Nov. 1, 2010

By Jen Gunnels

NCAA

Minnesota-Duluth and Boston University stood out in weekend action, extending impressive season-opening unbeaten streaks this weekend while the defending national champions of Boston College were defeated for the second time in three games.

The Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth extended a nation-leading unbeaten streak to eight games this weekend with a 3-2 overtime win and a 1-1 tie at Bemidji State, improving to 6-0-2 on the season. The season-opening unbeaten streak matches a program best, which the Bulldogs achieved twice before, once in 1982-83 (7-0-1) and once in 1989-90 (8-0-0). Center Travis Oleksuk scored the game-winner on a power play in the Friday overtime win, now leading the nation with 4 game-winning goals on the year. The Friday win featured freshman goalie Aaron Crandall between the pipes as he improved to a nation-leading 0.98 goals against average. Ranked No. 3 in last weeks USA TODAY/USA Hockey mens poll, the Bulldogs stand alone atop the WCHA.

No. 1 Miami (Ohio) will likely maintain the top spot in the nation this week after skating to a 6-2 win and a 1-1 tie against CCHA opponent Lake Superior State in a weekend series. The RedHawks won the Saturday shootout 3-2 to take an extra point and remain atop the CCHA standings.

After hoisting last years national championship banner before their home opener Friday, the No. 2 Boston College Eagles defeated Hockey East opponent Merrimack 3-2 with the help of a game-winning power-play goal by sophomore Pat Mullane early in the third period. On Saturday, the Eagles traveled to face Merrimack again, this time on Warrior ice, where the Eagles fell 4-2. Merrimack junior goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 31 shots in the victory as the Warriors improved to 2-1-2 on the season and captured their second straight home victory over Boston College, who fall to 5-2-0.

No. 5 Boston University also extended its season-opening unbeaten streak to seven games this weekend with a sweep over UMass-Lowell in a home and home series. The Terriers took a 5-1 win on the road Friday before returning to thrill a home crowd with a 2-1 win on Saturday. Junior Chris Connolly netted the game-winner with 27.5 seconds to go in regulation after sophomore Alex Chiasson had scored the tying goal just over three minutes earlier. The Terriers improve to 6-0-1 and boast a commanding four-point lead in Hockey East standings.

The No. 7 Yale Bulldogs opened their season in impressive fashion at the Ivy Shootout, defeating Brown 7-4 and Dartmouth 7-3. Senior forward Denny Kearney led the Bulldogs with four goals and eight points on the weekend, while senior forward Broc Little wasnt far behind with three goals and six points.

Other Weekend Notables

Michigan Tech was swept at Wisconsin by scores of 5-2 and 4-1, ending the teams season-opening unbeaten streak… Miami (Ohio) senior Carter Camper added to his nation-leading point total with three on Friday and two on Saturday, now totaling 22 points through eight games…the No. 8 Fighting Sioux of North Dakota suffered their first WCHA loss of the season to No. 12 Denver on Saturday; Pioneer freshman goaltender Sam Brittain had 33 saves to secure the 3-0 shutout win for Denver; Pioneer senior center Jesse Martin is in stable condition after suffering a season-ending injury in an on-ice collision during the second period of the Saturday contest…No. 15 Cornell dropped both of its season-opening contests, falling to New Hampshire 7-4 and RIT 5-3 despite out-shooting both teams (35-31 and 31-23, respectively).

Results from Oct. 25-31 for teams in the USA TODAY/USA Hockey Top 15

1. 1. Miami (OH)—beat Lake Superior State 6-2, tied Lake Superior State 2-2 (won shootout 3-2).

2. 2. Boston College—beat Merrimack 3-2, lost at Merrimack 4-2.

3. 3. Minnesota Duluth—won at Bemidji State 3-2 (OT), tied at Bemidji State 1-1 (OT).

4. 4. Michigan—tied at Ferris State 2-2 (lost shootout 2-0), beat Ferris State 3-2.

5. 5. Boston University—won at UMass-Lowell 5-1, beat UMass-Lowell 2-1.

6. 6. Maine—won at Vermont 3-2 (OT).

7. 7. Yale—beat Brown 7-4, beat Dartmouth 7-3.

8. 8. North Dakota—beat Denver 4-3, lost to Denver 3-0.

9. 9. Nebraska-Omaha—DNP.

10.10. New Hampshire—won at Cornell 7-4.

11.11. Notre Dame—beat Western Michigan 3-2, tied at Western Michigan 2-2 (OT).

12.12. Denver—lost at North Dakota 4-3, won at North Dakota 3-0.

13.13. Union—tied Connecticut 3-3 (OT), tied RPI 3-3 (OT).

14.14. Michigan State—tied Alabama-Huntsville 4-4 (OT), beat Alabama-Huntsville 2-1.

15.15. Cornell—lost to New Hampshire 7-4, lost to RIT 5-3.