There’s an old adage in sports that on any given day, the underdog - no matter how overmatched they may be - can pull off the unbelievable victory. Week 5 of the collegiate hockey season is why it has become an old adage...
The Irish split the weekend with surprisingly tough Sacred Heart. Image: Fighting Irish Media
For the second week in a row, Pioneers came to South Bend. Previously it was defending champion and preseason favorite Denver. This time, it was the less auspicious Sacred Heart Pioneers who came to visit. Perhaps it was the short week, or the fact that these Pioneers were far less intimidating, but the ‘old adage’ came true once more as Sacred Heart upset the Fighting Irish 6-4 in a rare midweek contest.
As brilliantly as he they had played against Denver the week before, the Irish were surprisingly befuddled by this version of Pioneers. Surrendering five goals on just 27 shots, Dylan St. Cyr and the defense seemed unable to figure out SHU’s unconventional attack. Cal Burke put the Irish up early in the first, and it looked like the anticipated rout was on. Sacred Heart would tie the score six minutes into the second, but Dawson Cook put Notre Dame back on top a couple minutes later. The Pioneers again brought the game even, but Andrew Oglevie would capitalize on the power play chance and give the Irish a 3-2 going into the final frame. Sacred Heart stepped up the attack in the third, tying the score just three minutes in and then taking their first lead on the night a short time later. Joe Wegworth’s power play goal knotted the game at 4-4, but the Pioneers would regain the lead less than a minute later and add an empty net goal late in the game to ice the upset.
Taking the blame for his team seeming unprepared the night before, Coach Jeff Jackson made sure his boys learned their lesson before Friday’s rematch. This time, the Irish would go on the offensive, peppering Sacred Heart’s net with with 43 shots. Having scored his first goal of the season on Thursday, Wegworth would tally twice on Friday. His first of the night would once again give the Irish the early lead, but contrary to previous game, they refused to let the Pioneers settle in. Cook stretched the advantage in the second, and Wegworth would add another toward the end of the period to put the Irish up 3-0. SHU ramped up their attack in the third, finally breaking through at the 8:31 mark. Seemingly having solved the Pioneers’ puzzling approach, the Notre Dame defense would bend but not break despite a flurry of late attempts, and the game would end with the Irish on top 3-1.
Notre Dame closes out their 8-game home stand against Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday and Friday
Zach Larson and the Warriors continued their impressive early season run
The Warriors continued their strong start with another weekend sweep, as Kent State became Tech’s third consecutive victim. Reed Kaiser opened the scoring just past the halfway mark of the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Flashes would try to make a game of this one, but were thwarted by the Warriors at every turn. After tying the game to open the second, Jarrett Pfeiffer would score to put Tech back in front at 13:44 and add an assist on Jace Childs’ tally just before the break. Pfeiffer would also pitch in on a score by Zach Bennett to stretch the lead to 4-1. Following another power play goal by the Flashes, Nick Papandrea would restore the 3-goal lead for Indiana Tech. John Slavik picked up the win with a 26-save performance in net.
Unlike in Friday’s contest, the Warriors would let Kent State back in the game on Saturday after jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Goals by Stavros Soilis, Felix Kronwall, and Brian Skillicorn put Tech in front after two periods, but the Warriors would suffer a mental lapse to open the third and surrender three straight scores to give the Flashes new life. Coach Frank DiCristofaro and his troops regrouped, and Zach Bennett would tally the next two to push back the Kent State advances. Soilis would hit the empty net to put an end to any thoughts of a comeback. Joe Molfetta would pace the Warriors with three assists on the night, and Zach Larson stopped 30 shots to earn the win.
Indiana Tech travels to Aquinas on Friday for the first game of a home & home series. Saturday’s rematch in Fort Wayne will start at 5:30pm.
Although location might be important in real estate, it doesn’t seem to make much difference these days for the Hoosiers. Indiana squared off for a home & home against the Dayton Flyers, and despite jumping out to an early lead in both contests, the Hoosiers were unable to close either of them out. Christian Schurmann-Colicchio got things going on Friday, finding the back of the Flyers net just past the halfway point in the first. Dayton would answer just 90 seconds later, and the teams would head to the locker room knotted at 1-1. Austin Eng would score at the 5:00 mark of the second period, but that would be all the Hoosiers could muster. The Flyers would tie the game up again a minute later, then add two more to stretch the lead to 4-2 going into the third. Dayton tacked on an insurance goal in the third to close out the scoring. Cam McNamara faced 32 shots, stopping 27 in the 5-2 loss.
Fans in Dayton would see nearly the same game on Saturday as those in Bloomington saw the night before. Will Patton gave the Hoosiers the early lead this time around until Dayton tied things up with just under seven minutes left in the first. As he did on Friday, Eng would tally to push Indiana back in front, but the Flyers struck paydirt again with just sixteen seconds remaining to close out the frame. Dayton would tally twice just eight seconds apart to take a 4-2 in the second, but Nikolas Kropp cut the lead in half with two minutes to play in the period. The two teams would fend off the others’ advances throughout the third until the Flyers would hit the empty net with 1:32 left on the clock. Stephen Gasior would stop 25 of 29 shot in the losing effort.
Indiana has the weekend off before playing host to Davenport on Nov. 3 & 4
Trine maintained its unblemished record despite a tough contest with Adrian College
The Thunder has faced some stiffer competition in recent weeks, and visiting Adrian College would continue this trend, nearly snapping Trine’s 9-game winning streak in the process. The Bulldogs opened the scoring early, but Niccolo Mombelli would capitalize on the power play opportunity to tie the score 1-1. Adrian scored the next two goals in the first half of the middle frame as the home crowd inched ever closer to the edge of their seats. Brandon Bornkamp allowed the Thunder faithful to breathe a little easier, closing the gap to 3-2 just before the second intermission. Sean Schirripa erased the deficit with six minutes left in the game, but neither team would break through in the rest of regulation or the extra period. ACHA Division 2 doesn’t recognize shootouts in non-conference play, so the game would be officially recorded as a tie, keeping Trine’s record unblemished. The Thunder would also gain bragging rights, as Braedan Pearl scored on his sudden-death shootout attempt following a spectacular save by Trine netminder Aaron Brickman.
