NCAA Game Weekend: March 15-17, 2019

NCHC Tournament Quarterfinals
Miami Redhawks 2 @ #1 St. Cloud State Huskies 5 (Mar 15th)
Miami Redhawks 3 @ #1 St. Cloud State Huskies 6 (Mar 16th)
St. Cloud State wins series 2-0; advances to NCHC semifinals

D Nick Perbix, STC: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG
Season Totals: 36 GP, 5-15-20, +23, 12 PIM

The outmatched Redhawks led just once in their NCHC quarterfinal match against the top-ranked Huskies. On Friday night, St. Cloud State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. Miami twice drew within a goal, but each time the Huskies held the answer. Kings prospect David Hrenak (LAK, 2018 5th round pick) made 23 saves, including a perfect 10 in the 1st period that allowed St. Cloud to establish the lead. On Saturday night, the Redhawks went down fighting, leading 1-0 at the first intermission and then twice tying up the game after St. Cloud rallied. But the Huskies proved too much, scoring three straight goals in the 3rd after Miami knotted the score at 3-3. Easton Brodzinski (undrafted) scored twice and added an assist for St. Cloud and both Robby Jackson (undrafted) and Wild prospect Sam Hentges (MIN, 2018 7th round pick) notched a goal and three points of their own to lead the 2-0 sweep in the best of three.

These were the 8th and 9th straight wins for the Huskies, who finish their home-ice 2018-19 season undefeated with a record of 17-0-1 and earns a semifinals berth in next weekend’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul. St. Cloud will play against either the #8 Denver Pioneers or the Colorado College Tigers, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Game 3 between the Tigers and WMU.

NCHC Tournament Quarterfinals
Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 1 @ #4 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 2 (OT) (Mar 15th)
Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 1 @ #4 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 4 (Mar 16th)
Minnesota-Duluth wins series 2-0; advances to NCHC semifinals

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 2 GP, 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 7 SOG
Season Totals: 36 GP, 5-10-15, +7, 14 PIM

UMD dispensed with UNO in two-straight this weekend in their NCHC quarterfinal matchup in Duluth. On Friday night, Wild prospect Nick Swaney (MIN, 2017 7th round pick) potted the OT game-winner at 13:42 into the extra session to give the Bulldogs the first game in the best-of-three series. Hunter Shepard (undrafted) allowed just one UNO goal on 28 shots. On Saturday night, Lightning prospect Cole Koepke scored an insurance goal just before the end of the 2nd period to extend the Bulldogs rally after falling behind 1-0 in the 1st. Peter Krieger (undrafted) led UMD with a goal and an assist and All-NCHC 1st Team goalie Shepard once again allowed just a single goal on 18 shots.

UMD finishes their 2018-19 home-ice season with a record of 13-3-1 and earns a semifinals berth in next weekend’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul against either the #8 Denver Pioneers or #12 Western Michigan, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Game 3 between Colorado College and WMU.

NCHC Tournament Quarterfinals
#19 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 0 @ #8 Denver Pioneers 2 (Mar 15th)
#19 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 2 @ #8 Denver Pioneers 4 (Mar 16th)
Denver wins series 2-0; advances to NCHC semifinals

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 2 GP, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 21/41 FO
Season Totals: 36 GP, 12-11-22, +15, 18 PIM

Denver had little trouble with North Dakota this weekend despite entering the NCHC quarterfinals with a 5-6-3 record over their last 14 conference games. On Fright night, Pioneers goalie and Red Wings prospect Filip Larsson (DET, 2016 6th round pick) pitched a 32-save shutout. On Saturday night, Bolt prospect Cole Guttman opened the scoring with a power-play marker early in the 1st period, and then setup a Jarid Lukosevicius (undrafted) goal in the 2nd to give Denver a 3-1 lead before finishing out the two-game sweep 4-2. Larsson made 40 saves, frustrating the North Dakota offense and holding them to just two goals on 74 shots over the two-game series. Guttman, who started Game 2, took a total 41 faceoffs in both games, winning 51% of them and continues to lead all NCHC freshmen in goals (12), goals/game, and faceoff wins. He is also 4th among conference freshmen in total points (23).

