College Hockey Inc.
Men's Notes: Tourney Time Here Across College Hockey
All Six Men’s Conferences Have League Playoffs Underway

New Hampshire’s Jakob Hellsten has logged three straight shutouts (Photo: UNH Athletics).

The regular season is in the rearview mirror and the playoffs have arrived for all six NCAA Division I men’s hockey conferences. Below is a look at where each conference tournament stands heading into the weekend:

Atlantic Hockey
Regular-Season Champion: RIT
All four AHA Quarterfinal series last weekend were sweeps, with RIT, Holy Cross, AIC and Niagara each advancing … Top-seeded RIT will host No. 7 Niagara in one best-of-three semifinal, while No. 2 Holy Cross entertains No. 5 AIC in the other … Holy Cross junior F Liam McLinskey (Pearl River, N.Y.) is riding a 12-game point streak (6G, 13A) … Freshman F Tyler Fukakusa (Toronto, Ontario) had six points in RIT’s two-game sweep of Robert Morris … Niagara’s Carter Randklev (Sr., Moorhead, Minn.) leads the AHA in playoff scoring with seven points in three games.

Big Ten
Regular-Season Champion: Michigan State
Following its bye in the quarterfinal round, top-seeded Michigan State will host No. 7 Ohio State in one of two single-elimination semifinals in the Big Ten … OSU knocked off No. 2 Wisconsin in three games to advance … The other semifinal matchup pits No. 3 Minnesota against No. 4 Michigan, both of whom swept their quarterfinal series, eliminating Penn State and Notre Dame, respectively.

Regular-Season Champion: Bemidji State
Top-seeded Bemidji State will host No. 7 Lake Superior State and No. 3 Michigan Tech welcomes No. 4 Minnesota State on Saturday in single-elimination semifinal matchups … LSSU knocked off No. 2 seed St. Thomas in three games, with Dawson Tritt (Jr., Spokane, Wash.) knocking home the series-clincher with six seconds left in the third period of Game 3 … BSU swept No. Ferris State, while Michigan Tech and Minnesota State swept Bowling Green and Northern Michigan, respectively … MSU is chasing its third straight Mason Cup.

ECAC Hockey
Regular-Season Champion: Quinnipiac
No. 12 seed RPI knocked off No. 5 Clarkson in the opening round and will travel to Quinnipiac in one of four best-of-three quarterfinal series … The other three series feature No. 8 Harvard at No. 2 Cornell, No. 7 St. Lawrence at No. 3 Colgate, and No. 6 Union at No. 4 Dartmouth … The Big Green are riding a 7-game unbeaten streak … Harvard’s Aku Koskenvuo (So., Espoo, Finland) pitched a shutout in the opening-round win over Princeton, the first time all season the Tigers were blanked.

Regular-Season Champion: Boston College
UConn, New Hampshire and Northeastern all advanced to the semifinals with opening-round victories Wednesday night … UNH G Jakob Hellsten (Jr., Ljusdal, Sweden) registered his third consecutive shutout in the 1-0 victory over UMass Lowell … Hellsten and the Wildcats will visit Maine in one of four single-elimination quarterfinal matchups … In the other quarterfinals, Providence hosts UMass, Boston University welcomes Northeastern, and Boston College hosts UConn.

Regular-Season Champion: North Dakota
Quarterfinal best-of-three series begin Friday with No. 1 seed North Dakota hosting No. 8 Miami, No. 2 Denver hosting No. 7 Minnesota Duluth, No. 3 St. Cloud State hosting No. 6 Western Michigan, and No. 4 Colorado College hosting No. 5 Omaha … UNO is unbeaten in its last seven games and lost just once in the last 12 … DU has lost only twice since the start of February despite being without forwards Massimo Rizzo and Carter King for much of that stretch.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly ScheduleStat Leaders | Goaltending Leaders

Must Read:

Bangor Daily News: Lynden Breen leads UMaine hockey to likely 1st NCAA berth in a decade
Boston Globe: A twist of fate brought Celebrini to BU. Now he’s the top prospect for the NHL Draft
Boston Globe: Maine gets some momentum, and other takeaways from the weekend in college hockey
College Hockey News: Finding Moore at Minnesota
FloHockey: 2024 Atlantic Hockey semifinal preview
Grand Forks Herald: Analytics show how Jackson Blake is impacting UND in several ways
Michigan Daily: Mark Estapa’s versatility and maturity giving Michigan depth for postseason Casey, Ufko among NHL Draft picks seeking to make NCAA Tournament
The Rink Live: Karl Falk finds a new home at SCSU, adapts to playing without his twin brother
USCHO: Confident Minnesota Duluth squad facing Denver in NCHC playoffs, looking to ‘go grind it out’
USCHO: After getting by St. Thomas, Lake Superior State ‘really pleased with the result’
USCHO: Conference quarterfinals on tap in ECAC as eight teams still in running for Whitelaw Cup

Must Hear:

Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring Robert Morris Head Coach Derek Schooley
Inside ECAC Hockey: Featuring Quinnipiac junior F Jacob Quillan
Inside Hockey East: Featuring Merrimack junior G Hugo Ollas
Parting Schotts: Josh Hauge looks back at Brown win; previews quarterfinal series with Dartmouth
The Big Rink: Featuring Penn State junior F Danny Dzhaniyev
The CCHA Show: Breaking down Mason Cup quarterfinals & year-end awards, previewing the semifinals
The Pipeline Show: 2024 Draft Spotlight: Zeev Buium
UND Hockey Podcast: Talking about the playoffs
USCHO Spotlight: BTN hockey analyst Caponigri talks Big Ten playoffs, NCAA tournament
USCHO Weekend Review: Upsets include UW bounced from Big Ten tourney, volatility on PWR bubble

Drawing a Blank:

On Wednesday night in the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament, New Hampshire G Jakob Hellsten (Jr., Ljusdal, Sweden) stopped all 20 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over UMass Lowell, the third consecutive shutout for Hellsten. He’s the first Wildcat to achieve that since current Vancouver Canuck Casey DeSmith did it for UNH in 2012-13.

