Notes: Several marquee college hockey matchups on tap
FSU’s Cade Kowalski talks long-awaited goal

Unbeaten Penn State hosts top-ranked Michigan this weekend (Photo:

By Jayson Hajdu

A clash between red-hot Big Ten rivals highlights this week’s college hockey slate.

Top-ranked Michigan (7-1-0, 0-0-0) travels to No. 10/13 Penn State (8-0-0, 2-0-0) on Friday and Saturday to tangle with the unbeaten Nittany Lions. The Wolverines took over the top spot in both national polls Monday following a non-conference sweep of Western Michigan. PSU, meanwhile, is off to its best start in program history and is one of only two remaining teams (Harvard) with neither a loss nor tie on its record.

Other top-20 matchups this week include No. 2 Denver vs. No. 4 St. Cloud State, No. 3 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 5 UMass vs. No. 14 Providence.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly Schedule | TV Schedule | Stat Leaders

Must Read:

College Hockey News: Harvard trio brings lasting bond to the ice
College Hockey News: UConn’s star in the making: Wood helping elevate Huskies to new heights
Daily Collegian: Often-overlooked Xander Lamppa finding consistency, making an impact for Penn State
FloHockey: Atlantic Hockey’s Air Force running on ‘Willpower’
Grand Forks Herald: Gavin Hain and his linemates are carrying UND at even strength
Michigan Daily: Rutger McGroarty opens new dynamic for Michigan offense
New England Hockey Journal: 10 things we learned from New England college hockey Oct. 28-30 Catching up with Lane Hutson
The Rink Live: SCSU wing already has undergraduate degree, plan in place for when hockey is over
USCHO: Expanding the college hockey fan base, assessing conference play early in 2022-23 season

Must Hear:

Analytics and Eyeballs: Talking Lindenwood hockey with VP for Intercollegiate Athletics Jason Coomer
Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring RIT head coach Wayne Wilson
Mitlin Money Mindest: Featuring College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee
Talking Hockey Sense: 2023 NHL Draft rankings preview
The Rink Live: A look at unusual penalties & surprises from the first month of the college hockey season
USCHO Spotlight: Penn State’s Guy Gadowsky on this year’s Nittany Lions, Big Ten hockey
USCHO Weekend Review: Arizona State rallies over North Dakota, Minnesota splits with Ohio State

Must Watch:

Game Tape with Tony (The Hockey News): Featuring Adam Fantilli

Blake-ing New Ground:

Michigan Tech senior G Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) logged back-to-back shutouts last weekend to lead the Huskies to a non-conference sweep of St. Lawrence. Saturday’s goose egg was Pietila’s NCAA-leading third of the season and the 13th of his career, extending his own school record.

Pietila, who was named CCHA Goaltender of the Month for October, is 4-2-0 on the year and ranks among the top eight nationally in both GAA (1.51) and save percentage (.944).

A Long Time Coming:

When Ferris State senior F Cade Kowalski (Morden, Manitoba) scored in the second period of Friday’s overtime win against St. Thomas, it ended an unusually long goal drought. Friday’s tally was Kowalski’s first since his freshman season of 2019-20, when he registered his only other collegiate goal on Feb. 29, 2020.

Kowalski, who suited up for 10 games as a sophomore and missed his entire junior year due to injury, ultimately went 972 days between goals.

“Apparently a few things have happened in the world since I last scored,” said Kowalski. “The last time I scored, a flu was just a flu, masks were for Halloween, and (now-freshman teammate) Connor McGrath was just learning how to shave for the first time.”

Kowalski added: “That wasn’t a monkey on my back; that was the Planet of the Apes.”

Quotes courtesy of Ferris State Communications Associate Harrison Watt.

Noah’s Arc:

Colorado College freshman F Noah Laba (Northville, Mich.) busted out of a four-game scoring drought in a big way Saturday against Air Force, racking up two goals and five points in an 8-0 victory over Air Force. The New York Rangers draft pick became the first Tiger since current Seattle Kraken F Jaden Schwartz (Nov. 6, 2010) to record five points in a game. Laba ranks second in the NCHC rookie scoring race with eight points (4G, 4A) in eight games.

Fast Start for Fantili:

Michigan freshman F Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario) put the finishing touches on a dynamic debut month when he was named both the national player and rookie of the month by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) on Wednesday. Fantilli produced an NCAA-leading 18 points (8G, 10A) in eight games and reached the scoresheet in all eight for the top-ranked Wolverines.

St. Cloud State junior G Dominic Basse (Alexandria, Va.) was named NCHC Goaltender of the Month after going 4-0-0 while leading the NCHC in GAA (1.25) and save percentage (.945).

NHL Note of the Week:

A handful of college hockey alums are closing in on significant NHL milestones:

  • Winnipeg F Blake Wheeler (Minnesota, 2005-08) will enter Thursday’s tilt against Montreal with 298 career NHL goals. He is bidding to become the sixth active NCAA alumni to reach 300.
  • Chicago captain Jonathan Toews (North Dakota, 2005-07) is three assists away from reaching 500 for his NHL career, a milestone achieved by five other active NCAA alumni.
  • Ottawa G Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville, 2007-10), who is nearing a return from Injured Reserve, is four outings away from making his 400th NHL appearance. He would become the third active NCAA alum to reach that number between the pipes.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Army erupted for six second-period goals in Saturday’s 8-3 victory over Dartmouth, the most goals the Black Knights have scored in a single frame during their Atlantic Hockey era … Denver senior F Casey Dornbach registered his 100th career point with an assist in Friday’s win over Miami. The Harvard transfer ranks second on the Pioneers with 12 points in eight games … An announced attendance of 15,503 watched Arizona State defeat No. 6/7 North Dakota 3-2 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the 2022 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. The Sun Devils downed their highest-ranked opponent since upending No. 4 Denver on Dec. 6, 2019.

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