Four of the five Minnesota division one men’s hockey teams were active this weekend and were all treated to successful series’. Minnesota was the only school that didn’t have a regular season series, but they did have a scrimmage against the U18 team from the National Team Development Program. Bemidji State probably shocked some people with their home and home series against North Dakota. St. Cloud State traveled all the way to Fairbanks to play Alaska. Minnesota Duluth went on the road to Michigan Tech, and finally Minnesota State Mavericks played host to Boston University.
Bemidji State vs. North Dakota
Friday night the Fighting Hawks from North Dakota travelled to Bemidji to take on the Beavers. North Dakota came into the weekend ranked 13th in the nation in the USCHO.com poll, but struggled against the unranked Beavers. Goaltending was the biggest story of the weekend as there were only 5 total goals. Beaver goaltenders Henry Johnson and Zach Driscoll combined for 54 saves on 56 shots over the weekend. Johnson helped aid Bemidji to a 2-1 win on Friday night while Driscoll held North Dakota to 1 goal on Saturday as well as the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Nashville Predators prospect Grant Mismash scored the goal for North Dakota Friday night. Brendan Harris also had a good series for the Beavers picking up two assists.
Minnesota State vs Boston University
This matchup featured two teams in the top 15 in the country. The 8th ranked Mavericks hosted the Boston University Terriers, and it turned out to be a great weekend for the team from Mankato. Friday night the Mavericks got great performances from Dallas Gerads and Parker Tuomie. Tuomie tied the game at 3 late in the second period for his second goal of the game. Gerads also scored his second goal of the game for the Mavericks about halfway through the third period to give Minnesota State the opening night win. On Saturday night the Mavericks got out to a great start by taking a 3-0 lead in the first period. Boston University scored 3 second period goals to tie the game, but Minnesota State regained the lead with 1 second remaining in the second period. The Mavericks would score and empty net goal to secure the sweep over the 11th ranked Terriers.
Minnesota Duluth vs. Michigan Tech
The Bulldogs were coming off a tough weekend against Gophers with a loss and a tie. They dropped to 3rd in the rankings and were hoping to get back on track this weekend at Michigan Tech. Goalie Hunter Shepard helped the Bulldogs get in the win column for the first time this season by making 32 saves Friday night and only allowing one goal, and senior Parker Mackay scored the game winning goal. Saturday night’s game wasn’t as close as Friday night’s. The Bulldogs scored five goals in the second period to run away with the game. Michigan Tech scored two goals but that wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. Bulldog defenseman Scott Perunovich continued his point-per-game pace by adding two assists over the weekend.
St. Cloud State vs. Alaska
The 5th ranked Huskies made the long road trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to faceoff against the Nanooks. Patrick Newell had himself a solid game on Friday night by chipping in two goals, including the game winner, and adding an assist as well. The Huskies edged the Nanooks 3-2 in a defensive battle. The two teams combined for only 47 shots on goal. The Huskies and Newell continued their success on Saturday night. Newell added another goal and an assist to cap off a five point weekend. Montreal Canadien draft pick also had a solid weekend by adding three assists. The Huskies blew out the Nanooks in the series finale by winning 6-2.
Minnesota vs U18 USNTDP
Minnesota played an exhibition game against the USA’s U18 team and beat them pretty easily 7-1. The game may have been an exhibition but it was a fairly impressive win for the Gophers. The U18 team has previously beaten Notre Dame, and Michigan this season, two of last year’s frozen four participants.
Minnesota will be off again this weekend other than an exhibition against Trinity Western on Saturday night at Mariucci. St. Cloud State will host the Grant Potulny coached Northern Michigan Wildcats for a weekend series. Minnesota State will have another tough opponent this weekend travelling to Grand Forks to play North Dakota. Minnesota Duluth comes back home to host the Black Bears of Maine, and Bemidji State is idle this weekend.