Tyler Wall

The Miller Watch Starts

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

The day after for K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers was quiet other than the expected “Miller will have offers” comment from Wisconsin hockey coach Tony Granato.  The was also this part from the same article written by Todd D. Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal:

      Miller has played two seasons in college as a first-round pick of the New York Rangers. Like the others contemplating a pro future, he has had bright spots mixed in with challenging periods.

It is known that the Rangers had a couple of scouts at the series watching Miller and odds are Jeff Gorton and John Davidson along with the player development staff will have a decision to make. I still am sticking with my own belief that Miller is going to leave school and sign with the Rangers.

I believe that Miller thinks he is ready to turn pro and there is nothing at Wisconsin left for him to do. Besides if Miller says he wants to turn pro there really isn’t much the Rangers can do to stop him.

It also makes sense for the Rangers to bring Miller to Hartford on the ATO now while they have games to play. Let’s find out where Miller really is in his professional development and what he has to work on to improve his game.

Game Action

Tyler Nanne (Minnesota Golden Gophers)

Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers earned a trip to the Big Ten Semifinals after defeating Notre Dame in game three of their first-round series. The Gophers won two straight games to earn a trip to the semi-finals on the road against Penn State next Saturday.

The senior defenseman, Nanne was scoreless with two blocked shots in his final game as a player on Minnesota home ice. Nanne gets to leave a winner on home ice but beating Penn State in a one-game playoff might be a different story.

Nico Gross and his Oshawa Generals traveled to London (Ontario) to face his fellow prospect Hunter Skinner and his London Knights. Both teams were on streaks going in the opposite directions and London’s 3-1 win extended both streaks.

Neither player scored but both were first pair defenders used on both special teams.  Gross had one shot while being a -1 with a tripping minor.

Skinner was credited with two shots and was a +1. London extended their winning streak to seven games while Oshawa saw their winless streak extend to four games (0-2-1-1).

Playoff Matchups

ECAC- Best Of Three

Morgan Barron (Cornell Athletics)

Morgan Barron and his top seed Cornell will host Princeton starting on Friday starting at 7 PM EST/4 PM PST.

Simon Kjellberg and fourth-seed Rensselaer will host fifth-seed Harvard also on Friday at 7 PM/4 PM

All games of both series will be streamed via the ESPN+ app (4.99 a month subscription but well worth it)

Hockey East -Best Of Three

Zac Jones and second seed Massachusetts will host Riley Hughes and seventh-seed Northeastern with game one on Friday starting at 7:15 PM/ 4:15 PM.

Tyler Wall and third-seed UMass-Lowell will host Boston University starting Friday at 7:15/4:15.

These games will be streamed live via the CBS All-Access app (5.99 monthly)

Big Ten- Semifinals (Single Elimination)

Tyler Nanne and fourth-seed travel to Penn State to face the top-seed Nittnay Lions next Saturday starting at 7 PM/4 PM. The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network and streamed on the Fox Sports App.

Ranger Prospect March Madness

A wild Friday night for the seven New York Ranger prospects who saw action. A combination of regular-season games and college conference playoffs saw possible additions to the Hartford Wolfpack either get closer to joining them or in the case of some extend their current season that much longer.

Tyler Wall stopped 31 out of 32 to lead his 12th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks to a 3-1 win over the UConn Huskies. The win clinched third place in the Hockey East conference and home-ice advantage for the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

Wall stopped 13 shots in the first period and in the second carrying a shutout into the third period but lost the shutout bid at 7:54. Wall would make eight saves in the third period as his regular-season career with the River Hawks comes to an end.

For Wall, the win improved his season record to 18-8-6, 2.10 goals against (tie 16th NCAA), and 0.931 save percentage (tie 8th NCAA). The win over UConn was Wall’s 58th career win, the most by a UMass-Lowell Division One goalie.

The River Hawks will host whoever earns the sixth seed in Hockey East. A fun fact for you is that the River Hawks have not played a road playoff game in the last eight years, they are the only team in the Hockey East who can make such a claim.

As for Wall, it is hard to see the Rangers not sign him to an NHL entry-level contract mainly because there is no such thing as having too many NHL quality goalies. Adam Huska has had his struggles at Hartford and Olof Lindbom hasn’t shown that he is ready to come over from Sweden.

