There are a lot of big-name lines in college hockey these days. Just look at the CBS line in North Dakota and the CCM line in Michigan.
Last weekend, the list grew by one when Denver’s Pacific Rim line introduced itself to the world by combining for 18 points in a two-game home sweep over second-ranked UND and outplaying the CBS line. The Pioneers not only handed the Fighting Hawks their first road sweep losses since November 2011, but also denied UND a chance to clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the NCHC playoffs.
While CBS (Caggiula-Boese-Schmaltz) and CCM (Connor-Compher-Motte) play off the first letter of the linemate’s last names, the Pacific Rim relates to where its players call home: junior Trevor Moore (7 points over the weekend) is from California, sophomore Danton Heinen (7 points) is from British Columbia, and freshman Dylan Gambrell (4 points) hails from Washington state.
The weekend success was no fluke, either.
Since Jan. 1 the trio ranks 1-2-3 in NCHC scoring and they’ve led Denver to a 8-1-3 record over that span. Their rise has coincided with Denver climbing back into the national tournament picture in a tie with Omaha for the No. 8 Pairwise ranking.
Only one can man and one woman can be the ASN Player of the Week, so we chose Moore, who has four goals and 17 assists over the past 12 games to lead the NCHC in scoring over that span. He also leads the team in scoring with 6 goals and 25 assists on the season. Heinz, who had a career-high 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in Friday’s win, has 7 goals and 9 assists over the past 12 games to rank third in NCHC scoring over that span. Gambrell ranks second with 6 goals and 12 assists.
The Pacific Rim line will be on display on ASN on Thursday for the opening game of the intra-state rival series between Denver and Colorado College. On Saturday, the teams will meet again in the inaugural “Battle on Blake,” an outdoor game at Coors Field in downtown Denver.
On the women’s side, the Player of the Week is not about scoring — it’s about keeping the puck out of the net. Few have done it better than Boston College’s Kate Burt over the past two seasons and no team has won more.
The Eagles are 32-0 and eight games away from perfection. They finish the regular season this weekend with a series against Providence. They’ve already clinched the Hockey East title. Mix in possibly three Hockey East tournament games and three more NCAA Tournament games, and BC is within striking distance of a 40-0 season. If the Eagles do it, they’ll be only the second team in women’s Division I hockey to accomplish the feat.
Minnesota went 41-0 in in 2012-2013.
Burt is key to the high-flying Eagles’ success. She was in net for all three wins in six days last week, including a 7-0 shutout over Northeastern and a 3-0 shutout over Vermont. She totaled 65 saves in the three victories and is now 27-0 in net this season with a 1.14 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage with 12 shutouts.
As a a freshman, she led the nation with a 1.11 goals-against average and her 10 shutouts set the school record that she eclipsed over the past week. She now has 22 shutouts for her career.
Above: Denver’s Trevor Moore, part of the Pacific Rim line for the Pioneers, had seven points over the weekend. (Courtesy Denver Athletic Department)