Friday Recap: Vesey’s Hatty, NCHC Showdowns

Vesey takes over and some movement in the NCHC standings. Friday’s games had a lot to offer.

St. Lawrence 2 Harvard 3

Senior Jimmy Vesey strengthened his Hobey Baker credentials with a natural Hat Trick in the third period as the Harvard Crimson pulled away from the St. Lawrence Saints.

Vesey showed tremendous poise on all three goals. As one of the most dangerous scorers when you leave him in open ice (especially in the slot), Vesey has 26 points in just 15 games, averaging 1.73 points per game. That is good for second in the nation in points per game, behind sophomore Andrew Poturalski from New Hampshire has 37 points in 21 games.

One thing that would hurt Poturalski’s chances is the team that he plays on. Hobey Baker voters tend to shy away for voting for players on mediocre teams. Currently, New Hampshire sits at 8-9-4 and eighth in Hockey East.

Is it right? Not at all. Is it how Hobey Baker voters trend? History would lend us to believe so. I’ll go into my Hobey Baker award thoughts (and changes that should be made) when the 10 finalists are announced.

St. Cloud State 3 Minnesota Duluth 1 Highlights

Senior Kalle Kossila notched a goal and an assist and junior goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 28 saves. Kossila’s game-winning goal came on the power play as his shot in the slot beat fellow Finn sophomore Kasimir Kaskisuo.

The referees really got into the game as a total of 11 penalties were called. Bulldog fans were not happy about the interference call on freshman Neal Pionk behind the play that likely cost a goal that would have evened the game at two.

Sophomore Blake Winiecki got the insurance goal on a bad angle shot.

I was really impressed with Minnesota Duluth’s speed and forecheck. They create a lot of turnovers in the offensive end and are able to create a lot of chances. The Huskies really need to work on supporting teammates when they break out. Look for that change in tonight’s rematch.

Junior Kyle Osterburg didn’t play in the third period with an undisclosed injury and will be doubtful for tonight’s game.

Omaha 4 North Dakota 3 OT Highlights

Junior Austin Ortega was the hero again for the Omaha as the Mavericks with in overtime at Ralph Englestad arena.

Ortega roofed his seventh game-winning goal of the season and freshman Alex Blankenburg made 26 saves in his debut.

While “California Hot Sauce” got the game winner, junior Jake Guentzel was the star of the game. He factored in every goal for Omaha with one goal and three assists.

There was a lot of eyebrows raised when Omaha coach Dean Blais pulled a Blais and started Blankenburg instead of junior Kirk Thompson, who has played in 10 games his season.

The gamble paid off, but what does this mean going forward for the Mavericks? Freshman Evan Weninger is having a great season but is currently injured. Will Blais rotate all three? Will just the freshman rotate? Knowing Blais, it could be any, all, or a third option that I don’t know about.

With two games in hand, the St. Cloud State Huskies jumped to the top of the NCHC standings.

One-timers:

  • I really like the NCHC.tv deal. I have mostly had good experiences with the stream. Really excited to see Minnesota Duluth make the jump to HD. But having ads before highlights when you already pay for the service is pretty bad.
  • Ohio State has quietly been on a good stretch, now unbeaten in its last five games.

I’ll be back tomorrow with recaps of Saturday’s games. My shift is over.

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