We are heading into the final full month of college hockey. Just like in the past, the rankings have yet again changed. To me, this is what makes the sport so exciting. The Frozen Four is about a month away starting on April 6th and concluding on April 8th. The place where all these great teams will try and grab the national title is Tampa, Florida. It will be Amalie Arena home of three-time Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Let’s start with the teams that are ranked sixth to tenth. The team ranked sixth is the St. Cloud Huskies who made it to the top of the mountain just a couple of weeks ago. The team ranked seventh is the Ohio State Buckeyes. They made a move from the ninth spot to the seventh. The Boston University Terriers fell from the fifth spot to eighth.
Rounding out the top 10 is the Harvard University Crimson moving up one spot from tenth to ninth. The Penn State Nittany Lions fell three spots from seventh to tenth. The top five start with the two teams who have been battling for the top spot which would be the Quinnipiac University Bobcats and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. These teams have been primarily the top two teams for most of college hockey season. The University of Denver Pioneers and Michigan Wolverines are three and four in the rankings. There is a new team that jumps three sports this week the Western Michigan Broncos in the fifth spot. After this week, let’s look at how these teams got where they are.
Let’s start with the Western Michigan Broncos. They had two games this past week at home against the Colorado College Tigers. The first game started off very even both teams scored a power play goal in the first. Stanley Cooley had the Tigers’ first and only goal in the game. Jason Polin scored the Broncos’ first goal of the game. There were no goals scored by either team in the second period. In the third, Western Michigan had three goals the first and the winning goal came off the stick of Jack Perbix whose brother Nick Perbix plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chad Hillebrand and Jason Polin added another goal in a 4-1 win over the Tigers. In the second game, Colorado College scored first in the second period. Hunter McKown had their one and only goal.
The Broncos got two in the third off the sticks of Time Washe and Daniel Hilsendager. Cameron Rowe had 30 saves and only allowed one goal. In a 2-1 win that put the Broncos in the top five. They now shift their attention to a two-game series at home against the number thrid-ranked Denver Pioneers. This should be a good series with two top-five teams playing against each other. This could vault either team up the standings but the team that comes out on the bad end could be out of the top five next week.
Next up is a powerhouse in college hockey the Michigan Wolverines. They are coming off playing a team that is in the same conference and one that they cannot stand in the Ohio State Buckeyes. Unfortunately, the Wolverines lost both games to the Buckeyes. The first game was close most of the game. In fact, the game was a tie after three periods at three goals. The Buckeyes won the game in a shootout. The exciting period was the second where Michigan scored goals off the sticks of Luca Fantilli and Jackson Hallum. The goal scored by Ohio State came from Matt Cassidy. In game two Michigan allowed two powerplay goals and a short-handed goal. The Buckeyes had one of their power plays goals and their short-handed goal in a three-goal second period. Ohio State would come out on top 4-2. They will host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next.
The University of Denver Pioneers has also been around the top of college hockey most of the year. The two games from the past week were at home against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The first game saw eight goals scored between the two teams. The first period was even with both teams scoring one goal. The Pioneers scored two goals in the second period with Jack Devine who had two goals in the game had the game-winner. Going into the final period the Pioneers added three goals in a 6-2 win. In the second game, The Bulldogs got the upper hand early on scoring five goals in the first two periods. The Pioneers only had two goals in the first two periods. The Pioneers would add three in the final period, but they allowed Minnesota Duluth to score one and win the game 6-5.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats have to bounce back and forth from the number two spot to the number one spot. This week they stand at number two. They also had two games but instead of playing the same team twice the first game was against Yale Bulldogs. In this game, Yale scored their one and only goal in the first period. After that it was dominated by the Bobcats Sam Lipkin scored the first two goals for Quinnipiac and the second one was the winning one. Quinnipiac scored three goals in the second period and two more in the third in a 5-1 win. Game two was against the Brown Bears. This was like the first game it was just a show put on by the Bobcats. Quinnipiac had a big second period having a power play goal scored by Skyler Brind’Amour and a short-handed goal scored by Ethan de Jong.
The number one team in college hockey is the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Golden Gophers had two games against Big Ten rival the Penn State Nittany Lions. The reason they won both that is why they stand on top of college hockey. The first game had nine total goals. Minnesota scored the first six goals. They scored four of them in the second period they had two power-play goals. The first one was scored by Jimmy Snuggerud who had two goals in this game. The other power-play goal was scored by Jackson LaCombe. The Nittany Lions scored one goal in the second and one in the third. The Golden Gophers won the game 6-2. In game two it was closer than game one. Each team scored a goal in the first two periods. Each team had a tying tally in the third.
The last two goals from Minnesota came from the same player. That would be Matthew Knies. The Golden Gophers won the game in overtime 3-2. The next two games will be against the Ohio State Buckeyes. It comes to other teams’ scoreboard watching. Especially when it comes to Quinnipiac. It should be another exciting week coming up in college hockey. I can see another shakeup within the top 10 in college hockey. There were probably some upsets as it looks like some teams will wrap up the regular season this upcoming week. Let’s see what happens and I’ll be here to report it.
What are your thoughts on this week in college hockey? Leave a comment below.
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