Zane McIntyre continues to shine in goal for UND, having played in all nine games while fashioning a 1.93 GAA.
• Congratulations to Princeton first-year head coach Ron Fogarty, whose team got 40 saves from New Jersey native Colton Phinney on Friday to earn a 2-1 victory over Cornell, the coach’s first win behind the bench for the Tigers.
Here’s some Week 8 matchups you don’t want to miss this weekend:
• Alaska-Anchorage and Ferris State get the weekend started on Thursday with a WCHA battle in Big Rapids, Mich.
• An intriguing ECAC matchup on Friday finds the Bobcats of Quinnipiac putting their unbeaten conference record on the line against defending national champion Union, which is yet to win an ECAC game in four tries this season.
• Hockey East’s schedule is highlighted by a Vermont vs. Providence double-dip on Friday and Saturday.
• The don’t miss matchup in the NCHC finds once-beaten North Dakota playing host to the high-flying RedHawks of Miami.
• The non-conference slate may hold the most entertaining home-and-home series of the entire weekend when in-state rivals Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth do battle.