Monday, November 26, 2007

WCHA Weekend Recap - 11/26

Neither the Wisconsin Badgers nor the Minnesota Golden Gophers faired too well in the College Hockey Showcase, as both teams left the state of Michigan winless. On Friday night, Minnesota – playing without junior center Blake Wheeler who sat out with a knee injury – played a pretty solid road game at Michigan State, but were unable to hold on to a pair of third period leads, as they skated to a 3-3 tie. In Ann Arbor, the Badgers found themselves down 3-0 going into the third period versus the Michigan Wolverines, but a pair of late goals by Podge Turnbull and Ben Street gave the Cardinal and White a chance at the end, but they still came out on the losing end by a score of 3-2. Having a chance at the end of the game was not something that Minnesota had the next night versus Red Berenson and Co., as Michigan steamrolled the Gophers by a 5-1 score, ending their six-game skid versus Minnesota. The Badgers, like Minnesota, skated to a tie with MSU, but unlike the Gophers, UW again scored two goals in the third period to crawl back into the game. UW outshot the Spartans by a 37-27 margin.

As expected, Colorado College and Denver split in a home-and-home series, with each team winning on home ice. On Friday night, junior Chad Rau’s hat trick sparked the Tigers to a 5-1 win. Both of his linemates – Jimmy Kilpatrick and Scott Thauwald – each had two helpers, while defenseman Nate Prosser had a goal and an assist. Freshman Richard Bachman picked up his eighth win of the year, stopping 28 DU shots. The Pioneers rebounded nicely the next night though, as they limited CC to just 22 shots, including just five in the third period, en route to a 3-2 win. Sophomore Tyler Ruegsegger had a goal and an assist for DU. Senior Peter Mannino picked up his ninth win of the season.

In Grand Forks, the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs managed a split when, after Friday night’s game, it looked like North Dakota would roll to a sweep. In the first game of the series, North Dakota got out to a three-goal first period lead just 9:01 into the game. UMD then scored the next three goals to knot the game at 3-3. However, UND would score five unanswered goals to close the game out, winning by an 8-3 score. UND got goals from eight different scorers, and three of their four lines contributed two goals each; freshman Derrick LaPoint also scored from the blueline. In the Saturday rematch, the game was tied 2-2 midway through the third period, when UMD’s Drew Akins dumped the puck in on UND goalie Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. And much like Robbie Bina’s goal last year at Minnesota, the dump-in skipped over JPL’s glove and into the net, giving UMD a 3-2 lead. Matt McKnight would tack on an empty-netter to give UMD a big 4-2 win.

In a rematch of last year’s two games in St. Cloud, the St. Cloud State Huskies went to Clarkson and came home with a split, which certainly has to be an outcome that the SCSU faithful would be happy with. On Friday night, SCSU was outshot by a 33-13 margin, but managed to win a by a 4-1 score, as sophomore Jase Weslosky made 32 saves for his sixth win of the year. Fellow sophomore Ryan Lasch continued his torrid pace, scoring a pair of goals. In the rematch on Saturday, the Huskies would again give up 30-plus shots, but freshman goalie Dan Dunn could not put up a performance similar to Weslosky’s, as SCSU lost 3-2. Clarkson’s Nick Dodge’s fifth goal of the season late in the third period was the difference for the Golden Knights.