Notes: UMD's Freshman Leader

Alex Iafallo, Lowell's repeat rebound, Air Force's new heights and more in this week's notebook.
iaffalo
Twice already this season Alex Iaffalo has been named NCHC Rookie of the Week (Photo via umdbulldogs.com).

Iafallo’s fast start – Minnesota Duluth freshman Alex Iafallo (Eden, N.Y./Fargo-USHL) has enjoyed a start few expected, leading the Bulldogs in scoring 10 games into the campaign (5g-5a). It’s especially rewarding for Iafallo given that he started last season watching the USHL’s Fargo Force as he recovered from a torn meniscus that kept him off the ice for five months. Iafallo is just the second New York native to play for UMD and the first since 1984, but he spent two seasons in relatively nearby Fargo and said at the time of his commitment that Duluth reminded him of his home area of Buffalo. He leads the Bulldogs into a distinctly Minnesotan rivalry this weekend with two games at the Golden Gophers.
Friday’s game is on Fox Sports North+

Must Read/See/Hear Material

New Haven Register: Quinnipiac twins all about the wins
Grand Forks Herald: UND’s Schmaltz generates buzz
Buffalo News: Canisius blueliner an offensive force
Quinnipiac Chronicle: Comeback K.J.
ESPN.com: College rivalries about more than the game
NCAA.com: The write stuff
Watertown Daily Times: Seale was a pioneer in Potsdam
NHL.com: Gostisbehere’s brilliant season suggests bright future | On The Pipeline Show (.mp3)
SBN College Hockey: Union-RPI Rivalry

Five More Notes No One Should Be Without

Lowell rebounds – again – Wins in six of its last seven games has UMass Lowell’s 1-3-0 start a distant memory, and recent history suggests that the River Hawks know how to shake off a slow start. Last year’s Frozen Four team opened the season at 4-7-1. Stingy defense and a revived power play have fueled this year’s turnaround. Goaltenders Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich./Odessa-NAHL/WPG draft) and Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass./Cornwall-CCHL) have combined for a .947 save percentage in the 7-1-0 stretch, while the power play – which was 1-for-25 to start the year – is clicking at 29.7% in that time. The River Hawks return to league play this weekend with a pair at home vs. Notre Dame.
Saturday’s game is on NESN

New heights for Air Force – Air Force hockey has enjoyed five conference championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances the last seven years but enter this weekend’s series with Denver with a chance to accomplish a program first: beat both in-state rivals in one season. The 7-3-0 Falcons captured the new Pike’s Peak Trophy Tuesday at Colorado College thanks to a 34-save performance by senior Jason Torf (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Motor City-NAHL).
The Gazette: CC, Air Force rivalry is for real, and so are the Falcons

First impressions in the WCHA – The minutes are still fairly limited, but the top three WCHA goaltenders in conference GAA and save percentage are all freshmen. Minnesota State’s Cole Huggins (Centennial, Colo./Coquitlam-BCHL), Northern Michigan’s Mathias Dahlstrom (Smedjebacken, Sweden/Chicago-USHL) and Bowling Green’s Tomas Sholl (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Fresno-NAHL) stand 1-2-3 in save percentage in conference games. Last year two of the three All-WCHA goalies were freshmen – the league’s membership may have changed, but the chance for first-year goalies to make an impact hasn’t.

Bondra strikes for first – Despite losing twice in its most recent action at Michigan Tech, Michigan State got a timely goal from sophomore David Bondra(Annapolis, Md./Chilliwack-BCHL), who potted his first career goal. Bondra – the son of elite NHL goal scorer Peter Bondra – was playing his first game after sitting out five straight. More known for energy and grit than goals, the younger Bondra went hard to the net and converted a pass from Michael Ferrantino for the tally, one of his team-high three shots on the night. The Spartans face another in-state foe, Western Michigan, in a home-and-home this weekend and could get a huge lift if Matt Berry (Canton, Mich./Muskegon-USHL) and John Draeger (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s/MIN draft) can return to the lineup (both had offseason surgery).
Friday’s game is on Fox Sports Detroit+

Sophomores lead Colgate – Colgate has won four out of five entering a home date with the defending national champions and the Raiders – who had a terrific rookie class a year ago – appear to be benefitting from the maturity of those sophomores. The team’s top five scorers are all second-year players, led by Mike Borkowski (Kanata, Ont./Cornwall-CCHL). Borkowski was tied for eighth on the team in scoring last year, but has already matched his goal total in the first 13 GP (3-10—13).

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag

The nation’s top two scorers, Greg Carey (Hamilton, Ont./Burlington-OJHL) and Johnny Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J./Dubuque-USHL), both have brothers who are freshmen on their teams (see stats, below) … Tuesday Martin St. Louis became the 44th former college player and first Vermont alum to play 1,000 NHL games … Two St. Cloud State fans are seeking to set the Guinness record for most people wearing a fake moustache after Saturday’s Huskies game … The top-scoring draft-eligible player in college hockey is a defenseman, freshman Gavin Bayreuther of St. Lawrence (Canaan, N.H./Fargo-USHL).

NHL Note of the Week

Brian Gibbons’ NHL debut Monday (1g-1a) gave Boston College an NCAA-leading 18 alums in the NHL this year, and gave Pittsburgh an NHL-leading 15 NCAA alums to play for them this year.

Most Points by Two Brothers, 2013-14

36 – Greg and Matt Carey, SLU
27 – Kellen and Connor Jones, QU
22 – Tylor and Tyson Spink, Colgate
21 – Johnny and Matthew Gaudreau, BC

For more interesting stats check out our Stat Pack, which will run each Monday, or visit our filtered stats database.

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