Seriously, it will be good to not need to bring up that fact each week. Everyone is underway. Everyone! The Dartmouth men's hockey Twitter is now back up to 80-20 hockey versus dog content just in time as teams are already tossing teddy bears.
And there will be plenty to discuss as conference play begins in full. With a last-minute goal, Ohio State opened its Big Ten slate by sweeping Michigan to advance to 6-1-1 on the season. Notre Dame sophomore defender Nick Leivermann continued to score at Mariucci and nowhere else. The Boston College men's and women's teams each beat Providence. Army upset AIC. Long Island University got its first program win ever by defeating St. Michael's 5-2 on Friday.
As always, here's what is going on throughout the college hockey landscape. This week's stock report recaps who is doing well, who is on their way down, and what trends should be followed.
What a weekend for revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge.
Arizona State swept Quinnipiac, who eliminated the Sun Devils in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Minnesota men's team came back Friday to tie and win the OT extra point against a Notre Dame squad that ended its season in OT. The second-ranked Minnesota women's team defeated top-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday in a rematch of the 2019 national championship game before tying Sunday and winning a shootout.
Not enough? Western Michigan defeated and tied a Colorado College team that ended its season just short of the NCAA Tournament. Cornell returned the favor from last season and swept a Michigan State team to open its 2019-20.
And last, but certainly not least, Bowling Green got some poetic justice Friday in Mankato. After Minnesota State began the night by showing the Mavericks' late comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win the WCHA tournament championship 3-2 in OT, Bowling Green ended the night by coming back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Minnesota State 3-2 in OT.
Down: Going to the Box For Penalties
One team who didn't quite get revenge this week was Wisconsin, as the Badgers were swept by Penn State in the same building where the team's 2018-19 season ended. (Luckily, Liam Folkes didn't score an OT goal or else it would have been the end of another. Thems the rules.) The entertaining Thursday-Friday series ended up a reminder that the Badgers have some work to do while Penn State can pull off the consistency needed to be a national title contender.
It also showed how it's entirely possible in the Big Ten to be called for a penalty and then be on the ice to kill said penalty.
I guess this confirms that Penn State's James Gobetz (No. 6 in white) was on the PK when he should have been in the penalty box late in the second period. I don't think it changed anything, but how does something like that happen? https://t.co/33yi9Y8y4u— Todd Milewski (@ToddMilewski) November 2, 2019
Penn State's James Gobetz was called for roughing after the whistle, however, in the ensuing confusion did not end up in the penalty box to close the second period. In fact, he ended up killing part of the penalty before officials realized their error at the start of the third.
Down: Offense Friday in the ECAC
All 12 ECAC women's teams played conference games this weekend. Clarkson and Harvard combined for more goals (8) than the other 10 teams combined (7). The night included three separate 1-0 games.
Up: Denver hockey history (and sweaters)
The Pioneers enter NCHC conference play at 8-0-0 after sweeping Niagara this weekend. Following up a Frozen Four berth, 2019-20 so far has been one to celebrate as Denver continues being the lone top team among the undefeated ranks.
It's not the only thing Denver has been celebrating, however. The Pioneers went through its rich history this weekend, celebrating 70 years of DU hockey. Players from throughout the program's history were brought onto the ice.
Those sweaters? Fire.
Seriously, Denver? Do I have your attention? Wear them full-time.
Down: Air Force
Down the road from Magness Arena on I-25 sees Air Force at 1-7-0. Yes, the Falcons are more known for finishing strong. Yes, the Falcons did lose its longtime starting goaltender. Yes, Sacred Heart is an underrated team (I said as much in the CT Pioneers' profile), but that doesn't stop Air Force's fall from being surprising.
The good news is that the Falcons finally got into the win column on Saturday. However, that doesn't fully wash away the taste of an Air Force team who prides itself on its defensive play being down 6-0 Friday after two periods en route to a 7-1 loss.
Up: Angus Crookshank in OT
New Hampshire men's team went 2-0 this weekend, defeating both Boston College and Dartmouth in overtime. One reason for the Wildcats' success after the full 60? Angus Crookshank. The sophomore forward, who finished with three goals on the weekend, had the OT winner against the Eagles and assisted on the winner the next day.
Up: Teams in the UMass system
Lebsterfest was in season last month as Massachusetts continues to pick up where it left off from last season's national runner-up finish. The Minutemen have a pair of players with 6+ goals in juniors John Leonard (7) and Mitchell Chafee (6).
