Monday, October 29, 2007

WCHA Weekend Recap - 10/29

The Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, who got off to a hot 3-0-1 start, came back down to earth a bit this weekend, as they tied Minnesota State 2-2 on Friday night and then were shutout by the Mavericks on Saturday by a 2-0 score. After the first period on Friday, it appears as though the Seawolves would continue their winning ways, as they got out in front of the Mavs by a 2-0 score. However, they would surrender one goal in each of the final two periods and skated to a draw. In Saturday’s rematch, the Seawolves found themselves trailing by a 1-0 score just 1:18 into the game, and that was all the Mavericks needed on the night. The Seawolves now travel to St. Cloud State and Minnesota for back-to-back road series, though they have a weekend off in between.

Speaking of coming back down to earth, the Colorado College Tigers did just that this weekend, though against arguably one of the top teams in the nation in the form of New Hampshire, who swept CC by scores of 5-3 and 4-2 in Durham, N.H. On Friday night, the Tigers got out to a quick 3-1 lead after the first period, but couldn’t extend their lead past two goals. UNH brought the score to within one after the second period, and then used three third period goals to take control of the game. The Tigers managed just three third period shots in the loss. In Saturday’s rematch, the Tigers outshot the Wildcats by a 33-25 margin, but were only able to get two goals past UNH’s sophomore netminder Brian Foster, who was making his first start of the season. Thing don’t get any easier for the Tigers this weekend, as they travel to Grand Forks to take on the Fighting Sioux before returning home for five of their next six contests.

It was a tale of two nights in the Mile High City this weekend, as the Denver Pioneers were able to gain a split with Minnesota Duluth. In Friday’s opening contest, the Pios used three second period goals to propel themselves to a 5-1 win. Sophomores Tyler Ruegsegger and Rhett Rakhshani each had two-point evenings, while freshman Kyle Ostrow notched his third tally of the year. The tide turned on Saturday though, as UMD’s Alex Stalock made 43 saves, including 18 in the third period, as the Pioneers were shutout by a 3-0 score. The power play killed DU on this night, as they were 0-7 with the man advantage. Denver now travels to Minnesota for a pair of games this weekend versus the Gophers.

It was a similar story in Houghton this weekend as it was in Denver, as the two games played between the Michigan Tech Huskies and North Dakota were very different. In Friday’s game, Michael-Lee Teslak made 26 saves in the Huskies’ 3-1 win. Two third period goals, including an empty-netter, were the difference in this one. On Saturday, Tech’s Rob Nolan could not stop the Fighting Sioux’s offensive onslaught, as UND cruised to a 6-0 win. Tech was 0-7 on the power play, while the Fighting Sioux went an impressive 3-8. The Huskies will look to rebound next weekend when they hit the road for a matchup with the Badgers in Madison

Minnesota rebounded off of their poor performance in Colorado Springs the weekend before by sweeping a pair of games from the Ohio State Buckeyes at Mariucci Arena. Minnesota outshot the Buckeyes by a 16-2 margin and scored two goals in the first period on Thursday night, and cruised to a 3-1 victory. OSU rebounded nicely on Friday and outplayed the Gophers for much of the game. Freshman netminder Alex Kangas was very good in his first college start, as he stopped 32 of 33 Buckeyes shots, and Jay Barriball got the game-winning goal on a breakaway early in the second period in the Gophers’ 2-1 win. Minnesota also topped the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team on Saturday night by a 3-1 score. The Maroon and Gold host Denver for a pair of games this weekend.

The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs continued their strong play this season as they managed to gain two points on the road in Denver. The Bulldogs came out flat on Friday night and got trounced by a 5-1 score, managing just 23 shots on the evening. Saturday night was certainly a different story, as sophomore Alex Stalock was stellar between the pipes, stopping all 43 Pioneers shots that came his way. MacGregor Sharp scored the first goal of the game, which turned out to be the game-winner, midway through the second period. Rob Bordson and Matt Greer tacked on some insurance goals later in the game. The Bulldogs now take a week off before heading back to Colorado to take on the CC Tigers on Nov. 9-10.

After suffering a pair of losses in Houghton to the Michigan Tech Huskies to start off their season, the Minnesota State Mavericks picked up an impressive three points on their trip to Anchorage against the Seawolves. Troy Jutting’s team fought back after finding themselves down a 2-0 score after the first period on Friday night to tie UAA 2-2. Saturday night’s rematch was highlighted by Mike Zacharias’ 25 saves, as the Mavs shutout the Seawolves by a 2-0 score. Mick Berge and James Gaulrapp got the goals for Minnesota State, who now head south to take on Alabama-Huntsville in non-conference play before opening up the WCHA season against Minnesota the following week.

Not only did the North Dakota Fighting Sioux actually lose a game this weekend, but the even allowed three (3!!!) goals – OMG! UND’s offense was held in check on Friday night in their 3-1 loss to Michigan Tech in Houghton, but the came back with vengeance on Saturday in a 6-0 thumping of the Huskies. Friday’s contest was 1-1 going into the third period, and despite UND’s 14 shots on goal in the final frame, they yielded two goals to the Huskies that cost UND the game. Saturday’s effort was headed by junior T.J. Oshie, who notched a hat trick in the win. Reigning Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan had three assists, while defensemen Taylor Chorney and Robbie Bina each had two helpers on the night. The Fighting Sioux now return home to take on Colorado College in a big early-season series for both teams.

St. Cloud State returned to the National Hockey Center after being swept the weekend before by the Bulldogs in Duluth to take on the Bemidji State Beavers. The Huskies were outshot by a 40-29 margin on Friday night, but sophomore Jase Weslosky was able to make the two Husky goals standup, as SCSU won by a 2-1 score. Saturday’s rematch was much more lopsided on the scoreboard, as St. Cloud used four power play goals to cruise to a 6-1 win. Nate Dey and Garrett Roe each had two goals for the Huskies, who skated to a 2-2 tie with the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team on Sunday night. The WCHA Blog was in attendance and will post some video later today.

Wisconsin was off this weekend, but hit the ice this Friday for a home series versus Michigan Tech.