THE BIG STORY
Mark Van Guilder and Notre Dame have 14 wins this
season, the most prior to Christmas in the program's
Finals week at Notre Dame starts today,
but the Fighting Irish hockey team got a jump on their
classmates this weekend by acing their midterms.
Anyone with lingering doubts regarding
the Irish's strong first half likely had them erased
this weekend as coach Jeff Jackson's charges swept a
home-and-home set from Michigan in impressive fashion.
Notre Dame, 14-3-1 overall and 9-2-1 in the CCHA, is
in second place in the conference with 19 points, two
points behind Miami, but the Irish have two games in
On Friday in Ann Arbor, Notre Dame got
goals from seven different skaters in a 7-3 drubbing
of the host Wolverines. In Sunday's series finale, the
Irish offense picked up goalie David Brown – who
struggled through the first two periods in his first
less-than-stellar start since losing to Minnesota State
in the second game of the regular season – by
erasing three one-goal deficits en route to a 4-3 win
in front of a frenzied sellout crowd at the Joyce Center.
"[This win] shows the character of
this team," said freshman forward Ryan Thang, who
scored a third-period power play goal to pull Notre
Dame into a 3-all tie with Michigan. "We really
believe in each other. Everything has turned around."
""If you had asked me at the
beginning of the season I would have never thought that
we would be where we are," Jackson said following
his team's 14th win, the most prior to the Christmas
break in program history. "It was a great first
half, but that only makes half a great season."
Since losing in overtime to Bentley on
Nov. 17, RIT has won five straight games by an aggregate
score of 23-9, all against Atlantic Hockey opponents.
The Tigers sit in second place in Atlantic Hockey with
an 8-2-1 record in their first year in the league, and
are just one point behind Sacred Heart, despite playing
two fewer games.
RIT has only played four of its 15 games
against non-league teams, all against ECAC Hockey League
members, and is 0-3-1 in those contests with losses
at St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and Cornell, and a tie at
From the Old Time Hockey Dept.:
Who'd have thought the most intriguing part
of an overtime hockey game would occur after the home
team scored the game-winning goal? When it's a benches-clearing
brawl, as was the case in Colorado College's 4-3 overtime
win against Alaska Anchorage Saturday, it comes as less
of a surprise.
Moments after Scott McCullogh scored a
power-play goal with 1:01 left in OT, tempers flared
in front of the Seawolves' bench. The fight quickly
escalated – when it was finished, six UAA players
and five CC skaters had been assessed fighting majors
and the one-game suspension the infraction automatically
By rule, the players will serve the disqualifications
during their teams' next game. For the Tigers, that's
a relatively meaningless Dec. 29 non-conference game
against Bemidji State. The Seawolves Six (First Shift
would love to hear about "Free the Seawolves Six"
signs displayed at Sullivan Arena next week) will miss
the first game of an important WCHA series with Denver.
Publicly, neither side will say what sparked
the donnybrook. Read between the lines, however, and
one wonders if UAA coach Dave Shyiak's frustrations
with referee Marco Hunt played a role – the Tigers
had 17 power plays during the series compared to the
Seawolves' nine, and CC had two man-advantage opportunities
in Saturday's overtime.
"We were the best team," Shyiak
told the Anchorage Daily News' Andrew Hinkelman,
who wrote a terrific article sorting out the messy details
of Saturday's affair. "We won the game. I'll take
the two points with an asterisk."
Wins this past weekend that'll look good in March
Pox on your wins that'll look good in
March, say the Wisconsin Badgers. We need a couple that'll
look good now.
The Badgers, who ended a 1-9-0 stretch
with a Thanksgiving weekend win against Michigan State
in the College Hockey Showcase, got a much-needed confidence
boost with a pair of solid wins (4-3 Friday, 4-2 Saturday)
at North Dakota. And the wins were more than just four
points in the WCHA standings, because Bucky actually
outscored an opponent. After getting just 13 goals during
its 1-9-0 swoon, Mike Eaves' crew has scored 10 goals
in its last three outings, and Friday's four-tet marked
the first time Wisconsin scored more than thrice in
a game since Oct. 21.
Oh, in case you were wondering, Badger
goalie Brian Elliott was his All-American self, making
31 saves Friday and 29 saves Saturday.
IT HAPPENED IN ...
... Boston, Mass. (Friday): Boston
University beat visiting Providence, 4-2, marking the
first time in nearly a month the Terriers tallied more
than two goals in a game.
... Duluth, Minn. (Saturday):
Blaine Jarvis's overtime goal capped a furious Bemidji
State rally as the Beavers beat Minnesota Duluth, 6-5,
extending their unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2)
in the process. BSU trailed 5-2 midway through the second period,
but scored three times over the last 8:45 of the frame – the last was a Shane Holman goal 29 seconds
prior to the second intermission – which ultimately sent the game into OT.
... Fairbanks, Alaska (Saturday):
Jonathan Matsumoto scored a goal and added
two assists as Bowling Green snapped a nine-game losing
streak with a 6-4 win at Alaska. During that skid, the
Falcons registered a total of 11 goals.
... Marquette, Mich.:
Michigan State swept host Northern Michigan by identical
3-2 scores. The wins, just the second and third for
the Spartans on the road this season, marked the first
consecutive victories for MSU since Oct. 28 (vs. Ferris
State) and Nov. 3 (vs. Michigan). The Spartans won Saturday's
game – Rick Comley's 100th victory behind the
MSU bench – without the services of captain Chris
Lawrence and forward Matt Schepke, both of whom had
the flu and were too sick to leave the team hotel.
... Northford, Conn. (Friday):
Taking a page out of George Gwozdecky's coaching manual,
Rensselaer coach Seth Appert pulled his goalie with
13:40 left in the third period at Quinnipiac. RPI scored
55 seconds later to reduce the Quinnipiac lead to 4-2,
and eventually earned a 4-4 tie.
... North Andover, Mass. (Tuesday):
Goaltender Patrick Watson made 37 saves as
Merrimack blanked then-No. 14 Massachusetts, 3-0. The
triumph ended the Warriors' eight-game losing streak
and nine-game winless streak.
... Princeton, N.J. (Friday):
Princeton squandered a 3-1 third-period lead against
Union, but escaped with the 4-3 win when Brandan Kushniruk
scored with 2:08 left in overtime.