Weekend Preview 12/6-12/8/19: Six Divisional Series Featur...
Date: Dec 5, 2019
The first interdivisional weekend of the year yielded only a few surprises as the early leaders mostly held serve, including sweeps by St. Thomas, Minnesota and a victory from Gustavus Adolphus. Winona State also earned a big sweep, while splits were the story between Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth, and St. John's against Minnesota State. In non-conference action, UW-Eau Claire kept up their win streak with two OT victories against Iowa State.
WISCONSIN @ MINNESOTA-DULUTH: In a matchup that lived up to the early hype, Minnesota-Duluth and Wisconsin battled out to an exciting series split that served as further validation that the teams are well into the league competition this season. On Friday, the hosts never trailed despite a spirited effort from the visiting team, with Reagan Garden and Willy Basill leading the way with 3 points each to earn the opening 6-3 victory. On Saturday, the Badgers battled back to split the series, using a big open to the third period to break the tie as Jacob Ranheim's Power Play goal sealed the 6-4 win for the visitors.
The split moved Minnesota-Duluth to 5-2-1 on the season, with an overall WCCHA record of 4-2-1. UMD next hosts NDSU at home in a big divisional series. Wisconsin, now 15-3-0 overall and 6-2-0 in the WCCHA, return home to take on UW-Eau Claire in Southeast Division action.
ST. THOMAS @ NORTH DAKOTA: Facing the daunting interdivisional travel to Grand Forks, the St. Thomas Tommies shook off the road legs to earn two victories over the previously streaking North Dakota Fighting Hawks. On Friday, St. Thomas built a 4-1 lead in the second before Joshua Hermes completed a hat trick to help the visitors earn a 7-2 win. On Saturday, UND pushed UST hard but the visitors completed the sweep with a 7-5 scoreline.
St. Thomas thus improved to 10-3-0 overall and 8-2-0 in the WCCHA, with a massive road trip to University of Mary on tap next weekend. North Dakota's 4-game winning streak came to an end, with the Fighting Hawks now 4-4-0 on the season and 1-4 in the WCCHA. Next up for UND is a Northwest Division road series at Bethel.
WINONA STATE @ BETHEL: In Blaine, the Winona State Warriors returned to their winning ways with a weekend sweep over Bethel. Friday night's game was a thrilling affair as Riley Martin's hat trick looked to have the Royals on the way to their first win. However, WSU stormed back in the third to tie and ultimately win the game with a last minute goal from Nick Sticha confirming a 4-3 victory. On Saturday, the Warriors left no doubt as both Jack Wroe and Tyler Berndt netted hat tricks on the way to an impressive 9-1 win.
Winona State's two wins moved them closer to .500 at 5-6-0 overall and 4-3-0 in the WCCHA with a bye weekend ahead. Bethel, next in action against North Dakota this coming weekend, dropped to 0-9-0 on the year (0-6-0 WCCHA).
MINNESOTA STATE @ ST. JOHN'S: In a first-ever matchup between the two programs, St. John's and Minnesota State split a series that featured two contrasting games. On Friday, the teams went back and forth in an exciting 60 minutes that came down the wire. It was there, tied 6-6, that Mankato's Vasilly Zhizhenkov completed his hat trick to give the Mavs the final goal of the game in a 7-6 barnburner victory. On Saturday, the Johnnies got their revenge with a massive offensive display that resulted in a 12-3 win. Key for SJU over the entire weekend was Peter Lenz, who tallied hat tricks in both games and an additional 3 assists on Saturday (with an extra goal to boot) to lead the squad.
With the split, St. John's moved their overall record to 4-3-1, including a 2-3-1 mark in the WCCHA. St. John's next takes on St. Cloud State on Thursday and North Dakota Sunday to complete the season NW Division series against both. MSU-Mankato, now 5-5-1 overall, moved to 4-4-0 in the WCCHA with a bye week ahead.
