Before you stuff yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie, indulge in a hockey feast fit for a king...
We had this one circled on the calendar way back at the start of the season, but we certainly didn’t anticipate where these two clubs would be at once we got here. Indiana showed a lot of promise early on, with seasoned goaltending and speed up front. But after an encouraging win against Louisville in the season opener, the wheels fell off. Mired in a losing streak that reached ten straight and 12 of 13, the Hoosiers took drastic measures to shake loose from the funk, firing former Head Coach Clint Hagmaier mid-season in the hope that different leadership would produce different results.
That deadly speed was on display from the opening whistle as Austin Eng capitalized on the rush and gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 advantage just 36 seconds in. But goaltender Tyler Hough (21 saves) and the Trine defense would lock the gate and keep Indiana off the board the rest of the way. Jake Hatten would pull the Thunder even at the 6:13 mark, while Team scoring leader Brandon Bornkamp tallied the game winner roughly four minutes later. Braden Pearl lead the way with two goals, and Nick Anderson and Cody Dombrowski each added a goal and an assist on the night. Trine leveled 72 shots on Hoosier netminder Stephen Gasior, finding the twine on six of them.
Fans of offensive hockey weren’t disappointed Saturday, as the two teams combined for 20 goals on 85 shots. Unlike the previous night, Indiana came through on offense and racked up the highest goal total allowed by the Thunder all season. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, Trine’s offense was equally as effective. Michael Rand scored his first of two goals in the opening period to put the Thunder out in front, but Scott Berger answered for the Hoosiers about a minute later. The hosts added four in a row to the scoreboard until Trent Kunas snapped the streak and gave Indiana a little life going into the break down 5-2. Joseph Stebbins started the second period in net for the Hoosiers after replacing Cam McNamara midway through the first, but Trine’s offense would not be stopped. The two teams traded goals in the second, with the Hoosiers scoring three and the Thunder adding four. Hunter Lagrone’s tally at 8:04 would prove to be the game winner. Period three belonged to the home team, with Pearl netting two and both Bornkamp and Anderson each adding their second of the game. Matthew Herbst would add one to close out the scoring for the Hoosiers, with Stebbins stopping 33 of 43 in the loss. Adam Conkling earned the win for the Thunder, allowing five goals on 27 shots. Hough would wrap up the night in relief of Conkling, giving up a goal on two shots in seven and a half minutes of work.
Indiana hosts Illinois for a pair on Dec 1 & 2 while the Thunder travel to Oakland University that same weekend for game one of a home & home series.
The Warriors closed out the weekend still a point behind NAIA leader Aquinas College after both teams swept their respective opponents. Indiana Tech played host to the Waldorf Warriors, topping the injury- and illness-riddled visitors by a pair of 5-2 scores. Tech would control the action from start to finish, as Mike Trish put the home team on the board first in the sixth minute of play. Waldorf’s power play unit was able to even things up, but Jimmie Kotilaninen put Tech back on top just over a minute later. Jace Childs added another to close out the period with Tech leading 3-1. The two Warriors would trade goals in the second, but John Slavik shut Waldorf out the rest of the way to pick up his sixth win of the season. Zach Bennett’s goal in the third closed out the scoring for Tech.
Game two followed in similar fashion for the host Warriors but not the guests. Alex Gregorich, Felix Kronwall, and Childs tallied for Tech in the first, and Childs would find the back of the net again in the second, but Waldorf would cut into the lead in the third to keep the game from becoming a rout. Chet Tooker regrouped to prevent any further damage, and Kotilainen’s empty net goal with just over a minute to play would seal away the victory. Tooker would face 30 shots in picking up his first win of the season.
Indiana Tech resumes NAIA play after the Thanksgiving break with a road trip to face Lindenwood-Belleville on Dec 1 & 2.
After a pair of fierce Big Ten battles with Penn State and Ohio State, the fourth-ranked Irish were poised for a letdown against non-conference foe RPI this weekend. Fortunately for Notre Dame, Cale Morris would have none of it, allowing just a single goal in two starts to continue his string of brilliant net work. Coach Jeff Jackson was somewhat displeased with the proliferation of penalties, but the special teams unit came through whenever called upon. Jake Evans opened the scoring halfway through the first period, and Cal Burke’s blast less than a minute later would prove to be the game winner. Bobby Nardella added to Notre Dame’s cushion, while Jordan Gross closed things out on his empty netter with just over a minute remaining. Morris would pick up his first career assist on Gross’ goal to go with his 38 saves.
