Bemidji State (4-6-0) vs. Michigan Tech (3-5-3)
Looking to put last weekend’s disappointing series in the rearview mirror, Bemidji State returned home to play their third consecutive CCHA opponent.
Game one did not start as planned as the Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Kyle Looft answered for the Beavers late in the first period, heading into the second down 2-1. With the deficit extended to two goals to start the third, Bemidji State capitalized on a power play to make it 3-2 with plenty of time remaining. However, there would be no comeback, with Michigan Tech adding an empty netter to seal a 4-2 victory.
It was déjà vu in game two, with the Huskies scoring two goals in the first to lead 2-0 after one, tallying two additional goals in the second to extend the lead to 4-0 with 6:22 remaining in the period. The Beavers responded, swinging the momentum by scoring three straight goals in a span of four minutes to close out the period down 4-3. Bemidji State tied it at four only 1:16 into the third, and the comeback was complete, with defenseman Eric Pohlkamp putting the team ahead late in the period and Kyle Looft adding an empty net goal, leading to six unanswered goals en route to a 6-4 win.
Bemidji hopes its enormous comeback will spur the Beavers on to more victories this coming weekend away at Minnesota State, with a 7:07 P.M. start on 11/17 and 6:07 P.M. start on 11/18.
Kyle Looft was named CCHA Defenseman of the Week after the Beavers' sweep of Michigan Tech.
No. 6 Minnesota (5-3-2) at No. 8 Michigan (5-5-1)
Coming into the weekend separated by only two spots in the national rankings, the Gophers and Wolverines held true to those standings by skating to two tightly contested battles.
An early Michigan goal in game one was nullified by a Bryce Brodzinski goal two minutes later, leading to a 1-1 score at the first intermission. In the second, Michigan added back-to-back power-play goals to bring it to 3-1. However, Jimmy Clark scored a wraparound goal with only 1.5 seconds remaining in the period to make it 3-2. With 10:28 remaining in regulation, Jimmy Clark added his second goal of the night, tying it at 3-3 before Brody Lamb scored the game-winner with 3:28 to play. The comeback was made possible due to another strong performance in net for Justen Close, saving 37 shots in his fifth win of the season.
Down 1-0 late in period two in game two, Brody Lamb ripped one home to tie it at 1-1, scoring his second goal of the game and fourth point on the weekend. With only 11 seconds remaining in the period, Frank Nazar put the Wolverines back in front, forcing Minnesota to come from behind once again. And the Gophers did just that, as Jimmy Snuggerud scored with 4:26 to go in regulation to tie it at 2-2 and force overtime, with neither team scoring and the game ending in a tie.
With the tie, Minnesota gained four conference points on the road and will now return home to play Notre Dame, with puck drop at 7:00 P.M. on 11/17 and 11/18.
Justen Close stopped 37 shots to earn the win for Minnesota in game one of last weekend's series against Michigan.
No. 18 Minnesota Duluth (3-5-3) vs. No. 4 North Dakota (7-2-1)
Facing three straight top-10 teams, UMD’s run of poor results continued this weekend as North Dakota swept the Bulldogs at home, resulting in an 0-5-1 record over the last six games.
The Fighting Hawks were not hampered by any bus legs in game one Friday night as North Dakota jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, scoring three even-strength goals. Luke Loheit tipped home a power play goal in the second to bring the deficit to 3-1 and give the Bulldogs a chance at a third-period comeback. With 5:16 remaining in regulation, Anthony Menghini made it 3-2, which led to a tense final few minutes, but North Dakota held on, adding a late goal via Cameron Berg to win 4-2.
Saturday’s game was a low-scoring goaltender battle that saw North Dakota take a 1-0 lead in the first period and never look back. A nifty pass from Jackson Blake to Riese Gaber put the Fighting Hawks ahead 2-0 early in the second, and that ended up being the final score, with Ludvig Persson earning a 30-save shutout for North Dakota and Matthew Thiessen also having an excellent night for the Bulldogs, stopping 37 shots.
The Bulldogs will hit the road this coming weekend to face the now No. 19 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies, with UMD looking to earn their first NCHC points of the season.
