Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cornell, Ohio State to Meet Tonight for Florida Classic Crown

Providence and Boston College were the No. 1 and No. 4 ranked teams, respectively, in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey through Christmas.

They won't be following Monday's results in Estero, Fla.

The Friars, last year's national champions, lost for the first time in 19 games with a 2-1 overtime setback to No. 9 Cornell in the first round of the 2015 Florida College Hockey Classic. Jeff Kubiak connected just under three minutes into sudden death for the Big Red to hand Providence its first loss since mid-March.

In the nightcap at Germain Arena, BC squandered an early 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 loss to unranked Ohio State, which had won just three times in all this season entering the tournament. John Wiitala's goal seven-and-a-half minutes into the third period stood up as the game-winner for the Buckeyes, who were outshot, 32-19, by the Eagles. BC's Miles Wood is suspended for today's game after incurring a checking from behind penalty and game disqualification in the final five seconds of regulation.

BC and Providence will meet in today's consolation contest at 4:05 p.m. ET, followed by the title tilt between Cornell and OSU at 7:05 p.m. ET. Cornell has participated in every Classic since the event began in 2000, and has claimed the tournament title four times (2003, 2005, 2008, 2013). The Buckeyes are seeking their first-ever Classic crown after previously finishing third in 2001 and 2002, where they bested the Big Red in the consolation game both of those years.

ADDENDUM: Providence edged BC, 2-1, in the consolation, while OSU bombed Cornell, 8-0, to win the title going away.

Monday, December 28, 2015

U.S. Shut Out by Sweden

The U.S. National Junior Team suffered its first setback at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland with today's 1-0 loss to Sweden. The U.S. fell behind in the second period and could never get the equalizer, despite outshooting the Swedes, 46-23, overall at the Helsinki Ice Hall.

The Americans, who defeated Canada, 4-2, in their opener on Saturday, will continue the round-robin portion of the tournament against Switzerland on Wednesday (1 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

Saturday, December 26, 2015

U.S. Opens World Junior Championship Today

The U.S. National Junior Team begins its quest for gold today at 1 p.m. EST against Canada in Helsinki, Finland in its opening game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The U.S. is in a bracket that also includes Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Schools represented on the U.S. roster this year, according to USCHO.com, include Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Miami, Michigan, North Dakota, Notre Dame, St. Cloud State and Yale.

The Americans previously won gold in 2004 in Finland, 2010 in Canada, and 2013 in Russia.

ADDENDUM: Team USA scored three times in the third period to defeat Canada, 4-2, for its first preliminary-round WJC victory over its neighbor to the north since 1998. Colin White (Boston College) scored the first American goal and was named the player of the game. Louie Belpedio  (Miami) scored the game-winner from the left point, after Zach Werenski (Michigan) had tallied from the right point to put the U.S. up by a 2-1 count.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Northeastern Downs Michigan State

Michigan State closed out the first half of its 2015-16 hockey campaign with a 2-1 non-conference loss at NCAA opponent Northeastern on Saturday evening at Matthews Arena.

Thomas Ebbing tallied the only goal for the Spartans (5-11-2 overall), with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation. NU had staked itself to a 2-0 lead on a first-period goals from Mike McMurtry, followed by a second-stanza score by Zach Aston-Reese. 

Senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand had 29 saves for MSU, while freshman netminder Ryan Ruck earned his first career victory for Northeastern (3-12-3) with 26 saves.

The game marked MSU's second single-game voyage to the Boston area this fall. The Spartans fell at Boston College, 6-4, on Nov. 13, despite rallying from a three-goal third-period deficit with three consecutive tallies in less than two minutes. MSU also split a two-game series at Princeton last season.

MSU men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo, who secured his 500th career victory against BC last month, was on the Spartan hockey bench for at least part of Saturday night's game at NU. Both MSU's men's and women's basketball teams were in Boston to play Northeastern as part of the Winter Showdown, according to msuspartans.com. The Spartan women triumphed by a 77-51 count over the Huskies on Friday night at Matthews Arena, while the MSU men did likewise with a 78-58 win on Saturday afternoon in the same venue.

