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Six NCHC Teams Pick Up Non-Conference Wins Saturday

By NCHC, 10/21/17, 11:45PM EDT


SCSU completes sweep of BC; CC hands UNH first loss; UND blanks Minnesota

Saturday, October 21, 2017 Scores
Maine 6, Miami 3
Western Michigan 3, Michigan State 1
Colorado College 2, No. 17 New Hampshire 1 (OT)
Omaha 4, Arizona State 4 (OT)
No. 3/2 St. Cloud State 3, No. 13/15 Boston College 1
No. 4/4 North Dakota 4, No. 8/7 Minnesota 0
No. 9/13 Minnesota Duluth 7, Merrimack 2
No. 1/1 Denver 5, Lake Superior State 1

After leading the six NCAA men’s hockey conferences in non-conference winning percentage the last three years, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) took a big step towards continuing that tradition this season on Saturday as NCHC teams combined to go 6-1-1 in non-conference action. No. 3/2 St. Cloud State completed a sweep of No. 13/15 Boston College, using a big first period en route to a 3-1 win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, which kept SCSU perfect on the season. No. 4/4 North Dakota exacted revenge against rival No. 8/7 Minnesota after falling Friday, taking Saturday’s finale, 4-0, behind senior Cam Johnson’s shutout. No. 9/13 Minnesota Duluth exploded for a five-goal third period to down Merrimack, 7-2, while No. 1/1 Denver put up over 50 shots for the second straight night, this time beating Lake Superior State, 5-1, to remain unbeaten. Colorado College handed No. 17 New Hampshire its first loss of the season, topping the Wildcats in overtime, 2-1. Western Michigan continued its success at home, earning a series split with a 3-1 win over in-state rival Michigan State. Omaha settled for a 4-4 tie with Arizona State in their series finale, while Miami fell at Maine, 6-3, resulting in a weekend split.

Remaining perfect on the season, No. 3/2 St. Cloud State used a three-goal first period to down No. 13/15 Boston College, 3-1, Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center to complete a weekend sweep. Sophomore forward Jack Poehling opened the scoring on the power play, while classmate and brother Ryan scored the second goal after assisting on the first. Junior forward Mikey Eyssimont capped the outburst with SCSU’s second power play goal of the period. The Eagles (1-3-1) broke up the shutout late in the third period. SCSU (5-0-0) was outshot in the win, 37-24, including 20-5 in the third period, but went 2-for-4 on the power play. Freshman goalie Dávid Hrenák made a career-high 36 saves in the win for SCSU. The Huskies are off next weekend before hosting No. 9/13 Minnesota Duluth to open conference play Nov. 3-4.

Avenging Friday’s loss, No. 4/4 North Dakota blanked rival No. 8/7 Minnesota, 4-0, Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena to earn a weekend split. Junior forward Nick Jones scored his first goal as a Fighting Hawk to open the scoring in the first frame, while UND (4-1-1) added three goals during a five-minute major power play late in the first and early in the second stanza. Junior defenseman Christian Wolanin scored two of the power play goals, while Jones added an assist for a two-point night. Senior goalie Cam Johnson stopped all 22 shots he faced for his 10th career shutout as Minnesota (3-3-0) outshot UND, 22-18. The Fighting Hawks went 3-for-9 on the man advantage. North Dakota opens conference play next weekend at Colorado College.

Handing No. 17 New Hampshire its first loss of the season, Colorado College edged the Wildcats, 2-1, in overtime Saturday at the Whittemore Center. Freshman forward Jack Gates scored his first career goal in the first period, while UNH (5-1-0) pulled even late in the second stanza. Junior forward Trevor Gooch then buried his first career game-winning goal 1:03 into the extra session to give the Tigers (4-2-0) the win. Sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc compiled 39 saves to earn the win in net as CC was outshot, 40-24. The Tigers return home next weekend to host No. 4/4 North Dakota in their conference opening series.