I don’t see UMass-Lowell not making it to the Hockey East semifinals and if they do that then they would pretty much be a lock for the NCAA tournament. According to the College Hockey News and their Pairwise Probability Matrix, the River Hawks were 13th in Pairwise with a 58% chance of making the NCAAs.

And that was before they clinched third place and home ice for the first round. If the River Hawks lose sooner than the faster it will be for Wall to join the Wolfpack

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

K’Andre Miller maybe just a college sophomore but if his Wisconsin Badgers play like they did in their 9-1 loss to 11th-ranked Ohio State then he will be leaving school by Monday. Horrible performance by the Badgers in game one of their Big Ten playoff series doesn’t need anything added to it.

I would bet the house that once Wisconsin loses their next game that Miller will announce that he is leaving school and turning pro. I would expect him to report to Hartford as soon as next Tuesday.

In my eyes, Miller and Wisconsin are a poor fit for each other. Why should Miller risk the next two seasons on a team that has a lot of rebuilding to do? The answer is he shouldn’t and given that he needs some polish to his skill set then why not start on it right away?

I think Kris Knoblauch will do more to prepare Miller for his eventual NHL career than the coaching staff at Wisconsin.

Tyler Nanne (Minnesota Golden Gophers)

Tyler Nanne’s college playing career is now just one loss away from ending after his Minnesota Golden Gophers dropped game one of their Big Ten playoff series to Notre Dame 1-0. Nanne didn’t record a shot on goal and had one blocked shot.

Minnesota needs a win on Saturday to force a game three on Sunday. The senior Nanne who was drafted by the Rangers in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft isn’t NHL material so it would be a miracle if he was offered any kind of pro contract by the Rangers.

If Glen Sather was still running the Rangers then I could see Sather giving Nanne an ATO so he could play a game or two with his cousin Vinnie Lettieri at Hartford. Both are grandchildren of former longtime NHL GM Lou Nanne.

Nanne had to overcome a heart ailment just to play college hockey is a great person and I hope he goes into coaching as he has a lot to offer the game.

Riley Hughes (Northeastern)

Riley Hughes was scoreless as his Northeastern Huskies lost to Boston University 3-0. Hughes was a -1 on two shots as his Huskies lost their fifth straight.

With just one game left in their Hockey East season, Northeastern is in eighth place of the Hockey East. Win on Saturday and the Huskies jump up to seventh place and into the playoffs. A loss and they will need help from Boston College defeating New Hampshire.

Hughes spent most of the season on Northeastern’s fourth line so he isn’t going anywhere after just his freshman season. He is a project that remains a long way away from even an AHL contract.

Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had a secondary assist on Edmonton’s final goal of the game as they defeated the Swift Current Broncos 4-1. For Robertson, the assist gives him a season total of 13-33-46 which pretty much assures him of being the leading prospect scorer in North America.

Robertson despite signing his ELC with the Rangers is not eligible to join the Wolfpack this year as he missed the cutoff birth date by nine days. His Oil Kings though are about to clinch home-ice advantage for the WHL’s Eastern Conference playoffs so it is doubtful that Robertson would have joined them anyway.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless as his London Knights won their fifth straight 4-1 over the Sarnia Sting. Skinner was credited with five shots on goal and had a high-sticking minor for the game.

Now because the Rangers drafted Skinner while he was intending to attend Western Michigan, Skinner is eligible to sign an ATO and join the Wolf Pack. But London has the second-best record in the OHL, it is hard to see Skinner’s season coming to an end in time to join the Wolf Pack.

Nico Gross had a primary assist but his Oshawa Generals lost via the shootout to the Guelph Storm 4-3. Gross earned his assist on Oshawa’s first goal as he has been on an assist binge with 10 assists in his last 10 games.

Overall Gross is 9-24-33 in 52 games this season. This is his second year as a Ranger’s draft pick but right now it is a question mark whether the Rangers will sign him or not.

I think given the depth at the position, I just don’t see the Rangers signing him to an NHL ELC.

Waiting Their Turn

Morgan Barron and top-ranked Cornell along with Simon Kjellberg and Rensselaer got to enjoy the week off after earning first-round byes in the ECAC playoffs. Cornell (first seed) and Rensselaer (fourth seed) will begin playoff play next Friday against teams to be determined.

Zac Jones and his ninth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen finished their regular season on Thursday clinching second in the Hockey East. They will have home-ice and will host whoever the seventh seed in the Hockey East is.