Game 2 would see Morris continue to shine, stopping all 25 Engineer shots on the way to recording his second shutout in the past three contests. The PK unit would again be key, killing off four Irish penalties including 93 seconds of a 5-on-3. Cam Morrison tipped in Andrew Peeke’s shot just 13 seconds into overtime to give the Irish the win.
Notre Dame looks to feast on Gopher this Thanksgiving as the Irish play host to Minnesota on Nov. 24 & 25
The Mastadons headed into the weekend in need of some relief, having surrendered 35 goals in the past four games, while the Cardinals were well rested after being idle last week. And things weren’t looking any better for IPFW in the early going of this one either, as Jacob Burke and Jarred Van Hauter put the ‘Dons in a 2-0 hole within the first five minutes Friday. But Ball State would stumble in the second, giving up the lead on goals by Skylar Garver, Derek Moss, and Tyler Fix. Cory Mitchell would somehow chip one over Cardinals netminder Macklan Hayes to start the third, and ‘Dons goaltender Taylor Amborn would do the rest, stopping 47 of 49 to snap their four-game skid.
Saturday’s rematch proved to be a literal tug-of-war... the kind of game we would expect from these two closely-matched teams. Feeling frisky from their comeback the night before, IPFW drew first blood on Tyler Grunden’s tally less than four minutes in. Ball State would respond just two minutes later on a goal from Riley Miller, but Moss would regain the lead for the ‘Dons with only 11 seconds left in the period. The teams would swap goals back and forth for most of the second, with only Grant Isenbarger’s second of the period for IPFW going unanswered. Grunden finished off his hat trick at 3:07 into the final frame to push the Mastadons advantage to three, but Miller’s second of the game and Van Hauter’s third would trim the lead to a single score with 4:20 remaining. Amborn held off a flurry of Cardinals chances to wrap up the sweep, finishing with 65 saves. Zack Betz stopped 55 of 62 in the loss for Ball State.
The Cardinals get a long Thanksgiving break before facing the Trine Thunder in a home & home on Dec 8-9. The Mastadons continue with ICHC play after the holiday when they travel to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers (Dec 1 & 2)
Cracking the top 10 for the first time this season, the Warriors looked to avoid faltering against winless Calvin College. Tech was perhaps a bit too guarded at first, as the Knights were able to get some good looks at the net in the early going and managed to poke on through to take a 1-0. This seemed to be enough to shake the Warriors out of the doldrums, as Brendan Pfeiffer, Ryan Krolikowski, and Tyler Lantzsch all scored within roughly a two minute window to push Tech in front 3-1. The Knights would cut their deficit in half at 4:32 into the second period, but Jerret Haas would restore the two-goal advantage with 10 ticks left before the break. Haas’ goal would turn out to be the game winner, as Calvin tallied once more with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Tech goaltender Christopher Boyd turned away the remainder of the 25 shots he faced to preserve the win.
Figuring that Friday night’s squeaker was a little too close for comfort, Tech made sure there would be no upset Saturday. Building up a head of steam after Mike Cruse’s first period goal gave them a 1-0 lead, seven different Warriors would score over the next two periods for an insurmountable 8-0 advantage. The Knights managed to get on the board with 6:59 left to play, but Boyd would once again slam the gates shut. Stopping 22 of 23 shots he faced, Boyd earned his third consecutive victory and eighth overall, already besting last season’s win total.
Indiana Tech hits the road after the holiday weekend, squaring off against Hope College on Dec. 1 & 2
A week after earning their first point against Finlandia, the Thunder were looking to get their first outright win. Not an easy task though, as they would be facing the second-ranked team in NCAA D3 - the Adrian Bulldogs. Ryan Murray did his best to make sure Adrian didn’t run away with this one, keeping the Thunder down just one after the first period. But the Bulldogs refused to be caged, scoring twice in both the second and third periods to keep the Thunder at bay. Sammy Nardicchio and Josh Hinderliter would get the credit for Trine’s two third period goals. Brett Young was tagged with the loss, making 40 saves in just over 50 minutes of work, while Vinny Evans stopped all three shots he faced in closing out the game.
