Five highlights from around the country:
1. Colorado College rallied from a 4-0 deficit to earn a stunning 4-4 tie with the team I voted No. 1 in this week’s poll, New Hampshire. Rylan Schwartz and William Rapuzzi, who have been the hot hands for CC, scored back-to-back goals in the final 3:32 of regulation to tie it up.
2. Denver scored an extra-attacker goal to tie things up with Yale and had a power play to start overtime, but eventually gave that man advantage back to the Bulldogs, who cashed in on their OT power play to upset the Pioneers 2-1.
3. Crazy ending in Marquette, Mich. Alaska (Fairbanks) scored a shorthanded goal with 56 seconds left to tie the game against Northern Michigan. Then, the Wildcats turned the tables and scored shorthanded to win it in overtime.
4. The Vermont Sioux produced a goal — Brett Bruneteau from Matt White — but it wasn’t enough as the Gophers earned a win in their first trip East in nine years. Minnesota dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
5. Clarke Saunders is no longer with Huntsville, but the Chargers still gave Omaha all it could handle. The Mavs prevailed this time 3-2, though, saving many fans headaches. Rick Zombo’s son, Dominic, continued his great season with a goal and an assist. He now has 12 points this season after tallying just three points as a rookie.
WCHA top performers
3 points — Rylan Schwartz, CC, 1 goal, 2 assists
2 points — Jeff Jubinville, BSU, 2 goals
2 points — Tony Cameanesi, Duluth, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Zach Budish, Minnesota, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Kyle Rau, Minnesota, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Matt Leitner, MSU, 1 goal, 1 assist
2 points — Dylan Margonari, MSU, 1 goal, 1 assist
UND 2, Notre Dame 1
The game went, a little bit, as expected Friday night. It was a low-scoring game (Notre Dame hasn’t allowed more than three goals all season long), but this time, it was North Dakota’s defense and goaltending that earned the win. Game stories:
- One item that will be a hot topic is Notre Dame’s disallowed goal in the final minutes. If you look at the replay, from where the referee is standing, he cannot see the puck. It looks like it’s under Saunders’ leg from there. His whistle clearly blew before Lee knocked the puck in. And without question, he should not have blown the whistle.
- It is an interesting twist, and I don’t think UND fans will be feeling too bad about it. These teams played in The Ralph two years ago and the refs disallowed a Matt Frattin goal that, without question, should have counted. The teams went on to tie that night.
- After the game, goalie Clarke Saunders said that breaks like this always even out. Kind of ironic, because the breaks did even out between these teams and disallowed goals. It just took two years.
- Notre Dame came out with a good push in the third period, but UND was up to the task and actually held the Irish to just four shots on goal in that frame. That is, in part, due to UND blocking nine shots in the third period alone. Notre Dame didn’t get a single shot on goal in the third from between the hash marks.
- The shot totals — 36-17 in shots on goal, 73-35 in shot attempts — signal a game that the Irish dominated and UND held on. While the Irish did have more time of possession, UND’s defensemen did a pretty nice job keeping shots to the outside and making it easier on Saunders. I’d be curious to see the ‘Grade A’ chance statistics.
- I thought Mario Lucia and Anders Lee were both very good for Notre Dame. You could tell those guys were their top players. Lucia has some good vision and made a couple of great setups for his teammates.
- Notre Dame dominated UND on faceoffs — another thing that doesn’t happen very often. T.J. Tynan went an impressive 19-7 for the Irish. Corban Knight was 14-15. Rocco Grimaldi struggled at 4-11.
- Joe Gleason had a nice bounce-back game after being a healthy scratch last Saturday. Hakstol said he was pleased with Gleason’s mental part of the game, saying he made a couple of clears on preset reads he made before faceoffs. Gleason got a lot of action on the penalty kill.
- Dillon Simpson was covered in ice bags after the game. He was checked from behind into the boards twice — once with about four minutes left — and there was no call on either of them. When Simpson came to the bench after the second one, he took off his helmet and handed it to Zane Gothberg. He didn’t play the rest of the game.
- Because many of the students are out of town on Thanksgiving break, I didn’t think the crowd would be great. But it was a packed, standing-room only crowd. The crowd wasn’t as loud or crazy as WCHA crowds, but I was still impressed with the turnout.
- UND has played in a lot of showcases and tournaments in the last few years, meaning the seniors have only played in two true nonconference series — at Cornell as freshmen and at Maine as sophomores. Today, they will have a chance to sweep a nonconference road series for the first time.