Jones Two Assist Game Helps Minutemen Clinch Home Ice

Zac Jones(Jerrey Roberts/Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Zac Jones had a two-assist game as his ninth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen held off the UConn Huskies 4-3. The win clinched home-ice for the Minutemen in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

Jones had the primary assist on the Minutemen’s second goal, a power-play goal at 10:10 in the second period which at the time put his team up 2-1. In the third period with the Minutemen up 3-2, Jones earned the secondary assist on the team’s fourth goal at 16:41.

It was a key goal because UConn would score just 13 seconds later closing the gap to 4-3 and the Minutemen would hold on for the win. For Jones, the two assists came with just one shot on net for the freshman defender.

And with those two points, Jones improves his season totals to 3-19-22 which is third-best on the team while the 19 assists lead the team. And the news is even better as Jones is the leading freshman defenseman scorer in the Hockey East (fifth overall) and the eighth-best freshman scorer in the league.

One last Jones note and that is he has a three-game scoring streak going (0-4-4) and is 0-8-8 in his last six games. UMass can clinch second place with a win in their regular-season finale next Thursday against Vermont.

Tyler Wall stopped 26 out of 28 shots as his 15th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks held off New Hampshire 3-2 in Hockey East action. The win improved Wall’s record to 17-8-6 with a 2.14 goals against (18th NCAA) and a 0.930 save percentage (10th NCAA).

The win puts the River Hawks in third place of the Hockey East Conference with one game left in the regular season. That game is next Friday against 4th place UConn with home-ice advantage in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs at stake. The River Hawks can finish as high as second or fall as low as fifth.

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had the primary assist on the game-winning goal as his Edmonton Oil Kings shutout the Red Deer Rebels 4-0. Robertson was 0-1-1 on one shot with a minor for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.

The assist extends his scoring streak to four games (0-5-5) and improves his overall numbers to 13-32-45. The win extends the Oil Kings unbeaten streak to four (3-0-1) as they try to hold on to the WHL’s best record with just seven games remaining.

Robertson has points in 14 out of his last 16 games going back to January 19th (5-15-20).

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless as his Rensselaer Engineers finished their ECAC regular-season with a 4-1 win over Dartmouth. Kjellberg was credited with two shots, a +1 and one blocked shot as the Engineers finished with a four-game winning streak.

The win streak is their longest since 2012-2013 means that the Engineers finished in fourth-place of the ECAC and earn a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs. The Engineers are off until March 13th when they will host an ECAC quarterfinal series.

K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers played to a 3-3 overtime tie on the road with 10th-ranked Ohio State to finish their regular season with a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1). Miller was scoreless on four shots and a -1 as the Badgers get to return to Ohio State next week.

Wisconsin finished the Big Ten Conference season in last place and will face second-seeded Ohio State in a best-of-three playoff series. Don’t count Wisconsin out as they finished the season by going 4-1-1 over three different Top Ten ranked teams.

Tyler Nanne (Brad Rempl)

Tyler Nanne was scoreless on three shots and blocked two on defense but his Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to the Michigan Wolverines 2-1. It was the final regular-season game of Tyler Nanne’s career at Minnesota as the senior captain led the team in blocked shots with 62.

The loss means that Minnesota finishes the regular season as the fourth-seed in the Big Ten Conference. They will host fifth-seeded Notre Dame in a best-of-three series starting next weekend.

Riley Hughes had the primary assist on his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies’ only goal as they dropped a 3-1 decision to lowly Vermont. Hughes would pick up his third assist of the season on the game’s first goal at 1:38 of the second period.

But the lead didn’t even last a full minute as Vermont would score 58 seconds later to tie the game and then add two more goals to send Northeastern to their fourth-straight loss. The loss puts Northeastern in a huge whole as they are barely hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Hockey East with two games left both against Boston University next weekend.

Hughes improves to 1-3-4 on the season after his 0-1-1, one shot and +1 game. Can’t see Northeastern making the Hockey East playoffs and even if they did, they would wind up facing top seed Boston College who swept them last weekend.

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.

A Fun Night In Prospectland

Morgan Barron (Cornell)

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.

Defencemen #66 Nico Gross of the Oshawa Generals

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 (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

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 (UMass-Lowell)

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 (Hockey East)

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 (Liz Brady)

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 (Wisconsin Badgers)

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.

Tyler Nanne (Kristin Ostrowski)

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.

