Notebook: Panning for Gold
FLYING HIGH: The University of Miami (Ohio) jumped to No. 2 in the USCHO.com Division I national rankings after posting a two-game sweep of then-No. 3 Michigan last weekend. The ranking is the highest a RedHawk team has received in a national poll, and best since the squad owned the No. 2 spot for the week of Feb. 12, 1993.
The sweep was Miami's fourth of the season and fifth of Michigan in series history. The Wolverines had won 19 of the last 20 games in the series.
Two Miami players garnered Central Collegiate Hockey Association weekly honors for their performances against Michigan. Senior Andy Greene netted the game-winning goal in the third period on Dec. 3, and contributed an assist in the RedHawks' victory on Dec. 2 to earn Defenseman of the Week.
Sophomore Charlie Effinger recorded 33 saves in Miami's 4-2 victory over Michigan on Dec. 2, improving his unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1) as he earned Goalie of the Week honors.
Miami is currently in first place in the CCHA standings and boasts an 11-2-1 overall record.
MAKING THE SAVE: Senior goaltender Scott Munroe earned College Hockey America Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks after leading Alabama-Huntsville to a win and a tie in a two-game series against Ohio State last weekend.
Munroe, a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, recorded 52 saves in the Chargers' 4-3 victory against the Buckeyes on Dec. 2 and followed it up with 49 saves in a 2-2 tie on Dec. 3. His 101 saves on 106 shots are the most ever by a CHA goalie in a single series. Munroe surpassed Air Force's Mark Kielkucki, who previously held the mark of 96 saves on 99 shots against Niagara in 2001. The Chargers were out shot 106-47 in the two games.
PANNING FOR GOLD: Junior Matt Carle assisted on seven of Denver's nine goals as the Pioneers upended then-No. 2 Colorado College in a home-and-home sweep of their in-state rival last weekend. Denver, the two-time defending NCAA champions, has beaten the Tigers in five straight meetings. With the two wins, the Pioneers held on to the 'Gold Pan' for the third consecutive season. The authentic mining utensil is awarded to the regular-season series winner between the two teams.
Carle, a junior from Anchorage, Alaska, also contributed a +3 plus-minus rating, blocked six shots and made eight hits as he earned Red Baron Western Collegiate Hockey Association Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors. He ranks second among the nation's defensemen in scoring with 22 points on six goals and 16 assists.
Denver freshman Chris Butler garnered the league's Rookie of the Week award for scoring one goal and dishing out two assists in the series.
NOTABLE: The University of Vermont earned its highest ranking since 1996 as the Catamounts jumped to No. 3 in the polls after defeating UMass-Lowell and tying New Hampshire. Vermont ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense (1.87) and scoring margin (1.53), and boasts the third-best penalty killing percentage at 0.904. ... Yale freshman goaltender Alec Richards was named ECAC Hockey League Goaltender of the Week after leading the Bulldogs to their first two conference wins of the season. Richards posted 31 saves in a 5-2 victory over Brown and made 37 saves as the Bulldogs upset then-No. 14 Harvard, 4-3, last weekend. He has recorded 30 or more saves after starting in each of Yale's last three games.