No upsets, but early competition

Castleton senior Colin Murray dished out three assists in the Spartans’ 5-4 win last weekend against the University of New England (photo: Dan Hickling).

Anyone hoping for an upset in Division III during the weekend just completed would have been in for a disappointment.
True, Hobart ranked ninth, had to eke out a tie with Nazareth (a program barely into its second year of existence) before upending No. 5 Utica the next night on a last-second goal.
And true, there are a few other finger-drumming moments for teams among USCHO’s top 15.
Otherwise, the weekend played out according to form.
Then again, it may be the last one that will.
The details from around the D-III rinks:


Ranked No. 12 heading into Friday, Massachusetts-Boston came within a whisker of suffering the dreaded “lost weekend.” However, captain Travis Daniel came through in the clutch to save the Beacons’ bacon. One night after UMB dropped a 2-1 count to New England College, the Beacons blew a two-goal third-period lead at St. Anselm, but eked out a 4-3 overtime win on Daniel’s game-winner on a power play, 42 seconds into extra time. … No. 11 Babson and Castleton both swept their weekends to remain 2-0 in the conference. Castleton senior Colin Murray racked up three assists in the Spartans’ 5-4 win at UNE.


Conference play began Saturday night with Johnson & Wales, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England all scoring opening-night wins. WNEC had the toughest task, having squandered a two-goal lead to Becker in the final 1:41 of regulation. Matt Dore came through with the winner for WNEC in OT with his power-play goal at 3:42.


An early-season clash between the West’s two ranked teams, No. 5 Utica and No. 9 Hobart, went down to the wire, literally. Robert Sovik gave the visiting Statesmen a 3-2 victory with just one second remaining in the game. Sovik had also scored late in the second period to set the stage for all that third period nail-biting.


Play in the MACSAC won’t begin until Tuesday. However, the early-season tremors have been produced by Worcester State. With three consecutive wins out of the gate, the Lancers have already notched half their victory total of last year.


St. Thomas, ranked No. 13, went at it with No. 15 St. Mary’s in a home-and-home set and waltzed out with a pair of wins, 3-1 and 3-0. Tommies’ junior goalie Drew Fielding stopped all but one of St. Mary’s 47 shots on the weekend and earned his seventh career shutout.


They won’t meet until Jan. 31, but when they do finally tangle in De Pere, Wis., Adrian and St. Norbert could both still be toting undefeated records. Both have jumped out to 4-0 starts (in conference and overall), including a pair of wins over the weekend. Adrian took a pair of convincing wins (4-1, 5-1) over the Milwaukee School of Engineering, while St. Norbert won twice (4-1, 3-2) at Finlandia. … Lake Forest junior Bobby Barrett, who had eight goals in his previous two seasons, popped in three tallies (plus two assists) in the Foresters’ 13-2 rout of Northland.


The eyes of the SUNYAC were trained on Plattsburgh on Friday where the No. 4 Cardinals welcomed in Geneseo for an early-season first-place clash. As matters played out, the Cards won handily 4-1, with senior defenseman Barry Roytman scoring twice. It was the first multi-goal game in his career for Roytman, who scored just once in his entire freshman and junior seasons. Plattsburgh polished off the weekend with a hefty 6-0 win over Brockport. … A shootout took place Friday in Morrisville, when Buffalo St. got goals from seven different sources to outlast the host Mustangs 7-5.


Teams in the WIAC won’t start beating up on each other until December, so in the meantime, they’ve had to be content in pounding on nonconference foes. Wisconsin-Stevens Point has won all four of its starts by a combined 33-6 count. The latest to fall before the Pointers was Gustavus Adolphus (8-4) and St. Olaf (8-1). … Not to be outdone, top-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire began defense of its national title with wins over St. Olaf (5-2) and St. John’s (3-1).