If Trivial Pursuit is still around, Tony Cameranesi just made his case to be an answer on an orange card for sports questions:
- Q: Who scored the first goal under the NCHC’s new 3-on-3 overtime rule?
- A: Tony Cameranesi, a senior forward at Minnesota Duluth.
Bonus piece of the pie if you knew that his younger sister Dani is a junior and is a member of the Minnesota Gophers’ highest scoring line.
This past weekend Dani had two goals and five assists as the Gophers swept Bemidji State, but it was Tony who made history when he knocked in a rebound off Austin Farley’s wrist shot from the left circle for a 2-1 double-overtime win over visiting Denver. It was Cameranesi’s second goal of the game, and it came in the league’s first 3-on-3 overtime period the NCHC implemented this season in an effort to make the game more exciting for fans.
Record-wise, the game counts as a 1-1 tie in the standings, but it gives the Bulldogs (0-3-1, 3-5-3) a much-needed extra point in league standings.
Players and coaches from both teams, along with the fans who watched, lauded the 3-on-3 stanza.
“I liked it, obviously,” Cameranesi said after the game. “It was definitely new to us. You see the pros doing it on the TV and it’s different, very wide open. It was fun. It just opens everything up and you just have to play smart at both ends of the ice and take advantage of the breaks you get because you know it will happen when it’s 3-on-3.”
Cameranesi’s goal spoiled Denver goalie Tanner Jaillet’s stellar performance. Jaillet, who splits time with Evan Cowley, stopped 45 of 46 shots through the first overtime and six more shots during the 3-on-3 before letting the game-winner slip by him.
“I felt bad for Evan and how it ended,” Cowley said. “He had played so well, but he said after that the puck (Farley and Cameranesi scored on a 2-on-1) got caught on his hip and it took a weird bounce down. It was a tough way to lose after stopping 50 shots, but I was basically a fan like everyone else during the 3-on-3.
“It’s just up and down hockey, really fast and very intense between two high-end teams.”
The NCHC is currently the lone league to implement the 3-on-3 stanza and it’s on a trial basis.
Duluth travels to Colorado College for a weekend series against the 0-10 Tigers while Denver is also on the road at Wisconsin. Friday’s game will be televised on ASN.
JUST HOW GOOD ARE THEY?
St. Cloud State’s 11 goals against Western Michigan on Saturday were the most in Division I men’s hockey this season and the most in conference play since the NCHC was formed in 2013-2014. The 10-goal margin of victory is also a conference record.
The Huskies, if not on top of the world right now, are on top of the NCHC standings with a 4-0-0 conference record and are 8-2-0 overall.
Just how good are they? Well, their only losses came via a sweep by still unbeaten Quinnipiac on Oct. 23-24. That was the first series after team leader Ethan Prow went down with an injury.
Prow returned this past weekend and so did the Huskies’ power play. After being held without a power-play goal over the previous six games, SCSU scored on four of eight chances against Western Michigan.
The real test for SCSU starts this weekend when NCHC co-leader North Dakota comes to town.
It doesn’t get much easier after that. The Huskies then travel an hour down the road to rival Minnesota, return home to play Omaha and then hit the road again for a series at Denver.
If they come out of that gauntlet unscathed, you’ll find a new leader in the clubhouse.
This weekend series is also interesting for UND. North Dakota has been piling up wins with its third-string goalie, Matt Hrynkiw, in net. The team lost its two scholarship goalies to injuries until after the Christmas break, but Hrnykiw may make the switch back difficult for the UND coaching staff. The junior is 8-1-1 on the season, carrying a .920 save percentage and 1.81 goals-against average.
ASN DOUBLEHEADER ON TAP
Friday is college hockey night in America on ASN. The early game features Boston University, ranked 10th and 11th in the polls, against untested Michigan (12th in both polls) at 6 p.m. ET.
The Terriers are coming off back-to-back ties with top-ranked Providence in a rematch of last season’s Frozen Four final. BU scored late in both games and is now 5-3-2. Michigan’s lone blemish is a 4-0 home loss to unranked Robert Morris. A Michigan win over a strong Hockey East team this weekend could do wonders for a Big Ten conference that’s struggled against national foes recently.
The nightcap features two teams features former WCHA rivals Denver at Wisconsin at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Badgers, who won just four games last year, already own a road win this season over North Dakota, the top-ranked team in the country at the time.
Denver is looking to end its streak of all its losses coming by one goal.
Winless Maine ended its scoreless drought at 193 minutes and 20 seconds on Will Merchant’s power play goal during a 2-1 loss Friday night to UMass Lowell.
The Black Bears, 0-8-3, have scored just 11 goals on the season.
Colorado College remains the nation's lone winless team at 0-10. The Tigers play host to Minnesota-Duluth this weekend.
It was a record-shattering weekend in women’s hockey. Among the highlights:
- Minnesota senior Hannah Brandt (above) scored five goals Saturday as No. 3 Minnesota swept No. 5 Bemidji State. Included in the 8-3 win was Brandt’s 100th career goal and a natural hat trick in the first period and she is now the school’s career scoring leader with 247 career points (104 goals, 143 assists). She had been stuck on 99 goals the past five games.
- Boston University’s Saha Lefort scored two goals in a 5-3 win over Maine to give her 82 for her career, a school record.
- Boston College’s Alex Carpenter scored her 19th goal of the season, tops in women’s hockey.
- After 624 minutes and 18 seconds, top-ranked Wisconsin finally gave up a goal but still beat Minnesota-Duluth, 4-2, to move to 12-0 on the season. The Badgers had an NCAA record nine shutouts in a row.
- Hockey East showdown time: No. 2 Boston College takes on No. 7 Northeastern Friday night. Neither team has lost in league play this season.
Above: Minnesota's Hannah Brandt (Courtesy Eric Miller/Gopher Athletics)