College football is over as far as on the field goes. Most fans of college sports will probably be watching either college basketball or college hockey. We are just two months away from the “March Madness” drama. For the fans of the great game of hockey, they will watch college hockey. It is one of the many leagues that hold the future of hockey. The top teams are the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Quinnipiac Bobcats. Only one point separates them. The next three teams are within four points. The third-ranked team is the St. Cloud Huskies, followed by the Penn State Nittany Lions, and in the fifth spot is Denver Pioneers. It is so close to the top. Some of the polls have Quinnipiac ahead of Minnesota. Two teams are tied in the sixth spot: the Ohio State Buckeyes and Boston University Terriers.
The Boston University Terriers have a rivalry with the UMass Minutemen. This year, the Terriers have swept the Minutemen. A few nights ago, freshman Devin Kaplan had a career-high two goals and a career-best three-point night, and Boston University had a 6-2 win over UMass. The Terriers scored four first-period goals and outshot the Minutemen 47-19. In the three games, Boston University has outscored UMass 18-5, all wins. In the game, there were 13 different Terriers that tallied a point. Boston University goalie Drew Commesso had 17 saves and earned his 10th win of the season.
The number two team, the Quinnipiac Bobcats, has a game today on the road versus the Long Island University Sharks. It will be taking place at Northwell Ice Center. The last time these two teams played was just four months ago. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. The Bobcats had goals in the first and second periods. The Sharks had goals in; the second and third periods and of course, the one in the third was the tying goal. If the Sharks win it would be a huge upset in the college hockey world. The Bobcats average four goals per game and are holding their opponents to just two goals. I am excited to see how many they can put up against the Sharks.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers traveled to South Bend Indiana to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last night. The last matchup was three months ago. Minnesota took the victory with a shutout 3-0 and they would repeat the feat by winning last night 3-0. The Fighting Irish are currently ranked 16th in the country. The Golden Gophers are looking for win number 17 and Norte Dame will be looking for their 11th for the season. They have two more goals than Quinnipiac Bobcats with 88 goals. Minnesota also averaged four goals per game. The Irish have only scored 55 goals this season but give up more with 63 on the season.
The next game for the Penn State Nittany Lions was on the road against the Michigan State Spartans last night. the game would end in a 4-4 tie but Sparty would get the extra point in a 3-1 shootout win. The Nittany Lions have scored 82 goals, so they are up there with the top teams in the country. Penn State also averaged four goals a game. They are looking for wins number 18 and 19 for the season. Their record in the Big 10 is 7-5. These two teams have a history not only on the football field but in college hockey as well. The Denver Pioneers have two games at home against Miami Ohio RedHawks. In the last game between these two, the Pioneers won 4-2 just three months ago. Denver will be looking for wins 18 and 19 in the 2022-23 season.
The top five teams are so close. They have games that may reshuffle the order. This is what makes college hockey so exciting. Maybe one of these five teams will take the trophy in Tampa. The exciting part is how close Minnesota and Quinnipiac are. The Golden Gophers and Bobcats could be playing against each other in the Frozen Four. Could the Huskies of St. Cloud, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Denver University Pioneers take the top spot away? Or another team out there wins the championship.