Monday, December 10, 2012

College hockey round-up, Week 9

Reminder: This will be the final round-up of calendar year 2012. PSU will not get its own column next Monday after their final weekend slate of the semester. We will return in full force in January, once the Winter term commences and a large enough schedule of games are played to justify the effort. 

For the second time in less than a week, Boston University knocked off the top-ranked team in the country, facilitating their mystifying rise just one spot through the rankings in this week's poll.

After sending down BC on November 30 by a 4-2 count and splitting with the Eagles two weekends ago, easing New Hampshire's ascent to the #1 spot, the Terriers went up to Durham and beat UNH, 3-2, on Tuesday night. Wade Megan, Sahir Gill and and Sam Kurker scored to build a 3-0 lead in the game's first 28 minutes, then John O'Connor -- who took home Hockey East Player of the Week honors -- held the fort, coming up with 31 saves. The victory snapped the Wildcats' eight-game unbeaten string and helped end their reign atop the nation's standings after one week.

UNH rests until December 30, when it plays at Dartmouth in the Ledyard Bank Classic.

Jack Parker's kids followed that up with a 1-0 decision back home over Maine on Saturday night, making it four wins in the last five games. Sean Maguire made 28 stops and Garrett Noonan's first-period power-play marker stood as the winner. BU remains off until the 29th, when the Hall of Fame Game in Denver beckons.

Meanwhile, Boston College, despite its ascent into the top spot, has begun to slump a bit. The Eagles still have yet to give Jerry York his record-breaking 925th career victory, and were 11 seconds away from doing so in Providence on Friday before Nick Saraceno scored on Parker Milner to forge a 3-3 deadlock. Milner had to make 34 saves on the evening against a keyed-up Friars team.

The Maroon and Gold will not play until the 29th, in the Mariucci Classic against Alabama-Huntsville.

Penn State suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune this past weekend in Worcester against the Holy Cross Crusaders, dropping decisions of 5-4 in OT and 4-1.

On Friday night, a 4-2 lead just wasn't safe enough. Matt Vidal and Shayne Stockton scored within a two-minute span late in regulation and Erik Vos won it less than two minutes into extra time. Casey Bailey, David Glen, Connor Varley and Jon Milley lit the lamp for the Nits. One day later P.J. Musico stopped 28 shots, but came up well short of a victorious effort. Nate Jensen tallied the lone score for the visitors.

Here's head coach Guy Gadowski following Friday's narrow defeat:

Now 6-7-0, PSU looks to get above the .500 mark before the holidays with a rescheduled game at Fredonia State on Tuesday and home against Robert Morris on Saturday.

Princeton also had a tough go in back-to-back games with non-Ivy ECAC foe Quinnipiac, losing the opener in Connecticut by a 3-1 count and falling by a 3-0 score back home at Baker Rink on Saturday. The victories boosted the Bobcats four spots in the rankings, into the top 10 for the first time all year.

The Tigers will be dormant until the Catamount Cup, in Burlington, VT on the 29th. Their first game will be against Merrimack, and a potential date with host Vermont in the offing for the title one day later.

Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, an unsigned Flyers pick, was held scoreless in two ties (3-3 at Brown, 2-2 at Yale). 

In a twist of fate, Flyers goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz played the better of two games for Nebraska-Omaha against WCHA rival St. Cloud State, but came up empty in the effort. John Faulkner was punctured five times in Friday's opener, but the Mavericks won 6-5. Stolarz followed up with 26 saves, but a a Jonny Brodzinski marker just past the midway point of the third was the difference in a 2-1 UNO loss.

Minnesota State beckons in consecutive home games this coming weekend.

In the meantime, you can check out your favorite schools and leagues and college hockey as a whole with the links spread throughout this final sentence.

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