Monday 10: College hockey playoffs in full swing as conference quarterfinal matchups take center stage

Niagara won the deciding Game 3 Sunday over Robert Morris to advance to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals (photo: Niagara Athletics).

Each week, will pick the top 10 moments from the past weekend in our Monday 10 feature.

1. Mavericks cruise to sweep of Bulldogs

Minnesota State, having earned the top seed in the WCHA playoffs, found themselves hosting the one team that gave them fits in the second half of the season, Ferris State.

Friday night, the Bulldogs held the Mavericks off the board until the third period, falling 3-0. Saturday, the Mavericks scored twice in the third to seal the series with a 3-1 win.

Logan Stein stopped all 18 shots he faced through the first two periods Friday. It took Julian Navpravnik scoring on the power play for the Mavericks to break through at 8:49. Jared Spooner scored just 1:53 later and Walker Duehr added an insurance goal in the last five minutes to give the hosts the win.

Saturday, Duehr struck 9:03 into the second to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Sam Morton added to the lead 2:19 into the third. The Bulldogs finally got on the board at the 13:00 when Marshall Moise found the net, but Jake Livingstone added an empty netter with 45 seconds left to send the Bulldogs home.

2. Spartans force Gophers to overtime

In their Big Ten quarterfinal matchup, Michigan State struck just 10:39 into the contest and held the lead until late in the third period before falling 2-1 in overtime to Minnesota Sunday.

Dennis Cesana got the Spartans on the board with a power-play goal off a feed from Mitchell Lewandowski. From there, Pierce Charleson shut the door until the 15:01 mark of the third when Bryce Brodzinski evened things.

In overtime, Charleson made 12 more saves, on top of the 36 he made in regulation, but it wasn’t enough as Sampo Ranta potted his 17th of the season to give Minnesota the win and the opportunity to face Michigan on Monday.

3. Lakers earn sweep in home playoff berth

Hosting Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA quarterfinal round, Lake Superior State earned a pair of victories to advance.

On Friday, they scored the game’s final four goals to earn a 6-1 win. Saturday, the Lakers struck three times in the second en route to a 4-1 win.

In Friday’s contest, Pete Veillette got the Lakers on the board just 3:14 into the contest. He later added a shorthanded goal in the second period just six seconds after the Chargers had cut the lead to 2-1. Louis Boudon added two assists in the contest.

Saturday, Boudon got things going just 18 seconds into the middle frame. William Riedell and Hampus Erickson scored the other two goals in the period for the Lakers. Brandon Puricelli scored the Lakers’ fourth goal 13:20 into the third period, putting the game out of reach.

4. Pioneers dress 16, defeat Omaha 5-4

In its quarterfinal matchup with Omaha, Denver dressed just 10 forwards and six defensemen, but the 16 skaters were plenty as the Pioneers scored three times in the third period to earn a 5-4 victory.

Hank Crone got the Pioneers on the board first just 8:25 in. The Mavericks scored the game’s next three goals to take a two-goal lead with just 5:13 left in the middle frame.

Bobby Brink sparked the comeback with a power play goal at 16:57. In the third, Mike Benning scored his second and third goals of the season 11:10 apart to give the Pioneers the lead, 4-3. After Nate Knoepke evened things at 13:10 for the Mavericks, Bo Hanson responded at 14:57 to give the Pioneers the win.

5. Purple Eagles fight back, upset Colonials in three games

On Friday night, Robert Morris needed overtime to defeat Niagara 3-2.

Saturday, the Purple Eagles responded with a 3-2 double-overtime victory, forcing a third game on Sunday. Sunday night, the Purple Eagles scored once in the first and once in the second and then held on in the third to earn a 2-1 victory in their Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series.

On Friday night, Eric Cooley scored in the first period and added an assist on the power play late in the second to help the Purple Eagles even the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Saturday night, he added another assist on Jack Billings’ goal in the first period. Billings then picked up an assist of his own on Ludwig Stenlund’s goal late in the first period before scoring the game-winner in double overtime at 7:31.

In Sunday’s matchup, Billings added another goal to get the Purple Eagles on the board just 2:59 into the contest. Walker Sommer added what stood as the game-winner 3:51 into the second period.