The 8th-ranked Denver squad led by first year bench boss David Carle earns a semifinals berth in next weekend’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul against either the #1 St. Cloud State Huskies or the #4 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Game 3 quarterfinal match between WMU and Colorado College.

ECAC Tournament Quarterfinals
Union College Dutchmen 3 @ #10 Cornell Big Red 2 (Mar 15th)
Union College Dutchmen 0 @ #10 Cornell Big Red 4 (Mar 16th)
Union College Dutchmen 2 @ #10 Cornell Big Red 4 (Mar 17th)
Cornell wins series 2-1; advances to ECAC semifinals

D Alex Green, COR: 3 GP, 1-0-1, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 16 GP, 1-3-4, -5, 6 PIM
’17-’18 Totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, +9, 23 PIM

It took three games for Cornell to knock off Union in the ECAC quarterfinals this weekend, losing Friday night’s game and then winning back-to-back elimination games Saturday and Sunday to advance. On Friday, Union rallied from a 2-1 deficit scoring twice in the 3rd to take the first match. Sebastian Vidmar (undrafted) scored and added an assist for the Dutchmen, and Darion Hanson (undrafted) made 32-saves. On Saturday night, Bolt prospect Alex Green netted his first goal of the season after an injury-marred 2018-19 campaign slowed the rangy blueliner, and Matthew Galajda (undrafted) pitched a 15-save shutout as the Big Red evened the series 1-1. On Sunday in the rubber match, Green turned in perhaps his best defensive effort of the season, notching a +3 rating and Galajda rung up a 27 saves as the Big Red rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the 1st period to advance to the ECAC semifinals next weekend in Lake Placid against the Brown Bears. The 10th-ranked Cornell squad squeaked a one-goal win against Brown at home in early November and then let the Bears score three times in the 3rd on the road in mid-February to settle for a tie.

Hockey East Tournament Quarterfinals
Boston University Terriers 3 @ #18 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 0 (Mar 15th)
Boston University Terriers 4 @ #18 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 6 (Mar 16th)
Boston University Terriers 4 @ #18 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 1 (Mar 17th)
Boston University wins series 2-1; advances to Hockey East Semifinals

F Ryan Lohin, UML: 3 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 1/3 FO
Season Totals: 33 GP, 12-15-27, +7, 12 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 36 GP, 9-16-25, -2, 26 PIM

The Terriers rolled into the Tsongas Center this weekend and upset the #18 ranked River Hawks, eliminating UML and Bolt prospect Ryan Lohin from the Hockey East tournament. On Friday night, BU goalie and Stars prospect Jake Oettinger (DAL, 2017 1st round pick) pitched a 25-save shutout to take Game 1. Flyers 1st rounder Joel Farabee (PHI, 2018 1st round pick) led the Terriers with a goal and an assist. On Saturday night, UML re-discovered their offense, jumping out to 3-0 1st period lead. The two team exchanged a pair of power-play goals early in the 2nd before a BU rally saw Joel Farabee twice draw his Terriers within a goal on power-play and shorthanded markers. Lohin notched his lone point of the three-game series with a 2nd period assist that re-established a UML two-goal lead. On Sunday, the Terriers jumped out to a 3-0 1st period lead of their own, and never looked back. Farabee scored his 4th of the series and Predators prospect Patrick Harper (NAS, 2016 5th round pick) led BU with a two-goal, three-point performance.

For UMass Lowell, this most certainly marks the end to their 2018-19 campaign, as there is little chance of an at large bid to the NCAA regionals after a quarterfinal exit, finishing the regular season with a record of 19-13-5 (13-9-5 HEAST). For Bolt prospect Ryan Lohin, despite having a year of NCAA eligibility remaining, it would not surprise to see Lohin to come out early and sign an ELC with the Lightning along with an ATO for the remainder of the season with the AHL Syracuse Crunch. He led the River Hawks in points this season despite playing four fewer games than his teammates, and it feels there is little left for him to gain at the collegiate hockey level.