UMass is not alone, though. Between Massachusetts and UMass Lowell, the teams in the UMass system went a combined 12-3-2 in October. RiverHawks goaltender Tyler Wall has lived up to his last name, putting up a .947% save percentage in the season's opening month.
Much of the success comes from players expected to contribute at high levels. Then there's UMass rookie Reed Lebster, who is PDOing his way through the national leaderboard with four goals on eight shots. Only one other player nationally (UConn's Jáchym Kondelík) has as many goals with a single-digit shot total after playing more than two games.
Down: St. Cloud State's home dominance
On paper, Princeton drew a short straw by starting the season on the road in St. Cloud against the Huskies rather than a fellow Ivy League school. No D1 men's hockey team was better at home than SCSU, who went 17-0-1 in 2018-19 at the National Hockey Center.
So what did the Tigers - a team that hadn't had much luck last season and lost three seniors to NHL deals - do to open 2019-20? Beat and tie St. Cloud State. Sophomore forward Corey Andonovski nearly matched his rookie season total with four goals in two games.
It's the second straight week where St. Cloud State lost a game at home, dropping the Huskies to 1-2-1 on the year in St. Cloud. While anticipating SCSU to go undefeated once again at home would be impossible expectations to live up to, it's a surprise on paper to see a pair of eastern teams (Northeastern won last weekend) find success on the Olympic ice.
Up: Jack Dugan's assist total
While the young Friars continue to figure things out, Dugan continues to dish out the puck at a level far above anyone else. The Providence sophomore forward and Vegas Golden Knights draft pick is up to 13 assists on the year.
Nationally, no one else has more than 9.
Up: Kelly Browne
Browne, a Boston College sophomore forward, needed 35 minutes to have herself a four-goal game against New Hampshire. She added another the next day in a 5-2 win over Providence. (Side note: The Eagles men's and women's teams each played the same two opponents.)
Her success is par for the course for the Eagles women's team, who put offseason departures into the rearview mirror by blasting out to a 9-0-1 start. Katie King Crowley's squad having this success is one of the better team stories to begin the year.
Hold: PJ Fleck's goaltending abilities
Gopher football was on a bye, but the team's head coach picked up a new group to motivate, strapping on pads and taking shots from the hockey team.
Surprise tryout here at Mariucci Arena. @GopherHockey giving a look to a new goalie today! pic.twitter.com/0ScwWY2dZD— Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) October 29, 2019
Down: Me for forgetting to include Brayden Camrud's first goal last week
At one point I had the Alaska Anchorage rookie in last week's stock report. Somewhere between moving the accomplishment of Camrud, one of two injured players in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash to return to the team, scoring his collegiate first goal back and forth between the regular and the "who won the week" sections, I ended up leaving it out.
It's a story which should be mentioned and one I didn't want to leave it out a second week. (Camrud added an assist in Friday's loss to Omaha.) So I'll discuss it here, a week late, and fire my blog editor. He had it coming. Let's be honest.
Who won the week:
Second Runner-Up: Nate Sucese
Thanks to two goals by the Penn State senior forward, including a 180-foot empty-net goal against Wisconsin on Friday to seal the sweep, Sucese tied Andrew Sturtz for the most goals in Penn State Division 1 men's hockey history with 54.
First Runner-Up: Minnesota and Amy Potomak
Credit to the Gophers for taking 5 of 6 points against Wisconsin in WCHA play. Minnesota, after being shut out by Kristen Campbell in the national championship game, broke through offensively, becoming the first team since Minnesota Duluth in November 2016 to score four goals in regulation against the Badgers. Junior Grace Zumwinkle now leads the nation in goals with 11.
The teams traded a pair of goals on Sunday and each had its first taste of three-on-three OT. However, what will be remembered is Amy Potomak's between the legs shootout winner.
Winner: Harvard sophomore goalie Derek Schaedig
This week's winner goes to someone currently taking a leave of absence from both school and hockey.
Harvard goaltender Derek Schaedig opened up in an article for The Crimson about being diagnosed with depression and his struggles being both a college freshman and athlete. It's an important piece I recommend reading and one going far beyond what happens on the ice each Friday and Saturday night. Student-athletes are not immune to the rigors of being both students and athletes finding their place in the world.
For being open about mental health struggles and inspiring others, Derek Schaedig has won the week.
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