Spartan hockey will return to action on Dec. 29 against Michigan Tech in the first round of the 2015 Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

USA Tops Princeton, 4-1

The U.S. Under-18 Team skated into Hobey Baker Rink on Saturday evening, and skated out with a  4-1 victory over Princeton University in an exhibition contest.

Following a scoreless first period, Kieffer Bellows, who is committed to Boston University, scored two goals for Team USA, while Trent Frederic (Wisconsin) and Keenan Suthers (Western Michigan) had the others. Clayton Keller set up both of Bellows' goals, while  Jake Oettinger (BU) finished with 21 saves.

Princeton, which sat some of its regulars Saturday after a 6-3 non-conference loss at Penn State on Friday night, got its lone goal from David Hallisey to make it 3-1 at the time. The Tigers also got 13 saves from starter Ben Halford, and five stops in relief duty from Austin Shaw.

The Tigers are now off until hosting ECAC rival Quinnipiac on Dec. 29. Team USA won at NCAA Division III Neumann College, 9-1, on Sunday

Friday, December 11, 2015

Irish Edge Eagles, 4-3

Just three weeks after Notre Dame outlasted Boston College in football at Fenway Park, the Irish did so again in Beantown in men's hockey.

No. 18 Notre Dame tallied three goals late in the third period Thursday night at Conte Forum to hand No. 3 BC its first home loss of the year, 4-3, and its first loss overall since a 2-1 setback at Rensselaer on Oct. 11. BC had gone unbeaten in its previous 13 outings, while UND has now won four straight games.

After the host Eagles had taken a 3-1 third-period lead on a pair of scores by Florida native Austin Cangelosi, both of which were assisted by Teddy Doherty and Zach Sanford, Jordan Gross got the Irish back within a goal at 8:33 of the final frame. Andrew Oglevie tied it at 15:36, and then Gross set up Dennis Gilbert with 22 seconds remaining in regulation for the winner.

Notre Dame outshot BC, 39-26 on the evening, with Thatcher Demko making 35 saves for the Eagles and Cal Petersen stopping 23 shots for the Irish. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.

It wasn't the first time the Eagles have given up three goals in rapid-fire succession at home this year. Michigan State did the same thing on Nov. 13, tying that game at 4-4 before BC pulled out a 6-4 victory.

The Eagles (13-2-1 overall, 6-2-1 Hockey East) are now idle until facing Ohio State in the first round of the Florida College Classic on Dec. 28. UND (9-4-4, 6-1-2) will return to action on Jan. 1-2 at Denver, before hosting BC four weeks later in South Bend, Ind.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Devils to Face Leafs, Lamoriello Tonight

The New Jersey Devils will visit Toronto tonight, to face off with the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. It will also mark their first game against general manager Lou Lamoriello (Providence), the former Devils GM/CEO/President who guided New Jersey to three Stanley Cups in a 28-year span from 1987 to 2015 before he left for Toronto this summer.

Former college players scheduled to be in New Jersey's lineup tonight, according to NHL.com: Mike Cammalleri (Michigan), Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth), Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame), Brian O'Neill (Yale), Stephen Gionta (Boston College), Bobby Farnham (Brown), Andy Greene (Miami), John Merrill (Michigan), Cory Schneider (Boston College), and Keith Kinkaid (Union).

The Devils are currently 14-10-3 overall and 4-4-2 in their last 10 outings. The Leafs are 9-13-5 (4-5-1) to date.

ADDENDUM: Toronto triumphed in a shootout, 3-2.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Devils Fall Despite Palmieri Goal

Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) scored the only goal for the New Jersey Devils in their 2-1 loss Tuesday night to the Colorado Avalanche at the Prudential Center in Newark. Cory Schneider (Boston College) made 23 saves for New Jersey, which fell to 12-10-2 overall.

Erik Johnson (Minnesota) and Jack Skille (Wisconsin) had assists for the Avalanche, who took a 2-0 lead in the second period. The two teams combined to go 0-for-5 on the power play.

The third-period goal by Palmieri, a New Jersey native, was his ninth of the campaign, and was set up by linemate Travis Zajac (North Dakota). Schneider is now 11-7-0 on the year for the Devils, who sit in ninth place in the NHL's Eastern Conference, one point out of a playoff position. Colorado improved to 10-14-1.