After putting up over 60 shots and having to settle for a tie Friday, top-ranked Denver made sure there wasn’t a repeat Saturday, downing Lake Superior State, 5-1, Saturday at Magness Arena. The Lakers (1-3-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but junior forward Troy Terry scored the next two goals for Denver (2-0-2), including the game-winner on the power play late in the second period. The Pioneers then tacked on three more goals in the final frame. Denver outshot LSSU, 54-16, while freshman Dayton Rasmussen made 15 saves to earn his first collegiate win in net. The Pioneers head east next weekend, facing No. 7/8 Boston University on Friday and No. 13/15 Boston College on Saturday.

Following a five-goal performance in Friday’s tie, No. 9/13 Minnesota Duluth erupted even more Saturday, pouring in seven goals in a 7-2 victory over Merrimack Saturday at AMSOIL Arena. The Bulldogs (2-2-2) led 2-1 after two periods, but potted five goals in the final frame to pull away for the win. Senior forward Avery Peterson scored two goals in the third period, while freshman forward Nick Swaney added a power play goal and an assist on the game-winner in the final frame. Senior Jared Thomas and junior Parker Mackay each dished out three assists in the win. The Bulldogs outshot Merrimack (0-3-2), 41-22, and were 2-for-5 on the power play. UMD heads east for two games at Maine next weekend.

Continuing its success at home, Western Michigan knocked off in-state rival Michigan State, 3-1, Saturday at Lawson Ice Arena to earn a split in the home-and-home series. Sophomore forward Hugh McGing opened the scoring for WMU in the first period and the score remained 1-0 until MSU (2-2-0) pulled even on the power play early in the third period. Less than two minutes later, however, freshman forward Josh Passolt scored the game-winner for WMU (3-3-1). Junior forward Colt Conrad extended his point streak to seven games with an empty-net goal while McGing earned the assist for a two-point night. The Broncos outshot Michigan State, 38-16, in the win. Western Michigan is off next weekend before hosting top-ranked Denver Nov. 3-4 to open conference play.

In a back-and-forth affair, Omaha held one-goal leads three times during the game, but each time Arizona State battled back, earning a 4-4 overtime tie Saturday at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks (2-1-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead only 2:51 into the game. The Sun Devils (1-4-1) chipped away and pulled even early in the second stanza. Senior Jake Randolph put Omaha back in front midway through the second on the man advantage, but ASU answered in the third. Senior forward Tyler Vesel again gave UNO a lead but an extra attacker goal by Max Balinson in the final minute of regulation spoiled an Omaha win and turned it into a tie. Vesel added an assist for a two-point night. Omaha outshot ASU, 46-36, and was a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play. Sophomore Kris Oldham made 32 saves in the tie for UNO. The Mavericks head to No. 5/6 Notre Dame next Thursday and Friday.

The lone NCHC team to come up short Saturday was Miami, which fell in the series finale at Maine, 6-3, settling for a weekend split at Alfond Arena. The Black Bears (2-2-0) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period, including two power play goals, and the RedHawks (1-3-0) were never able to recover. Junior defenseman Grant Hutton scored Miami’s final two goals for a second straight two-goal game, while all three RedHawk goals came on the power play as Miami went 3-for-5 a man up. Freshman forward Phil Knies scored his first career goal for Miami and added an assist while Hutton also had an assist for a career-high three points. Despite the loss, Miami outshot Maine, 30-26. The RedHawks return home to host UConn for two games next weekend.

Next weekend, six NCHC teams are in action, including the first conference series of the season. Colorado College hosts UND Friday and Saturday in the first pursuit of the Penrose Cup, while action begins Thursday with No. 5/6 Notre Dame hosting Omaha for the first of two non-conference games. Top-ranked Denver takes a trip east for games with No. 7/8 BU and No. 13/15 BC, while UMD is also out east for two games at Maine Friday and Saturday. Miami is the lone NCHC team hosting a non-conference series when they welcome UConn for two games. The CC-UND series and Miami games can all be seen on

Extended individual game recaps, along with links to highlights, postgame comments, box scores and more, will be added below shortly.