Three Stars from the Weekend: Colt Conrad leads Western Michigan past Minnesota-Duluth

It’s the best of times at Western Michigan University.

The Broncos are making its names known in the college football realm, ranked 14th in the nation amidst a 10-0 start, joining Alabama among the lone unbeatens in the FBS, albeit in a Mid-American Conference not nearly as strong as the SEC. Did you have Western Michigan on your BCS watch list on Labor Day weekend? Stop lying, no you didn’t.

But need not pay attention to just the gridiron.

The Broncos have a pretty good hockey team, coming off its biggest win in quite some time with a 4-3 win over top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth on Friday night. The Bulldogs came in riding high, with back-to-back weekend sweeps over top-10 ranked North Dakota and St. Cloud State. While Minnesota-Duluth returned the favor Saturday with 2-0 win, the Broncos were the first to blemish the Bulldogs record in the powerful NCHC.

The hero on Friday night? Look no further than sophomore Colt Conrad, a 5-10 forward from Manitoba.

Conrad, who entered the weekend with three points in eight games, he took things over on Friday night, scoring his first goal of the night in the first period to tie the game, 3-3, erasing a two-goal lead Minnesota-Duluth took early in the game. He ended things with 31 seconds to play in overtime with his second goal of the night to give the Broncos the two points.

Conrad has three goals and five points in 10 games this season, following up a freshman year in which he had 16 in 33.

Other NCAA stars of the weekend

Cam Brown, Maine: Brown factored in all five goals the Black Bears scored in Friday’s 5-2 upset win over fifth-ranked UMass-Lowell. He added an assist on Saturday, a 4-1 River Hawks win. The senior entered the weekend with four points in eight games, emerged a point-per-game player.

Brinson Pasichnuk, Arizona State: The freshman’s overtime goal on Saturday gave the Sun Devils arguably its biggest win in the history of its young program, a 5-4 win at New Hampshire.

AHL

Reto Berra, Springfield: The netminder not short on NHL experience stopped 51 of 52 shots that came his way in two games this weekend, both wins for the Thunderbirds. He stopped all 31 shots he faced in Saturday’s win over Binghamton. He’s 5-2 with a 1.72 GAA and .934 save percentage in AHL play this season.

Taylor Beck, Bakersfield: Beck had two goals and an assist in the Condors 3-2 overtime win over Tucson on Saturday. He has 12 points in his last five games.

Blake Pietila, Albany: The AHL Devils leading scorer had five points in two games this weekend, the latter of which he recorded a hat trick in a 4-3 win over St. John’s.

CHL

Stephen Dhillon, Niagara: The IceDogs netminder stopped 85 of 87 shots that came his way over the weekend. He’s made 38 or more saves in seven of his last eight games.

Maxime Fortier, Halifax: Fortier had 10 points in two games this weekend, including six assists in Friday’s 9-5 win over Sherbrooke. He’s got 35 points in 21 games for the Mooseheads. The undrafted 18-year-old is bound to pop up on the radar of NHL teams.

Sam Steel, Regina: The Ducks first round pick from 2016 extended his scoring streak to six games this weekend, putting up six points in a pair of contests for the Pats. He leads the WHL with 34 points in 15 games.

USHL

Matiss Kivlenieks, Sioux City: The Minnesota State commit stopped 69 of 72 shots in two games, both wins, as the Musketeers upped their winning streak to six games.

Jaxson Castor, Dubuque: The Fighting Saints goalie, bound for Arizona State, made 30 saves in the Fighting Saints 1-0 win over Green Bay on Saturday night, in which they were outshot 30-17.

Bo Hanson, Muskegon: The Lumberjacks defenseman had five points on the weekend, and now has 15 points in 16 games. He remains uncommitted.

Women’s NCAA

Tereza Vanisova, Maine: The native of the Czech Republic had three goals and an assist in the Black Bears 4-1 win over BU on Saturday. She has 14 points in 13 games to lead Maine.

Kristyn Capizzano, BC: The Eagles freshman had four goals on the weekend, three of which came on Saturday.

Hanna Bunton, Cornell: Bunton had three goals and five points in a pair of wins for the Big Red.

 

Thoughts Are My Own: Hey, guys, there’s good Canadian teams this year

My thoughts as we get into the mind-numbing chatter of the possibility of a Montreal-Edmonton Stanley Cup final.

*So how about those Edmonton Oilers? Just keep chugging along, tossing aside the Capitals en route to a 6-1 start.

*A group is reportedly exploring options of building a 20,000-seat arena in Scottsdale, Arizona, a potential new home for the Arizona Coyotes. This would be huge for the future of the Coyotes franchise, which now appears to be there to stay after years upon years of relocation rumors. They’d be in the thick of things, closer to Phoenix, than they are currently in Glendale.

*Another stinker for the Bruins. Two nights, two losses by a score of 10-2. Chalk it up as a combination of bad defense and shaky goaltending. That combination is no way to go through life.

*Last time a team started four goalies in four consecutive games? That would be the 2010-11 New York Islanders, according to Elias.

*The more you watch Montreal, the more you realize just how good they are.

*Montreal in the first seven games over the last three seasons: 19-1-1 (6-1, 7-0, 6-0-1).

*Corey Perry passed Paul Kariya on Anaheim’s all-time points list.

*Brendan Leipsic had three more points on Wednesday for AHL Toronto, a 4-3 overtime win over Providence. The 22-year-old has 12 points in six games.

*The Albany Devils finally lost a game, denied the 6-0 start no AHL franchise in Albany has ever accomplished. The Devils fell to 5-1 with a 3-1 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

*A pair of four-point nights for Stockton Heat forwards Daniel Pribyl (1-3–4) and Morgan Klimchuk (2-2–4), as the Heat beat San Diego, 7-5. Klimchuk is a former first round pick by the Flames.

*Nice little night for 2017 draft hopeful Nico Hischier, who had three goals and six points in Halifax’s 6-4 win over Acadie-Bathurst.

*Carolina prospect Spencer Smallman had his first career hat trick in the QMJHL on Wednesday, a 5-2 win by Saint John over Charlottetown.

*Kole Lind had a goal and three assists in Kelowna’s 6-4 win over Victoria. Both of Calvin Thurkauf’s goals were assisted by the 17-year-old.

*Still no Nolan Patrick in the Brandon lineup. He hasn’t played since Oct. 11.

Links

A profile on Maxime Comtois of QMJHL Victoriaville, who a scouting director of an NHL team said ‘reminds (him) of Rick Nash at that age.’

A look at how the OHL’s top prospects are faring after about a month of action.

The evolution of Brad Marchand into an elite hockey talent.

Kings sign Anders Lindback to a tryout contract.

Oilers sending shockwaves through the NHL as they race out to a 6-1 start.

A ‘golden era’ of Canadian NHL franchises on the horizon.