Oct. 25, 2010

By Jen Gunnels

The nation's top three teams were each handed their first defeat of the season in a weekend marked by upsets.

In front of a sellout crowd in South Bend, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame stunned last week's USA TODAY/USA Hockey No. 1-ranked Boston College Eagles by a score of 2-1 on Saturday night. Irish senior leftwing Calle Ridderwall scored both goals in the second period while sophomore goaltender Mike Johnson stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced. Notre Dame improved to 4-1-0 on the season as the Eagles fell to 3-1-0.

Also upset in weekend action were the No. 2 Fighting Sioux of North Dakota who were swept at Maine by scores of 7-3 and 4-2. In the first game of the series, junior forward Brian Flynn scored two goals for the Black Bears in the first 9:37 of the game, leading Maine to a five-goal first period and a deficit the Fighting Sioux could not overcome. In the rematch on Saturday night, the Black Bears scored four goals in a ten-minute span bridging the second and third periods to hand the Sioux their first non-conference sweep since 2006, when Maine performed the feat at North Dakota.

Last week's No. 3 Michigan also suffered a loss in the opening game of its weekend series against No. 10 Nebraska-Omaha. The 4-2 decision was the first victory at Michigan by the Mavericks since 2004. The Wolverines blazed back in the Saturday rematch with a 6-1 win to split the series. Junior leftwing David Wohlberg scored just eight seconds into the Saturday matchup, the fastest goal in the modern Michigan hockey era. It was a true team effort for Michigan in the Saturday win as goaltender Brian Hogan had a career-high 35 saves and 12 different Wolverines notched at least one point in the game.

The beneficiary of the weekend losses by the nation's top three teams could be last week's No. 4-ranked Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, who completed their first sweep of the season while hosting CCHA conference opponent Northern Michigan. The RedHawks outscored the Wildcats 13-1 in the series. With a 4-0 shutout on Friday night junior goaltender Cody Reichard recorded the eighth shutout performance of his career, while sophomore Reilly Smith completed his first career hat trick on Saturday in the RedHawks' 9-1 win. With five assists in Saturday's game, Miami senior forward Carter Camper notched a career high for points in a game and improved to a nation-leading 17 points on the season.

Minnesota-Duluth remained unbeaten, sweeping Alaska-Anchorage in weekend play by scores of 3-2 (OT) and 6-0. The No. 5 Bulldogs improved to 5-0-1 on the season, their best start in six years.

Other Weekend Notables

Junior goaltender Kieran Millan had 39 saves for Boston University Saturday night in a 2-1 win over Providence as the Terriers stretched their unbeaten streak to five games, improving to 4-0-1 this season...Minnesota earned its first WCHA win of the season with a 2-1 decision over St. Cloud State on Sunday...The most potent scoring offense in the nation put on a show for its home crowd this weekend as Union secured a 6-1 win over Niagara on Friday and a 7-2 win over RIT on Saturday, improving to 5-1-0 on the season...Air Force earned its first win of the season in dramatic fashion on Saturday, blanking Atlantic Hockey conference foe American International by a score of 12-0; senior forward Jacques Lamoureux tallied his third career hat trick in the routing while junior goaltender Stephen Caple's first career start ended in a shutout.

Results from Oct. 18-24 for teams in the USA TODAY/USA Hockey Top 15

1. Boston College--lost at Notre Dame, 2-1.
2. North Dakota--lost at Maine 7-3, lost at Maine 4-2.
3. Michigan--lost to Nebraska-Omaha, 4-2, beat Nebraska-Omaha 6-1.
4. Miami (Ohio)--beat Northern Michigan, 4-0, beat Northern Michigan 9-1.
5. Minnesota-Duluth--beat Alaska-Anchorage, 3-2 (OT), beat Alaska-Anchorage, 6-0.
6. Yale--DNP.
7. New Hampshire--tied at Northeastern 2-2.
8. Boston University--won at Massachusetts, 4-3, beat Providence, 2-1.
9. Alaska--tied at Michigan State, 1-1 (lost shootout 2-1), lost at Michigan State, 4-1.
10. Nebraska-Omaha--won at Michigan 4-2, lost at Michigan 6-1.
11. Maine--beat North Dakota 7-3, beat North Dakota, 4-2.
12. Cornell--DNP.
13. Denver--beat Wisconsin 4-2, tied Wisconsin 2-2.
14. Wisconsin--lost at Denver 4-2, tied Denver 2-2.
15. St. Cloud St.--won at Minnesota 5-2, lost at Minnesota, 2-1.