Lodge Claim to CHA Superiority
The primary series in College Hockey America
last weekend (Bemidji State at Niagara) had two main storylines
— one everyone in the league is familiar with, and
one that anyone who wasn't at Dwyer Arena or listening/watching
to the game broadcast knows about because not one game recap
The Streak and The No-Goal.
Hockey America Notebook
Chris Moran scored in Niagara's first goal in the
team's 2-2 tie against Bemidji State Saturday.
Bemidji State, led by Tyler Scofield’s
two goals and Cody Bostock’s goal and an assists effort
along with goaltender Matt Climie’s 30 saves, ended
Niagara’s 22-game home unbeaten streak with a 5-1
The Beavers scored twice on a five-minute
power play, the result of a major penalty assessed to freshman
Brian Haczyk 28 seconds into the game, putting the Purple
Eagles behind the eight-ball right away. They never recovered.
“It’s been 22 home games since
we’ve been disappointed with our play at home, so
it’s been an unbelievable run,” said Niagara
coach Dave Burkholder. “It started to take on a life
of its own about halfway through last year. It was a great
ride and tough that it ended, but we can start another one.”
Fast forward to game two Saturday. The Purple
Eagles again get off to a slow start, with BSU's Matt Read
converting a Niagara turnover into a shorthanded goal six
minutes into the contest and Riley Weselowski netting his
first goal of the season with 27 seconds left in the first.
Niagara's Chris Moran tucked one in early
in the second period to halve the lead. With 1:26 left in
regulation and goaltender Juliano Pagliero pulled for an
extra attacker, the Purple Eagles' Matt Caruana scored on
a knuckle-puck to tie the game and send it to overtime.
“I went out when the goalie came off
and [junior forward Ted Cook] gave me a pass that went off
their defenseman’s skates and got caught in my feet
a little bit and buckled me," Caruana said. "It
went up and dipped right over his shoulder. It looked pretty
ugly, but it went in.”
The box score doesn’t indicate the game's
critical juncture, however. In overtime, Vince Rocco's shot
from the high slot glanced off of Climie’s glove and
appeared to trickle across the goal line. One problem: the
goal light didn't come on, there was no assistant referee
in the vicinity, and referee Jeff Zelasko was just above
the faceoff circle and out of position to make the call.
The apparent goal was waved off. For Niagara,
it was goodbye overtime win, goodbye split, and goodbye
Whenever these two teams get together —
and they won’t do so again during the regular season
— coaches are checking video after the game. Some
may remember a similar situation involving these same teams
last season. A Bemidji State player appeared to score a
game-tying goal after the final horn sounded, but it was
allowed by the referees after much discussion.
Controversial? Sure. Entertaining? Definitely.
“What a great hockey game,” said
Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore to the Bemidji Pioneer.
“Nobody deserved to lose that one. It was championship-game
“The last 40 minutes of the weekend
were our best and that’s what we’ll take out
of this weekend,” said Burkholder. “Offensively,
we are not where we could be and should be with the guys
we have in the room. The good news is that it’s Dec.
1, and I think it’s a bump in the road that will make
us a better team in the long run.”
“We’re not too thrilled with this
weekend,” concluded Caruana. “Maybe it’ll
be a bit of a wake-up call. Obviously we’d like to
have the streak still going, but if there is a positive
side [it is] we can stop thinking about it and not have
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE CHA
Crunching the Numbers: The
CHA standings are a bit misleading due to the league's unbalanced
schedule. After this weekend, second-place Robert Morris
will have six games in hand on first-place Bemidji State.
But it’s not how many potential points are out there
... it’s what you do with them.
Non-Conference Call: Non-conference
action last weekend was not kind to the CHA, but both teams
engaged in non-league series were competitive in at least
one of the two games.
Bowling Green went 6-for-12 on the power play
as the Falcons swept Wayne State in their home-and-home
series by 3-1 and 6-1 scores. This weekend, the Warriors
travel to Western Michigan for two games. They're looking
for their first goal in Kalamazoo after being shut out last
season in their only previous appearance at Lawson Ice Arena.
