Division III Notebook: Eleven straight wins
From Amy Farnum, NCAA.com basketball blogger
A VIEW FROM THE TOP: Top-ranked Oswego State widened its’ lead in the SUNY Athletic Conference race to five points as the Lakers picked up a pair of league wins last week while improving to 11-0-0 on the year.
The Lakers opened the weekend with a 4-2 win over SUNY Brockport, and then showed their defensive prowess with a 4-0 defeat of then-No. 10 SUNY Geneseo on Dec. 4. Junior goaltender Paul Beckwith tallied 35 saves for his second shutout of the season, earning SUNYAC Goaltender of the Week honors for the second time this year. He ranks fifth in the nation with a 1.37 goals against average, and is third in Division III with a .949 save percentage.
Oswego is back in action on Dec. 10-11 for two non-conference games, beginning with a match-up against newly-ranked Utica (No. 13), which cracked the USCHO Division III Poll following three straight wins versus nationally-ranked foes.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE: Adrian College claimed a 3-0 victory against Concordia (Wis.) in the 2010 Frozen Faceoff at Michigan Stadium – the first-ever NCAA Division III outdoor hockey game on Dec. 4.
Senior goaltender Brad Fogal collected 27 saves en route to the 13th shutout of his career and first of the season, while senior Joel Workman scored the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs.
"This was a very unique opportunity and we are very grateful to the University of Michigan for allowing us to be a part of history." said Adrian head coach Ron Fogarty. "Our guys will remember this feeling for the rest of their lives. You look around this stadium and think of all the amazing athletes who have played here. To be the first hockey game here is such an honor. We got a chance to showcase Division III hockey and both programs played inspired hockey."
The seventh-ranked Bulldogs enter an extended holiday break on a three-game winning streak and resume play on Dec. 31 in the Norwich Tournament.
BEST OF THE MIDWEST: Milwaukee School of Engineering junior goaltender Connor Toomey collected his third Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week award, while sophomore forward Jordan Keizer earned the league’s Player of the Week honor following the Raiders’ sweep of Saint Mary’s last weekend.
Toomey limited the Cardinals to one goal in two contests, notching his second shutout of the season in the series opener. He registered 46 saves for a .979 save percentage. Toomey currently ranks second in Division III 1.14 goals against average, and is fourth in the nation with a .949 save percentage.
Keizer recorded both goals against the Cardinals on Friday, and then picked up his third hat trick of the season in a 7-1 win over Saint Mary’s. He currently paces the nation with 13 goals on the year.
The No. 8 Raiders put their flawless record on the line against St. Thomas on Dec. 10-11.
STARTING STRONG: Utica College is nationally-ranked in the USCHO.com Division III Poll for the first time since 2007, and at 8-3, the Pioneers are off to their best start since the 2005-06 season when they won the ECAC West regular season title.
The Pioneers have won three games against nationally-ranked foes, including a 5-3 defeat of then-No. 8 Manhattanville on Dec. 3. Junior forward Tim Coffman contributed two goals and two assists in wins over Manhattanville and then-No. 15 Buffalo State, earning ECAC West Player of the Week honors. Coffman, a native of Elverson, Pa., leads the Pioneers and ranks 13th nationally with 1.20 assists per game.
Utica looks to avenge an early season loss to No. 1 Oswego when the two squads meet again on Dec. 10.