The Race For The Playoffs Prospect Style

Morgan Barron (Cornell Athletics)

Morgan Barron and his second-ranked Cornell Big Red knocked off St. Lawrence 5-0 for their eighth straight win. Coupled with Clarkson settling for a tie with Colgate and Cornell clinches the ECAC regular-season title for the third straight year.

Barron was scoreless on three shots with a blocked shot and a 3-0 record on faceoffs. Barron saw his seven-game scoring streak come to an end (5-6-11) but pretty sure he doesn’t mind after being part of the first Cornell team in school history to win three straight ECAC regular-season championships.

Barron and Cornell finish off their regular season with an important game against Clarkson. A win tomorrow can affect their NCAA seeding as they have a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs.

Simon Kjellberg (RPI)

Simon Kjellberg and his Rensselaer Engineers shut out Harvard 2-0 in ECAC action. The win puts Rensselaer in a tie for fourth-place with Harvard with one game remaining in the ECAC regular season.

Kjellberg was scoreless with no shots but took an almost costly slashing penalty at 17:28 of the third period with his team up just 1-0. Now Rensselaer faces Dartmouth on the road Saturday and a win earns them a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs. Lose and they need help from Union who plays Harvard.

Tyler Wall (UMass-Lowell)

Tyler Wall stopped 24 out of 26 shots as his 15th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks played to a 2-2 overtime tie with the New Hampshire Wildcats. Wall surrendered a power-play goal in the first and an even-strength goal in the second.

Still, Wall and company needed this win as the tie drops them into a tie for fourth place in Hockey East when a win would have put them in a second-place tie with two regular-season games to go.

Wall is 16-8-6 with a 2.14 goals against (tie NCAA 17th) and a 0.930 save percentage (tie NCAA 7th). UMass-Lowell plays New Hampshire on Saturday in a pretty much must-win for the River Hawks.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

For a last-place team, K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers are making life miserable for ranked teams. Miller was scoreless on one shot with one blocked shot and was 0-1 on faceoffs as the Badgers defeated 10th-ranked Ohio State 3-2.

For the Badgers, it was their third straight win against a Top-Ten team and it sets up a regular-season finale that could determine which team they face in the Big-Ten playoffs.

Tyler Nanne was scoreless on one shot with a -1 and three blocked shots as his Minnesota Golden Gophers played to a 2-2 overtime tie with Michigan. Michigan earned the bonus point by winning the shootout 1-0.

The tie means Minnesota can’t win the Big Ten regular-season championship as Penn State holds the tiebreaker over them. Currently, Minnesota is in second place with one last game remaining with Michigan. A loss to Michigan combined could cost Minnesota home ice in the first round of the Big Ten playoffs.

Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

Hunter Skinner was scoreless on one shot with a -1 with a cross-checking minor as his London Knights defeated the Soo Greyhounds 4-2 in OHL action. The Knights are in a four-team dogfight for the top seed in the OHL’s Western Conference.

The Knights lead the Kitchener Rangers by one point (one game in hand) for the conference lead (and Midwest Division lead). They lead the Flint Firebirds by two points (two games in hand) and the Saginaw Spirit by three points (one game in hand).

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had the only points by a Ranger prospect as he had two secondary assists in his Edmonton Oil Kings 5-4 shootout loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Robertson earned his assists on the Oil Kings’ first and second goals of the game.

For Robertson, the assists give him a Ranger prospect best 13-31-44 record on the season. His Oil Kings lead the WHL with a 40-10-6-4 90 points record with just eight WHL regular-season games to go.

Riley Hughes was scoreless on no shots but a -2 as his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies suffered an embarrassing 4-2 loss to previously winless (in Hockey East) Vermont. Yes, Northeastern is badly depleted by injuries but to lose to a team that was 0-17-4 in conference play is unacceptable.

Even worse for Hughes and company, is that they are holding on to one of the last two spots in the Hockey East playoffs after at one time leading the conference. They have just three regular-season conference games remaining and could wind up not making any playoffs despite winning the Beanpot this year.

Zac Jones (Massachusetts Athletics)

Zac Jones had a primary assist and a blocked shot as his ninth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen lost 3-2 to the UConn Huskies. The Minutemen let a 2-1 lead disappear in the last 1:31 of regulation to lose the game.

Jones had set up teammate John Leonard’s power-play goal at 9″03 of the third period giving the Minutemen a 2-1 lead. The loss drops the Minutemen in a tie for second place in the Hockey East standings with the Huskies and pretty much cost them any chance of winning the regular-season championship with just two games left in the regular season.

Jones improves to 3-17-20 as the young freshman defenseman takes over the team lead in assists and is eighth in overall scoring in the Hockey East for defensemen. The same two teams play on Saturday evening.

Nico Gross was scoreless as his Oshawa Generals lost 4-1 to the Ottawa Generals. Gross was a -1 with a “delay of game” minor.

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