Oct. 14, 2010

Oct. 14 Hockey News & Notes

With the first full weekend of the mens hockey season now in the books, conference play heats up this weekend as some of the nations top teams face off against conference foes. NCAA.com previews some of the games to watch this weekend.

Atlantic Hockey

After a strong opening weekend against American International, the Colonials of Robert Morris top the Atlantic Hockey standings at 2-0 after defeating the Yellow Jackets by scores of 4-1 and 6-3. The Colonials look to stay unbeaten this weekend when they face the Buckeyes of Ohio State on Friday and the Falcons of the Air Force Academy on Sunday.

Mercyhurst head coach Rick Gotkin remains one victory shy of his milestone 400th win and will continue his pursuit this weekend when his Lakers take on Western Michigan. Mercyhurst opened the season with a 4-4 tie against Michigan on Oct. 2. The Lakers will host the Western Michigan Broncos in a two-game non-conference series on Friday and Saturday.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will host UMass Lowell in its home opener at the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday. The Tigers are still on the prowl for their first win of the season after falling to St. Cloud State 3-1 and Nebraska-Omaha 5-3 last weekend. The Tigers were tabbed by fellow Atlantic Hockey coaches as the preseason favorite and will be put to the test in conference play beginning on Oct. 29.

Hockey East

The reigning national champions of Boston College lived up to the preseason hype with a 2-0 win in the season opener against Northeastern last weekend. Ranked No. 1 in this weeks USA TODAY/USA Hockey mens poll, the Eagles will travel to Denver to take on the No. 8-ranked Pioneers in a two game series this weekend.

No. 6 Maine will face off against Michigan State in a two-game Thursday/Friday series this weekend after skating to a 1-0-1 start last weekend. Head Coach Tim Whitehead led his Black Bears to a win over UMass-Lowell by a score of 8-2 in the season opener on Friday followed by a 3-3 stalemate with Connecticut the following evening. The win on Friday marked Whiteheads 200th career victory at Maine.

Massachusetts continues to seek its first win on the season after falling to an 0-2 start in the seasons opening series against No. 13 Minnesota last weekend. The Minutemen will travel to Boston University on Saturday to face the Terriers. BU is undefeated so far after beating Wisconsin and Notre Dame in last weekends season-opening tournament, claiming the Ice Breaker title for the third time in program history and earning a No. 10 ranking alongside St. Cloud State.


The newly-expanded Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) will see conference members face off for the first time this season as conference play gets underway this weekend.

Bemidji State will make its WCHA debut on Friday in its season opener against preseason WCHA-favorite North Dakota. Although the Beavers and Fighting Sioux are competing as members of the same conference for the first time this season, the rivalry is not new.

Dating back to the early 1970s, North Dakota leads the series 17-1-1 and has never lost in Bemidji. Adding to the fanfare of the matchup, the game will be the first in the Beavers new home at the Bemidji Regional Events Center.

The WCHAs other newcomers, the Mavericks of Nebraska-Omaha, opened the regular season by winning the Mutual of Omaha Stampede tournament for the fourth consecutive year last weekend. The Mavericks will look to continue the winning streak when they travel to face No. 13-ranked Minnesota in a two-game conference series this weekend. The Golden Gophers also enter the series unbeaten on the season after sweeping Massachusetts in a two-game opening series last weekend.

The other WCHA conference matchup to watch this weekend will pit Michigan Tech against Minnesota State. The six other WCHA teams square off this weekend in non-conference matchups.


The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) will see just one conference matchup this weekend as Notre Dame hosts Lake Superior State in a two-game series beginning Thursday. The other nine conference members will see ice time this week as well, though in nonconference matchups.

After capturing his 700th career win last weekend over Bowling Green, Michigan head coach Red Berenson and his Wolverines travel to New Hampshire on Saturday. The No. 9 New Hampshire Wildcats are hosting the No. 3 Wolverines for the first time since 1984.

Michigan State will host No. 6 Maine in its season-opening series on Thursday and Friday. These teams are no strangers having met six times in previous NCAA tournaments and 16 times overall; the Spartans lead the overall series 10-5-1. Meanwhile, Western Michigan takes its first road trip of the season to face Mercyhurst in a two-game weekend series. Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill earned his first collegiate win as a head coach last weekend when his Broncos defeated Canisius 3-2 in overtime.

After splitting its opening-weekend series with New Hampshire, No.4 Miami (Ohio) will travel to St. Cloud State to take on the Huskies in a two-game series this weekend. No. 14 Alaska will host the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament this weekend, which also includes Alaska Fairbanks, Union and Colorado College. The Nanooks will look to better last weekends second-place finish in the Kendall Hockey Classic, where they fell to the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota in the title game.

ECAC Hockey

Though ECAC Hockey conference action wont begin until Oct. 29, the season is underway for several ECAC Hockey teams. After starting the season with an impressive two-game sweep over Sacred Heart (9-0, 7-3), the Union Dutchmen will look to remain unbeaten when they face off against Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage this weekend.

Clarkson fell in its first game of the season to Nebraska-Omaha but followed up the loss by shocking then-ranked No. 6 St. Cloud State the following day in the consolation game at the Mutual of Omaha Stampede. Six different Golden Knights scored in the game to give Clarkson the 6-2 advantage. The Golden Knights take on Bowling Green in a two-game series this weekend where both teams will be seeking the edge in an overall series that is all tied at 13-13-1.

Quinnipiac split its opening series with Ohio State last weekend, opening the season with a 2-1 victory followed by a 4-0 loss. The Bobcats will face Bentley at home on Friday. St. Lawrence squared off against Minnesota State-Mankato in a two-game series to open the season last weekend. The Saints came home with a record of 0-0-2 after both games ended in overtime ties (5-5, 1-1). The team will travel this weekend to Ferris State for a two-game series seeking its first win on the season and logging over 3,000 miles in its first two weekends of competition.