Jan. 5, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

STILL THE ONE: Top-ranked Notre Dame fended off Minnesota Duluth, 3-1, in the final game of the Shillelagh Tournament as the Irish remained unbeaten in their last 16 games of action.  UND is 14-0-2 during the stretch after handing the Bulldogs their first loss in their last nine games.

Senior goaltender Jordan Pearce stopped 39 of 41 shots in the tournament at the Sears Centre, earning Most Outstanding Player honors.  He helped the Irish to a 3-1 win over Union in the opening game of the tournament.

Pearce, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, ranks fifth in the nation with a 1.63 goals against average and is sixth with a .935 save percentage. 

CLASSIC PERFORMANCE: Ohio State cruised to the Ohio Hockey Classic title – the Buckeyes’ first since 2006 – with a 2-0 win over Clarkson in the championship game on Jan. 2. 

The Buckeyes downed Army in the tournament opener, and with the Clarkson victory extended their winning streak to eight games.   Army topped No. 2 Miami (Ohio) in the consolation game as the Red Hawks went winless on the weekend.

Sophomore goaltender Dustin Carlson made 24 saves in his fourth shutout of the year, the third-most in a season in school history.  The native of Forest Lake, Minn., garnered all-tournament team honors and Central Collegiate Hockey Association Goaltender of the Week for his performance.  Carlson is eighth in Division I with a .932 save percentage, while he ranks seventh in winning percentage at .786 (11-3-0).

The Buckeyes have won 11 of their last 12 games, and are currently tied for the second-longest unbeaten streak in the nation.

ON THE PROWL: Quinnipiac University continued its red hot play with a pair of victories over nationally-ranked squads last week while stretching its winning streak to five games.  The Bobcats have won nine of their last 11 contests.

The Bobcats capped off a 4-0 week with a 6-0 win over No. 20 Dartmouth for their second straight victory in ECAC Hockey action.  Quinnipiac knocked off Harvard, 5-2, on the previous day in league play.   At the beginning of the week, the Bobcats upended No. 11 Air Force, 4-2, in the final game of the UConn Invitational.

Freshman goalie Dan Clarke notched his first career shutout against Dartmouth in only his second start.  The native of Belleville, Ont., started his first collegiate contest in the win against Air Force.

“You never expect something like this to happen,” Clarke said. “But when it does, it’s pretty exciting.”

NOTABLE:  RIT went over the .500 mark for the first time this season after running its winning streak to five games with a 4-2 defeat of Bentley on Jan. 2.  The Tigers have out-scored foes 21-12 during the stretch and maintained their hold on second-place in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings … No. 13 Vermont won its first Catamount Cup title since 2005 with a 4-0 shutout of St. Lawrence behind the outstanding play of freshman goaltender Rob Madore.   The native of Venetia, Pa., tallied 29 saves in his first career shutout, earning all-tournament team honors … Minnesota captured the Dodge Holiday Classic title with a 3-2 overtime win versus Northeastern despite the absence of head coach Don Lucia, who is sidelined while battling an illness.  Lucia will also miss the Gophers’ next series at North Dakota on Jan. 9-10.