UW-LA CROSSE @ MINNESOTA: Fresh off their big WCCHA independent win over St. Thomas Wednesday night, the Gophers kept the good times going with two decisive wins over UW-La Crosse. With a total of 39 goals scored in wins of 18-0 and 21-0, the most impressive stat may be a clean sheet on the weekend, including a first collegiate (shutout) win for debut goaltender Jesse Brown. On Offense, freshman Kevin Delaney led Minnesota with 14 points in two games from 3 goals and 11 assists.
Two more wins pushed Minnesota to 13-1-0 overall and 9-1-0 in the WCCHA. The Gophers hit the road this coming weekend for a Missouri showdown against St. Louis University. UW-La Crosse's two losses dropped the Eagles to 0-9-0 overall and 0-6-0 in the WCCHA, with a home-and-home series against undefeated Gustavus Adolphus next on the team schedule.
GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS @ ST. CLOUD STATE: Playing the first game of what is a split-week series, Gustavus Adolphus kept up their perfect start with an emphatic 8-1 road victory over St. Cloud State. The Gusties got a strong performance from Cullen Osen and Jack Mapstone, who each tallied 4 points, while Matt Triemert netted a hat trick. In goal, Stephen Frank took home the win, stopping 27 of 28 shots faced for his third win in as many tries. The Huskies' lone goal came off the stick of Riley Dixon.
Now 5-0-0 overall and in the WCCHA, Gustavus will hit the road on Saturday to play UW-La Crosse in Southeast action and return home to host the same team on Sunday. St. Cloud State, now 1-10-0 overall and 1-7-0 in the WCCHA, will take a break from league play as they welcome the University of Jamestown for a two game set.
As the lone WCCHA team in non-conference action, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire went to extra time both nights but came away with the weekend sweep over Iowa State with scores of 2-1 and 3-2. UWEC, now above .500 at 8-7-0 overall with a winning streak of 7 games, will return to Southeast Division play next weekend on the road against Wisconsin.
|11/6/2019||Minnesota||4||-||3||St. Thomas||WCCHA - Indep.||Ridder Arena||Minneapolis, MN|
|11/8/2019||Minnesota||18||-||0||UW-La Crosse||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Ridder Arena||Minneapolis, MN|
|11/8/2019||St. Cloud State||1||-||8||Gustavus Adolphus||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Herb Brooks NHC (Practice)||St. Cloud, MN|
|11/8/2019||Minnesota-Duluth||6||-||3||Wisconsin||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Heritage Arena (Seitz Rink)||Duluth, MN|
|11/8/2019||North Dakota||2||-||7||St. Thomas||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Icon Sports Complex (Rydell Cars)||Grand Forks, ND|
|11/8/2019||St. John's||6||-||7||Minnesota State||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Bernick's Pepsi Arena||Sartell, MN|
|11/8/2019||Bethel||3||-||4||Winona State||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Super Rink (#5)||Blaine, MN|
|11/8/2019||Iowa State||1||OT||2||UW-Eau Claire||Non-Conference||ISU Ice Arena||Ames, IA|
|11/9/2019||Minnesota-Duluth||4||-||6||Wisconsin||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Heritage Arena (Seitz Rink)||Duluth, MN|
|11/9/2019||St. John's||12||-||3||Minnesota State||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Bernick's Pepsi Arena||Sartell, MN|
|11/9/2019||North Dakota||5||-||7||St. Thomas||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Icon Sports Complex (Rydell Cars)||Grand Forks, ND|
|11/9/2019||Bethel||1||-||9||Winona State||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Super Rink (#1)||Blaine, MN|
|11/9/2019||Iowa State||2||OT||3||UW-Eau Claire||Non-Conference||ISU Ice Arena||Ames, IA|
|11/9/2019||Minnesota||22||-||0||UW-La Crosse||WCCHA - Interdiv.||Ridder Arena||Minneapolis, MN|