Spreading the Wealth
It’s been a season of firsts for
Bemidji State. But the positive vibes for the CHA
don't start and stop with the Beavers.
Two weekends ago, as you well know,
BSU recorded the CHA's first-ever sweep of a WCHA
opponent when it downed Minnesota-Duluth on the road.
Last weekend, the Beavers swept Minnesota State in
Bemidji, which was enough to propel coach Tom Serratore's
club into the top 15 in all three national polls (BSU
is 14th in this week's INCH Power Rankings).
As was the case following the UMD series,
Serratore didn’t celebrate his team's latest
sweep. It's not just that he and his charges expect
to win these games. It's also because he didn't have
the time – even though the Beavers are off this
week, the coach was scrambling to a meeting Monday
evening, followed by a check on study hall for the
players. The next day, he was in Minneapolis recruiting
at a junior tournament.
It was nice weekend for us,”
Serratore said. “The thing that is the most
pleasing is that we are playing pretty consistent
hockey right now. We are getting balanced scoring
and we are getting really good goaltending.”
While BSU has been in the spotlight
for its efforts, other CHA clubs have acquitted themselves
nobly against quality non-conference opponents. Niagara,
for example, beat Canisius last weekend. Mind you,
the Golden Griffins aren't at the same level as UMD
or Minnesota State, but they're the Purple Eagles'
most bitter rivals and the games are almost always
is unbelievable for Tom and his staff, but also for
our league,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said.
“I don’t think there is anyone anymore
that doesn’t go into non-conference games playing
to win and expecting to win."
That list includes upstart Robert Morris.
The fledgling Colonials, just starting their second
season of Division I hockey, got three third-period
goals and 25 saves from goaltender Christian Boucher
en route to a 5-2 win over CCHA member Western Michigan
in Kalamazoo Saturday.
"I give full credit to the goaltender,
Boucher," Bronco coach Jim Culhane told the Kalamazoo
Gazette. "He had a heck of a game.''
“Our league is a good league,”
Serratore said. “We’ve done pretty well
outside of the conference…..very well, in fact.
That’s why we have such a strong non-conference
schedule in the CHA. Those teams know that it is not
only going to be good competition, but it is going
to prepare those teams properly for their own league
AND HEARD IN THE CHA
Great Weekend Getaway
at Maine (Fri.-Sat.)
Chargers are one of just nine teams in the country
to tee it up for real. They'll do so in one
of the toughest road venues in college hockey
against a team that's fresh off a sweep of the
two-time defending NCAA champions. What a way
to start the post-Jared Ross era, eh?
You’re There: Maine's football team is
a middling 2-4, but the Black Bears host the
seventh-ranked team in NCAA Division I-AA, Massachusetts,
5-2 win against Western Michigan had to be especially
sweet for Robert Morris coach Derek
Schooley. Schooley graduated from WMU
in 1994. Kudos are in order for the entire Colonials
program, however. Sure, the Broncos aren't Boston
College, but it's a nice non-league victory
about a lost weekend – Air Force
stumbled badly at the Quinnipiac Q
Cup, losing to Bentley and Division I newcomer
RIT. One could surmise that the Falcons ran
into hot goaltenders (AFA outshot its foes by
a combined 70-47). But a woefully inept power
play – Air Force was 0-for-23 with the
man advantage – is a more reasonable explanation.
Battle of Buffalo – Following
an intense, 3-2 victory over Canisius Friday, Niagara
players presented the game puck to assistant coach
Jerry Fortran, who reportedly interviewed for the
Canisius head coaching vacancy during the summer,
a job that eventually went to former Mercyhurst assistant
coach Dave Smith.
The gesture was a nice conclusion to
the evening for the Purple Eagles, who showed grit
in coming from behind on the road against a fierce
“I was really happy with
the way responded,” Burkholder said. “We
were down 2-1 after two and our goal all week was
to outwork them. When the game was on the line, I
thought we did a good job of that.”
Niagara also capitalized on an ill-advised
Canisius penalty. Midway through the third period,
Niagara captain Jason Williamson was flattened from
behind by Canisius forward David Kasch, who was hit
with a five-minute major. Sean Bentivoglio scored
the game-winner during the ensuing man advantage.
Burkholder held Williamson out of contact
drills at the team's Saturday skate, but he's expected
to be in the linuep when Niagara hosts Western Michigan
Frankly Speaking: The
conference's other Serratore – Air Force head
coach Frank – signed a new five-year contract
which will extend him through the 2009-10 season,
the school announced earlier this week.
Serratore, in his ninth season with
the Falcons, has a 120-154-18 record at Air Force
and an overall record of 169-246-27 in 13 seasons
as a college head coach. Serratore holds the school
record for Division I wins. Prior to his arrival in
Colorado Springs, the Falcons had won 86 Division
I games in 29 seasons. Serratore currently has 88
Division I wins in eight seasons.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
After getting shut out for 119:53
by Michigan State and Miami at the Lefty McFadden
Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, two weekends ago, Wayne
State finally scored some goals in a 6-1
exhibition romp over Guelph last Friday.
“Any time you score it
is fun for the kids, and it is nice confidence-wise,”
Wayne State coach Bill Wilkinson said. “We played
pretty tough teams in that tournament. I didn’t
feel so bad after I realized how good those two teams
The news wasn't all good for Wilkinson and
Co., as the Warriors learned they'll be without
sophomore forward Stavros Paskaris for up
to four weeks with a separated shoulder.
“It is a void
we have to fill,” Wilkinson said. “Better
early in the season that the end of the season. It’s
not the end of all end, but it is a big loss.”
Paskaris, who was injured by a shoulder-to-shoulder
check, led Wayne State in scoring last season with
33 points in 35 games and was a 2005 CHA all-rookie
Air Force senior captain Brooks Turnquist
played in his 114th straight
game last weekend to move into 10th place
among CHA ironmen. Turnquist, who hasn't missed a
game in his college career, will likely move into
eighth place on the list after the Falcons' weekend
tilts against in-state foes Denver and Colorado College.
Former Niagara standouts Barrett Ehgoetz and John
Heffernan sit one game ahead in a tie for eighth.
Since we're on the top, we may as well point
out that the odds of Air Force getting off
the schneid this weekend are quite long.
Friday's opponent, Denver, has won 17 in a row against
the Falcons while Colorado College, which plays Air
Force Saturday, owns a 22-game winning streak and
a 29-game unbeaten streak against its crosstown rival.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation
of this report.