Sunday, October 14, 2007

WCHA Weekend Recap - 10/14

Now that the season is getting going, the WCHA Blog will have some new weekly features, including a weekend recap which will be published each Monday. We'll examine the weekend that was in the WCHA, which featured nine of the 10 teams hitting the ice.

Alaska Anchorage turned in a very good performance in playing host to the annual Nye Frontier Classic, as the Seawolves defunct the soon-to-be-defunct Wayne State Warriors by a 5-2 score on Friday night, and then tied Boston University thanks to a late goal by Josh Lunden, which was his second of the game and third of the weekend. Sophomore netminder Jon Olthuis turned in a good performance in both games, and he’ll need to continue to play well. Lunden, along with fellow sophomore forward Kevin Clark each had five-point weekends.

Colorado College played another exhibition game in the Springs this weekend. After defeating the University of Calgary by a 4-3 score last weekend, they doubled up the U.S. Under-18 team by a 6-3 score on Friday night. Andreas Vlassopoulos had three assists for the Tigers, while Bill Sweatt and Scott Thauwald had two-point nights. Junior Drew O'Connell started the game and allowed two goals, and then gave way to freshman Richard Bachman, who made 13 stops on the night. CC gets their season started this upcoming weekend as they play host to Minnesota.

The young but talented Denver Pioneers got their season off on the right foot by sweeping Maine in the Mile High City. In the first game on Friday night, Denver put up a whopping 48 shots en route to their 2-0 victory. Tyler Ruegsegger (1 G, 1 A) and Chris Butler (2 A) each had two points for the Pioneers on Friday. Saturday night, sophomore Brock Trotter scored just six seconds into the game to give the Pios an early lead that they would not relinquish. Freshmen Jesse Martin and Anthony Maiani would score their first collegiate goals on the night as well. Peter Mannino was between the pipes on both nights for Denver.

Michigan Tech opened up with a disappointing 3-2 loss to rival Northern Michigan in Houghton of Friday night as part of the Superior Cup. Senior Tyler Shelast scored both goals for the Huskies, while sophomore defenseman Drew Dobson had two helpers. Tech plays host to Lake Superior State on Sunday night to wrap up the first weekend of WCHA play.

The University of Minnesota opened up their season with a pair of 4-3 wins at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to capture the 2007 Ice Breaker Championship. Friday night, the Gophers were down 3-0 to RPI, but took advantage of some questionable calls by the officials to score four unanswered goals to advance to the championship game on Saturday night. In that game, Minnesota went up against Michigan, who beat Boston College in overtime on Friday by a 4-3 score. The Gophers came out with much more fire on Saturday, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by R.J. Anderson and Blake Wheeler. Ryan Flynn and Patrick White would add goals later on, and Jeff Frazee made 44 saves to lead the Gophers to a win. Junior Ryan Stoa suffered a knee injury for the Gophers, and will have an MRI early in the week to determine how much time he will miss.

Minnesota Duluth got their season off to a good start, as they tied Lake Superior State on Friday night and then shutout the Wildcats from Northern Michigan on Saturday night at the DECC. The Bulldogs put nearly 40 shots on Lakers’ netminder Pat Inglis on Friday night, but could manage just two goals. On Saturday, sophomore Alex Stalock made 21 saves to notch his first shutout of the year.

North Dakota played host to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, and destroyed the defending NCAA champion Michigan State Spartans by a 6-0 score at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Spartans outshot the Fighting Sioux by a 23-22 margin, but Jean-Philippe Lamoureux stood tall to get the shutout. Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan had a goal and an assist, while defensemen Robbie Bina and Taylor Chorney each had two assists for UND.

St. Cloud State played host to the Canisius Golden Griffins, and on Friday night, they weren’t very hospitable hosts, as they trounced the Griffins by a 7-0 score. Sophomore Jase Weslosky made 20 saves to get the shutout, while freshmen Garrett Roe and Tony Mosey each had three points on the evening. On Saturday, SCSU outshot Canisius by a 46-13 margin, but the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie. The Huskies were just 1-11 on the power play. Sophomore Ryan Lasch had two helpers for St. Cloud.

Finally, the Wisconsin Badgers split their two opening weekend games. On Friday night, they defeated Notre Dame by a 4-1 score in the first semifinal of the Lefty McFadden Invitational in Dayton, Ohio. UW got a goal from each of their four lines, including the first of many by super freshman Kyle Turris. On Saturday night, the Badgers yielded five goals to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a 5-3 loss. Turris had another good night with a goal and two assists. Junior netminder Shane Connelly, taking over the reigns for Brian Elliott, made 25 saves in the loss.