Friday, October 19, 2007

Week 3 Breakdown

Just a few games of note for the upcoming weekend...

#1 North Dakota v. #4 Boston College (Non Conf.)
Fri., Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA; 8:00p EST.

The Frozen Four revenge tour continues for North Dakota this week, as the Sioux travel eastward to Massachusetts, taking on both BC and Northeastern at their respective barns on Friday and Saturday.

North Dakota is coming into Chestnut Hill on the heels of the utter destruction of Michigan State last Saturday, downing the defending national champions in an embarrassing 6-0 manner. Frankly, things aren’t looking much better for the Eagles, who are coming into the contest after a 3rd-place showing at the Icebreaker in St. Paul, as they will be missing forward Brock Bradford due to a broken arm and defensemen Brent Motherwell and Brian O’ Hanley due to team rules-violations.

Meanwhile, according to Brad Elliott Schlossman, all North Dakota players will be available over the weekend despite some minor lingering injuries. It should also be noted that North Dakota, after one game, is illustrating some good, potent offensive balance, as six different players scored each of the Sioux’s six goals against Michigan State last Saturday.

#2 Miami U. v. #12 Ohio State (CCHA)
Fri./Sun., Value City Arena, Columbus, OH/Steve Cady Arena, Oxford, OH; 7:05p/5:05p EST.

Miami and Ohio State square off in a home-and-home CCHA tilt over the weekend, with Friday’s game in Columbus and Sunday’s game in Oxford.

Both teams are riding highs coming into this series. Miami, last week, swept Vermont, a team that had beaten Miami six times previously, at home, with Miami goaltender Jeff Zatkoff making 47 saves on 49 shots. Also, six different RedHawk players lit the lamp last week against the Catamounts.

Ohio State won the Lefty McFadden Invitational last week, taking the crown after beating Wisconsin for the first time in the program’s history. Buckeye senior forward Matt McIlvane tallied a goal and two assists, while sophomore goaltender Joseph Palmer made 54 saves on 58 shots over the duration of the tournament.

Both teams met five times last season, with Miami taking the majority of the contests – 2-1-2.

#3 Minnesota v. #10 Colorado College (WCHA)
Fri./Sat., World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO; 7:35p/7:05p MST.

All referee-related conspiracy theories aside, Minnesota did, in fact, win the Icebreaker last week, downing RPI last Friday on the strength of three power-play goals, 4-3, then beating Michigan on the next tournament day, this time without a trio of power-play goals and rabid controversy, by an identical 4-3 final. Minnesota wasn’t entirely victorious in tournament play, however, as the Gophers lost junior forward Ryan Stoa to a season-ending knee injury during the game against Michigan. Junior forward Blake Wheeler tallied a pair of goals for Minnesota in the tournament games, while junior goaltender Jeff Frazee made 69 saves on 75 shots.

Colorado College will begin regular season play on Friday against the Gophers. The Tigers won their pair of exhibition games leading into this series – 4-3 over Calgary and 6-3 against the US U-18 NTDP.

St. Lawrence v. #7 Clarkson (ECAC)
Sat., Cheel Arena, Potsdam, NY; 7:30p EST.

How does that old proverb go? Revenge is a dish best served cold?

The defending ECAC regular-season champion Clarkson Golden Knights have shown some nice resiliency early on in the season – after dropping their season opener at St. Lawrence by a score of 4-3, Clarkson bounced back by downing UMass and Providence by scores of 2-1 (OT) and 2-0 respectively. Clarkson senior goaltender David Leggio has made 73 saves on 77 shots thus far in-net this season.

Now playing at a hostile away-from-home environment for the first time this season, the Saints will look to stop their first bout of in-season bleeding. After defeating both Clarkson and Providence at home, the Saints dropped their first game of the season against UMass by a score of 3-1 at home, despite a fevered third period where SLU launched 13 shots on-net after amassing only ten in the first two frames.

Regardless, St. Lawrence’s senior forward Charlie Griffin is off to a decent start, notching three goals and two assists in three games thus far.

#8 New Hampshire v. Boston U. (Hockey East)
Fri., Agganis Arena, Boston, MA; 7:00 EST.

One could make the argument that both of these teams have done their fair share of wound-licking leading up to this Friday contest. New Hampshire enters on the heels of an exhibition loss to the Varsity Reds of New Brunswick, while Boston U. will be fighting off jet-lag and frustration after taking a disappointing third place at the Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage (losing to Robert Morris and drawing with Alaska-Anchorage).

Boston’s Bryan Ewing notched a pair of goals in tournament play in Anchorage last weekend. First regular-season contest for UNH.

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