Games To Watch Around College Hockey: Week 7
NCAA Hockey Games of the Week
Much will be learned this weekend as six top 20 matchups are on tap, the most in one weekend so far this year. The contenders finally will begin to separate themselves from the pack and it should be a fantastic couple of days on the ice.
No. 4 North Dakota vs No. 7 St. Cloud State (Friday 7:30, Saturday 7:00)
Both teams enter this top 10 matchup coming off of sweeps last weekend. North Dakota easily handled Miami (Ohio) while St. Cloud State had no trouble with Western Michigan. These two teams have been powerhouses in the NCHC recently, combining to win the last three conference titles and currently sit tied atop the standings. Both teams are expecting sellouts for both games in the series and the players are certainly ready.
“There’s always a lot of hype when we play them,” says St. Cloud State senior captain David Morley. North Dakota does bring a lot of youth into this game with 11 freshmen currently on the roster.
No. 16 Notre Dame vs. No. 5 UMass-Lowell (Friday 7:15, Saturday 7:00)
Notre Dame looks for revenge after UMass-Lowell knocked the Irish out of the Hockey East playoffs last season in the quarterfinals, and both have had strong starts in 2015. They are two of five unbeaten teams in Hockey East play, and the River Hawks have dropped only one game all year. Senior goalie Kevin Boyle has been a brick wall for the River Hawks, playing in all 11 games and registering a .957 save percentage, good for fifth in the nation. His 1.26 goals-against average rank fourth. He will have to stop Jordan Gross of the Irish, who is tied for second in the nation among defensemen with five goals, including four in the last four games.
No. 12 Michigan vs No. 10 Boston University (Friday 6:00, Saturday 4:00)
These teams meet for the third straight year, with the home team coming out on top in every matchup in that time. These teams also have rich NCAA tournament history, splitting eight Frozen Four semifinal games. Michigan took care of Niagara 7-3 last weekend at home, improving on their 4.43 goals per game average, which ranks second in the NCAA. The Wolverines have scored five or more goals five times already after doing it 14 times last year, the most by any team since 2010. It will be a tough task however, as the Terriers are undefeated at home this year, including two ties vs. Providence, the top team in the nation.
No. 18 Cornell vs No. 11 Yale (Friday 7:00)
Cornell suddenly finds themselves in the polls after a strong showing so far. They come off a home-and-home sweep of Colgate in which they netted eight goals, bringing their scoring average to 3.83 goals per game, eighth in the nation. Twelve different players have scored for Cornell, and freshman Anthony Angello leads the squad with four goals and is also second in points with seven. Similar to Michigan, Cornell’s high-powered offense will have to get by a stout goaltender. Alex Lyon hasn’t missed a beat from last season, as he was an All-American selection in net for good reason as he led the nation in goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts.
Other Notable Matchups
No. 20 Clarkson vs No. 3 Quinnipiac (Friday 7:00)
No. 14 St. Lawrence vs No. 3 Quinnipiac (Saturday 7:00)
No. 1 Providence vs Northeastern (Saturday 7:00)
Tom Shively is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.