The first major upset of the 2019-2020 NCAA Men’s Hockey season took place when goalie Tyler Wall led his UMass-Lowell River Hawks to a 3-2 win over defending NCAA champions the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The senior Wall stopped 32 out of 34 shots as the River Hawks built a 3-0 lead and then held off a furious third-period comeback from the Bulldogs.
Wall had a pretty easy first period facing only four shots but made one very tough save to keep the game scoreless. In the second, Wall stopped all 13 shots he faced including two breakaways while his teammates scored three times. It was the third period where Wall played his best despite giving up two goals (one was a power-play) on 17 shots.
It might have been Wall’s biggest win knocking off the team that is holding down the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll. Wall improves to 3-0 on the season with a 1.33 goals against and a 0.939 save percentage. The same two teams will face each other on Saturday evening.
2019 third-round pick defenseman Zac Jones had a happy NCAA debut as the freshman from Glen Allen, Va recorded his first NCAA goal and assist to help his fourth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen win their season opener 5-3 over the Rensselaer Engineers. Jones earned his first NCAA point when teammate Mitchell Chaffee slammed home a rebound of a Jone’s shot.
The goal at 10:48 of the second period put the Minutemen up for good in the game 2-1. Jones would score his own goal 69 seconds later off a blast from the high slot. It was a power-play goal giving the Minutemen a 3-1 lead. Jones overall was 1-1-2 on six shots and a +1. The Jones goal starts at the one minute mark of the clip
— UMass Hockey (@UMassHockey) October 12, 2019
Massachusetts is off until Tuesday when they open up their Hockey East season on the road against Northeastern.
Defenseman Nico Gross (2018 fourth) set a new career-high in goals when he earned his fifth goal as his CHL leading Oshawa Generals remained unbeaten with a 5-4 road win over the Sudbury Wolves. This one wasn’t easy at all as the Generals trailed 3-0 into the third period.
Gross’s goal was a power-play goal as he fired a blast from the right face-off circle at 10:30 of the third period for Oshawa’s second goal of the game. Gross is 5-4-9 in nine games after his goal on three shots and a +1.
The Generals are off until next Friday when they will host Sarnia Sting.
Tyler Nanne (2014 fifth) score the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ first goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Gophers from dropping a 3-2 decision to Colorado College. In the season opener for both teams, Nanne’s goal at 1:53 of the game stood for almost 50 minutes of game action.
The third-generation prospect who is also cousin to Hartford’s Vinni Lettieri has overcome a heart condition to be able to play hockey at the NCAA level. Nanne is 5’11 185 and a righthanded shot.
Nanne is entering his senior season and is serving as one of the co-captains on the team. The same two teams will meet on Saturday evening.
Sophomore K’Andre Miller (2018 first) had a quiet debut to his season going scoreless as his 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers dropped their season opener to sixth-ranked Boston College 5-3. Miller who was suspended for a violation of team rules last week was credited with only one shot and was a -2 for the game.
Miller is a 6’4 211 lefthanded defenseman from Hopkins, Mn. Wisconsin will travel to face Merrimack on Saturday.
Defenseman Hunter Skinner (2019 fourth) had a secondary assist as his London Knights rallied from down 3-0 only to fall in overtime 5-4 to the Owen Sound Attack. It was a frustrating loss on home ice for the Knights who saw their three-game winning streak turn into a four-game unbeaten streak.
Skinner is 2-4-6 in six games for the Knights who travel to Saginaw for a Saturday matchup against the Saginaw Spirit.
Right wing Eric Ciccolini (2019 seventh) made his NCAA debut with the Michigan Wolverines as they skated to a 1-1 overtime tie with 11th-ranked Clarkson. Ciccolini who is a freshman was dressed as an extra forward for the Wolverines was scoreless on two shots and a minor for interference.
Defenseman Simon Kjellberg (2018 sixth) was a healthy scratch for his Rensselaer Engineers in their loss to Massachusetts.