By Mike Zhe
It was a milestone weekend in Division 3 as teams returned from their holiday breaks, with coaching achievements, first losses and tournament titles.
|Middlebury's Derek Pimentel helped his coach, Bill Beaney, secure his 500th career win. (Photo: Will Costello)|
Start at Middlebury, where longtime coach Bill Beaney celebrated his 500th career win when the Panthers beat Neumann, 3-1, to win the 21st Middlebury College Holiday Classic.
Derek Pimentel was named tournament MVP after scoring against Neumann and setting up three goals in a 6-2 win over St. Michael’s in the opening round. He and Louis Belisle lead the Panthers (5-3-2) with six goals apiece.
Beaney is 500-164-47 behind the Middlebury bench and has a career record of 586-240-55 over 34 years, with more Division 3 wins than any coach in history.
The two triumphs over the weekend were timely, as the Panthers had closed out the pre-holiday portion of their slate on a four-game winless streak. They host NESCAC foes Trinity and Wesleyan this weekend.
The news wasn’t as good another NESCAC contender – Williams – which suffered its first loss of the season at the Cardinal Classic in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The Ephs (7-1-2) fell in overtime to eventual champion Hobart, 3-2, before bouncing back with a 4-3 overtime win over Hamilton in the consolation game.
George Hunkele scored the overtime winner against Hamilton and added two more goals Tuesday, as the Ephs stormed back from two goals down in the third period to top Trinity, 4-2, at Fenway Park.
In its final warm-up – literally – before Thursday’s big Fenway Park showdown against Norwich, Babson captured the title in the Salem State Tournament, beating the hosts, 4-1, during Thursday’s snowstorm and then coming from behind to top Colby, 3-2, for the title.
Norwich took care of its business at its Northfield Bank Tournament, beating Milwaukee School of Engineering (5-0) and Amherst (5-1).
Also capturing a holiday crown was UMass-Boston, which blasted Suffolk (10-1) and Southern New Hampshire (6-2) to win its own Codfish Bowl.
Player of the Week
Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.), soph., F, UMass-Boston
MacIntyre was named the MVP of the 49th annual Codfish Bowl Tournament after scoring a tournament-high four goals in two games. The sophomore forward scored two goals in each game to lead the Beacons to their first ever back-to-back Codfish Bowl titles.
He added two goals Tuesday as the Beacons beat Salem State, 4-2, at Fenway Park.
Game of the Week
Norwich vs. Babson, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Fenway Park
The two leaders in the ECAC East – and the New England Hockey Journal power rankings – square off at the ballyard on Yawkey Way for the second time in three seasons, also a rematch of last year’s ECAC East final and NCAA quarterfinal.
NEHJ Division 3 Power Rankings
1. Norwich (9-1-2, 6-0-1 ECAC East)
William Pelletier scored four goals and earned MVP honors as Cadets romped past Milwaukee School of Engineering (5-0) and Amherst (5-1) to win Northfield Bank Tournament.
2. Babson (11-2, 5-1 ECAC East)
Michael Phillips’ goal early in the third period was the game-winner as Beavers came from two goals down to beat Colby (3-2) in the final of the Salem State Tournament.
3. Williams (6-1-2, 4-0-2 NESCAC)
Ephs suffered their first loss, in overtime to Hobart (3-2) in first round of Cardinal Classic; beat Hamilton in OT a night later (4-3) on George Hunkele’s goal.
4. UMass-Boston (8-1-2, 3-1-2 ECAC East)
The surging Beacons have won eight straight games and scored 46 times in those wins.
5. Amherst (7-3, 5-1
Brendan Burke (Westwood, Mass.) had a goal and two assists as Jeffs beat Plymouth State (4-3) to reach Northfield Bank final.
6. Trinity (7-3, 3-2
Only weekend action was a 10-1 romp over Western New England that saw Jackson Brewer (Newton, Mass.) finish his hat trick by the end of the second period.
7. Nichols (8-2-2, 3-1-1 ECAC
Alex Larson made 34 saves as Bison bounced back from loss to Skidmore (2-0) with 3-2 win at Castleton State.
8. Bowdoin (6-3-1, 2-3-1
Connor Quinn’s (Sudbury, Mass.) second goal of the game gave Polar Bears a 4-3 win over pesky University of New England on Tuesday.
9. Johnson & Wales
(9-3, 3-2-0 ECAC Northeast)
Wildcats resume schedule with a non-conference game at UMass-Dartmouth on Thursday.
10. New England College (8-4,
4-3 ECAC East)
Pilgrims kick off a stretch of five straight home games this weekend against Southern Maine and UNE.