Blind reaction: Wrapping up the weekend

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November 6, 2012 by Casey Hart

Remember back on Saturday morning when I recapped all those Friday-night “upsets.” Well, most of the victims regrouped and rebounded with Saturday-night wins. Meanwhile, few other squads came up with upsets of their own to finish the weekend.

A few thoughts on some of Saturday and Sunday’s results:

Minnesota State 5, No. 2 Minnesota 3: I can’t wait to see this one on DVR. The Mavericks scored twice in the first 10 minutes and saw the Gophers rally to tie twice in the second period. It was not until the game’s 57th minute that Dylan Margonari put Minnesota State on top for good. The Gophers have now lost their last three games in Mankato (dating back to 2010-11) and make one more trip there as members of the WCHA, Jan. 26.

No. 3 Denver 6, No. 18 St. Cloud State 1: That’s how to bounce back from being shut out at home for your first loss. Just 12 seconds after Cory Thorson tied the game for the Huskies in the first period, Nick Shore gave the advantage back to the Pioneers. That was the first of five unanswered goals for Denver, as Chris Knowlton finished with a hat trick.

No. 12 Boston University 4, No. 5 North Dakota 2: The Terriers picked up the type of win that could send them back east with some serious momentum. Faced with the possibility of a second straight close loss at North Dakota, Matt Nieto evened the score with less than six minutes left. Matt Lane followed with his first career goal for the game-winner at the 18:10 mark and fellow freshman Danny O’Regan sealed the victory with his fourth goal in his six-game collegiate career.

Colgate 2, No. 6 Cornell 2 (ot): By all accounts, Cornell goaltender Andy Iles stole one from the Raiders Friday night in Hamilton, N.Y. It appears that Saturday’s game in Ithaca was much more even on the ice, and it was definitely as even as it gets on the scoreboard. Both fan bases had reason to be encouraged. Colgate seemed unfazed by Friday’s near miss early on and kept firing away at Iles, this time with more success, outscoring the Cornell 2-0 and outshooting the Big Red 10-3 in the first period. Cornell, obviously, should be happy to have rallied with two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to secure a point and remain unbeaten. Even with the blown lead and one-point weekend, I think it was a promising start to ECAC Hockey play for the Raiders.

No. 20 Northern Michigan 4, No. 8 Michigan 3: The Wolverines won the shootout after the teams skated to a 4-4 draw Saturday, but it was, in traditional terms, a three-point weekend for the Wildcats. (In funky CCHA terms, it was a four-point series for Northern and a two-point weekend for Michigan.) That, I imagine, was a welcome result in Marquette, but it wasn’t an unfamiliar one. The Wildcats accomplished the same feat when the Wolverines visited last season.

No. 10 Union 7, Rensselaer 3: Last week, the Dutchmen posted an 8-0 win at American International, only to follow up that effort with a disappointing tie at Connecticut. Lesson learned. This time around, Union opened the weekend with a 4-2 win at rival RPI and followed with an overpowering showing at home against the Engineers. Union poured in seven goals, four on the power play, in the first two periods. Shayne Gostisbehere registered four assists.

Yale 5, No. 13 Harvard 1: I haven’t watched this one yet, but the box score was not pretty for the host Crimson. Yale responded to Friday’s 7-4 loss at Dartmouth (and last season’s playoff-series loss at Harvard) with a five-goal, 49-shot showing. The score was tied through one period, and the Bulldogs led by a goal after two frames before pulling away with three third-period tallies, one in the closing seconds. Jesse Root and Kenny Agostino netted two goals each. Harvard rookie Kyle Criscuolo scored for the second straight night, but the Crimson was also 0 for 4 with the man advantage for the second night in a row.

Merrimack 4, No. 15 Northeastern 2: The Warriors scored four unanswered goals to complete a home-and-home sweep of the Huskies and extend their unbeaten streak to four games. Northeastern, meanwhile, is winless in its five games since knocking off Boston College.

Vermont 2, Providence 0: Brody Hoffman made 17 of his 24 saves in the third period to pick up the shutout en route to backstopping the Catamounts to their first win.  Combine that victory with impressive ties at UMass Lowell and Merrimack, and Vermont is more than halfway to its Hockey East point total of seven from last season.

Dartmouth 2, Brown 1: A team should be expected to win a home game against the squad picked to finish last in its league. In fact, if that team scored seven goals the night before, it might be expected to do better than beat said last-place pick on a tie-breaking goal in the final six minutes. That said, the Big Green has played four games (a tie and win against Yale and two wins against Brown) and lost none. Next up: Rensselaer and Union at home followed by road games against Colgate, Cornell and top-ranked Boston College.

Air Force 7, Holy Cross 0: One upset I didn’t mention because it didn’t involve a top-20 team, was the Crusaders’ 3-2 win in Colorado Springs. In fact, not only was Air Force not ranked, the Falcons had won just won of their six games entering the weekend. Holy Cross, meanwhile, improved to 4-1-0 with Friday’s win. But it was surely an upset; we’re still early in the conference season, and Air Force is the defending Atlantic Hockey champ. Anyway, a night after surrendering 43 shots in a loss, the Falcons limited the Crusaders to no goals on 23 shots. Jason Torf logged the shutout, and seven different Falcons scored in a declarative victory.

No. 1 Boston College 3, Massachusetts 2: Another game against the Eagles, another third-period lead for UMass and another BC rally. Sunday’s comeback was less dramatic than the one the Eagles pulled off in their last meeting with the Minutemen, but it may have been scarier for the rest of Hockey East. Both the tying goal from Michael Matheson and Patrick Brown’s game-winner were scored by players who had not previously found the net this season. A deep BC team is an especially dangerous BC team. On a related note, the Eagles have won six in a row.

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