The week in NCAA Hockey

Michael Bitzer
Michael Bitzer was sensational in goal.

Last weekend, every NCHC team played except for the University of Nebraska Omaha and the defending National Champions Denver University Pioneers. This weekend, all eight schools were back in action.

While the season has started, conference play has not.

Conference games are more important for the most part, but these non-conference games can and will change your pairwise ranking come playoff time.


The University of Minnesota-Duluth dropped the opener in their series against the Bemidji State Beavers 2-5. The Beavers scored four times in the third period on their way to the victory.

The Beavers collected five goals Friday night, two coming from their five power-play opportunities.

The strong start continued for the Beavers as they were able to tie the Bulldogs 0-0 in Saturday’s tilt.

Michael Bitzer stood on his head for Bemidji making a jaw-dropping 45 saves without letting a single puck to get by.

The Bulldogs will look to right the ship next weekend when they host Merrimack college.


Nebraska Omaha traveled out east to face the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks for their first series of the season.

The Mavericks were powered by four goals, two in the first period, and two in the second in their 4-2 victory Friday night.

They chased the River Hawk’s goalie, Tyler Wall after he allowed four goals on 13 shots. Two of those goals we scored by defenseman Joel Messner.

Saturday night, the script flipped. The River Hawks downed the Mavericks 5-2. Three unanswered goals by Mass. -Lowell in the first two periods was the difference in the game.

Mason Morelli scored both of the Mavericks’ goals, but it was not enough to defeat the River Hawks.

Next weekend, the Mavericks will host Arizona State University to start their second season at their new rink, Baxter Arena.


Denver started its quest to defend their National Championship in South Bend against the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Friday night the teams skated to a 2-2 draw. Henrik Borgström notched two goals for Denver while Dylan St. Cyr stopped the 46 other shots he saw in net for the Irish.

Saturday night, the Pioneers looked like the defending champions. The won 4-2 with two late goals by Liam Finlay and Dylan Gambrell.

Shot wise, the game was closer than Friday night as Denver outshot Notre Dame 34-33.

On Friday, the Pioneers will return home to raise their championship banner in a series against Lake Superior State University.


The University of North Dakota welcomed the St. Lawrence to Ralph Englestad Arena for the first home regular season series of the season for the Fighting Hawks.

Collin Adams scored the game-winning goal with just under four minutes remaining to seal a 2-1 victory for the Hawks on Friday night.

After a close game Friday, UND flexed their muscle Saturday night in a 6-1 victory. Six different Hawks tallied their first points of the season. The win keeps the Fighting Hawks undefeated in regulation on the season.

Longtime rival University of Minnesota will travel up to Grand Forks for the first time since leaving the WCHA for another classic UND vs UM matchup.


Colorado College hosted The University of Alaska-Anchorage last weekend.

The Tiger offense exploded for six goals Friday night in a lopsided 6-1 victory. Six different players scored for the Tigers.

Colorado College finished their sweep of the Seawolves with a 3-2 victory Saturday.

Mason Bergh won the game for the Tigers with a hat trick as he scored a goal in every period. Although they won, the goaltending was shaky. Alex Leclerc only let in two goals, but it came on 16 shots.

The Tigers will travel east to Durham, New Hampshire for a matchup against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.


St. Cloud State opened their 2017 campaign against the University of Alaska.

The Huskies throttled the Nanooks 6-3 at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center Friday night.

Jack and Nick Poehling were all over the ice netting three goals between the two and Jimmy Schuldt scored his second and third goals of the season.

Saturday night was a much closer game with the Huskies keeping their perfect record alive at 3-0-0 with a 5-4 overtime win.

The Huskies tied the game late with a goal from Ryan Poehling and won it in overtime with a goal from the other Poehling, Nick.

Boston College comes to St. Cloud next weekend. It will be the first test for this Huskie team with high aspirations for the 2017 season.


Miami University faced off against the USA Under-18 team last Friday.

Miami slipped by winning 7-5 after the U18 team tied the game early in the third period. They scored their seventh goal with one second left on an empty net.

Next weekend, they travel to Orono, Maine to take on the University of Maine Black Bears with the Red Hawks looking for their first victory over college opponents.


Western Michigan University faced the Clarkson University Golden Knights.

The Broncos and Golden Knights skated to a tie Friday night after an overtime period could still not determine a winner.

Dawson DiPietro netted two goals for the Broncos and goalie Ben Blacker made 32 saves on 34 shot attempts.

Saturday, the Knights got the best of the Broncs 4-2. The Broncos got within one goal late in the third period, but an empty net goal by the Knights with two seconds remaining made it 4-2.

The Broncos have a home and home series next weekend with in-state rival Michigan State University.

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Adam Gunderman is a University of North Dakota graduate with a degree in Communication with an emphasis on journalism. He was written for the Dakota Student for a year and a half while in school. He is an avid fan of Baseball who grew up watching the Chicago Cubs every day after school. He is firmly on team no DH. Adam also has a passion for Football and Hockey as well as his hometown Bears and Blackhawks.


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