Games to Watch Around College Hockey: Week 10

Story posted December 10, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Mike Wszolek

What a week it was around the country last week with a few surprises in college hockey. There are not many Top 20 matchups this week, but the ranked teams that are playing each other need some quality wins on their resume

No. 6 St. Cloud State at No. 11 Denver

This will be the biggest game of the weekend with the least separation between rankings. Denver is in need of a good win after dropping its last two games to North Dakota. The Pioneers will come into the series with a 7-5-2 record. Denver has a balanced attack on offense with the top six players all having above eight points. The goalie situation for the Pioneers has been in question with both goaltenders not impressing too many people. Whoever starts in net on Friday will have to come up huge against the Huskies. Although they are on a bit of a losing streak and are taking on the No. 6 team in the country, Denver is a perfect 4-0-0 in its home building and look to keep the goose egg in the loss column. However, St. Cloud State has two seniors who have stepped up and shown their leadership so far this season. Forwards David Morley and Kalle Kossila each lead St. Cloud with 18 points, but Morley has the edge in goals, while Kossila leads in assists. Kossila is also fifth in the country in assists so far this year. It will be a two game series, so if one team needs to improve on something, they can make the adjustment and correct it in the second game. Puck drop on Friday is at 9:37 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 9:07 p.m. ET.

No. 4 North Dakota at No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth

North Dakota is coming off of two important wins over ranked Denver and really made a statement around the league. This will also be a two game series where the Fighting Hawks will go for their fifth and sixth straight wins. The Hawks have not lost since Nov. 21, and since that loss they have scored at least three goals in their four game winning streak. North Dakota has some special players on offense. Drake Caggiula already has 25 points on the season: 13 goals and 12 assists. The 5-foot-10 senior from Ontario also leads the team in penalty minutes with 44, which he will need to keep in check. He is third overall in all of college hockey in points, while his teammate Nick Schmaltz is fifth in college hockey, right behind Caggiula with 24. Minnesota-Duluth better play some stellar defense if they want to stop this explosive offense. However, Minnesota-Duluth has some decent scorers of their own. Austin Farley and Tony Cameranesi have combined for 36 points this year, which isn’t as high as Caggiula and Schmaltz, but impressive to say the least. The Bulldogs are 7-5-3 and are riding high winning their last four games and scoring a total of 24 goals in that span. Those four wins have also got them back to No. 17 in the latest USCHO Poll. Minnesota-Duluth will have to take advantage of the home ice and try to salvage a game from North Dakota. Both Friday and Saturday night’s games will begin at 8 p.m.

No. 12 Boston University at No. 2 Quinnipiac

Unfortunately for hockey fans, these two teams will only face each other once this weekend, Saturday night at 7 p.m. This game will mean everything to each of these teams. Boston University will be looking for the upset in Connecticut, while Quinnipiac will try and maintain their unbeaten record. Boston U will have a tough game at Yale on Friday night and then face the tougher opponent in Quinnipiac the next night. Quinnipiac has been relentless all season, only tying Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Bobcats defeated Saint Cloud State twice rather impressively back in October. Goaltender Michael Garteig has been unstoppable in net for Quinnipiac this year. The senior has played in all 17 games this season and has an astonishing .952 save percentage. On the flipside, the Terriers have six players with points in double figures on the season. This should be a great game that will be an incredible Saturday matchup.

A few other games to keep an eye on this weekend include: Minnesota at Michigan, Dartmouth at New Hampshire, and Boston University at Yale on Friday.

Mike Wszolek is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email mewszolek@gmail.com.