THE BIG STORY
|Jacob Micflikier was one
of four UNH players to record three points in Sunday's
win over previously-unbeaten Maine.
We’re not sure if members of the
1969-70 Cornell hockey team sip a glass of champagne
each season when the last college hockey team falls
from the ranks of the unbeaten. If they do, the guys
from the only unbeaten, untied NCAA championship team
toasted New Hampshire’s Wildcats last night after
UNH drubbed Maine in Orono.
From the Black Bears’ perspective,
maybe it’s best to lose in spectacular fashion
and rid their collective system of all that is wrong
in one massive purge. How else do you explain goaltender
Ben Bishop giving up six goals on 19 shots, the normally
reliable Michel Léveillé taking a minus-3
plus/minus rating for the night, and Maine failing to
gain ground on UNH during a second period in which they
outshot the Wildcats, 20-3?
New Hampshire, looking to salvage the
weekend with a win after letting Boston University escape
Durham Friday with a 4-4 tie Friday, got three points
from four different players — center Mike Radja
(two goals, one assist), and fellow forwards Matt Fornataro,
Jacob Micflikier, and Trevor Smith (each with 1-2—3).
More importantly, the Wildcats scored at crucial times,
either preventing Maine and the sellout crowd at Alfond
Arena from gaining momentum or deflating it altogether.
Take, for example, Radja’s second goal, a shorthanded
tally with one second left in the first period or second-period
scores by Craig Switzer and Bobby Butler that kept the
Black Bears from getting any closer than two goals.
Junior goalie Kevin Regan made 33 saves
for the Wildcats, who were outshot by Maine by a 35-23
Memo to Dartmouth: You’d certainly
make life easier for all of us by cutting out the Jekyll-and-Hyde
routine. You grabbed our attention by getting out of
the gate two weeks ago against Harvard and Vermont,
only to follow with a pair of losses, at home nonetheless,
to Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
You’re back in our good graces this
week, however, on the strength of wins at Colgate and
Cornell. The keys for the Big Green? Balanced scoring
(13 players collected at least one point over the weekend)
and good goaltending, as Mike Devine turned aside 72
of the 77 shots he faced.
We’d like to see a little consistency
out of you, however, so you’re not off the hook
yet. That should be a manageable feat considering Yale,
Brown, Princeton, and Quinnipiac all visit Hanover during
the next two weeks.
From the Ambiguity Takes a Holiday Dept.:
Following his team’s 2-0 win against host Wisconsin
Friday, a reporter asked Denver coach George Gwozdecky
if, given his team’s success at the Kohl Center,
he’d like to take up residence at the House That
Sen. Herb Built.
“[Expletive], no,” Gwozdecky
was quoted as saying in Saturday’s Wisconsin
State Journal. He may want to reconsider –
since the building opened in 1998, the Pies are 11-1-2
at the Kohl Center.
Wins this past weekend that'll look good in March
And speaking of those Pioneers and their
wins in Madison, those are four big points in the WCHA
standings that will prove to be important at the end
of the season. Pioneers goaltender Glenn Fisher made
27 saves to earn a 2-0 shutout victory Friday. In the
series finale, freshman forward Rhett Rakhshani scored
with 15 seconds left in overtime to give Denver a 4-3
triumph. Wisconsin is certainly struggling right now,
but the Badgers have the potential to make a run later
in the year. These Denver wins look good right now,
but will look even better at the end of the season.
IT HAPPENED IN ...
… Milford, Conn., and Worcester,
Mass.: Sacred Heart extended its Atlantic Hockey
winning streak to five games by sweeping defending league
champion Holy Cross in a weekend series. Senior forward
Pierre Luc O’Brien capped the Pioneers’
5-4 win Saturday when he scored the game-winning goal
halfway through the overtime period. In his last five
games, O’Brien has scored 8-9—17.
… Notre Dame, Ind.:
The Fighting Irish extended their unbeaten streak to
eight games (7-0-1) with a pair of wins against visiting
Bowling Green. Notre Dame is off to its best start since
opening the 1998-99 season 8-1-1, and the team’s
current unbeaten streak is its best since the Irish
reeled off 14 straight victories during the 1987-88
… Durham, N.H. (Fri.):
Boston University’s Kenny Roche scored his third
goal of the game with 1:02 left in the third period
and the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker as BU
rallied to tie UNH, 4-4.
… Canton, N.Y. (Fri.):
Princeton starting goaltender Thomas Sychterz was pulled
3:27 into the first period after allowing goals on the
first two shots he faced in St. Lawrence’s 5-4
win over the Tigers at Appleton Arena. Sychterz’s
replacement, Zane Kalemba, made 34 saves in relief –
and, for his efforts, was saddled for the loss. Kyle
Rank had a goal and two assists for the Saints, while
Max Taylor added a pair of goals.
… Ithaca, N.Y. (Fri.):
Michael Kennedy’s goal with 1:33 left in regulation
boosted Cornell to a 3-2 win against Harvard. The Big
Red tied the score at 2-2 when Doug Krantz scored with
4:09 left in the third period.