Minnesota State (4-3-1) at Ferris State (3-6-1)
Hoping to turn around their recent run of form after going 0-3-1 in their last four games, a road trip to Ferris State was just the remedy the Mavericks needed, as Minnesota State has historically dominated the Bulldogs, leading the all-time record 37-11-2.
The Mavericks came out flying in game one of the series, scoring the opening three goals in the first before Ferris State clawed one back to make it 3-1 heading into the break. In the second period, Minnesota State put their foot back on the gas, tallying two quick goals just over three minutes into the period to extend their lead to 5-1. A sixth goal came off Kaden Bohlsen’s stick to make it 6-1, leading to an eventual 6-2 final, with goaltender Alex Tracy making 31 saves in his fourth win of the season.
The goaltenders held both teams scoreless through the first intermission of game two, leading to Ferris State opening the scoring in the second to take their first lead of the weekend. Sam Morton then responded for the Mavericks, scoring two consecutive goals to put Minnesota State in front 2-1, with Morton ending the weekend as the team’s leading goal scorer. With five minutes to go in regulation, the Bulldogs tied it at two, and the game eventually headed to overtime, where with only seconds remaining, Stillwater native Evan Murr scored his first collegiate goal to win it and earn a big series sweep for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks will return home with five conference points earned and will look to build on that total against Bemidji State this coming weekend, facing off on 11/17 and 11/18.
Barrett Hall, St. Cloud State
St. Cloud State (6-4-0) at No. 12 Western Michigan (4-3-1)
The Huskies made the journey to Kalamazoo, MI, and had their best series of the season, sweeping the Broncos and heading home in first place in the NCHC standings.
Halfway through game one and trailing 1-0, Barrett Hall tallied his third goal of the season to level it at one. Still knotted at 1-1 with 8:39 remaining in the game, Western Michigan retook the lead, but St. Cloud responded immediately, making it 2-2 only 50 seconds later before Veeti Miettinen scored the go-ahead goal shortly thereafter, with the Huskies coming from behind twice in a 3-2 victory. Dominic Basse earned the win in net for St. Cloud, making 22 saves for his fifth win of the season.
After scoring the game-winner in game one, Veeti Miettinen scored the opener in game two, tallying a power-play goal with 4:07 to go in the first. The Huskies doubled their lead late in period two off a Grant Ahcan goal, his first of the season before Joe Molenaar made it 3-0 minutes later. In the third, Dominic Basse brushed aside all six shots on net en route to a 23-save shutout and a 3-0 victory.
With all 12 possible points earned in their first four conference games, the Huskies will look to gain six more at home against Minnesota Duluth this upcoming weekend.
St. Thomas (6-5-1) at Bowling Green (2-8-0)
Earning a sweep the weekend prior, the Tommies carried their winning ways into Ohio this weekend, obtaining another sweep against the Falcons of Bowling Green while banking an additional six conference points.
Former Edina Hornet Liam Malmquist dominated special teams in the first period of game one, scoring a power play goal to kick things off before adding a shorthanded goal to close the period. Cooper Gay added an even-strength goal between the Malmquist tallies, leading to a 3-0 lead at the first intermission. Bowling Green notched a power play goal to open the second period, but that was as close as the Falcons would get, with St. Thomas’ Aaron Trotter making 27 saves in the final two periods (for a 42-save game total) in the Tommies 4-1 victory.
Game two was a tighter battle that saw the teams head to the locker room tied 1-1 after the first. St. Thomas retook the lead only 1:35 into the second, with Cooper Gay tallying his second goal of the game and third of the series. However, the Falcons scored back-to-back goals only four seconds later in the period to lead 3-2. At 3:24 of the third, St. Thomas tied it at 3-3 before a goaltender error late in the period gifted the Tommies the comeback win, with Quinton Pepper intercepting a pass from the Falcons’ netminder who came way out of his crease, then scoring on an empty net.
After four straight conference wins (the most consecutive wins in program history), St. Thomas sits atop the CCHA standings, earning themselves a bye week before welcoming Lake Superior State (5-5-0) to Mendota Heights on 11/24 and 11/25.
Liam Malmquist, St. Thomas