Feb. 17, 2010

By Amy Farnum
NCAA.com

BEAR TRACKS: 
Bowdoin College grabbed hold of sole possession in the New England Small College Athletic Conference standings with a pair of road victories in league play last weekend, keyed by the outstanding play of junior defenseman Brendan Reich.

The native of Montvale, N.J., netted the first two goals of the game on power-plays in a 4-2 win at Trinity on Feb. 12, and followed it up with an assist and another power-play goal as the Polar Bears downed Wesleyan, 5-2, the next day.  Reich also was part of a defense that held foes to just four goals on the weekend, and was named NESCAC Player of the Week for his performance.  He has registered six power-play goals on the year, which ranks 20th in Division III.

The No. 12 Polar Bears, who moved up three spots in the latest USCHO.com Division III poll this week, take on Saint Anselm on Feb. 19 and New England College on Feb. 20.  A pair of wins would secure Bowdoin’s spot in the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since 2007.

VALIANT EFFORT:
Manhattanville stayed alive in the ECAC West Conference race with a sweep of Utica College last weekend, closing within one point of league-leading Elmira in the standings.

Freshman Scott Hudson combined for four points on three goals and an assist on the weekend as the Valiants picked up wins of 7-2 and 7-3, respectively.   Hudson, who already owns the program record for assists by a freshman with 20, needs just one more point to set the school scoring mark.  He currently has 31 on the season, which ranks fourth among freshman in Division III.  

Hudson, a native of St. Albert, Alberta, was named ECAC West Rookie of the Week after stretching his streak of multi-point games to six.

Manhattanville regained a spot in the national poll at No. 14, and faces off at No. 10 Elmira College in a two-game series that will decide the ECAC West regular season title.

GOING GREEN:
Third-ranked St. Norbert clinched its 11th Northern Collegiate Hockey Association championship with a 6-1 win over UW-Stout on Feb. 12, and will receive a bye in the league’s Peters Cup Playoffs for the accomplishment.  It is the eighth regular season title for the Green Knights in the last nine years.

St. Norbert ranks second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.72 goals per game.  The Green Knights’ defense is anchored by junior goalie B.J. O’Brien, who sports a 1.64 goals against average.  SNC has not given up more than one goal per contest in a six-game span.

The Green Knights will host the lowest remaining seed in the NCHA semifinals on Feb. 27.

LEADING THE WAY:
  Adrian College junior Shawn Skelly became the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association’s all-time point leader during the Bulldogs’ two-game sweep of Concordia (Wis.) as the squad improved their league winning streak to 53 games.

Skelly, who already surpassed the MCHA career goal mark earlier this season, improved his point total to 133 after the weekend.  He is also within reach of the league’s all-time assist record of 83 with a current total of 72 and a full season ahead in his career.

The Bulldogs have posted 20 wins for the third straight season, and claimed at least a share of their third straight regular season MCHA title.

TRICKSTER:
  Saint Anselm’s Tucker Mullin garnered ECAC East Player of the Week after tallying back-to-back hat tricks in a pair of victories against Southern New Hampshire and Hamilton, and followed up the performances with a three-point game in win over then-No. 11 Amherst.

The native of Andover, Mass., scored seven goals and two assists for nine points during the three-game winning stretch.  He had a hand in nine of the Hawks' 11 goals, and is the first Hawk since 2004 to register two hat tricks in the same season.