Saturday, October 26, 2019 Scores
After NCHC teams combined to post a 3-2-1 record in non-conference play on Friday night, the conference performed even better on Saturday, going an impressive 5-1-0, with two teams (Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota) completing weekend sweeps and two recording shutouts (UMD, Miami). The five NCHC teams that won on Saturday (St. Cloud State and Western Michigan, as well) combined to allow only three goals total in their victories.
Bouncing back after being swept at Wisconsin last weekend, No. 8/8 Minnesota Duluth (3-3-0) did some sweeping of its own, blanking in-state rival No. 20 Minnesota, 2-0, on Saturday at AMSOIL Arena to cap off a home-and-home series. UMD freshman forward Quinn Olson scored his first collegiate goal in the first period, which held up as the game-winner. Senior goaltender Hunter Shepard stopped all 21 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and 16th of his career, extending his NCHC record. Sophomore forward Jackson Cates sealed the win with an empty-netter.
The other NCHC team to sweep this weekend was No. 16 North Dakota (4-1-1), which struck twice in the first period and rolled to a 4-1 win over Bemidji State in Grand Forks, after needing overtime for Friday’s win. Junior forward Grant Mismash scored only 36 ticks into the game and also had an assist in the win. The Beavers broke up sophomore goalie Adam Scheel’s shutout with only 1:17 remaining in regulation with UND already ahead, 3-0. Scheel finished with 19 saves for his fourth win this year.
Joining UMD in pitching a shutout on Saturday was Miami (2-3-2), which held Colgate off the scoreboard in a 2-0 victory, the RedHawks first road win of the season. Senior goaltender Ryan Larkin stopped all 29 shots he faced for his first whitewash this season and sixth of his career. Both RedHawk goals came in the first period, with sophomore forward Monte Graham scoring only 1:08 into the game and freshman defenseman Jack Clement doubling the lead later in the opening period.
Picking up its first win of the season on Saturday was No. 14/14 St. Cloud State (1-1-2), which handed No. 11/11 Northeastern its first loss of the season with a 2-1 comeback win in St. Cloud, as the Huskies split their series. Northeastern struck first on the power play, but senior forward Jack Poehling tied the game in the second period and sophomore forward Sam Hentges potted the game-winner four minutes later. Junior forward Easton Brodzinski assisted on both second-period goals for SCSU.
Also picking up a split on Saturday was No. 18 Western Michigan (2-3-1), which snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over in-state rival Michigan in Kalamazoo, after being blanked in Ann Arbor on Friday. WMU scored two goals in the first 3:01 of the game, including senior defenseman Kale Bennett’s first career goal, while junior forward Paul Washe sealed the victory with a pair of power play goals.
The lone NCHC team to fall on Saturday was Colorado College (2-2-0), which was tripped up by Michigan State, 5-1, in Colorado Springs, as CC settled for a weekend split. The Spartans scored three times in the first seven minutes of the game and the Tigers couldn’t recover. Sophomore forward Ben Copeland tallied CC’s lone goal on the power play late in the first frame. The Tigers outshot MSU, 36-30, in the loss.
Next weekend, six NCHC teams once again take the ice, with conference play getting underway as No. 18 Western Michigan heads to Colorado College for a pair. In non-conference play, Omaha travels north to Alaska Anchorage for two games Thursday and Friday, while No. 14/14 St. Cloud State hosts Princeton and top-ranked Denver entertains Niagara on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday only, No. 16 North Dakota continues its homestand with the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against Michigan Tech. Prior to that on Friday, Miami battles the U.S. Under-18 Team in an exhibition game in Oxford. All games but the Omaha series next weekend can be seen on NCHC.tv, while Friday’s SCSU game will also be on TV on FOX Sports North PLUS.