NCAA Weekend Roundup: 11-18-18

#1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 0 @ #7 Denver Pioneers 2 (Friday)
#1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 4 @ #7 Denver Pioneers 3 OT (Saturday)

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season Totals: 12 GP, 2-5-7, +8, 4 PIM

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 2 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 4/10 FO
Season Totals: 10 GP, 6-4-10, +9, 6 PIM

A week after dropping a pair of 4-3 heartbreakers to #2 St. Cloud State, Denver hosted #1 Minnesota-Duluth this weekend along with their 8-game winning streak in a powerhouse NCHC conference showdown, or better known in Lightning Land as the Battle of the Coles.

On Friday night, the Pioneers shutout the nation’s best team behind a 38-save performance by Devin Cooley (undrafted). The Bulldogs held the Denver offense to a scant 14 shots, but the difference was a 2nd period power play marker by future Blackhawk blueliner Ian Mitchell (CHI, 2017 2nd round pick).

On Saturday night, Bolt prospect Cole Koepke scored the OT game-winner to hand the Pioneers yet another 4-3 loss. The other Lightning Cole – Cole Guttman – opened the scoring just 3 minutes into the contest in what would be the start of a 3-0 Denver lead. After two frames, Cooley’s shutout of the top-ranked Bulldogs would climb to 62 saves and 5 periods of hockey in the two nights, but UMD would unleash 20 shots in the 3rd period, throwing everything at Denver to avoid the weekend sweep. The Bulldogs would score thrice in the 3rd behind one goal and one assist performances by Nick Swaney (MIN, 2017 7th round pick) and Scott Perunovich (STL, 2018 2nd round pick), including a Perunovich tally with 1 second left in the game to knot the score and force a heartbreaking extra session for the Pioneers. Theatrics indeed. Cooley would make 41-saves in the game, but skate off the ice splitting the weekend series with UMD after making a total of 79 saves in the two games. Such is the life in the NCHC.

UMD improves to 9-2-1 (3-1 NCHC) and takes the holiday weekend off before conference rivals #11 North Dakota visits Amsoil Arena Nov 30 and Dec 1st for a weekend tilt against the #1 Bulldogs. For the now 7-2-2 (3-2-1 NCHC) Denver Pioneers, #9 Providence rolls into the Mile High City next weekend for a post-Thanksgiving non-conference series. Guttman continues to lead the nation in freshman scoring with 6 goals, sharing the lead with Providence freshman and Golden Knight prospect Jack Dugan and undrafted 19 year-old Quinnipiac freshman Wyatt Bongiovanni.

Bemidji State Beavers 0 @ #2 St. Cloud State Huskies 2 (Friday)
Bemidji State Beavers 4 @ #2 St. Cloud State Huskies 7 (Saturday)

D Nick Perbix, STC: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 12 GP, 1-4-5, +11, 6 PIM

On Friday night, Huskies netminder Jeff Smith (undrafted) backstopped a 32-save shutout of the visiting Beavers to give St. Cloud State its 10th win of the season. On Saturday night, however, these same two teams combined for 11 goals in a high scoring affair that resulted in 7-4 decision in favor of the Huskies. The St. Cloud offense was paced by two-goal performances from Jimmy Schuldt (undrafted) and Kevin Fitzgerald (undrafted), and a three-point night from Patrick Newell (undrafted). The Huskies improve to 11-1 (4-0 NCHC) on the season and take the holiday weekend off before traveling to Oxford for a weekend series starting Nov 30th against #20 Miami (Ohio).

#14 Quinnipiac Bobcats 4 @ #17 Cornell Big Red 2 (Friday)
#15 Princeton Tigers 1 @ #17 Cornell Big Red 5 (Saturday)

D Alex Green, COR: did not play
Season Totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, -4, 0 PIM

The Big Red continue to battle the injury bug, with two of their top 4 defensemen on the sidelines, including Bolt prospect Alex Green missing his fifth straight game this weekend. On Friday, Morgan Barron (NYR, 2017 6th round pick) and Yanni Kaldis (undrafted) gave Cornell a 2-1 lead in the 2nd, but the Bobcats scored three times in the 3rd to rally to the win the match. After tying the game early in the 3rd, Quinnipiac took the lead on score off the back of the Cornell goalie and then sealed the win with an empty netter. William Fallstrom (undrafted) led the way for the Bobcats with three assists, and Kaldis led the Big Red with a goal and an assist. On Saturday night, Cornell got goals from five players in a key Ivy League win over Princeton. Cornell’s record on the season now stands at 5-3 (3-1 ECAC) and the Big Red heads to Madison Square Garden next weekend for an Ivy League matchup against rival Harvard.

