The holiday break is now on for many NCAA teams and for many perennial favorites they will use this time to regroup after horrible performances during the first half of the schedule. This weekend saw a number of stellar match ups, more upsets and a few blowouts too.
Here is how the top 20 looked heading into the weekend schedule with the results from Friday and Saturday night.
1 Miami (36) 2-0
2 Denver (11) 1-1
3 North Dakota 0-1-1
4 Bemidji State (2) 0-2
5 Cornell (1) did not play
6 Colorado College 1-1
7 Quinnipiac 1-0-1
8 Yale off until 2010
9 Mass.-Lowell 1-1
10 Boston College 2-0
11 Wisconsin 1-0-1
12 Minnesota-Duluth 1-1
13 Ferris State 2-0
14 Michigan State 2-0
15 Massachusetts 1-0
16 Alaska 1-1
17 St. Cloud State 0-1-1
18 Notre Dame 0-1 before Sunday
19 New Hampshire 1-0
20 Union 2-0
#1 ranked Miami had their way with their cross-state rivals from Ohio State. The RedHawks pounded the Buckeyes 6-0 on Friday and followed that up with a 4-2 win the next night. Tommy Wingels scored 4 times and added an assist in the first game, both Curtis McKenzie and Carter Camper had 3 assists as well. Cody Reichard made 17 saves for the shutout. Ohio State got out to a 2-0 lead on Saturday but the RedHawks scored four times in the final period to steal the win. Andy Miele had the tying goal and the GWG for Miami.
#2 Denver earned a road split against #12 Duluth. The Pioneers edged the Bulldogs 3-2 on Friday, Joe Colborne had a 2 point night. Saturday's affair was tied at 3-3 heading into the third period but that's when UMD broke away and scored three more times to seal the win 6-3. Jack Connolly had 3 points and both Mike Connolly and Justin Fontaine had a pair of assists.
#3 North Dakota was the only top-5 ranked school not to receive any first place votes. The Sioux were at home to Wisconsin and came away without a win as the Badgers tied UND on Friday and beat them in the rematch. Blake Geoffrion (left) had a 3-point weekend for Wisconsin, former AJHL netmined Scott Gudmandson faced 64 shots. Power plays were the theme of the night on Saturday as Wisconsin went 3/8 and North Dakota was 2/7.
#4 Bemidji State got a taste of what it will be like for them in the WCHA next year - they were swept by the Minnesota State Mavericks. The Beavers were beaten 5-1 n Friday as the Mankato power play went 4/5 and scored four times in the last 12 minutes of the game. Jerad Stewart and Ben Youds had a 3-point game. It was a 3-2 loss for Bemidji on Saturday but they were again undone by Mankato's power play which went 1/3 but scored the eventual game winner.
In another WCHA clash, #6 Colorado College defeated #17 St. Cloud with a win and an tie on the weekend. The Huskies and Tigers skated to a 4-4 tie on Friday with the teams combining for 82 shots. Goalies Joe Howe and Mike Lee played both games for their schools with Lee making 63 saves on the weekend. The Tigers won Saturday's game 4-1.
#7 Qunnipiac took it to American International 5-2 on Friday night. The Bobcats got goals from five different sources and out shot the Yellow Jackets 30-22. Quinnipiac played on Thursday as well, a non-conference game against Holy Cross which ended in a 1-1 tie.
#8 UMass.-Lowell split with the unranked Princeton Tigers . The River Hawks scored 4 unanswered goals on Friday to win 4-1 but the Tigers bounced back and scored revenge with a 3-2 edging on Saturday. Goalie Zane Kalemba made 45 saves in the win for Princeton.
#10 Boston College continues to roll with two wins this week beginning with a 3-2 victory over cross-town ECAC rival Harvard. Saturday the Eagles helped continue the slide of the Providence Friars who have now lost 5 straight. Providence is now off until the second weekend of January so they have plenty of time to regroup.
#13 Ferris State took two games from Western Michigan beginning with a 3-0 shutout and followed by a 4-3 win on Saturday. Pat Nagle earned the 22-save blanking and Todd Pokocke scored a pair on the weekend for the CCHA Bulldogs. Ferris State is now unbeaten in their last 10 contests.
#14 Michigan State handled a challenging Bowling Green squad and took a pair of victories from their weekend series. Corey Tropp and Derek Grant had 2 points each during the Spartans' 3-2 win on Friday. Tropp scored a hat trick and an assist on Saturday and defenceman Jeff Petry also recorded 3 points. Tropp leads the NCAA scoring race with 27 points in 20 games.
#15 Massachusetts played only once and beat Merrimack who simply cannot win on the road. The Warriors are now 0-7 on the road this season after losing 4-1 to the Minutemen. Will Ortiz scored twice for Mass who is now off until after Christmas.
The #16 Nanoonks of Alaska came away with a split against Nebraska-Omaha. #18 Notre Dame and Michigan are having their rematch today after the Wolverines beat the Irish 4-1 on Friday night. Louie Caporusso had a 3-point game. #19 New Hampshire played once and beat Providence 4-3. #20 Union beat RPI and then won an exhibition against the U18 National team as well.
There are only a total of 7 NCAA hockey games next week and before Christmas including an exhibition between North Dakota and the U20 team representing USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon/Regina.
(Photos Courtesy: USA Hockey, Brad Olson, CCHA)