Notes: Debuts, returns and milestones mark opening weekend
Week ahead features top-five clash of in-state rivals

Minnesota State will face Minnesota in a home-and-home series (Photo: MSU Athletics)

By Jayson Hajdu

The second full weekend of men’s college hockey features another compelling slate of action, including a clash between two top-five teams, the Division I debut of Stonehill College, and the 26th annual Ice Breaker Tournament.

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Must Read:

College Hockey Inc.: Preseason Media Kit
College Hockey News: With Levi, McDonough back, Northeastern hopes to realize its large expectations
College Hockey News: UNLV to D-I? The blueprint is there
EP Rinkside: Guide to the 2022-23 NCAA Division I men’s hockey season
FloHockey: Adam Fantilli leads 2023 NHL draft prospects to watch in NCAA
FloHockey: Hobey Baker watch: Luke Hughes, Devon Levi lead preseason top 10 list
New England Hockey Journal: 8 things we learned from first weekend of DI men’s college hockey in New England

Must Hear:

Analytics and Eyeballs Kicking off a new season, talking polls and plays on the ice
College Hockey West Talking the opening weekend of NCAA hockey
The Rink Live First impressions of SCSU, North Dakota, UMD, Minnesota teams; impressive newcomers
Talking Hockey Sense Talking prospects, early season standouts and answering your questions
USCHO Weekend Review What did we learn from the first weekend of the 2022-23 season?

Marquee Matchup?:

Plenty of eyes will be on the “State of Hockey” this weekend when second-ranked Minnesota and fifth-ranked Minnesota State square off in a non-conference home-and-home series. It will be the first regular-season action of the season for Minnesota State, which opened the year with an exhibition loss at Omaha last Saturday. The Gophers, meanwhile, opened 2022-23 with a home sweep of Lindenwood last weekend at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

Breaking the Ice:

This weekend’s annual Ice Breaker Tournament will be co-hosted by Air Force and top-ranked Denver at Cadet Ice Arena and Magness Arena, respectively. It’s the first time in the tournament’s 26-year history that multiple schools will serve as hosts. Maine and No. 9/11 Notre Dame are also participating in this year’s tournament.

Lindenwood Lore:

One of the two newest teams on the Division I men’s hockey scene, Lindenwood took to the ice for the first time as a DI program last weekend at defending Big Ten regular-season champion Minnesota.

The Lions dropped a 4-0 decision Saturday before following up with a 6-4 setback the following night. Sophomore forward Kyle Jeffers (Oviedo, Fla.) scored the first Division I goal in program history when he struck on the power play late in the opening period. Classmates David Gagnon (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Caleb Price (Hooksett, N.H.) drew the assists on the historic goal.

The Lions will face another Big Ten test this weekend when they return to the road at No. 6/7 Michigan.

Very Nice to Sea You:

Following a two-year program hiatus, Alaska Anchorage returned with a flourish last weekend, defeating No. 12/14 Western Michigan 3-1 on Friday. The Seawolves were the only team in the country last weekend to claim a win over a nationally ranked opponent, the program’s first-such victory since the 2015-16 campaign.

“The win tonight was for all the people who helped bring the program back,” said UAA head coach and Seawolf alum Matt Shasby.

Stonehill to Make DI Debut:

Stonehill College, the other new Division I men’s program this season, will make its debut Saturday when the Skyhawks host Long Island at Bridgewater Ice Arena. Stonehill, led by head coach David Borges (UMass Lowell ’85), will compete as a Division I independent in 2022-23.

Josh Ciocco

The college hockey community is mourning the passing of Merrimack assistant coach and former New Hampshire captain Josh Ciocco, who also spent time as an assistant coach at Brown and Alaska Anchorage. Josh was a very good friend of College Hockey Inc. and a wonderful person. Our hearts go out to Josh’s family and friends.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

A trio of first-year Division I head coaches earned their first collegiate victories in their debuts last weekend: UAA’s Shasby, Boston University’s Jay Pandolfo (vs. Bentley) and Union’s Josh Hauge (vs. RIT) … More than four dozen sons of former NHLers are playing NCAA Division I hockey in 2022-23. View the complete list HERE.

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