St. Lawrence Saints 4 @ #19 Minnesota Gophers 3 OT (Friday)
St. Lawrence Saints 0 @ #19 Minnesota Gophers 3 (Saturday)

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

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 2 GP, 1-2-3, +5, 4 PIM, 4 SOG, 3/10 FO
Season Totals: 9 GP, 2-4-6, +6, 6 PIM

Bolt prospect Sammy Walker doubled up his season production this weekend against the visiting Saints, scoring a goals and tallying a pair of assists in the two games. On Friday, Walker set up future Predator Rem Pitlick (NAS, 2016 3rd round pick) for a 1st period goal that would knot the game at 1-1. Brent Gates (ANA, 2015 3rd round pick) and Pitlick would lead a 3rd period Gopher rally from a two-goal deficit to force overtime before Michael Ederer (undrafted) would score the OT game-winner in St. Lawrence’s upset of the struggling Minnesota squad.

On Saturday night, Walker would feature in two of the Gophers three goals in a Minnesota shutout of the Saints to split the weekend series. The Lightning prospect would set up Nathan Burke’s second goal of the game in the 2nd and then score his second goal of the season in the 3rd. Fellow Bolt prospect Ryan Zuhlsdorf didn’t dress for the Saturday night tilt against the Saints.

The Gophers are now a disappointing 3-5-1 (1-1 Big Ten) on the season, and risk dropping out of the USCHO Top 20 when the new rankings come out early this week. The unranked Michigan State Spartans visit 3M Arena next weekend for a post-Thanksgiving Big 10 conference match up with the Golden Gophers.

UMass-Lowell River Hawks 5 @ UConn Huskies 2 (Friday)
UConn Huskies 0 @ UMass-Lowell River Hawks 3 (Saturday)

F Ryan Lohin, UML: 2 GP, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 8 GP, 5-3-8, E, 2 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 36 GP, 9-16-25, -2, 26 PIM

Lightning prospect Ryan Lohin continued his point streak this weekend, now at four games, as he notched a goal and an assist in a pair of wins in a HEAST conference tilt against UConn. On Friday, Lohin capped off four straight goals by the River Hawks after the Huskies opened scoring, scoring in the 2nd to give UML a 4-1 lead. On Saturday, Lohin set up a Kenny Hausinger (undrafted) marker to open the scoring just 1:46 into the game, en route to a 28-save shutout by Tyler Wall (NYR, 2016 6th round pick) for the series sweep. UML improves to 6-5-1 (3-3-1 HEAST) on the season and looks to tangle with RPI this weekend in a non-conference series.

New Hampshire Wildcats 2 @ Boston College Eagles 2 (Friday)
New Hampshire Wildcats 2 @ #4 UMass Minutemen 4 (Sunday)

G Ty Taylor, UNH: did not play
Season Totals: 3 GP, 0-2-0, 3.67 GAA, 0.864 SV%

Bolt prospect Ty Taylor sat backup both Friday night and Sunday to Wildcats netminder Mike Robinson (SJS, 2015 3rd round pick). UNH battled Boston College to a 2-2 road as the Eagles climbed out of a 2-0 deficit with a pair of 3rd period goals. On Sunday, the Wildcats faced the #4 ranked Minutemen and gave up three power play goals to UMass to fall behind 3-0 before battling back in the 2nd to draw within a goal. The Minutemen were led by Jacob Pritchard (undrafted) and John Leonard (SJS, 2018 6th round pick) who each had a goal and a pair of assists. The Wildcats drop to 1-6-3 (1-3-2 HEAST) on the season and heads back home next weekend for a non-conference series against #20 Miami (Ohio).

*USCHO poll used for rankings