Wall Leads Big UMass-Lowell Win

Forget “March Madness”, for the New York Ranger prospects playing in the NCAAs and Canadian juniors, the “madness” has already started. Just about every game was key for any post-season hopes that the prospect and his team had. Even the one non-conference game was a heart-stopping nailbiter that K’Andre Miller set up the game-winner.

Tyler Wall (Rich Gagnon/UMass-Lowell)

Tyler Wall and his 15th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks badly needed a win against Zac Jones and his eighth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen to protect both their hopes of hosting a first-round series in the Hockey East playoffs as well an “at-large” bid at the NCAA tournament.

Wearing New York Ranger style uniforms, Wall stopped 38 out of 40 shots (15 in 1st, 13 in 2nd, and 10 in 3rd) as the River Hawks upset the Minutemen to force a three-way tie for second place in the Hockey East conference with four games left to play.

With the win. Wall improves to 16-7-5 on the season with a 2.08 goals against (13th NCAA) and a 0.931 save percentage (7th NCAA). Zac Jones was scoreless on four shots and two blocked shots.

Same two teams play on Saturday night starting at 7 PM EDT/4 PM PDT, you can watch this one via the CBS “All-Access app.

Morgan Barron and his second-ranked Cornell Big Red shutout Yale 4-0 to win their third-straight Ivy League title. Barron set up what proved to be the only goal Cornell would need with a needle-threaded pass to Cam Donaldson at 3:43 of the first period. (play starts 9 seconds into the clip)

For Barron, the assist extends his scoring streak to six games (4-6-10) as Cornell wins their sixth straight game. Morgan Barron was 0-1-1 on game-high six shots with a +1, 2-1 on faceoffs and one blocked shot.

The Cornell win combined with Clarkson’s loss gives Cornel sole possession of first place in the ECAC with three games left.

Simon Kjellberg (Hans Pennink)

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless on three shots and a cross-checking minor as his Rensselaer Engineers shutout the Quinnipiac Bobcats 4-0 in ECAC action. Kjellberg also contributed a game-high five blocked shots as the Engineers with their win pulled to within three points of the fourth-place Bobcats with three conference games remaining.

Kjellberg was a force on defense showing a huge improvement over the beginning of the season. Remember this is a 19-year old freshman who is playing top-pair minutes and the 2019 fourth-round draft pick could become the Ranger’s steal of the draft.

Tyler Nanne returned to the Minnesota Golden Gopher lineup with a 1-1-2 on three shots with a +1 and two blocked shots as they played to a 3-3 overtime tie with 10th-ranked Penn State. Penn State would pick up the bonus conference point as they scored during the second overtime.

A nice play by Nanne led to Minnesota’s first goal which tied the game up at 1-1 in the second period. It was Nanne’s defensive play that got the offense going and then a second nice play scored the goal.

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The senior co-caption set a new career-best in points with his second point which was a secondary assist on Minnesota’s second goal which came in the third period. Nanne is now 4-10-14 on the season.

But because of Penn State earning the bonus point in overtime, Minnesota finds themselves one point behind Penn State in the Big Ten standings. A Minnesota win on Saturday will put them back in first with two conference games remaining.

Earning the top seed in the Big Ten Conference means a bye directly to the league semi-finals and avoiding what could be a matchup with K’Andre Miller’s Wisconsin Badgers.

K’Andre Miller’s second assist of the game coming with 1:09 remaining in the third period set up the game-winning goal as his Wisconsin Badgers won one of the more entertaining games of the season 7-6 over ninth-ranked Arizona State. It was a crazy yet exciting game as the teams traded leads back and forth all game long.

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Now it is hard to see but that was Miller who spotted Roman Ahcan in the high slot for the game-winning goal. Miller also set up Alex Turcotte’s goal which at the time gave Wisconsin a 4-2 lead that did not last.

Miller improved to 7-11-18 in the non-conference matchup. Same two teams on Saturday night.

Nico Gross had a secondary assist but his Oshawa Generals fell in overtime to the Kingston Frontenacs 4-3. The good news is despite the OT loss the one point the Generals did earn clinched a spot in the OHL’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

Gross earned his assist on Oshawa’s second goal of the game late in the second period helping Oshawa pull to within one goal at the time at 3-2. For Gross, the assist was his 17th of the season tying his career-high in assists.

