Sunday, October 19, 2008

School Wrap Sunday

It was a weekend of upsets south of the 49th as a couple of NCAA powerhouse schools fell on Friday night.

We start with the phrase, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That rang true for the defending champion, and #1 ranked (atleast going into this weekend) Boston College Eagles. While they won a non conference game against Bowling Green Friday night, all the talk was about their loss to the Northeastern Huskies on Saturday. The big dogs took down the Eagles in front of a sold out Northeastern crowd. BC gave up 2 shorthanded goals and while they were upset with the ice conditions, the Eagles might want to think about putting away more chances. Huskies netminder Brad Thiessen turned away BC 38 times on route to the 4-3 victory. You would have to think the Eagles will not be ranked #1 come Monday. As for Northeastern, they were just outside the top 20 before the season started and this win should definitely get them into the big boys club.

In the CCHA Northern Michigan goaltender Brian Stewart made 15 saves in a 2-0 shut out of the # ranked Michigan Wolverines. Michigan knocked the Wildcats out of contention last year and this one was all about redemption. To many penalties by Red Berenson's squad was Michigan's demise. The Wolverines did rebound on Saturday though, thanks to a pair of goals from Florida Panthers 2007 fourth round pick Matt Rust, but couldn't take advantage of #1 ranked Boston College losing and moving up in the top 20.

As for who will take over #1? You would think it would have to be Colorado College. The Tigers swept Michigan Tech with 2-0 and 4-2 wins respectively. Leafs 2005 7th round pick Chad Rau (pictured) led the way with 4 points in the 2 wins, giving him 8 in 4 games this year. The Senior had 42 points in 40 games last year and his 112 points in 3 years should make Leaf fans excited about him turning pro next year. The speedy Billy Sweatt, whom the Blackhawks chose 38th overall in 2007, chipped in with a goal and 2 helpers in the 2 victories.

Another WCHA team wasn't as successful as CC. The North Dakota Fighting Sioux didn't put up much of anything Friday night getting smoked 5-1 by Minnesota State. Junior forward Zach Harrison beat UND 3 times while shorthanded, giving him 4 goals in 4 games, and becoming just the 6th player in NCAA history to record a shorthanded hatty. It was the 3rd straight loss for Dave Hakstol's club who previously dropped games to BU and UMASS in the Ice Breaker tournament. The Sioux did rebound Saturday night, battling back from a 2-0 3rd period deficit to take the lead, only to need Chris Vande Velde, an Oilers 4th rounder from 2005, to take charge with a short handed game winner with only 9 seconds to play.

Elsewhere, Denver swept Wisconsin, Boston University split with New Hampshire, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers took a pair from St. Cloud State.

Lastly, it's never to early to start thinking Hobey Baker, so here's Elliot Olshansky forecasting for the most prestigious award in college hockey.


doritogrande said...

Hard to figure that Riley Nash is a player to watch even though he hasn't played a game yet. I think that's kind of a reach. It's also interesting that Jeff Petry was pimped for consideration earlier in the year but doesn't appear on this list.

Dean Millard said...

Remember Doritogrande, it's how you finish, not if you've started yet, or something like that. Nash is going to play a ton this year, and like Lee Jubenville last year will get consideration. I hadn't heard about Petry being "pimped" for the HB, but he should have a very good year and play in all situations for the Spartans.