March 2, 2009

STILL SUPERIOR:  No. 2 UW-Superior advanced to the championship game of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Peters Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 shutout of St. Norbert on Feb. 28 as senior goaltender Chad Beiswenger collected his 50th career victory.

The native of Moorhead, Minn., picked up his second straight shutout, and fifth blanking of the season, lowering his goals against average to 1.94, which ranks ninth in Division III.  The Green Knights outshot Superior, 32-19, but were not able to penetrate Beiswenger’s defense.

The Yellowjackets will host No. 3 UW-Stout in the Peters Cup final on March 7.

CARDINALS RULE: Top-ranked Plattsburgh State dismantled SUNY Brockport, 7-2, in the semifinals of the SUNYAC Tournament on Feb. 28 as the Cardinals extended their winning streak to 11 games.

Plattsburgh was down 2-1 after the first period, but tallied six unanswered goals for the victory as 13 different players posted at least one point in the contest.  The Cardinals have advanced to the league championship round every season since 1992, and will host Oswego on March 7.  

A GOOD YEAR: No. 6 Amherst continued its winning ways as the Lord Jeffs slapped in four third-period goals for a 4-1 win over Tufts after trailing 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship.  The Lord Jeffs stretched their winning streak to 11 games and have scored at least four goals in each of their last eight games.

With the victory, Amherst matched the program record for victories with 19 – the most since the 1998-99 season.  The Lord Jeffs have scored at least three goals in every win this year.

Sophomore goaltender Cole Anderson stopped 27 shots in the win as he remained the nation’s leader in goals against average (1.45) and save percentage (.955).  Amherst also paces the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 1.50 goals per game.

The Lord Jeffs will host the NESCAC Tournament semifinals and finals on March 6-7, and will face Trinity in their first contest.  Williams and Middlebury will tangle in the other semifinal, and the winners will meet in the championship game.

REPEAT OFFENDERS:  No. 9 Adrian claimed its second straight Harris Cup title as the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association tournament winner, downing MSOE, 7-1, on March 1.

Sophomore Eric Miller contributed two goals and two assists in an 8-3 win against Marian in the semifinals, and then added two more assists versus MSOE as he garnered the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.  The native of Erlanger, Ky., ranks third on the squad with 51 points on 18 goals and 33 assists.
The MCHA conference does not have an automatic bid into the Division III Tournament, so Adrian will have to wait until March 8 to learn if it is selected for an at-large bid.

NOTABLE:  UMass Boston – the No. 8 seed in the ECAC East Tournament – surprised nationally-ranked and top-seeded Norwich with a 1-0 defeat to advance to the league’s semifinals for the second straight year.  It was the Beacons’ first win against Norwich since 1991 … Hobart College posted its first win on Manhattanville’s home ice as the Statesmen notched a 3-1 win over the Valiants in an ECAC West Tournament semifinals over the weekend.  The Statesmen advanced to face top-seeded Elmira in the conference final on March 7 … St. Olaf, the top-seeded team in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, was knocked out by No. 4-seeded Hamline in a stunning 5-1 defeat on Feb. 28.  The Pipers will now travel to Gustavus for a shot at the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.