Gross had already set new highs in both goals and points as he improved to 9-17-26. The Generals currently sit in third place in the OHL’s East Division, four points behind second-place Peterborough and holding two games in hand.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless on no shots and a -2 as his London Knights lost to the Guelph Storm 5-3. The Knights have already clinched a spot in the OHL’s Western Conference playoffs but they are trying to fight off two teams (Kitchener and Flint) for the top seed in the Western Conference.

It is not as if London is playing bad but rather the other two teams have gotten hotter. The only edge London has at the moment is they hold a game in hand over both teams.

Matthew Robertson and his Edmonton Oil Kings have already clinched a spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference playoffs. After a 5-2 road loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings, their lead over Lethbridge for the first seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs is eight points with 11 regular-season games remaining.

Against Brandon, the Oil Kings were their own worse enemies. Robertson was scoreless on three shots and a tripping minor that led to Brandon’s first goal of the game.

The rest of his night was forgettable as I think they were looking past Brandon. Bad move by Edmonton.

Riley Hughes and his 10th-ranked Northeastern Huskies have been ravaged by injuries and on Friday, fifth-ranked Boston College made matters ever worse after whipping them 10-1. It was a serious horror show for Northeastern as they used three goalies (allowed in college hockey) and none played well.

Boston College built up a 7-0 lead before the Huskies got on the scoreboard late in the second period. Hughes was scoreless on two shots with a -2 for his evening.

The loss drops Northeastern into a tie for seventh place in the Hockey East (top eight qualify for playoffs) with four games remaining. They have the easier schedule of the three teams fighting for the last two spots in the playoffs.

The question is will Northeastern have enough bodies to make it that far?

Barron’s Two Assists Helps Cornell Win 5th Straight

Morgan Barron had two primary assists as his second-ranked Cornell Big Red defeated Simon Kjellberg’s Rensselaer Engineers 4-2. The win was the fifth straight for Cornell as they remain tied for the ECAC lead.

The junior captain, Barron extended his scoring streak to five games (4-5-9) earned his first assist (starts at 32 seconds of clip) when he spotted a wide-open Alex Green coming down the left side of the offensive zone. Barron was on the right side and somehow threaded a pass cross-ice that Green converted for Cornell’s second goal at 3:48 of the first period.

On his second assist, Barron handed off the puck to teammate Yanni Kaldis who fired a shot from the top of the slot for Cornell’s third goal of the game at 17:03 of the first period. This would prove to be the game-winning goal for Cornell.

Simon Kjellberg (RPI)

The two assists were part of a three-shot, one blocked shot, 1-1 on faceoffs and a minor for embellishment for Barron. As for Kjellberg, the freshman defenseman was scoreless on no shots and a -2.

But what really got me about Kjellberg was watching this 6’3 190 kid (he is just 19) knocking people on their backsides. They were trying to hit him and they got the worst of it. And that part of him being just 19? Kjellberg will grow into his body playing against adults in the next four years.

Matthew Robertson is also on a hot streak, the assistant captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings had two secondary assists in Edmonton’s 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. Robertson has a six-game scoring streak (2-7-9) and points in eight out of his last nine games (4-9-13).

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Robertson earned his first assist on the Oil Kings’ first goal (even strength) at 12:31 of the first period which tied the score at 1-1. Exactly 2:02 later at 14:33 and the Oil Kings on a power play, Robertson picked up his second assist to put his team ahead for good at 2-1.

The current leading scorer among Ranger prospects at 12-26-38, Robertson and his teammates lead the WHL’s Eastern Conference with a 36-9-6-3 record.

Tyler Wall and his 11th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks dropped their second straight game to Riley Hughes’s 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies 2-1. Wall stopped 18 out of 20 shots in taking the loss for the River Hawks.

Wall saw his record fall to 15-7-5 with 2.09 goals against (13th NCAA) and a 0.930 save percentage (7th NCAA). The loss dropped the River Hawks into a tie for fourth in the Hockey East with five regular-season games remaining.

Hughes was scoreless with no shots and a slashing minor as his Huskies moved into a tie for sixth in the Hockey East one point behind the River Hawks. They have six regular-season games remaining and thanks to the weekend sweep hold the tiebreaker advantage over the River Hawks.

K’Andre Miller (Wisconsin Badgers)

K’Andre Miller had a primary assist on his Wisconsin Badgers’ second goal but it was not enough to defeat ninth-ranked Penn State losing 3-2. Miller earned his assist on Dylan Holloway’s goal which came at 19:00 of the third with the extra attacker for Wisconsin.

