Blind reaction: Mild upsets aplenty

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November 3, 2012 by Casey Hart

Conference play has dawned in earnest and brought with it a bevy of [very] mild upsets* Friday night. Below are a few quick thoughts from perusing the box scores.

*I use the term “upset” here loosely, because for the most part, any team in college hockey is capable of beating any other team within its own league. And most of these losses came to squads that already figured to be formidable.

How the mighty* fell

*Or at least those we presume to be mighty at this early juncture

No. 18 St. Cloud State 3, Denver 0: Nic Dowd continued his torrid scoring pace (6-6-12 in seven games) with two goals, and the Huskies continued to wow us with a fifth straight win, this one against my pick for No. 1 heading into the week.

No. 19 Ferris State 3, No. 4 Miami 0: The host Bulldogs finally showed off the form that they rode to a CCHA title and Frozen Four berth last season.

No. 11 Western Michigan 3, No. 7 Notre Dame 2: Is it really an upset when the No. 11 team, coming off a CCHA tournament title, beats the No. 7 team? Of course not, but it was a road win for the Broncos, and the Irish losing to anyone these days is newsworthy.

Massachusetts 2, No. 9 New Hampshire 1 (ot): And down goes my No. 2 team. The one Hockey East team that can’t use the big ice sheet at Mullins Center as an excuse fell victim to the Minutemen anyway. Darren Rowe had the game-winner on an overtime power play.

Merrimack 5, No. 15 Northeastern 2: The Warriors avenged the loss they suffered to the Huskies in the teams’ earlier Hockey East opener, and the teams will meet for a third time Saturday night in North Andover.

And some teams defended their rankings

No. 5 North Dakota 4, No. 12 Boston University 2: That palace in Grand Forks is a lot prettier when North Dakota isn’t putting on a big third period to beat you. Connor Gaarder entered without a goal but left with a hat trick. The Terriers led after one period and rallied to be tied through two, so Saturday’s rematch figures to be another good one.

No. 1 Boston College 4, Maine 2: The struggling Black Bears actually outshot the Eagles by seven and played them even in each of the first two periods, but BC scored two of its three power-play goals (one on an empty net) in the third. Johnny Gaudreau’s game-winning goal was his fourth tally of the season.

No. 2 Minnesota 3, Minnesota State 2: In another game that entered the third period tied, captain Zach Budish netted the winner for the host Gophers.

No. 6 Cornell 3, Colgate 1: Andy Iles, your teammates thank you.

No. 10 Union 4, Rensselaer 2: Forgot this one at first. The Dutchmen scored on four of their 18 shots to take the first of a weekend pair against the rival Engineers. The win was costly, though, as star defenseman Mat Bodie suffered a broken wrist and figures to be sidelined at least six weeks.

And then there were three.

Harvard rallied from a goal down with three scores in barely five minutes of the second period, including Brendan Rempel’s first career tally, to defeat Brown 3-2. Dartmouth, meanwhile, had three, two-goal scorers help put up a Yale-like score on Yale, 7-4. That leaves Cornell (3-0-0), Harvard (2-0-0) and Dartmouth (2-0-1) as the nation’s only remaining unbeaten teams. It’s no coincidence that the three are all Ivy League sides that only began competitive play last weekend. The Big Red wraps up its home-and-home set with Colgate Saturday at Lynah Rink, while the Crimson and Big Green trade opponents. Of the four Harvard-Yale matchups at Bright Hockey Center last season, three were decided by one goal, and two went to overtime.

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