Monday, November 04, 2013

College Hockey Round-up, Week 4

Despite being idle this week, the Minnesota Golden Gophers kept their perch -- and their unanimous selection -- as the top program in the nation, in the newest weekly poll released this afternoon.

Minny took three points on home ice from Boston College last week, and faces a big road test against Hockey East squad Notre Dame in a two-game set at South Bend this weekend.

Michigan climbed into the #2 position from No. 4 by taking down Michigan Tech at Yost Ice Arena by scores of 3-2 in OT and 2-1. The 6-1-0 Wolverines travel to Omaha for a two-game set this weekend with UNO.

Our biggest riser in the top 10 is St. Cloud State, which vaulted all the way up from No. 9 to No. 3 thanks to sweeping North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux sunk like a stone (from No. 5 to No. 11) after losing two in a row (3-1, 3-2) against their old WCHA foes at the Ralph. Flyers forward prospect Michael Parks was held to a single assist in that series but after six games, is tied for the top spot in team scoring with five points (1G, 4A).

The Irish fell from their slot at No. 2 down two places after splitting two contests at Vermont, dropping a 2-1 decision on Friday at Gutterson Field House before rebounding with a 3-2 win on Saturday. 

Last year's national runners-up Quinnipiac jumped in at No. 5, coming off a 7-2 thumping of Colgate and a 3-0 win against now-15th-ranked Cornell. The 8-1-1 Bobcats will host ECAC rivals and Ivies Brown and Yale this weekend in Hamden.

Surprise top-5 entry and former third-ranked Providence -- now entrenched at #6 -- earned a weekend split with conference rival Boston University.

The Friars suffered their first loss of the young season at Agganis Arena on Friday night, a 4-2 decision which halted a 4-0-1 start to the year. The preeminent Rhode Island hockey program rebounded with a 3-1 win at Schneider Arena on Saturday.  Friars forward Ross Mauermann was the Hockey East offensive player of the week after posting three goals and two assists in the set.

Miami of Ohio fell one spot to seventh, while Boston College remained firm at No. 8 despite taking down rival Northeastern in back-to-back games, 4-2 and 4-3 in overtime. The Eagles head into Friday night's Commonwealth Avenue battle against 17th-ranked Boston University holding first place in Hockey East with an unbeaten conference record.

Yale somehow moved up two places to ninth despite having a bye, while RPI remained the final program in the Top 10 for the first week of November.

Flyers defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere came up with three assists on Friday night and was a team-best plus-4, as Union throttled Dartmouth by a 7-2 count.  He didn't factor into the scoring on Saturday, as the Dutchmen walked out of Cambridge with a 4-2 win over Harvard.

On the local scene...

Penn State improved its early-season fortunes on Friday night in Pittsburgh, taking a 5-4 decision over Robert Morris of Atlantic Hockey and putting an end to an 0-3-1 streak.

Matt Skoff faced 52 shots on goal, but came up with a career-best 48 saves, while Eric Scheid, Luke Juha, Tommy Olczyk, Casey Bailey and Mike Williamson came up with scores -- the latter an eventual game-winner with only 1:49 left in regulation.

PSU will begin its five-game non-conference residency at the 'Peg against Sacred Heart.

The Princeton Tigers fell to 1-3-0 on the season, dropping a pair of Ivy League contests on the road this weekend.

On Friday in Ithaca, the Big Red claimed a 4-2 victory. Cornell jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back, with John McCarron, Christian Hilbrich, Brian Ferlin and Joel Lowry lighting the lamp by the tail end of the second period. Andrew Calof missed a penalty shot in the third, but the visitors made it respectable on scores from Tyler Maugeri and Tucker Brockett.

The next night in Hamilton, NY, Colgate produced a 3-1 result. Darcy Murphy and Spiro Gulakos tallied in a 43-second span early in the third period to break open the contest. Ryan Siiro netted his first career goal before the midway point, but Tylor Spink flipped home Colgate's insurance marker with 3:28 left in regulation.

Beginning this Friday by entertaining defending-champion Yale, Princeton will have six consecutive home dates to try and turn around this flat start to the 2013-14 campaign.

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