March 1, 2007
Settling Ties and Seeking Titles

By Warren Kozireski

CHA Notebook

Niagara freshman forward Chris Moran helped the Purple Eagles snap their four-game winless streak with two goals and two assists in a 7-3 win over Robert Morris last weekend.

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The final weekend of the regular season brings with it multiple playoff scenarios:

• Niagara needs just one point in its two games at Alabama-Huntsville to clinch outright their second consecutive and third overall CHA regular-season title.

• If the Purps get that point and Robert Morris sweeps visiting Wayne State, the Colonials would tie Bemidji State for second place. RMU has the advantage thanks to its 3-1 head-to-head record against the Beavers this season. BSU hosts the U.S. Under-18 team for a pair of exhibition games this weekend.

• An Alabama-Huntsville sweep of Niagara and a Robert Morris sweep of Wayne State would create a three-way tie for first place. The Colonials would get the league title on the strength of its 3-2-1 head-to-head record against the Purple Eagles, coupled with their advantage over Bemidji State.

• Wayne State has a one-point edge over Alabama-Huntsville for last line change in their first-round playoff tilt. Depending on the events of the weekend, we might be digging deep in tie-breakers to determine who takes fourth place, but the see-saw is leaning Wayne State’s way.

The CHA tie-breaking system is:

1. Best record head-to-head among teams involved.
2. Most wins in conference play
3. Fewest goals allowed in conference games played between the teams involved.
4. Fewest goals against in conference play.
5. Best goal differential in conference games played between the teams involved.
6. Best goal differential in all conference games played.

The Warriors and Chargers split the four games in the season series, and both currently have six conference victories. Should the number of conference victories stay the same — via a Chargers tie or other scenarios too numerous to outline here — the third tie-breaking criteria would be invoked. The Warriors have allowed 14 goals to UAH, while the Chargers have given up 15 to Wayne State, one of them an empty-netter way back in October.

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Peaking at the right time? With a win and a tie last weekend against Bemidji State, Wayne State is undefeated in its last five games. In four of those contests, the goaltending tandem of Brett Bothwell and Will Hooper has allowed just one goal.

The Warriors received two-point weekends from Mike Forgie, Mark Nebus, Derek Bachynski and Jeff Caister and solid goaltending for the eighth and ninth conference games in a row.

What happened? Bemidji State’s struggles continued last weekend as they managed just two goals against Wayne State — matching the school record for fewest goals in a College Hockey America series — but the Beavers did earn a point to remain tied for first in the league with Niagara. BSU ended the regular season with a 2-8-2 mark in its last 12 games.

This weekend, the Beavers take on the U.S. Under-18 Team in a pair exhibition games at Glas Fieldhouse. The two teams have met just once in BSU's Division I era — a 4-3 win for the U.S. team in 2002

Back on track? Niagara found its offense and goaltending in the same weekend and came away with three key points against Robert Morris. In doing so they secured their spot as the only team in the nation with an undefeated season at home at 12-0-2.

"What a great season at Dwyer," coach Dave Burkholder said, "It is a true tribute to all the guys in our locker room. This team, especially the seniors, know (the record) is something that has never been done here before, and we are all extremely proud of that."

The Purps are now undefeated in 17 straight at home dating back to the 2005-06 season.

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Wayne State at Robert Morris (Fri.-Sat.)
This series and the Niagara-Alabama-Huntsville affair have playoff implications, but the WSU-RMU series holds more intrigue. The Warriors are trying to stay in fourth, while the Colonials aiming for second — or even first with some help from the Chargers.

While you’re there: Catch the CHA women’s championship game at the Island Saturday at 4 p.m. Top seed Mercyhurst, the nation's second-ranked team, is the favorite.

Stick Salute
Niagara freshman Chris Moran exploded for two goals and two assists in a 7-3 win against Robert Morris, helping the Purps end a four-game winless skid.
Bench Minor

Robert Morris goaltender Joe Tuset allowed two goals on the first seven shots he faced before being pulled eight minutes into the same 7-3 blowout.

Juliano Pagliero made 32 saves in net in Friday's 7-3 win and Allen Barton stopped 33 in the 3-3 tie Saturday. Chris Moran and Matt Caruana each registered four-point weekends with Moran’s all coming in the first game.

You can decide if it’s good or bad, but of the six goals allowed by the Purps to the Colonials in the two games, five came on special teams — four via the power play and one short-handed.


• Bemidji State registered 18 of their 27 shots after the second period in Saturday’s 1-1 overtime tie at Wayne State. First star Will Hooper stopped all of them for the Warriors.

• Wayne State’s Stavros Paskaris, who scored 12 goals and 33 points as a freshman in 2004-05, finally scored a goal this season. It came in Friday’s 3-1 win. His last goal was February 10th, 2006 — 38 games ago.

• Bemidji’s Ryan Miller went 33-19 in the face-off circle last weekend.

• Of the four CHA teams playing league series this week, only Niagara has a winning record (3-1-0) in the last weekend of the regular season over the past two seasons. Alabama-Huntsville, Robert Morris, and Wayne State were all 1-3-0 during that span.

• Alabama-Huntsville is 0-5 this season in Friday games coming off a bye week. The Chargers host Niagara this weekend after a week off.

• Niagara’s Ted Cook is in the midst of a five-game goal scoring streak.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Warren Kozireski can be reached at