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College Hockey Observer: Out of town scoreboard

Bowling Green, Northern Michigan split CCHA slate

In one of the few conference series this opening weekend, Bowling Green took the Saturday 6-4 game and Northern Michigan countered with a 4-3 OT win on Sunday. AJ Vanderbeck, selected to the preseason All-CCHA team, scored the OT winner Sunday for the Wildcats. These two are expected to jockey all season long in the top half of the CCHA standings.

Alaska-Anchorage upsets No. 14 Western Michigan

This was probably the feel-good story of the weekend. Alaska-Anchorage had its program eliminated by the university at the end of the 2020 season, but strong support from boosters and the community brought the program back. Playing in their first regulation NCAA game since March 7th, 2020 (a span of 938 days), the Seawolves pulled a huge upset, beating No. 14 Western Michigan at home by a 3-1 score.

Just a week prior, the Seawolves had lost an exhibition match 1-0 to British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University while looking entirely devoid of offense. But on Saturday, against a much better Western Michigan side, that was not the case. UAA got goals from Connor Marritt and Maximillion Helgeson in the win. After the game, Seawolf Matt Shasby head coach dedicated the win to those who breathed new life into the team: “The win tonight was for all the people who helped bring the program back. This represents what kind of team we are.”

Western Michigan came back strong on Sunday night with a 4-1 win to earn the weekend split. 

No. 2 Minnesota sweeps Division One’s newest program

Despite losing both games, it wasn’t an all-around bad weekend for college hockey’s newest team, the Lindenwood University Lions out of Saint Charles, Missouri. Lindenwood kept pace with Big Ten Power and No. 2 Minnesota, falling 3-0 and 6-4. Kyle Jeffers, a Florida native, will have his name go down in the history books as he scored Lindenwood’s first division one goal at 15:07 of the first period on Sunday night. The road does not get any easier for Lindenwood, as the Lions take on No. 6 Michigan at Yost next weekend.

No. 16/18 Ohio State sweeps Mercyhurst on the road

The No. 16 Buckeyes looked all-around solid in their weekend series at Atlantic Hockey’s No. 18 Mercyhurst last weekend. Ohio State picked up a 4-2 win on Saturday and a 4-1 win on Sunday. OSU kicks off Big Ten play against Wisconsin next weekend.

Connecticut sweeps Vermont

Connecticut also picked up a weekend sweep on the road, winning at Vermont 4-1 and 3-1. The Huskies enjoyed a breakout year last season in which they made it to overtime of the Hockey East semifinals and just narrowly missed out on an NCAA tournament bid. We could have a strong indication of whether they are here to stay next weekend when they challenge Hockey East preseason favorite Northeastern.

Contact Ryan Murphy at rmurph22@nd.edu