Carmine Taffo provided the only bright spot for the Thunder in Saturday’s follow up, finding the back of the net with 1:16 left in the first to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-1. It would be all Adrian from that point on, tallying two in the second and four in the third to turn a close game into a rout. Young would take the loss in this one as well, allowing six goals on 43 shots. Evans would surrender two scores in 8:32 of work.
The Thunder host a couple of conference games on Dec 1 & 2 as they’ll face off against Northland and St. Scholastica at the Thunder Ice Arena.
After taking their lumps against third-ranked Adrian last weekend, hitting the road to square off against the winless Marian Sabres came as a welcome relief to the young Thunder women’s team. With a roster heavy with freshman, learning to compete is all part of the process. The Thunder struggled Friday night, being outshot 35-18 and just not seeming to find their rhythm. Molly Scarborough, one of just four sophomores on the squad, took the loss with 32 saves to her credit.
Saturday’s tilt saw a re-energized Trine lineup, with the most notable difference coming in the defensive end. The Thunder kept the Sabres at bay for over two periods, limiting them to mostly outside shots and giving Scarborough a clean look at the puck. Marian managed to break through in the third, though, scoring three times within a five-minute span. Kailey Cameron got one back for the Thunder with just under 90 seconds remaining, but the Sabres would add an empty net goal to account for the final margin. Scarborough finished the night with 28 saves.
Trine hits the road once more following the holiday break, as they take on NCHA-leader Lake Forest on Dec 1 & 2
The Greyhounds found themselves in a real dogfight in their weekend series with Northern Illinois University. The Huskies had only won three games coming into Friday’s contest, while Indianapolis was fresh off their second victory of the season. Both teams went on the attack from the get-go, landing several solid blows on each side. Liam Partlan struck first for the Greyhounds, opening up a 1-0 lead just under four minutes in. NIU would counter with four straight to sieze control of the lead and the momentum, but UIndy fought back to keep pace with the Huskies. Two goals from Tyler Gregory and another from Partlan helped offset one final Husky tally, and the Greyhounds would head to the locker room trailing by a single score. However the would ice tilt heavily toward the Huskies over the final two periods, as they would tally five times in the second and twice more in the third. Gregory completed his traditional hat trick with 5:48 left to play, while Partlan would get the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, adding two assists and a disqualification for fighting to go with his two goals. Weston Akard would finish the night with 39 saves on 51 shots.
The chipping continued Saturday, as the Huskies were whistled for two game misconducts and UIndy’s Joe Mann would get tossed for head contact. Things would settle down in the third period, but at that point the Greyhounds would trail by three before eventually falling 11-4. Cam Nelson would get things going for the ‘Hounds in the second, and Gregory’s two goals helped keep the game close for a while, but NIU closed out the second with two scores and tacked on five more in the third to pull away. Robby Ballone accounted for Indianapolis’ final goal. Akard struggle with a lower body injury but would tough things out, making 50 saves in the losing effort.
The Greyhounds open December in Music City as they take on Middle Tennessee State at the Ford Ice Center.
Flying high after their dominant performance over IPFW, the Boilermakers looked to ride the momentum into their series against fourth-ranked Grand Valley State. Yet the Lakers never let Purdue get comfortable, racking up four first-period goals and putting the Boilermakers on the defensive. After a scoreless second period, Grand Valley struck again in the third before Dominick Cappadona spoiled the shutout with his goal at 11:07. The Lakers would add one more in the final minutes to account for the 6-1 final.
Matthew Eagon took the loss for Purdue on Friday, and fate would be no kinder to Adam Gottwald on Saturday. Grand Valley showed why they are considered one of the favorites for the national title this year, scoring eight times while frustrating the Boilermaker offense at every opportunity.
Purdue is idle for nearly two months, as they won’t resume competition until the Ball State series on January 19 & 20.
In a rare Monday night affair, Trine played host to the #6 (North) Adrian Bulldogs at Thunder Ice Arena. The Thunder would fall behind 3-0 in the first before finally getting their offense going, but playing from behind against the Bulldogs would prove to be a difficult task. Jacob Ruelle put Trine on the board near the end of the first period, and Adam Bedford would close the gap to one with his score at 14:53 in the second. But the Bulldogs would answer less than a minute later, and restore their three goal lead less than eight minutes into the third. Ruelle’s second goal of the game would come with 8:10 left on the clock, but the Thunder would be kept in check the rest of the way. Daniel Klaybor finished the night with 38 saves in the Trine net.
The Thunder start off December with a one-game set against former ICHC-member Xavier on the 1st.