Miller’s assist gives him a 7-9-16 mark on the season. Miller also had two blocked shots.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless and a -2 as his London Knights scored five goals in the third period to defeat the Kingston Frontenacs 7-5. The win put the Knights back on top of the OHL’s Western Conference, one point better than the Kitchener Rangers with two games in hand.

Nico Gross had a secondary assist on his Oshawa Generals’ fifth goal but the Generals blew a three-goal third-period lead and lost in the shootout 6-5 to the Erie Otters. Gross improves his season totals to 9-16-25.

Injured

Tyler Nanne missed his Minnesota Golden Gophers 2-1 win over Notre Dame with an injury. Nanne was injured in the second overtime of Friday’s game against Notre Dame.

His status is unknown and he will be evaluated upon the team’s return to Minnesota. This is the second injury of the season for Nanne and it comes at the worst time as Minnesota faces Big Ten co-leader Penn State next weekend.

Barron’s Three Points Leads Cornell Win

Morgan Barron (Cornell)

This is one of those “good news, bad news” reports of Morgan Barron and his second-ranked Cornell Big Red. The good news is if you are a fan of Barron and his teammates then Morgan Barron was 2-1-3 to help his team earn a 5-2 win over Union College.

The bad news is if you aren’t a fan of Barrons then the junior captain is starting to heat up scoring as he has a four-game scoring streak (4-3-7). Barron with his 2-1-3 on four shots was also a +1, 2-2 on faceoffs and blocked two shots.

Barron’s first goal was what I call his “calling card” as Cornell was on the power play in the first period. They fed Barron the puck for a “one-timer” from inside the right circle and he blasted it in for his 12th goal of the season and fifth power-play goal of the season.

The goal put Cornell up 2-0 and that was the score until 17:00 of the second period when a Barron shot was deflected in for a 3-0 lead. The goal was also on the power play and would prove to be the game-winning goal.

In the third after Union had closed to within one goal, Barron would finish them off with an empty-net goal at 19:36. Barron was fed a puck near center ice and used his skating to break away for the easy goal, his 13th of the season.

Barron is the leading scorer for Cornell 13-15-28 +15 with five power-play goals and one game-winner. Cornell’s fourth straight win keeps them in a first-place tie with Clarkson for the ECAC title.

Saturday, Cornell will host Simon Kjellberg’s Rensselaer Engineers in a big game for both. The game starts at 7 PM EDT/4 PM PDT and will be streamed nationally on the ESPN+ app.

Simon Kjellberg’s fifth goal of the season at 14:34 of the second period turned out to be the game-winning goal as Rensselaer defeated Colgate 4-1 in ECAC action. The goal (starts at 1:30 of the clip) saw Kjellberg beat the Colgate goalie on his stick side with what turned out to be Kjellberg’s first NCAA game-winning goal.

It was part of a solid performance from Kjellberg who was 1-0-1 on one shot with a +2, a minor for delay of game and three blocked shots. Overall Kjellberg is 5-6-11 on the season.

Tyler Nanne (Kristin Ostrowski)

Tyler Nanne was scoreless as his Minnesota Golden Gophers skated to a 3-3 overtime tie with Notre Dame. Minnesota picked up the extra point by winning the shoot out round 1-0.

Nanne did not record any offensive stats for the game but he did lead his Gophers with four blocked shots. The points allowed Minnesota to jump into a first-place tie with Penn State for the Big Ten Conference lead (Minnesota holds two games in hand).

K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers have spent most of the Big Ten Conference season in last place. On Friday, Miller and his teammates scored at 18:56 of the third period to defeat ninth-ranked Penn State 4-3.

Miller was scoreless on one shot with a minor for interference and two blocked shots in the win.

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had a goal but his Edmonton Oil Kings lost to the Regina Pats 5-3. Robertson recorded his 12th goal of the season at 1:57 of the first period with his team on the power play.

The kid his team calls “Robocop” leads all NYR prospects in scoring with a 12-24-36 mark. Robertson is in the middle of a five-game scoring streak (2-5-7). His Oil Kings despite the loss lead the WHL’s Eastern Conference and have already clinched a playoff spot.

Riley Hughes was scoreless but a +2 as his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies defeated Tyler Wall’s 11th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks 3-0 in a key Hockey East match. Wall stopped 19 out of 21 shots that he faced as his record drops to 15-6-5 with 2.09 goals against (12th NCAA) and a 0.931 save percentage (7th NCAA).

