Once again, there aren't many notable individual performances to speak of among the Carolina Hurricanes NCAA prospect pool, but still plenty of things to talk about regarding their teams. It was also one of those weekends where there was a lot of good news mixed in with bad, so we're going to follow the same format as last week and break things down by those two topics. There's only so much that can happen over the span of two games, so I'm expecting for there to be more weekends like this over the course of the season but hope that we start to see one of these players break out relatively soon.
Until that day, we'll continue to discuss the happenings of NCAA hockey and what is happening with the teams currently housing Carolina prospects.
Michigan Wolverines (Phil Di Giuseppe)
The Wolverines took down their in-state rivals Michigan State 5-1 in the first game of their weekend series on Friday. This was a pretty close game for the most part but Michigan exploded in the third period with three unanswered goals included a bomb on the powerplay from Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba. Di Giuseppe did not record a point in either game but he was definitely involved with five shots on goal and he had one really good scoring chance in Saturday night's game but was robbed by the Spartan goaltender.
On that note, the Wolverines were blown out 7-2 in Saturday night's game and were pretty over-matched by Michigan State in all phases of the game. They fell into a 3-0 hole early and just seem to keep digging themselves deeper as the game went on. Di Giuseppe didn't commit any critical errors in this game from my view point but he ended up getting tagged with a -2 after being on-ice for two Spartan goals.
The Wolverines are still ranked but they are under .500 in conference play and have a tough series against #7 ranked Notre Dame coming up this weekend followed by a home game against Bowling Green the following Wednesday.
Harvard Crimson (Danny Biega)
Biega recorded 5 shots on goal this weekend and Harvard won their second conference game of the year by shutting out RPI 4-0. We are also going to get a chance to see Biega first-hand next week when the Crimson take on Cornell on a game that will be televised on the NBC Sports Network. Remember to set your calendars for that.
While the shutout over RPI was nice, Harvard also dropped a 6-2 decision to Union College in a rematch of last year's ECAC championship game. The Crimson still have a winning record on the season at 3-2 but their two losses were both very, very ugly and it doesn't help that they both came at home. Biega also had a rough night by taking two penalties and ending up a -3. Here's to hoping that he'll play better with the NBC Sports cameras rolling next week.
Harvard will be on the road for the next few weeks when they take on Cornell, Colgate and Merrimack Colleg.e
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Mark Alt)
Alt was the only Carolina NCAA prospect to record a point this weekend, as he recorded an assist on Eric Haula's goal in Minnesota's game against Alaska-Anchorage. The Gophers were also the only team in this group to not lose any of their games this weekend, picking up a 4-0 win in their first game against UAA and tying them 2-2 in the second game. A little fun fact from the first game is that all of their goals came on the powerplay.
Regardless, Minnesota appears to be in good shape for now with a 6-2-1 record and a 3-2-1 record in conference play. They will have a struggling Wisconsin club at home next week in what should be a good WCHA matchup.
The one blemish from Alt's stat-line this weekend was his four penalty minutes from the 4-0 win on Friday night. Two of them came after elbowed an Anchorage player in the head and from the sound of things, it wasn't pretty. Discipline hasn't been that much fo a problem for Alt this year, but let's just hope we don't see him deliver a hit like that again.
Ohio State Buckeyes (Collin Olson)
I'll keep things short here. The good news is that Olson had the best game of his college career on Saturday night against Alaska-Fairbanks, stopping 42 of 45 shots and keeping the Buckeyes in the game for the entire way. The bad news is that the Buckeyes lost that game 3-1 as their offensive issues this year continue. They have yet to score more than three goals in a game and have been stuck playing for the shootout in a lot of cases because of it. They have only two regulation wins on the year and three OT/shootout decisions. This has to be frustrating for Ohio State fans but Canes fans should be happy that Olson has performed well in limited action. He has allowed only 11 goals on 140 shots, good for a save percentage of .921.
The Buckeyes have a CCHA matchup with Northern Michigan on the schedule for next week.