While many fans were watching the NHL All-Star game, NCAA hockey action was taking some wild turns Saturday. Three of the top-5 ranked teams were upset by opponents, and five other top-25 teams suffered losses. Check out the roundup, below.
No. 1 St. Cloud State shocked by unranked North Dakota, 5-1
Nearly held scoreless in the game, top-ranked St. Cloud State faced a tremendous setback Saturday. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Huskies and was only the team’s second loss in conference play this season. North Dakota is 13-11-1, with a 7-7 record in NCHC contests, compared to SCSU’s 18-4-2 overall record and 10-2-2 mark in-conference.
Freshman and junior wings Gavin Hain and Dixon Bowen each scored two goals for the Fighting Hawks, leading UND to a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second period. A shorthanded goal from Huskies team captain Jimmy Schuldt late in the frame got SCSU on the board, but the comeback never materialized, as Hain and Bowen each tallied their second goals in the third to seal the win.
St. Cloud State hosts a home series against Miami University next weekend, and North Dakota looks to continue its winning ways as it takes on No. 4 Denver.
No. 2 UMass falls short in comeback to Maine, 4-3
Despite a late-game surge to inch the game within one goal, the second-ranked Massachusetts hockey team was handed an upset by the Black Bears. The loss wasn’t for a lack of offensive effort, as UMass bombarded Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman with 56 shots — the most shots on goal for a UMass squad in a regular season game since 2014 — and marking a career-high 53 saves for Swayman.
ICYMI 🎥: Maine defeated #2 UMass 4-3! Swayman stopped 53 Minutemen shots, while Westerlund, Tralmaks, Keeper, and Binner all scored for the Black Bears!#BlackBearNation | #HockeyEast pic.twitter.com/a9LdJNfK0p— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) January 27, 2019
Maine (9-12-3, 5-6-3 HE) stole the game in the second period, scoring three consecutive goals while on a five-minute major penalty power play. Despite Maine’s comfy lead and the debilitating middle frame for UMass (19-5, 11-3 HE), the Minutemen dug in for a power-play goal from Jacob Pritchard and a short-handed score from Mitchell Chaffee in the third. Maine and Swayman fended off UMass for the remaining ten minutes, thwarting a chance for the equalizer.
UMass closes out its four-game road stretch at Boston University next weekend, and Maine continues Hockey East action at New Hampshire.
No. 4 Denver upset by No. 13 Western Michigan, 5-1
Completing a dominant series sweep, No. 13 Western Michigan got an early jump on No. 4 Denver and rode the lead to a decisive 5-1 victory Saturday. Denver ceded four unanswered goals, two coming on Bronco power plays — which went 2-for-5 on the night.
After a rolling first period for Western Michigan (15-8-1, 8-5-1-1 NCHC) the Broncos struck twice quickly in the second frame with goals from Cam Lee and Dawson Dipietro coming 24 seconds apart. Denver (14-6-3, 6-6-1-1 NCHC) finally found an answer at the start of the third as Emilio Pettersen notched a power play goal for the Pioneers, ending Trevor Gorsuch’s hopes for a shutout.
Denver looks to get back on track against North Dakota next weekend, and Western Michigan takes on Omaha.
Other upsets from the weekend include: No. 8 Northeastern fell to Providence, No. 9 Bowling Green lost to Ferris State, No. 12 Cornell upset Colgate in OT, No. 16 Union fell to Brown and No. 18 Lake Superior State lost to Bemidji State.