Nico Gross had a secondary assist and a cross-checking minor as his Oshawa Generals lost via the shootout 6-5. Gross had the secondary assist on Oshawa’s second goal of the game improving his season totals to 9-15-24.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless on three shots with a -1 as his London Knights doubled up the Kitchener Rangers 6-3. The battle between the two best teams in the OHL’s Western Conference went the way of the Knights who pulled to within one point of the Rangers with two games in hand.

Out For Rest of Season

Eric Ciccolini saw his season come to a frustrating ending after undergoing shoulder surgery this past Monday. It is an old injury that Ciccolini had been playing through but last weekend, the injury became too much. For more on the injury check out this article.

Ciccolini finished the season 1-10-11.

Barron’s Two Goals Lead Cornell Win

Morgan Barron (Cornell Sun)

How many ways do I like Morgan Barron? He is a natural leader, he can score from any spot on the ice, he can find the open man with a pass, he takes faceoffs, he plays all three forward positions, he kills penalties, plays on the power play, he can skate, and he is 6’4 225. That is just a small summary of the player who I believe one day can wear the “C” for the Rangers.

Barron had gone eight games without scoring any goals but broke that streak with two goals to lead second-ranked Cornell to a 4-1 win over Colgate. It was the third multi-goal game of the season for Barron.

But it was more than just the offense from Barron as he and his teammates just totally shutdown the Colgate offense. Colgate was held to nine shots for the entire game and six of those shots came in the third period.

The junior captain was all over the place in this matchup. His first goal of the game was a power-play goal that came from the top of the slot. It was a beauty of a blast as it put Cornell up 3-1 at the 16:40 mark of the first period.

In the second period with Cornell on another power-play, Barron scored on a blast from the top of the right faceoff circle. That goal at 13:35 of the second period made it 4-1 as Cornell would go on to win their 16th game of the season (16-2-4).

Cornell remains two points behind Clarkson for the ECAC lead (11-2-2) with seven conference games remaining in the regular season. Barron improves to 11-13-24 which leads Cornell in goals and overall scoring.

Cornell and Colgate will face each other on Sunday making up Friday’s postponed game. You can catch the game on the ESPN+ app starting at 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT.

Zac Jones (Hockey East)

Zac Jones had a career-best three assists as his eighth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen knocked off 10th-ranked Providence 5-1. A big win for the Minutemen as they take two from Providence and remain in first place of the Hockey East Conference.

Jones got his night going when he got the puck to teammate John Leonard for the game’s first goal at 13:11 of the first period. The second assist was an easy one as Jones got the puck to Leonard who skated coast-to-coast for his third goal of the game and a 4-1 Minutemen lead.

Finally, Jones’ third assist was a secondary one as Jack Suter redirected a Leonard shot for the fifth goal of the game for Massachusetts. On the season, Jones improves to 3-15-18 and Massachusetts leads the Hockey East by two points over Tyler Wall’s UMass-Lowell.

K’Andre Miller (Minnesota Golden Gophers)

K’Andre Miller recorded his seventh goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent his Wisconsin Badgers from dropping their fifth-straight 5-3 to Eric Cicolini’s Michigan Wolverines. Miller’s goal was scored at 18:57 of the third period as Wisconsin was trying to come back from down 4-2.

The goal pulled Wisconsin to within 4-3 but Michigan scored an empty-net goal to ice the win. Miller was 1-0-1 on four shots with a -1 and three blocked shots as he improved to 7-8-15 on the season.

Eric Ciccolini had the primary assist on Michigan’s first goal but no shots and one blocked shot. The freshman forward is 1-0-11 for the Wolverines.

Tyler Wall stopped 24 out of 27 shots as his 14th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks held off Merrimack 4-3 to take sole possession of second place in the Hockey East conference. Wall surrender one goal in the first and two in the third as the River Hawks used a four-goal second period to earn the win.

For Wall, the win improved his record to 15-5-5 as his goals-against dropped to 2.09 (12th NCAA) and his save percentage to 0.932 (Tied 5th NCAA).

Tyler Nanne had a primary assist but it wasn’t enough to keep his Minnesota Golden Gophers from losing to Michigan State 4-2. The loss cost Minnesota their lead in the Big Ten conference as they dropped into a three-way tie for second place.

For Nanne, the assist was his ninth helper on the season, a new career-high for the senior captain. Overall Nanne is 3-9-12 for the season.

