February 7, 2008
I'm Thinking Of A Number Between Two And Four

By Warren Kozireski

The magic number of the week in College Hockey America was three.

Three different players scored three goals in a game, 11 different players had three or more point weekends, Wayne State won at Bemidji State for the first time since 2003 and the Beavers, with their two point weekend, are now 10-3-3 and their 23 points leads the pack.

College Hockey America Notebook

Ted Cook scored his first career hat trick in a 4-4 tie against St. Lawrence, but was disappointed that Niagara couldn't get a win over the Saints on a fun night at Dwyer Arena.

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It's your vote for most unexpected victory last weekend. Was it Alabama-Huntsville breaking a 10-game conference winless streak with a 7-5 win at Robert Morris? Or was it Wayne State scoring three unanswered goals for a 3-2 win in Minnesota?

UAH sophomore Cale Tanaka scored all of two goals in 27 games during his freshman season and was 0-for-his first 20-plus games this season until the third period Friday.

Two short-handed efforts on the same Colonial power play 48 seconds apart followed by the game-winning goal with 40 seconds remaining in regulation completed his natural hat trick. An empty-netter by Josh Murray with one second left made it 7-5 Chargers. It marked the most goals the team has scored since; you guessed it, netting seven in November 2006 at Robert Morris.

Brandon Roshko had a four-assist weekend while Matt Sweazey, Andrew Coburn, Joe Federoff, and Kyle Burton each had three-point efforts.

As mentioned, the Chargers' victory broke a ten-game conference winless streak, the longest in CHA since Robert Morris lost nine straight in 2004-05. Air Force holds the single-season record with a 14 game winless run in 2002-03 and Findlay is second with an 11-gamer in 2001-02.

Robert Morris rebounded the next night led by Chris Margott's hat trick to earn a split of the weekend. They now sit third, one point behind second-place Niagara and nine points out of first with eight league games remaining.

Two of those eight are this weekend with their trip to Wayne State. The Colonials grabbed the first two meetings this season in Pittsburgh, but the Warriors won all four meetings, including the two in Detroit, one year ago.

Wayne State completed the underdog weekend with an opening night 3-2 win at Bemidji State on Dylan Exton's third period game-winner.

Sophomore Brett Bothwell was in net and made 28 saves for his third consecutive victory. He is the first Warrior goaltender to win three straight since David Guerrera won seven in a row to take Wayne State to the CHA title and the NCAA playoffs in 2003.

Wayne State has now won five of its last eight games while averaging 3.25 goals per game and is converting 25 percent of its power-play chances during the span.

The Beavers rebounded with a 3-2 overtime win for the split on a Matt Pope goal. Blaine Jarvis scored the first two goals and assisted on the game winner.

"This was as big of a win as last Saturday," said BSU head coach Tom Serratore to the Bemidji Pioneer. "The guys showed a lot of character and resiliency. They have a very difficult team to play against, especially with a two goal lead. But the guys played the third period with a lot of urgency and energy – it really showed.

"We want (the CHA title) bad. Who doesn't want to hang a banner in their barn? This was a good win and, hopefully, will bring us to another level."

After this weekend off, the Beavers have conference series at Robert Morris and home against Wayne State sandwiched around a non-conference series at The Ralph in Grand Forks, North Dakota.


Niagara Still In The Mix: With Bemidji State's stumble last weekend, Niagara, with a sweep of their remaining conference games. can tie first-place Bemidji State though the Beavers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with a 2-1-1 record.

Niagara received the first career hat trick from Ted Cook, but saw a 2-0 first period lead melt away before settling for a 4-4 tie against ECAC's ninth-place team, St. Lawrence.

"The second period, I think we took off a bit," Cook said to the Niagara Gazette. "I think we got a little too high on our horse. You always feed off a sold-out barn," Cook said. "For warm-ups, we had almost 1,000 people out there, it was bobblehead night for 'Gards' (former goaltender and assistant coach Greg Gardner) and the student section was full. That's probably the biggest thing for us."

The Purps are on a five-game unbeaten run and host Alabama-Huntsville this weekend.

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Alabama-Huntsville at Niagara
The Chargers offense came alive last weekend at Robert Morris and Niagara is unbeaten in its last five and averaging over four goals per game during that period.

While You're There: Catch one of the eight pee-wee or squirt playoff hockey games at both rinks during the day at Dwyer and see if you could keep up…on double-runner skates.

Stick Salute

Alabama-Huntsville freshman Andrew Coburn has a three-game scoring streak and has seven points (three goals, four assists) over his last six games.

Bench Minor

To those "H" words and not H-E-double hockey sticks. Wayne State's Matt Krug and Jeff Caister were called for hooking and holding leading to two Beaver third period power-play goals on their way back from a 3-1 deficit and an overtime win. Bemidji pounced on the second extra-man chance in all of six seconds to tie it.


• Even though Frozen Four sites are awarded through 2012 in Tampa, it's not too early to start thinking about a site for 2013, and Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley and VisitPittsburgh are strongly considering a bid for the 2013 Frozen at the Pittsburgh Penguins' new arena.

• Former Niagara Purple Eagle forward Mike Maier, after two years at Division I and sitting out last season, joined Division III Cortland State in January. He had 3 goals and 7 assists in his first 10 games.

• Wayne State forward Mike Forgie and Bemidji State goaltender Matt Climie are among 16 players under consideration for the 2008 Frozen Four Skills Competition for the Men's West Team. You can cast your vote.

• Niagara junior forward Les Reaney is one point away from becoming the third Purple Eagle this season to join the career 100-point club.

• Robert Morris has the fifth-best scoring offense in the country (3.58 gpg), but have the fourth-worst scoring defense (3.64 gpg). Ryan Cruthers and Chris Margott are fourth and 12th respectively in the country in scoring and Margott is sixth in assists.

• Ten seconds after UAH's Cale Tanaka scored his first short-handed goal Friday, Robert Morris called a timeout. Tanaka added another shorty just 38 seconds later.

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