Sunday, November 2, 2008

School Wrap Sunday

It was a big weekend for some of the Nation's top offences as a few teams had both barrels going, and no team has more firepower right now than (17)Air Force. The Falcons have scored 29 goals in Atlantic Hockey play, and 41 when you factor in their 2 non conference games. They have been held to 3 goals only once, and it didn't happen this weekend as Air Force dropped 13 on Bentley (also named the Falcons-what is this the CFL with two teams using the same name?) in a pair of victories. The Air Force Falcons won 5-1 Friday night, and smoked the Falcons 8-2 on Saturday. Also impressive is the Air Force defence, having given up only 12 goals in 8 games, but it's their high powered arsenal that is jaw dropping. Junior Jacques Lamoureaux, who's an undrafted 22 year old that transferred from Northern Michigan and had to sit out last year, is the leading scorer across the board in the NCAA right now with 11 goals, 8 assists in 8 games. Lamoureux, who's the younger brother of former UND goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureax, netted a hattrick and an assist Saturday night to go along with his goal from Friday. The Grand Forks product could become a hot commodity after his college career, depending on his Military commitments. His teammate Brent Olson is also red hot right now, sitting just behind Lamoureux with 17 points in 8 games. Olson, also an undrafted 22 year old is a senior, and could parlay this year's good stats, along with his near point per game season a year ago into a pro contract in the spring. Air Force should be flying up the rankings after another impressive weekend, and as the only perfect team in the NCAA.

The feature match up of the weekend had (1)Colorado College facing (4) Denver in a Friday/Sunday series. Nothing was solved in the first tilt, despite the Pioneers best efforts.

They peppered CC goaltender Richard Bachman (Dallas, 4th round, 2006)
with 46 shots, and only beat him twice. The 2-2 tie keeps Bachman unbeaten at 4-0-3 this year with a minuscule 1.24 GAA and a .960 save percentage. On Sunday Bachman was just as good stopping 40 0f 42 shots, including 19 in the second period as his mates scored one more goal to win 3-2. It's not hard to see where the Rams strength is, as they've allowed only 12 goals, and Bachman is starting to look like a steal for the Stars in the 4th round. CC will keep it's number one ranking this week, while the 4th ranked Pioneers might slide down even further. 2 weeks ago they were

Sticking in the WCHA for a minute, despite 3 points from 2009 draft prospect Jordan Schroeder, (5)Minnesota couldn't put away pesky (12)Minnesota State. Mavericks Senior goaltender Mike Zacharias was beaten only 3 times by the 50 Golden Gopher shots fired his way. However, Saturday night things were a little different. Schroeder's 2 goals paced Minnesota to a 6-3 victory.

Meanwhile it the Wisconsin Badgers got off the schnide Saturday night. After losing 3-2 at Ralph Engelstad Arena to (18)North Dakota, the Badgers roared back with 5 unanswered 3rd period goals on Saturday to down UND 5-2. Blake Geoffrion (Nashville, 2nd round, 2006) led the way with a pair of goals, as Wisconsin picked up it's first win in conference of non conference play. The Badgers still lead the way with a brutal tally of 35 goals against in 8 games, the worst in the country. The fighting Sioux, who started the season ranked 5th, are in danger of dropping out of the top 20.

In the CCHA, (8)Michigan had little trouble with Ohio State, putting up 4-3 and 6-1 victories. Junior Louie Caporusso (Ottawa, 3rd round, 2007) scored his 8th goal of the season among his 6 point weekend.

(7)Miami was not so lucky though. For the second straight season, Alaska upset the Redhawks. Last year it was when Miami was ranked #1, this year the loss may cost them their #7 spot. The high powered Miami offence was held to a single goal Friday night as the Nanooks smothered the home side in a 2-1 victory. Saturday night however was a different story, as Miami seemed to score at will, shutting out Alaska 5-0. Carter Camper led the way with 3 points and is on pace for a 50 point campaign in his Sophomore season.

In Hockey East play, all the top dogs came out on top. (2) Boston College needed overtime to edge Merrimack 4-3. Brock Bradford (Boston, 7th round, 2005) tied things in the 3rd for the Eagles and then won it for BC in overtime. After playing only 5 games last year because of a broken arm, the senior seems to be regaining his form from his 45 points season in 2006-2007. (3)Boston University also came out victorious in their lone weekend game. The Terriers smoked (14)Vermont 7-2 on the strength of two goals from Colin Wilson (Nashville, 1st round, 2008) 2 helpers from Kevin Shattenkirk (Colorado, 1st round, 2007) and a power play that went 4-7. (6)New Hampshire kept pace with both Boston schools, atleast on Friday night. The Wildcats doubled up a pesky (14)Northeastern squad 4-2 thanks to a 2 point night from James Van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia, 1st round, 2007) but on Saturday had to settle for a 2-2 tie with the Huskies. Northeastern trailed 2-0 late in the 2nd period before tying it up and relying on goaltender Brad Thiessen for 18 saves in the 3rd period and overtime.

Other top ranked schools in action, Michigan State swept Western Michigan, (13) Notre Dame took a pair from Northern Michigan, and Harvard defeated Dartmouth in conference play 4-1, and lost to the U.S. under 18 team 4-0 in exhibition play.

Still no action for (10)Princeton or (16)Cornell, yet they remain in the top 20. I don't think teams should be ranked at all if they haven't played, unless it's a pre season ranking when everyone is in the starting gates. Once they take the ice for a game then they can be ranked.

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