The Thunder travel to Eastern Michigan for a rare Thursday night contest, then on to Arrington Ice Arena for the rematch with Adrian College on Sunday.
Butler survived a true dogfight against cross-town rival UIndy
Separated by a only a dozen or so miles, the UIndy Greyhounds “visited” the Butler Bulldogs Friday, and it was everything a classic inter-city rivalry should be. The two young programs traded shots throughout much of the first half until UIndy broke the scoreless tie with about five minutes remaining in the second period. The Bulldogs would go to the locker room trailing the Greyhounds 1-0, but Butler’s Jesse Longtin evened things up three minutes into the final frame. The ‘Dawgs would take their first lead of the night on senior forward Hunter Byram’s score at the halfway mark. Then it was the ‘Hounds turn to answer, knotting the score at 2-2 on a power play chance with two minutes remaining. Neither team was able to finish things off in regulation, but Ryan Barrett would tally in the extra session to give Butler the 3-2 victory. The Bulldogs leveled an incredible 51 shots on UIndy goaltender Weston Akard, while Butler netminder Jack Sigman stopped 27 of 29 for the win.
These same two teams are back at it next weekend as it is the Greyhounds turn to host. Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Pop Weaver Pavilion.
Indiana suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Big Ten rival Michigan this weekend. Penalties would play a significant role, as the Hoosiers would be whistled for an astounding 62 minutes. After going on the power play less than two minutes in, the Wolverines would capitalize and jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Ryan Ward would tie things back up several minutes later, but Michigan would strike again early in the second to go back on top 2-1. Connor Bonecutter - we mentioned him in our ICHC Preview a few days ago - netted his first goal of the season to bring the Hoosiers back even, only to have the Wolverines score the next two and carry a 4-2 lead into the final period. Bonecutter would score his second of the night just two minutes in, but Indiana could not get the equalizer. Under fire for most of the game, Connor Minnick allowed four goals on a whopping 43 shots in the loss. Michigan added an empty net goal with 1:15 left to account for the final score.
The Hoosiers played a more disciplined game Saturday, and it worked in their favor as they limited Michigan to 29 shots. Matthew Turner would stop 27 of those shots to earn Indiana a 2-2 tie. Joseph Bolger staked the Hoosiers to a 1-0 lead in the first, and Brendon Block would double that advantage just past the five minute mark in the second period. The Wolverines would pull even, scoring twice over the next six minutes, but neither team would allow another goal in either regulation or overtime. ACHA Division 3 rules do not recognize shootouts in regular season non-conference games, each team earning a point in the 2-2 tie. Yet Kody Wagner would give the Hoosiers bragging rights, netting the “game winner” in the shootout.
Indiana resumes conference play as they will host the Purdue Boilermakers this weekend at Frank Southern Arena in Bloomington.
The Boilermakers put a scare into Indiana Tech but the Warriors' undefeated record remained intact
The Warriors extended their win streak to six this weekend, matching their D2 compatriots and making history as the first time ever that both club would start a season 6-0. Purdue wouldn’t make it easy on them, though, pushing Indiana Tech to the brink in both contests. Blake Anderson scored the only goal in the first period Friday, giving the Warriors an early advantage. John Vanvliet struck in the first minute of the second period to pull the Boilermakers even, but Tech’s Anthony Passarelli provided an answer just 38 seconds later to restore the Warriors’ lead. Purdue would score twice in the final three minutes of the frame, sandwiching goals from James Pannullo and Vanvliet around a tally by Tech’s Joshua Brown. The Boilermakers would take their only lead of the night on Andy Pietraniec’s goal to start the third period, and would hold off the Warriors until Jordan Reese salvaged the unblemished record with 0:56 left to play. Neither team would score in the extra frame, and the game should have been recorded as a 4-4 tie according to ACHA D3 rules. Nick Waggoner tallied in the shootout to nudge Tech in front.
Not wanting to have a repeat of the previous night, Passarelli beat Purdue netminder Adam Gottwald less than a minute in for the only score of the first period on Saturday. Jordan Reese opened the second with his fourth goal of the season to push the Warriors in front 2-0, but Matthew McNeal would cut the deficit in half just a few minutes later. Jarrett Haas restored the two-goal advantage in the final seconds of the period. Trailing 3-1 going into the third, the Boilermakers would draw within one on Pannullo’s goal at the 9:20 mark but get no closer as Braden Susnik would stop the remainder of the 44 shots he would face on the night to pick up the win.
Indiana Tech faces Hope College in a home & home, hosting the first game Friday night in Fort Wayne. The Boilermakers are in Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers in a pair of ICHC contests.
Following an idle weekend, the Mastadons were back in action Friday night as they hosted Denison University. Neither team would tally in the opening period, but the ‘Dons jumped all over the Big Red in the second. Brendan Lewis netted two goals in the first few minutes to put IPFW up 2-0, and Tony Wren would add to the lead just past the halfway mark. Denison would get one back nine seconds later, but Grant Isenbarger would restore the ‘Dons three-goal lead just a half-minute after. Big Red cut the Mastadons advantage in half with slightly more than five minutes left in the contest, but Isenbarger added an empty net goal with two ticks left to close out the scoring. Taylor Amborn would stop 40 of 42 shots to pick up the win.
IPFW travels to Illinois next weekend to take on Robert Morris.