Hellsten has gone 15-11-1 this season with a 1.93 goals against average – second-lowest in UNH history – and a .914 save percentage. He also leads Hockey East with five shutouts.

A Matter of Record:

A pair of notable records fell in college hockey last weekend:

  • North Dakota sophomore F Jackson Blake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) picked up two points in UND’s series at Omaha to close out the regular season, giving him an NCHC-record 37 points during conference play. That toppled the previous record of 35 that had been shared UND’s Brock Boeser and Denver’s Bobby Brink.
  • Robert Morris G Chad Veltri (Gr., Fox Chapel, Pa.) played in his 130th collegiate game in RMU’s season-ending loss at RIT, setting an Atlantic Hockey record for most career appearances by a goaltender. Holy Cross’ Matt Ginn (2011-15) had previously held that distinction.

A Clean Blake:

G Blake Pietila (Gr., Howell, Mich.) earned his 24th career shutout in the Huskies’ 5-0 win over Bowling Green last Friday in Game 1 of the CCHA Quarterfinals. Pietila needs two more shutouts to tie Hockey Hall of Famer Ryan Miller for second-most in NCAA history:

Most Career NCAA Shutouts
1. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State (2018-22) 34
2. Ryan Miller, Michigan State (1999-2002) 26
3. Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech (2019-pres.) 24
4. Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac (2020-23) 21
  Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State (2015-18) 21
  Matthew Galajda, Cornell/Notre Dame (2017-22) 21

In 34 appearances this season, Pietila is 16-12-6 with a 2.30 goals against average, .918 save percentage and four shutouts.

Notebook Quotebook:

“We needed the win, so I needed to stop all the pucks because we only had one goal.”

-- Harvard sophomore G Aku Koskenvuo (Espoo, Finland) after becoming the first netminder this season to shut out Princeton in Friday’s ECAC Hockey playoff win over the Tigers. (source: Harvard Men’s Hockey Twitter)

NHL Note of the Week:

Washington RW T.J. Oshie (North Dakota, 2005-08) is just two games away from 1,000 career NHL games played. He would become the sixth North Dakota alum to reach that milestone, joining James Patrick, Craig Ludwig, Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, Travis Zajac and Dave Christian.

Oshie would also become the third active NCAA alum this season to reach 1,000. Boston’s James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire, 2007-09) and Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo (Minnesota, 2006-08) did it earlier in the year.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

The next game for Minnesota F Bryce Brodzinski (Gr., Blaine, Minn.) will be the 183rd of his career and will break Larry Olimb’s (1988-92) school record … Boston University freshman F Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, British Columbia), the youngest player in college hockey, scored a Hockey East-record 23 goals during league play … Union has tallied a program-record nine short-handed goals this season, including two in last Saturday’s ECAC Hockey quarterfinal win over Brown … Bemidji State freshman D Eric Pohlkamp (Brainerd, Minn.) is the first Beaver defenseman since Luke Erickson in 2003-04 to score 10-plus goals … An Ed Robson Arena-record crowd of 3,912 watched Colorado College edge rival Denver 4-3 last Friday … Arizona State senior F Lukas Sillinger (Regina, Saskatchewan) broke the school’s single-season scoring record with 48 points (11G, 37A) in 38 games.

Longest Active Point Streaks:

  • 16 games, F Gabe Perreault (Boston College)
    • 12-18—30, Began Dec. 1 vs. Northeastern
  • 12 games, D Eamon Powell (Boston College)
    • 4-15—19, Began Jan. 26 vs. Boston University
  • 12 games, F Liam McLinskey (Holy Cross)
    • 8-13—21, Began Jan. 13 at Army
  • 9 games, F Luke Haymes (Dartmouth)
    • 10-9—19, Began Feb. 2 at Princeton

Longest Active Goal Streaks:

  • 5 games, F Chaz Smedsrud (Union)
    • 5-2—7, Began Feb. 23 vs. Harvard
  • 4 games, F Connor Milburn (Lake Superior State)
    • 4-4—8, Began March 1 vs. Ferris State
  • 4 games, F Jack Richard (Niagara)
    • 4-3—7, Began Feb. 24 at Mercyhurst
  • 4 games, F Christian Catalano (RIT)
    • 5-2—7, Began Feb. 23 vs. Canisius
  • 4 games, F Macklin Celebrini (Boston University)
    • 6-5—11, Began Feb. 23 at UConn
  • 4 games, F Daniel Panetta (Colgate)
    • 5-3—8, Began Feb. 23 at St. Lawrence

Atlantic Hockey | Big Ten | CCHA | ECAC | Hockey East | NCHC

College Hockey Inc. Resources:

Did you know? 92% of NCAA Division I men’s hockey players earn their degree!