Minnesota wins first North Star College Cup
It was another rough week on the top teams in college hockey. No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Boston College were the only two teams in the top 11 to go unbeaten, with the Eagles being the only team to go 2-0 and No. 4 Quinnipiac on a bye week. Beyond that, there were a lot of shots to the ego and bruises to everyone's win-loss mark.
Top ShelfThe best from the college hockey weekend
1. The North Star College Cup
Gotta love this. In a four-team tournament that could one day rival Boston's Beanpot, four of the five major programs in Minnesota started a tournament that was played this weekend at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota hosted Minnesota State, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State this year. The fifth in-state program, Bemidji State, will be included in next year's rotating field of four.
The title game became an instant classic as Minnesota-Duluth pushed across a goal with two minutes left in regulation to tie the Gophers at 4. Although there was no scoring in overtime and the game went into the books as a tie, the Gophers claimed the inaugural North Star College Cup in a shootout on goals by Kyle Rau and Seth Ambroz. Although the tie officially snaps Minnesota's six-game win streak, the Gophers still have not lost since Nov. 24, a streak of 12 straight games.
2. Hail to the Victors
For Michigan, not only was it a great weekend to beat its rival on the basketball court -- the Wolverines handed Michigan State its first Big Ten loss of the year on the hardwood -- but the Maize and Blue also dished out a pair of losses to the Spartans on the ice, 2-1 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and 5-2 on Friday in East Lansing. The wins snapped a four-game losing streak for the Wolverines and allowed them to leapfrog MSU into third place in the conference standings.
3. Charging Out of the 'Gate
Keep an eye on Colgate. Since Christmas, the Red Raiders have gone 7-0-1 with three wins over ranked teams in Ferris State, Vermont and most recently Clarkson over the weekend. Their only blemish? A 2-2 tie with top-ranked Minnesota on Jan. 3. In Saturday's 7-3 win over St. Lawrence, sophomore forward Kyle Baun nailed down his first career hat trick and Tyson Spink added a goal and three assists.
4. Lamplighting, Parts I and II
Michigan Tech's Reid Sturos picked a good time for his first two career goals, the second of which clinched a 3-2 upset of sixth-ranked Ferris State on Friday. It was just the Huskies' second win since late November.
Off the CrossbarThe downside of college hockey this weekend
1. The RPI-Union postgame brawl
Lost in the glory of RPI's big 2-1 upset of No. 3 Union on Saturday was the fact that the two teams ended the contest with a bench-clearing brawl. Even RPI coach Seth Appert and Union coach Rick Bennett had to be restrained. When the dust settled, 125 minutes in penalties had been assessed and four players were handed game disqualifications. UC's Mat Bodie and Eli Lichtenwald and RPI's Luke Curadi and Mike Zalewski will have to sit out their next game. Despite the embarrassing ending, Zalewski proved to be the hero of the game, burying the game-winning goal with 3:38 left.
2 The 3-2 Blues
Clarkson entered the weekend ranked No. 13 in the country and was coming off a pair of 3-2 wins over Yale and Brown last weekend. But this weekend was a complete flip of fortune, as the Golden Knights dropped a pair of 3-2 games to Colgate and Cornell. They had a 2-0 lead on Colgate and were tied 2-2 with Cornell going into the third period before falling in both. Since the holiday break, the Knights are just 3-6-1 and have dropped into a fourth-place tie with Cornell in the ECAC.
3. No-Show Russo
Notre Dame lost its best defenseman when Robbie Russo was ruled academically ineligible prior to last weekend's games with Northeastern. Russo, the leading scorer of the Irish blueliners with four goals and 11 assists, is still awaiting word on a possible grade change that would make him eligible. He did not play in the 15th-ranked Irish's two-game split with the 11th-ranked Huskies.
They Said It
Top 5 Plays Of The Week
Off The Radar
Penn State's David Glen: Saving Lives
The junior forward signed up as a bone marrow donation candidate in support of a teammate's mother over a year ago. His bone marrow came back as a match, and Glen began the stem cell donation process Friday. The recovery period for this operation is generally seven to 10 days, so Glen wasn't in uniform this weekend for the game with Boston College and will likely miss this coming weekend when the Lions play at Ohio State. But it's all for a good cause.