Dec. 8, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

TOP DOGS: Northeastern University topped Maine 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 5 in the Huskies’ lone game of the month and will head into the holiday break leading the Hockey East with an 8-2-1 conference record.

Senior defensemen Louis Liotti netted two goals, including the game-winner against the Black Bears, earning Hockey East Reebok Player of the Week for the first time of his career.  He scored the game-winning goal with 2:31 remaining in overtime, and tallied his first goal during a power-play in the second period.

The native of Westbury, N.Y., now has four career goals.  It has been almost a year since he chipped in his last one against Bowling Green on Dec. 28, 2007, but he been a key component in the Huskies’ defense, playing 122 games in the last four years.

The Huskies moved up to No. 5 in the latest College Sports Network Division I poll, and will enjoy a lengthy hiatus before returning to the ice at the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis on Jan. 2.

SHUTTING IT DOWN: Cornell junior goalkeeper Ben Scrivens collected his third ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week award after propelling the Big Red to their second straight home weekend sweep.

The native of Spruce Grove, Alberta, allowed just one goal in the two games, posting a 4-1 win over Clarkson on Dec. 5, and following it up with a 1-0 shutout the next day with a 25-save performance.  It was his eighth career shutout and third of the season.  

Scrivens stopped 97.4 of shots he faced and compiled a 0.50 goals against average over the weekend.  He also leads the nation with a .954 save percentage and 1.21 goals against average.

Tenth-ranked Cornell is currently tied with Princeton for the top spot in the ECAC Hockey standings, and will resume action on Dec. 27 against St. Cloud State in the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla.

TURNAROUND TRAIL: After a dismal 0-6-1 start to the season, Wisconsin’s recent hot play has bumped the Badgers to first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, and back into the national rankings at No. 16 in the latest College Sports Network Division I poll.

The Badgers are fresh off a sweep of No. 15 Alaska Anchorage, pushing their winning streak to five games.  They are 9-1-1 since Nov. 1 and boast a 7-5-2 WCHA mark.

Wisconsin will take a two-week break, returning to the ice on Dec. 28 for the Badger Hockey Showdown.  They have played nine consecutive weekends since opening the season.

NOTABLE:  Minnesota Duluth earned three points in a weekend series against then-No. 5 Colorado College, which included a 7-4 win over the Tigers on Dec. 6.  It was the first time in two years the Bulldogs have scored seven goals.  CC’s goaltender Richard Bachman had given up only one goal to the Bulldogs in his last three-plus contests, but allowed five goals on 18 shots in the loss … Massachusetts head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon earned his 300th career victory in a 5-1 win over Connecticut on Dec. 5.  It was also his 120th win at UMass, and he now needs just one victory to become the school’s all-time winningest head coach.  Cahoon led UMass to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007 … Miami (Ohio) claimed its third straight sweep with a 7-3 win over Western Michigan on Dec. 7 behind Carter Camper’s first career hat trick along with a career-high four points.  The sophomore from Rocky River, Ohio, leads the RedHawks with 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points, and ranks 12th in the nation with 0.62 goals per game.