Because the first pucks of this 2014/15 NCAA campaign have already been dropped some time ago now and the results, partiuclarly those that involve the Big Ten Conference schools, are always extremely important, of course :
Friday, October 17, 2014
New Hampshire 5 – Michigan 1
(goals — G. Downing, Eiserman, Pesce, Correale, Poturalski ; Kile)
Northern Michigan 2 – Wisconsin 0
(goals — Shine, Nowick)
Miami (Ohio) 5 – Ohio State 1
(goals — Barber, Kuraly, Wideman, Paulides, Coleman ; Brevig)
Michigan State 5 – Massachusetts 3
(goals — Berry 2, Stenglein, MacEachern, DeBlouw ; Burchett 2, LaRue)
Penn State 3 – Alaska/Anchorage 3
(goals — Loik, Richard, Bailey ; Tatchell, Leask, Coldwell)
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Michigan 2 – New Hampshire 1
(goals — M. Downing, Martin ; Willows)
Northern Michigan 4 – Wisconsin 1
(goals — Nowick, Trenz, Shine, Kesti ; Navin)
Miami (Ohio) 2 – Ohio State 1
(goals — Belpedio, Wideman ; Greco)
Massachusetts 4 – Michigan State 3
(goals — Iacobellis 2, Horton, Lee ; Berry 2, Ferrantino)
Alaska/Fairbanks 4 – Penn State 3
(goals — Vieth 2, Munson, Huysmans ; Scheid, Varley, Gardiner)
The University of Michigan Wolverines (1-2-0), who have no fewer than ten players who have already been been drafted by National Hockey League clubs on this year’s roster and were rather highly ranked in all the pre-season polls, salvaged a split with the visiting University of New Hampshire Wildcats after winning on Saturday night. The fans in Ann Arbor are still waiting for top shelf players J.T. Compher, the very highly touted sophomore right wing from Northbrook, Illinois, who led the Wolverines in scoring (35 ga, 11 go, 31 pts) as a freshman last season after becoming the second round choice (# 35 overall) of the Buffalo Sabres at the 2013 NHL Draft, and center Andrew Copp, the homegrown junior from Ann Arbor who was Michgan’s top marksman last term (33 ga, 15 go, 29 pts) after being taken in the fourth round (# 104 overall) of that same 2013 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, to shoot their first goals of this 2014/15 NCAA campaign. Nevertheless, Michigan netminder Zach Nagelvoort, the homegrown sophomore from Holland whom the Edmonton Oilers chose in the fourth round (# 111 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft this past summer, gave his first standout performance of this new season with 31 saves and just one goal conceded against New Hampshire on Saturday night.
The University of Wisconsin Badgers (0-4-0), the six-time NCAA champions who have still seven NHL Draft picks on this year’s roster despite having lost a good number of highly skilled players from last season’s squad, are still waiting to skate against opponents they can actually beat after being swept by the Northern Michigan University Wildcats in the Upper Peninsula. Not only were the Badgers blanked on Friday night, it took Wisconsin more than 58 minutes to score its only goal of the game on Friday night, as well. Wisconsin first line center Joseph LaBate, the senior from Eagan, Minnesota, who was the fourth round choice (# 101 overall) of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2011 NHL Draft, has no points and a -3 defensive rating after four games while linemate Grant Besse, the sophomore right wing from Plymouth, Minnesota, who was the fifth round pick (# 147 overall) of the Anaheim Ducks at the 2013 NHL Draft, is also pointless and sports a -5 defensive rating after four games.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (1-3-0) dropped both ends of a home-and-home series to the intra-state rival University of Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. Two linemates who each won gold medals with the United States squad at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, center Sean Kuraly and right wing Riley Barber, each scored goals on Friday night as the RedHawks put five pucks past Ohio State netminder Matt Tomkins, the 20-year-old sophomore Canadian legionnaire from Sherwood Park, Alberta, who was chosen in the seventh round (# 199 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Chicago Black Hawks. On Saturday night, the other Buckeyes goaltender, Christian Frey, the 21-year-old sophomore from Arlington, Texas, who was very impressive last season after joining Ohio State in mid-term, was fantastic in turning aside no less than 60 shots but Miami, who came in ranked # 11 in the country according to the latest USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine poll, still managed to score twice and complete the sweep in their own barn.
The Michigan State Spartans (1-1-0) shared the spoils with the visiting University of Massachusetts Minutemen despite winning the first of season-opening two-game set at home in East Lansing. Reliable right wing Matt Berry, the 22-year-old homegrown senior from Canton who led Michigan State in scoring two seasons ago (41 ga, 15 go, 31 pts) but suffered through an injury-plagued campaign (23 ga, 10go, 17 pts) last term, had a pair of goals and an assists in each contest with gritty UMass for a sensational six-point weekend at the Munn Ice Arena. MacKenzie MacEachern, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore left wing from Troy who was third round selection (# 67 overall) of the St. Louis Blues at the 2013 NHL Draft, had a goal and two assists for the Spartans in their opener and finished with a four-point weekend, himself.