On Ice: Winter Wonderland
Jan. 8, 2009
By Bo Rottenborn
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
A Look Back at Last Week's Highlights
Last weekend saw the culmination of the annual holiday tournaments, and Notre Dame (Shillelagh Tournament), Boston University (Denver Cup), Minnesota (Dodge Holiday Classic), Vermont (Catamount Cup) and Ohio State (Ohio Hockey Classic) all claimed titles. Miami - which had been ranked second in both polls - had a tough start to its second half, suffering unlikely losses to both Clarkson (4-2, snapping an 11-game winless streak for the Golden Knights) and Army (3-2) in the Ohio Hockey Classic. Among the other noteworthy results were BU beating Denver 4-1 on the Pioneers' home ice, and Minnesota topping Northeastern 3-2.
WHAT'S IN STORE
This Week's Top Matchups
In both Hockey East and the CCHA, the two squads that hooked up in last season's conference tournament final will hit the ice against each other this weekend. Defending NCAA champion No. 9 Boston College (9-5-2/5-4-2) has won four in a row against No. 12 Vermont (11-4-2/6-3-1), including a 3-2 decision in Kelley Rink on Oct. 24. The teams will play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NESN and on Saturday at 7 on Comcast SportsNet New England. It will be a matchup between two of the highest-scoring teams in Hockey East, as the Eagles rank second in the conference at 3.31 goals per game and the Catamounts are third (3.24). Senior Brock Bradford - a 2005 Bruins draftee who played only five games in BC's 2007-08 championship season due to a broken humerus - leads the Eagles' attack and is third in NCAA Division I in goal scoring (14 in 16 games). UVM won the Catamount Cup last weekend to conclude its non-conference slate with a 5-1-1 record.
In the CCHA, No. 11 Michigan (13-7-0/7-5-0-0) plays host to No. 6 Miami (12-5-3/10-2-2-1) at 7:35 p.m. on both Friday (televised on FSN Detroit Plus) and Saturday (televised on CTV) at Yost Ice Arena. In November, the RedHawks - which lost 2-1 in last year's league tournament title game - registered a home sweep (2-1, 2-0), holding Michigan to its lowest weekend goal total in its 25 seasons under head coach Red Berenson. The series will feature the top three scorers in the CCHA. Miami sophomore Carter Camper leads the league with 27 points (12-15), while Michigan sophomores Aaron Palushaj (8-17) and Louie Caporusso (18-7) are right behind with 25 apiece. Caporusso - who was a third-round draft pick of Ottawa in 2007 - is the leading goal scorer in NCAA Division I and already has potted a pair of natural hat tricks this season.
Elsewhere, top-ranked Notre Dame (16-3-2/10-2-2-2) hasn't lost since late October and will try to extend its 16-game unbeaten streak (14-0-2) this weekend in a home series with No. 19 Alaska (10-6-4/8-5-3-2). The Nanooks currently stand third in the CCHA standings. No. 2 Boston University (13-4-1/6-4-1), meanwhile, will play host to Maine (10-7-2/5-5-1) on Saturday in its only contest of the week.
WHAT TO WATCH
This Week's Televised Games
Friday, January 9
No. 9 Boston College at No. 12 Vermont, 7:30 p.m. - NESN
No. 6 Miami at No. 11 Michigan, 7:30 p.m. - FSN Detroit Plus
No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth at St. Cloud State, 8 p.m. - NHL Network/Charter
Northern Michigan at No. 18 Nebraska-Omaha, 8 p.m. - CBS College Sports
No. 3 Minnesota at North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. - FSN North/Fighting Sioux Sports Network
Michigan Tech at No. 5 Denver, 9:30 p.m. - FSN Rocky Mountain
No. 17 Wisconsin at Alaska Anchorage, 11 p.m. - GCICable
Saturday, January 10
Niagara at No. 8 Cornell, 7 p.m. - Niagara Sports Network
No. 9 Boston College at No. 12 Vermont, 7 p.m. - Comcast SportsNet New England
Mercyhurst at Army, 7 p.m. - CBS College Sports
No. 6 Miami at No. 11 Michigan, 7:30 p.m. - Comcast/NHL Network (Canada)
No. 3 Minnesota at North Dakota, 8 p.m. - FSN North/Fighting Sioux Sports Network
No. 20 Minnesota =-Duluth at St. Cloud State, 8 p.m. - Charter
Michigan Tech at No. 5 Denver, 9 p.m. - FSN Rocky Mountain
No. 17 Wisconsin at Alaska Anchorage, 11 p.m. - GCICable
Sunday, January 11
St. Lawrence at Clarkson, 4 p.m. - ESPNU
(Times are Eastern)
LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE
An Accomplishment or Milestone From the Past Week
Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Cody Goloubef played a key role in helping Canada claim its fifth consecutive gold in the IIHF World Junior Championships. He played in all six of his team's games and finished second among all players in the tournament with a plus-10 rating. The United States team - which featured 13 current college players - finished fifth. Freshman Jordan Schroeder - one of three Minnesota players on the squad - led the U.S. in scoring with 11 points.
BY THE NUMBERS
A Statistic Worth Noting
Wisconsin sophomore Hilary Knight is on a torrid scoring pace this season, boasting 22 goals and 17 assists in 18 games this season for the top-ranked and undefeated Badgers women's team. Knight - who set a school record with five goals against Quinnipiac on Sept. 27 - already has surpassed her point total from last season and leads NCAA Division I women's hockey in scoring in 2008-09 (39 points/2.17 per game). Her Badgers are 18-0-2 and have outscored opponents 106-19, but have a big series on the horizon, as they will play on Saturday (7 p.m. CT) and Sunday (3 p.m. CT) on the road against third-ranked and defending national champion Minnesota Duluth (12-6-2). The Badgers managed a 2-1 victory and then skated to a 2-2 tie against the Bulldogs in Madison earlier this season.
AT THE NEXT LEVEL
Spotlight on a Former College Player in the NHL
Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek (Michigan, 2000-02) has earned his first invitation to the National Hockey League All-Star Game and will be one of four Canadiens on the ice when the puck drops for the midseason event on Sunday, January 25 at 6 p.m. ET in Montreal on Versus. Komisarek, a native of West Islip, N.Y., was the seventh overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and made his NHL debut in 2002-03. In 318 career games in the NHL, he has accumulated 424 penalty minutes and 50 points to go with a plus-14 rating and helped the Habs earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference a season ago. Despite missing about a month with a shoulder injury this season, he still ranks second on the team in penalty minutes (49 in 23 games), as well as third in blocked shots (78) and fifth in hits (79). He also leads the Canadiens in shorthanded ice time per game (3:20), anchoring a penalty-killing unit that ranks 11th in the NHL (82.9%). Komisarek played two seasons at Michigan, piling up 46 points and 145 PIM in 80 games. He helped the Wolverines to a 55-24-10 mark, a CCHA title and two trips to the NCAA Frozen Four.