ECAC leads in non-conference play
Notes: WCHA's Minnesota has best non-conference record
With the majority of the season’s non-conference action over for the season, it is the ECAC that finds itself on top.
Last year, Union was the first team from the ECAC to advance to the Frozen Four since Cornell in 2003. The conference appears to be building on its success from last year and is currently the only one with a winning record against every other league.
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The ECAC is 31-17-11 overall against other leagues with only two of its 12 teams carrying a non-conference win-loss percentage under .500. In addition, Cornell and Yale have not lost in non-conference action this season. ECAC Hockey is 11-4-5 against Atlantic Hockey, 7-4-2 against the CCHA, 9-6-3 against Hockey East and 4-3-1 against the WCHA.
There are only two inter-conference games remaining before the holiday break and ECAC will be playing in both. Clarkson hosts Atlantic Hockey member Mercyhurst and St. Lawrence hosts Hockey East member Vermont. Both games will be on Saturday.
The CCHA is next with a 24-19-8 record against the other conferences. They have a winning record against every other conference except ECAC. The CCHA is 6-3-5 against Atlantic, 3-1-1 against East and 11-8 against the WCHA.
WCHA is in third place with a 21-20-3 overall mark, while East is 16-18-5 for fourth and Atlantic is 8-26-11 in fifth. WCHA member Minnesota is 5-0 in non-conference action, the best mark of any school in the country. Cornell at 3-0 and Boston College of Hockey East at 2-0 are the only other schools in the nation that are unbeaten and untied in non-conference action.
• Minnesota State-Mankato plays at Nebraska-Omaha this weekend in its last game before Christmas. First-year head coach Mike Hastings spent the last three years as the associate head coach at Nebraska-Omaha before being hired at Minnesota State-Mankato this past summer. Ironically, Troy Jutting, who Hastings replaced, landed at Nebraska-Omaha as an assistant coach. Jutting didn't replace Hastings, but when the other assistant departed for a scouting job with the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, Jutting was hired in Omaha.
• UMass-Lowell freshman goalie Connor Hellebuyck is currently riding a goalless streak of 122 minutes and last conceded a goal the third period of the Nov. 30 loss at No. 2 New Hampshire (5-2). He stopped 25 shots in Saturday's 2-0 victory against Northeastern, as well as 30 shots in Monday's 5-0 victory at Harvard. The streak will continue for at least another two weeks as the River Hawks are off until a Dec. 30 home contest against Bentley.
• Colorado College senior Rylan Schwartz is tied for the WCHA overall scoring lead with 24 points (10 goals,14 assists) after adding five to his total in last week's series against Minnesota. He also moved into a tie for 44th place on Colorado College's all-time chart with 130 (49 goals, 81 assists) for his career, which is the highest total for any active Division I player in the nation. Yale’s Andrew Miller is second with 126 points, while St. Lawrence’s Kyle Flanagan is third with 125 and North Dakota’s Danny Kristo is fourth with 124.
• Wisconsin hosts Alabama-Huntsville Thursday and Friday in Madison. The Chargers boast senior forward Sebastian and junior forward Brice Geoffrion, the brothers of the Badger’s 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Blake Geoffrion. Blake Geoffrion will be in attendance at Friday’s game to serve as honorary captain. Additionally, Gary (1970–74) and Brad (1999–2003) Winchester, one of six families in program history to have a father and son play for the Badgers, will serve as the honorary captains for Thursday's game.
Freshman goaltender Ryan McKay has allowed just two goals in five starts during his career at Miami (Ohio), both of which have come on the power play. In nearly 250 minutes of action as a RedHawk, McKay has yet to allow an even-strength goal … The last time RIT played on Dec. 12 was in 2009, when they had a 10-game unbeaten streak snapped by visiting Niagara. On Dec. 12, RIT went to Niagara with the Purple Eagles riding an 11-game unbeaten streak and the two teams tied. Niagara’s unbeaten streak is now at 12, which is the longest in the nation … Colgate is 8-for-13 on the power play in the last three games. Its top unit has seven of the eight goals and features four rookies and a sophomore. Six of the seven goals are from rookies … After a 9-1 start to the season, Denver is trying to snap a six-game winless streak in a two-game series at Bemidji State. It’s the Pioneers longest winless streak since 1999 … Michigan Tech is 4-1-1 when scoring the first goal of the game and 0-7-2 when their opponent scores first … Junior Brett Gensler became the fastest player in Bentley’s Division I history to record 100 career points, reaching the milestone in his 88th game on Saturday against Air Force in a two-goal tie. Gensler is 27 points shy of breaking the program’s record for career points in just his third season … With 112 points (54 goals, 58 assists) in 126 games, Jordan George matched Brad Hunt (2008-12) for fourth on Bemidji State’s Division I scoring list with a goal last Saturday. He needs three points this weekend against Denver to match BSU great and current NHL player Andrew Murray (2001-05) for third on the list with 115 points … With a victory against Denver on Friday and Saturday, Tom Serratore will earn his 200th victory at Bemidji State … Nebraska-Omaha’s Ryan Walters’ 24 points are one away from tying his career high set last year.