Sunday, November 30, 2008

School Wrap Sunday

There is no longer a perfect team in NCAA hockey, but there might be a new #1 when the rankings come out. Here's a recap of the weekend that was south of the border where it was mostly non conference tournament action.

(11)Air Force stayed in Colorado for 2 games against their state rivals. Friday night Air Force kept it's bid alive for a perfect season with a win over (3) Colorado College. The Falcons chased Richard Bachman (Dallas, 4th round, 2006) from the net Friday night scoring 4 times on 13 shots. CC Junior Billy Sweatt (Chicago,
2nd round, 2007) broke Andrew Volkening's shut out bid in the 3rd, but Air Force improved to 13-0 with the 4-1 win. On Saturday the Falcons and their netminder Volkening couldn't get it going offensively and after withstanding 18 second period shots from (9)Denver, they wilted in the 3rd on route to their first loss, a 4-1 defeat. Freshman Joe Colborne (Boston, 1st round, 2008) set up 2 goals including the winner from Kyle Ostrow, while Rhett Rakhshani (New York Islanders, 4th round, 2006) scored twice in the win for Denver. Colborne and company were just as impressive Friday night, the former Camrose Kodiak also had 2 helpers as Denver smoked Colgate 6-1. Colorado College meanwhile rebounded from their loss Friday to also defeat Colgate 3-2.

Had Air Force rallied to beat Denver on Saturday night, a case would have been made by me for them being number 1. Especially after last week's top club (1) Minnesota didn't fair so well. The Golden Gophers in the College Hockey Showcase lost 6-3 to
(14)Michigan and settled for a 4-4 tie against Michigan State. The Gophers will fall out of the top spot, and another team from the tournament is about to move into the top 20. While the Gophers didn't face the Badgers, Wisconsin beat the Wolverines and the Spartans in weekend play, and have put their 0-6-1 start behind them with 7 wins and a tie in their last 9 games.

When Minnesota drops out of the #1 spot, (2)Notre Dame should move up the ladder and become top dog. The Fighting Irish beat Western Michigan 4-1 Friday and used the CCHA's new shoot out format to win on Saturday. Swedish import Calle Riderwall notched 2 goals and 2 assists Friday night, and added another helper on Saturday. The sophomore has 9 assists and 5 goals in the last 5 Notre Dame games.

Elsewhere, a week after falling out of the rankings, North Dakota smoked (12)Cornell 7-3 on Friday before the Big Red responded with a 2-1 win on Saturday. Mercyhurst shocked (7)Princeton Saturday night 6-4, and (5)Boston College and (8)Boston University were both victorious over the weekend.

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