It was a rough night for Simon Kjellberg as his Rensselaer Engineers dropped the second game of their series with Western Michigan 6-2. Kjellberg was scoreless on one shot with a -2 and two minors, one that led to a power-play goal for Western Michigan.

Rensselaer dropped both games of their series with Western Michigan to fall to 12-14-2.

Wall Stops 23 In Win Over #4 Boston College

Tyler Wall (Boston College)

Tyler Wall stopped 23 out of 25 shots as his 14th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks edged fourth-ranked Boston College 3-2 in Hockey East action. Wall’s 14th win of the season enabled his River Hawks to move into a three-way tie for second place in the Hockey East.

It was a much-needed win for Wall and his teammates as they needed to improve their “pairwise” if they want to earn an NCAA tournament bid if they do not win the Hockey East championship. After the win, the River Hawks are 13th with is borderline at best for making the NCAAs.

Wall earned his 14th win (14-5-5) as he lowered his goals-against to 2.05 (NCAA 10th) and improved his save percentage to 0.933 (tie NCAA 4th). The River Hawks travel to Merrimack for a game Saturday evening.

Nico Gross scored his ninth goal of the season to get his Oshawa Generals going as they defeated the Sudbury Wolves 5-2. Gross picked up the puck off the right boards and beat the Sudbury goal over his glove for the goal.

For Gross who was 1-0-1 on three shots and a +3, the goal improved his season totals to 9-14-23.

Zac Jones (Hockey East)

Zac Jones had the primary assist on the game-winning goal as his eighth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen defeated 10th-ranked Providence 3-1. Teammate Niko Hildenbrand tipped a Jones shot into the Providence goal breaking a 1-1 tie at 3:23 of the third period.

For Jones, the assist broke a seven-game scoreless streak as he improved to 3-12-15 on the season. For the game, Jones was 0-1-1 +1 on two shots and Massachusetts moves into first-place in the Hockey East with the win.

Matthew Robertson had a primary assist as his Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Red Deer Rebels 2-1. Robertson handed the puck off to teammate Dylan Guenther for a power-play goal which tied the game up at 1-1 in the first period.

The leading scorer among Ranger prospects, Robertson has a four-game scoring streak (1-5-6) after his 24th assist of the season (11-24-35) as he was 0-1-1, +1 on one shot with two minor penalties. Edmonton leads the WHL’s Eastern Conference with a 35-8-6-3 record.

Hunter Skinner was scoreless and a +2 as his London Knights won their 10th-straight game 7-3 over the Saginaw Spirit. Skinner is a +28 on the season which is third-best on the Knights but the leader among the Knights defensemen.

London leads the OHL’s Western Conference with a 34-13-1-1. Their last loss came on January 11th and going back to December 28th and the Knights are 14-2.

Eric Ciccolini (Michigan Wolverines)

Eric Ciccolini had two assists as his Michigan Wolverines doubled up K’Andre Miller’s Wisconsin Badgers 8-4. Ciccolini had a secondary assist on Michigan’s seventh goal and the primary on Michigan’s eighth goal.

For Ciccolini, the two assists were part of a two-shot, +2 and two blocked shot game. The freshman forward is 1-9-10 on the season. K’Andre Miller was scoreless on two shots.

Tyler Nanne and his Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated Michigan State 4-1 for their fifth straight win. Nanne was scoreless on four shots and a +2 as the Gophers moved into first place of the Big Ten Conference.

Minnesota faces Michigan State on Saturday night in the final regular-season meeting between the two schools.

Riley Hughes and his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies dropped a 4-2 decision to the Maine Black Bears in Hockey East action. Hughes was scoreless with no shots on goal as the Huskies fell to eighth place in the Hockey East with eight games remaining.

Northeastern plays Boston University in the finals of the Beanpot Tournament on Monday. You can catch that game on the NHL Network starting at 7:30 PM/4:30 PM.

Simon Kjellberg and his Rensselaer Engineers took on Western Michigan in a non-conference matchup with Western Michigan using a five-goal second to earn an 8-4 win. Kjellberg was scoreless on four shots with a -1 and a minor for tripping that led to a Western power-play goal.

The same two teams will play on Saturday evening.

Postponed

Morgan Barron and his second-ranked Cornell Big Red saw their game against Colgate postponed due to bad weather. The game has been rescheduled for Sunday evening weather permitting.