October 28, 2008

NCAA Round Up

Goon’s games to watch this weekend

Northeastern @ New Hampshire

This should be one of the top matchups in college hockey to watch this weekend. In the early going, Northeastern is on fire going 5-0-1 for the season and has already beaten defending NCAA champion B.C 4-3, laying 4 goals on Jon Muse. In goal for Northeastern, junior goaltender Brad Thiessen has been solid between the pipes going 5-0-1 with a goals against average of 1.32 with a .957 save percentage.

New Hampshire is led upfront by super sophomore James van Riemsdyk who has 3 goals and 2 assists in five games.

UNH will be looking for some redemption after losing to St. Lawrence 4 – 1 on Sunday night. Even though UNH loss to SLU, UNH has also beaten upstart Boston University 2-1on the 19th of October.
Prediction: Split

C.C. @ Denver University (Home and Home)

The fight for the Gold Pan, one of the most heated rivalry in college hockey. Colorado College is the odds on favorite to repeat as the regular season champion in the WCHA. Denver on the other hand is picked by many to finish second in the WCHA right behind C.C.

If Denver University has a weakness, it’s their sophomore goalie Marc Cheverie who is 4-1-0 with a goals-against average of 3.21 and save percentage of .905. Denver University known for its defense has given up four or more goals in 3 of 5 games this season. Denver University is led up front by super sophomores Tyler Bozak and Kyle Ostrow who are both 3-5-8 on the young season.

Colorado College, which is led up front by senior Chad Rau 5-5-10 in six games, is supposed to be an offensive powerhouse, managed to score only three goals for the whole weekend against Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. Rau from C.C. scored two of those three goals. C.C. is led by super sophomore goalie Richard Bachman 3-0-2 has been rock solid with a goals against average of 0.97 with save percentage of .963 with two shutouts on the season. With Richard Bachman in the net the Tigers have given up 5 goals in 5 games.
Prediction: Tigers sweep

Wisconsin @ University of North Dakota

The Wisconsin Badgers (0-5-1) have given up an unimpressive 5 goals or more in five of six games this season. Wisconsin usually known for it airtight defense is looking more like Swiss cheese, full of holes. It will be interesting to see what Badgers team comes to Grand Forks, ND this weekend.

Up front the Wisconsin Badgers led by freshman Jordy Murray (1-3-4) and junior Michael Davies (2-2-4). Incidentally the top point getters for the Wisconsin Badgers are a couple of defenseman Sophomore Ryan McDonagh (2-3-5) and much heralded freshman Jake Gardiner (0-5-5).

North Dakota on the other hand has one win to its credit in four games and has given up an unimpressive 16 goals in 4 games. In the goals-against column those numbers will need to improve if the Sioux are going to make another run to the Frozen Four this season. In goal for the Sioux much heralded freshman Brad Eidsness has been the better of the two goalies (1-1-0) goals against average 4.00 and a 0869 save percentage. While his numbers are unimpressive he did play better in his second start against Minnesota State.

Upfront for the Sioux are led by 2007 Hobey Baker winner senior Ryan Duncan (1-2-3) and Senior Ryan Martens (2-1-3)
Prediction: Sioux 3 points

Minnesota State @ Minnesota

On paper this should prove to be a good series. This series is the rematch of last season’s first round WCHA playoff series between the Mavericks and Gophers. The Gopher hooked, slashed and held their way to win the series when all three games went to over time. Both teams are lead by stellar goaltenders so expect two low scoring games.

MSU-M is led by rock-solid senior goaltender Mike Zacharias (3-1-0) goals against average 2.25 save percentage of .928, who has been a solid reliable goaltender in 3+ seasons at MSU-M (34-25-10). Zacharias was undefeated until the Mavericks lost a 4-3 game to the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota two Saturdays ago.

Minnesota is led by sophomore goalie Alex Kangas (3-0-1) goals against average 1.72 and a save percentage of .936 who has been pretty sharp so far this season stopping 103/110 shots.

The Mavericks are an older team and the Gophers have 13 freshmen on this season’s roster.
Prediction: Split

Princeton vs Brown at the (Ivy Showcase)

Normally I would say this match-up is a yawner but this is will be the first official game for both teams. While the Princeton Tiger have yet to play a game, they seem to be the media darling of the 2008-2009 season. In the latest polls Princeton is ranked 8th by the Inside College Hockey and 10th by US College Hockey on Line. In my opinion Princeton is no where near the 8th or 10th best team in the country, but they would probably be a top 15-20 team.
Prediction: Tie

Goon’s Top Ten
1.)BU
2.)C.C.
3.)B.C.
4.)Northeastern
5.)Minnesota
6.)New Hampshire
7.)Denver University
8.)Michigan
9.)Michigan State
10.) Miami

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