Eight New York Ranger prospects hit the ice on Saturday evening in what was an entertaining as well as a critical night of hockey. As teams jockey for playoff seeding, a win (or loss) could determine where a team starts their postseason.
Just when you think Morgan Barron has shown you everything, he gives you another reason to root for him. The junior co-captain of the second-ranked Cornell Big Red, Barron sealed his team’s 3-0 win over the Brown Bears with a hustling play that ended any hope Brown had of getting back into the game (the play starts at 1:29).
Cornell wins its seventh-straight game as Barron extends his scoring streak to seven games (5-6-11). Barron improves to 14-18-32 as Cornell’s leading scorer has his team poised to earn a second straight ECAC regular-season championship if they can earn a win over Clarkson next Saturday in the regular-season finale.
Nico Gross set up two goals as his Oshawa Generals defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-2. The two-assist game helped the Generals pull to within two points of the Peterborough Petes for the third seed of the OHL’s Eastern Conference.
Gross would earn the primary assist on Oshawa’s first and fifth goals as the Generals extend their unbeaten in regulation streak to six games (3-0-1-2). The Swiss defender sets a new career-best in assists with his 18th and 19th of the season as he improves to 9-19-28 overall (also a career-best)
Matthew Robertson earned the secondary assist on Josh William’s game-winning goal coming with just 47 seconds remaining in overtime as their Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Regina Pats 2-1. Robertson is the leading scorer among the North American Rangers prospects improves to 13-28-41 on the season.
The win brings the Oil Kings into a tie with the Portland Winterhawks for the best overall record in the WHL. The Winterhawks do hold two games in hand over the Oil Kings.
Tyler Wall set a career-high in saves with 45 but it was not enough to prevent his 15th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks from losing to Zac Jones and his eighth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen 5-3. Wall surrendered four goals as his River Hawks were pretty much outplayed for most of this game.
The Minutemen dominated the shots on goal 11-7 in the first, 20-3 in the second, and 19-8 in the third as Wall was pretty much the only reason why the River Hawks even were in this game in the third period. It is almost unfair that Wall saw his record fall to 16-8-5 with a 2.15 goals against (16th NCAA) and a 0.930 save percentage (tie 7th NCAA).
Zac Jones only record a secondary assist on Minutemen’s third goal but he had five shots, a +1 and a blocked shot for the game. Jones was a major force for the Minutemen as he played well at both ends of the ice.
This game helped the Minutemen take sole possession of second place in the Hockey East conference, two points behind first-place Boston College and one point ahead of third-place Maine. The loss hurts the River Hawks who fell out of a tie for second place into a tie for fourth with UConn with three games left in the season.
Simon Kjellberg and his Rensselaer Engineers blasted the Yale Bulldogs 7-1 in ECAC action. Kjellberg was scoreless on three shots with a +2 as the Engineers moved into fifth place in the ECAC standings just two points behind Harvard.
For the Engineers, this is important because they face Harvard next Friday and they need to win by four or more goals. Do that and then win on Saturday against Dartmouth and the Engineers earn a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs.
Right now if the playoffs started tomorrow, Rensselaer would host St. Lawrence in the first round.
K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers made it two straight wins over ninth-ranked Arizona State thanks to a 6-2 win. Miller was scoreless on three shots and a +3 and two blocked shots giving him 46 blocks on the season.
Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to 10th-ranked Penn State 3-2 after leading 2-0. Nanne was scoreless on two shots with a -1 and a game-high nine blocked shots which were one more than the entire Penn State team for the game.
However, the loss was costly as it drops Minnesota into a second-place tie with Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference. Minnesota can’t finish better than second-place but if they drop both games to Michigan next weekend could drop as low as fifth.
The nine blocked shots give Nanne 57 on the season which is tops on the Gophers. The senior defenseman has earned a lot of respect for coming back from a heart ailment to become a captain as well as a defensive standout for the Gophers.