Big Ten Tournament Semifinals
Minnesota Gophers 1 @ #16 Norte Dame Fighting Irish 2 (OT) (Mar 16th)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf , MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 35 GP, 1-7-8, +2, 22 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 1/4 FO
Season Totals: 37 GP, 10-16-26, +6, 18 PIM

The 2018-19 Golden Gopher hockey season came to a heartbreaking end Saturday night, as Michael Graham scored an OT power-play game-winner just 53 seconds into the extra session to advance the Fighting Irish to the Big Ten championship next weekend against #17 Penn State. After falling behind 1-0 at the 2:00 mark of the 1st period, Bolt prospect Sammy Walker set up Avalanche prospect Sampo Ranta (COL, 2018 3rd round pick) just 3:44 later to knot the score. Goalies Mat Robson (undrafted) and Cale Morris (undrafted) would battle for the remaining 56-ish minutes before a hooking call in overtime spelled doom for Minnesota’s roller coaster season.

For Walker, he caps off a fabulous freshman season, leading all Big Ten freshmen in points, and looks forward to his sophmore campaign where he will undoubtedly have a more featured role for Gophers with seniors Tyler Sheely (undrafted), Ducks prospect Brett Gates, and Predators prospect Tommy Novak graduating. For fellow Lighting prospect Ryan Zuhlsdorf, the junior left-handed blueliner ranked 4th on the Gopher defense in both assists and points. With only Wild prospect Jack Sadek graduating and 2019 draft eligible and Walker’s Edina high school teammate Ben Brinkman already putting up nearly equivalent production to Zuhlsdorf, would it be surprising to see Zuhlsdorf come out of Minnesota a year early and sign an ELC with the Lightning? Do the Lightning want to see another collegiate season from Zuhlsdorf before making a contract decision?

Hockey East Tournament Quarterfinals
New Hampshire Wildcats 4 @ #2 UMass (Amherst) Minutemen 5 (2OT) (Mar 15th)
New Hampshire Wildcats 0 @ #2 UMass (Amherst) Minutemen 6 (Mar 16th)
Massachusetts wins series 2-0; advances to Hockey East semifinals

G Ty Taylor, UNH: 1 GP, 45:23 MINS, 2 GA, 14 SVS
Season Totals: 8 GP, 1-3-1, 3.67 GAA, 0.855 SV%

The Wildcats 2018-19 season came to an end this weekend, as the #2-ranked Minutemen scored 11 goals en route to a two-game sweep. On Friday night, UNH took UMass to the brink before Mitchell Chaffee (undrafted) scored 5:52 into the 2nd OT period. After a scoreless 1st period, the Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd before leading 4-2 early in the 3rd. The Minutemen scored three times in the 3rd, including the 4-4 equalizer by Avalanche prospect Cale Makar (COL, 2017 1st round pick) to force the extra sessions. UMass was led by Bobby Trivigno (undrafted) and Jacob Pritchard (undrafted). Sharks prospect and Wildcats goalie Mike Robinson made 48 saves in almost 86 minutes in the net and Chris Miller (undrafted) scored twice for UNH. On Saturday night, Minutemen netminder Filip Lindberg (undrafted) pitched an 18-save shutout and Brett Boeing (undrafted) scored twice as UMass scored four in the 1st period and never looked back. Lighting prospect Ty Taylor entered the game at 14:37 of the 1st period after Robinson allowed 4 goals on 9 shots. Taylor allowed 2 goals on 16 shots the rest of the way.

The freshman Taylor got just 17% of the minutes this season, sitting behind the sophomore Robinson who played the lion share of the games and minutes for the Wildcats. It is expected that Robinson would return for at least one more season with UNH, with Taylor hopefully earning trust from head coach Mike Souza for more starts and minutes in another season of backup duty.

*USCHO poll used for rankings