College Hockey Roundup: Maine sweeps BC; Cornell’s Bardreau out for the season; Blasi earns 300th win

Image courtesy of goingfive-hole.blogspot.com

Image courtesy of goingfive-hole.blogspot.com

On paper it looked like a mismatch. Then No. 3 Boston College, who sit atop Hockey East with a 14-7-2 overall record, versus Maine, who is dead last in the conference with a 7-14-4 overall record. Don’t tell that to the Black Bears who swept the road series against the Eagles. Maine spoiled the return of BC head coach Jerry York to the bench Friday night by beating the Eagles 4-1 in Chestnut Hill.

Junior goalie Martin Ouellette (CLB ’10, 184th overall)  was stellar in goal stopping 34 of 35 shots including 20 in the second period where BC had three power plays. Prior to Friday, Maine hadn’t scored more than two goals in 20 of 23 games this season.  On Saturday Maine did much of the same suffocating the Eagles in route to 3-1 victory. For the Black Bears it was the first sweep of a weekend series at Conte Forum since January of 1993.

Junior forward Jon Swavely of Reading, PA was named the Co-Hockey East Player of the Week on Monday, while teammate Martin Ouellette earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors. Swavely had an assist in Friday’s game and scored a pair of goals on Saturday for his first career multi-goal game. Ouellette finished the week 2-0-0 with 1.00 goals against average and a .967 save percentage.

Maine was also named Hockey East Team of the Week. I don’t think it’s time to panic just yet if you’re Boston College. They have a bunch of injuries on the back end including freshman defenseman Colin Sullivan and Mike Matheson. However, Chris Kreider is no longer an Eagle. Who is going to step up and make a big play, a big hit or score a big goal for BC? That remains to be seen. BC returns to action this Friday against Vermont.

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Image courtesy of topics.democratandchronicle.com

Image courtesy of topics.democratandchronicle.com

Tough news coming out of Ithaca, NY this past weekend. Cornell sophomore center Cole Bardreau will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured neck. Bardreau was checked into the boards last Saturday by Rensselaer’s Greg Burgdoerfer, which resulted in a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.

Remarkably, Bardreau somehow played after that. His injury was discovered during an MRI on Monday. This is huge loss for the Big Red. Bardreau was outstanding in Friday’s contest versus Union. He recorded a goal and an assist.

Bardreau finishes the season with two goals and seven points in 13 games. Bardreau was a key cog in Team USA’s gold medal win at the World Junior championships in Ufa.   Bardreau, a defensive forward who played along side Plymouth Whaler Ryan Hartman (draft eligible 2013) and  Michigan Tech forward Blake Pielita (NJ, 135th overall, ’11), should garner some NHL attention for the upcoming draft despite his injury. He was bypassed in the previous draft though he skates well and is proven pest to his opponents. He’s a solid player who does the little things right. He will surely be missed by Cornell.

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Last Friday night was the night of upsets around college hockey. The aforementioned then No. 3 Boston College fell to lowly Maine. No. 14 Minnesota State topped No.1 Minnesota 2-1. Brett Knowles scored with 44 seconds left in the game, to end the Gophers 10-game unbeaten streak. The Gophers would rebound with a 4-1 over the Mavericks Saturday.

Merrimack handed then No. 4 New Hampshire a 3-2 loss on Brian Christie’s goal seven seconds into the third period.

Jonny Brodzinski’s two goals propelled No. 12 St. Cloud State to a 3-1 victory over then No. 5 North Dakota. On Saturday SCSU settled with a 2-2 tie but the Huskies stayed in first place in the WCHA with 25 points, while Minnesota and Nebraska-Omaha are tied for second with 24. Brodzinski pushed his current point streak to 11 games with a point in the game.

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Miami of Ohio RedHawks head coach Enrico Blasi picked up his 300th career win on Friday defeating Bowling Green 2-1. He becomes the first coach in school history to reach the milestone. In 14 seasons with MU, Blasi has 301-190-53 record overall, has been named CCHA coach of the year four times, won national coach of the year in 2005-06, and has led his alma mater to two Frozen Four berths. Miami currently sits at No. 4 in the country.

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I would be foolish not to give a shout out to my Penn State Nittany Lions who split a weekend series with the Michigan State Spartans. The Nits held their own against the Spartans all weekend beating Michigan State 3-2 on Saturday even when falling behind 2-0.

Mercyhust transfer Taylor Holstrom scored the game winner with just four minutes remaining. Holstrom now has goals in three straight games. The trio of Holstrom, Max Gardiner (STL ’10 74th overall, brother of Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner) and Casey Bailey now have 12 goals and 18 assists in their last seven games.

Despite not playing a top 10 team so far this season, although Wisconsin very well could be when the Nittany Lions travel to Madison for a weekend series on February 24 and 25, Penn State is now 2-1 against future Big Ten hockey teams. Things are looking promising  in Hockey Valley.