6. Beavers sweep Huskies, keep NCAA hopes alive

In the 4-5 matchup in the WCHA playoffs, Michigan Tech took leads both nights, but Bemidji State found ways to claw their way back to win 3-1 Friday and 4-1 Saturday.

On Friday, Lukas Sillinger, who returned to the Beavers’ lineup, picked up an assist in the first period on a goal by Alex Ierullo before scoring one of his own 11:42 into the second. Aaron Miller added the other tally for the Beavers.

Saturday, the Huskies held a 1-0 lead until the late stages of the second when Brad Johnson and Ethan Somoza scored 1:51 apart. Alex Adams and Ross Armour added empty net goals in the game’s final 2:18 to seal the series.

7. Nittany Lions find playoff magic against Fighting Irish

Thanks in large part to a three-goal second period, Penn State found a way to beat Notre Dame 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in their Big Ten quarterfinal matchup.

The Nittany Lions will face Wisconsin Monday.

The Fighting Irish struck twice in 31 seconds to hold a 2-0 lead just 2:41 into the contest. Christian Sarlo found a way to get Penn State on the board before the opening frame ended at 18:52. In the second, Connor McMenamin struck twice less than seven minutes to put the Nittany Lions up 3-2 with 9:50 left in the period. Tim Doherty then found the net on the power play to extend the lead with just over five minutes left.

Chase McLane extended the Nittany Lions’ lead again 8:20 into the third. The Fighting Irish’s Ryder Rolston answered back, but that was as close as Notre Dame would get as McLane struck for a second time into the empty net at 19:28.

8. Wildcats need third, deciding game to top Falcons

In its WCHA quarterfinal matchup against Bowling Green, Northern Michigan used four goals from four different scorers Friday in a 4-3 win, were held scoreless Saturday in a 5-0 loss, and got two goals from Mikey Colella Sunday to help earn a 5-1 win.

Colella scored his first goal of the second to break a 1-1 tie Friday night a little over halfway through the middle frame. Griffin Loughran and Brandon Schulz followed Colella with goals of their own to give the Wildcats a 4-1 lead heading into the final frame.

Saturday night, Evan Dougherty struck twice in the third period just 1:37 apart, as the Falcons turned a 2-0 lead into a 4-0 lead. Alex Barber potted an insurance goal for the Falcons just under three minutes later.

Sunday, Colella’s first goal of the game came at 17:56 of the first period and stood as the game-winner. Joseph Nardi added to the Wildcats’ lead in the second period, but the Falcons answered 1:40 later when Sam Craggs scored. Colella’s third goal of the weekend put the Wildcats back on top by three, 4-1, putting the game out of reach for the Falcons.

9. Miotto helps Golden Griffins sweep series with RIT

In the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals, Canisius struck four times in the second period to win Friday, 5-2, over RIT.

On Saturday, the Golden Griffins scored one in the first, two in the second and three in the third to earn the sweep, 6-2.

Ryan Miotto scored his first goal of the season to get the Golden Griffins on the board first Friday 13:32 into the first period. Miotto assisted on a goal from David Melaragni 8:39 into the second as the Golden Griffins took a 3-1 lead. J.D. Pogue and Austin Alger added goals in a 65-second stretch to put the game out of reach.

Saturday night, Max Kouznetsov got the Golden Griffins on the board first just 2:50 in, but they found themselves trailing the Tigers 2-1 after one period. In the second, Keaton Mastrodonato and Grant Meyer scored to help the Golden Griffins regain the lead. Miotto chipped in one of two empty-net goals Canisius scored in the final frame to seal the series.

10. Colorado College falls just short despite dressing only 16 skaters

Colorado College came into its NCHC quarterfinal game with St. Could State with only 11 forwards and five defensemen available at game time.

Despite the disadvantage, it was the Tigers who struck first just 2:08 into the second period. While they could not sustain the start, the Tigers held the Huskies to just two goals in the loss.

McKay Flanagan got the Tigers on the board. The game remained 1-0 until Zach Okabe evened things with 1:01 left in the middle frame.

The Tigers, who had seven shots through two periods, could not get another one to the net in the third. Instead, it was the Huskies who found the net as Nick Perbix helped the Huskies advance with his goal at 16:05.