Feb. 23, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

RED HOT:  Top-ranked Plattsburgh State cruised past Cortland State, 6-1, in the Cardinals final game of the regular season as they concluded their State University of New York Athletic Conference slate unbeaten at 15-0-1 for the first time in five years.  

The Cardinals also set a school record for SUNYAC wins in a season, and extended their winning streak to 10 games.  Plattsburgh is the top-seeded team in the SUNYAC Championship and will host the winner of Brockport-Potsdam on Feb. 28.

Junior Joey Wilson netted the game-winning goal against the Red Dragons to increase his team-leading total to 21 goals on the year.  He ranks fifth in the nation with 0.84 goals per game, while Plattsburgh sits in the top four in the nation in both scoring offense (4.76 gpg) and scoring defense (1.72 gpg).  

A LOT TO CELEBRATE:  After garnering the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year award, University of Wisconsin-Superior goaltender Chad Beiswenger showed he was worthy of the honor as he led the Yellowjackets to a pair of league playoff victories over the weekend.

Beiswenger tallied 15 saves and recorded a scoreless third period as UWS edged Lake Forest in the first NCHA Peters Cup quarterfinal game on Feb. 20, and then followed it up with a 5-0 shutout of the Foresters the next night as he celebrated his 25th birthday.  With the shutout, the native of Moorhead, Minn., became the program’s all-time leader with 13 career shutouts.  He has played in every game this season for UWS and ranks seventh in the nation with a 2.01 goals against average.

The second-ranked Yellowjackets have won six straight games and are unbeaten (7-0-2) in their last nine contests.  They will host St. Norbert in a Peters Cup semifinal game on Feb. 28.

LORDS OF THE RINK: Amherst College captured its first-ever top seed in the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship as the Lord Jeffs stretched their winning streak to 10 games with two league wins to conclude the regular season.

The Lord Jeffs opened with a 4-3 defeat of No.7 Middlebury as sophomore Cole Anderson continued to dazzle with 54 saves in the program’s first win over the Panthers since the 1999-2000 season.  Anderson tops the nation with a 1.49 goals against average and .954 save percentage.
A day later, Anderson’s counterpart Jonathan La Rose tallied 29 saves as he posted his second shutout of the season in a 6-0 win over Williams College.  Amherst scored all six goals in the third period.

Amherst begins its quest for the team’s first league championship when the Lord Jeffs face Tufts on Feb. 28 NESCAC quarterfinal action.

BULLDOGS KEEP BITING:  After turning in a flawless 20-0-0 in Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association play this season, Adrian College exploded for a pair of convincing wins against Northland College to advance to the league’s semifinals next weekend.

Sophomore Shawn Skelly added to his nation-leading goal total with a pair of scores in a 10-1 win over Northland on Feb. 20, and then contributed an assist in an 8-2 victory the next day to move to the next round of league playoffs.  He also paces Division III with 2.38 points per game, and ranks third in the nation with 1.23 assists per game.

NOTABLE:  Castleton College capped the regular season with seven straight wins to earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ECAC Men’s East playoffs.  Goaltenders Jay Seals and Seth McNary are first (2.06) and third (2.10) in the league’s goals against average rankings, respectively … After clinching its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic regular season crown since the 1938-39 season two weeks ago, St. Olaf stretched its unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) with a 1-0-1 weekend against Augsburg last weekend.  The Oles will host the winner of the tournament’s play-in game between Hamline and Augsburg on Feb. 28.