Robert Morris dropped a pair of games in its
first-ever meeting at Colgate, but not without a fight,
especially in Saturday's series opener. Trailing 4-1 late
in the third, Chris Margott and Ryan Cruthers scored over
the final five minutes of regulation only to lose by a 4-3
margin. Colgate goalie Mark Dekanich stopped a late Colonial
breakaway bid to preserve the win. In the finale, RMU put
38 shots on net but were shut out for the second time in
“I think we’ve been a victim of
unbelievable goaltending,” said Robert Morris coach
Derek Schooley. “[Dekanich] was phenomenal. They maximized
their chances and we minimized ours.”
Christian Boucher started in net for the Colonials
Sunday after taking the previous night off. However, he
allowed two goals in a 34-second span of the first period,
prompting Schooley to pull him for 19 seconds in favor of
backup Jim Patterson.
“I told him he needed to get his head
up,” said Schooley. “He turned the puck over
on the first goal, and I think it affected him on the second
one. It was more to wake him and the team up and I didn’t
want to waste a timeout that early. I thought he played
pretty well after that, but we had to expand our game and
take more chances after that.”
“I don’t think the scoreboard
reflected the level of competitiveness of this weekend.”
The Colonials host Quinnipiac this weekend.
RMU will attempt to break a four-game losing streak against
Great Weekend Getaway
at Bemidji State (Fri.-Sat.)
First-place Bemidji State hosts last
place Alabama-Huntsville in this week’s only
conference match-up. The Beavers earned three points
in their two-game series down south in November, one
on a shutout by goaltender Matt Climie.
While You're There: You don’t
have to be a senior citizen to partake of the all-you-can-eat
pancake breakfast at the Bemidji Senior Center starting
at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Gotta have those carbs to prep
for game two ...
ended up losing 3-1 to Bowling Green Friday, Wayne
State clamped down on the Falcons, allowing just two
shots in the third period. The Warriors could not
get any closer, however.
Niagara was credited with just one shot
on goal in the first period of Saturday's tie with
Bemidji State. That and going 1-13 (8%) on the power
play for the weekend won’t take any team very
far, regardless of how good they are in their own
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• Robert Morris is in the midst of playing
10 of 12 games on the road. After this weekend, they next
play at home January 29, when they host Princeton.
“It’s a long time on the road
and we need to start to figure out how to get things done
away from home. We’ve won one road game (Ohio State,
but also two neutral site wins at Nye Frontier Classic in
October) and we need to get better,” said Schooley.
• The RMU coaching staff took advantage
of the trip to Colgate by scouting an Eastern Junior Hockey
League game Saturday as South Division leader New Jersey
visited North Division front-runner Syracuse. Niagara was
also represented at the same game.
• Wayne State sophomore Jeff Caister
is one of just six Division I defensemen to lead his team
in scoring. The others: Alaska's Tyler Eckford, Connecticut's
Sean Erickson, Alaska, Minnesota-Duluth's Josh (Don't Call
Me Jess) Meyers, Matt Taormina of Providence, and Maine's
• Bemidji State junior forward Brandon
Marino missed last weekend's trip to Niagara due to surgery
• Wayne State senior forward Stavros
Paskaris moved into a tie with 2006 grad Steve Kovalchik
for ninth all-time on the school's scoring list. In 112
career games, Paskaris has 23 goals and 44 assists for 67
• Niagara forward Les Reaney was scratched
for Friday's game against Bemidji State — the day
the home unbeaten streak ended. The last time Reaney was
a scratch? The day the streak started — Feb. 11, 2006,
against Air Force.
• Wayne State and Alabama-Huntsville
are the only two Division I teams scoring an average of
less than two goals per game. The Warriors average 1.86
goals per game; the Chargers get a meager 1.80 goals per
• Mark your calendars so you don’t
miss your chance if you’re in the INCH Pick ‘Em:
Alabama-Huntsville hosts Robert Morris Mon.-Tues., December
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Warren Kozireski can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.