NCRHA Matchups of the Week - February 18-19, 2023February 17th, 2023 at 11:22PM February 18th, 2023 5:27AM
We are finishing up the regular season this weekend, with events in every conference! In addition to the regular multi-team events in Michigan, New Jersey, Florida and California, we have a 2-game series in Colorado featuring University of Colorado and Colorado State University, SCHL’s top 2 teams. Lots of playoff positioning on the line, especially in the ECRHA and WCRHL.
Here are your matchups of the week!
NCRHA Division I Matchup of the Week
Arizona State University vs. Grand Canyon University
Saturday, February 18 – 9pm
Season Head to Head: Arizona State leads season series 3-1
Arizona State Season Record: 11 wins, 1 loss (currently 1st in WCRHL DI)
Grand Canyon Season Record: 9 win, 3 losses (currently 2nd in WCRHL DI)
This is the 5th and final regular season matchup between the 2 WCRHL Division I teams. Arizona State leads that season series 3 games to 1, but 2 of those games were 1 -goal games, 1 a 2-goal game and 1 3-goal game. ASU has 2 players in the top 15 WCRHL scoring, while GCU has 4. The teams couldn’t be more different as GCU plays a run-and-gun style while ASU plays a more controlled, defensive game. GCU’s Aydin Schwetz leads the nation in DI scoring with 32 goals and 9 assists, and his 8 power play goals are also lead-leading. ASU’s Lane Hartwell is top 3 in Goals Against with 2.19, followed by GCU’s Guido Pacheco in 4th with 2.53. Hartwell also has the top Save Percentage in the country with over 90%.
In this final game, you can look for GCU to be fast and aggressive from the get-go, and if they can draw some penalties they are great on the power play. ASU’s Lane Hartwell in net will be the X-factor.
The teams will also play a best-of-3 series at WCRHL Conference Championships on March 4, at Corona Inline in Corona, CA.
NCRHA Division II Matchup of the Week
University of Massachusetts vs. Penn State University
Saturday, February 18 – 10pm
Season Head to Head: UMass leads season series 1-0, with 10-5 on November 20
Penn State Season Record: 6 wins, 4 losses, 4 overtime losses (currently 2nd in ECRHA DII)
UMass Season Record: 7 wins, 6 losses (currently 3rd in ECRHA DII)
With Northeastern comfortably in 1st place in the ECRHA Division II standings, this battle between teams #2 (Penn State) and #3 (UMass) should be a good one. UMass sits just 2 points behind Penn State, but does have the only win in their matchup from earlier this season. UMass’ Owen Gallgher is 4th in nationwide Division II scoring with 28 goals and 13 assists. Penn State’s Ryan Puskar and UMass’ Brennan McAuley are top 20 nationwide as well. The goaltenders for both teams are neck and neck, around 4.5 GAA and 82-83% in Save Percentage.
This matchup plus their other games this weekend will determine who gets the #2 spot heading into ECRHA Conference Championships on March 3-5, at Marple Sports Arena in Broomall, PA.
NCRHA Division III Matchup of the Week
Quinnipiac University vs. Hofstra University
Saturday, February 18 – 7pm
Season Head to Head: Hofstra leads season series 1-0, with 8-6 win on November 19
Quinnipiac Season Record: 11 wins, 3 losses, 1 overtime loss (currently 3rd in ECRHA DIII)
Hofstra Season Record: 11 wins, 3 losses (currently 3rd in ECRHA DIII)
Quinnipiac is currently tied for 2nd place in the ECRHA Division II standings, tied with Oswego. Oswego does have 1 game in hand. Hofstra sits in 4th just 1 point below Quinnipiac and Oswego. The goal for all 3 of these teams this weekend is to make sure to grab the #2 or #3 spot and go as far as possible at Conference Championships without facing #1 Neumann.
Hofstra’s offense features 2 players in the top 5 nationwide – Britt Bischoff (67 goals, 20 assists) and Collin Ewald (33 goals, 34 assists). Quinnipiac’s Vinson Guigliano is top 25 nationwide with 21 goals and 17 assists. Quinnipiac’s goaltender Stephen DiGiaovanna has a 3.28 GAA and 85.7% Save Percentage, while Hofstra’s 2 goaltenders have allowed over 5 goals per game and have save percentages in the high 70s. A run-and-gun shootout favors Hofstra, while a slowed-down, controlled game favors Quinnipiac. It will be interesting to watch this one unfold!
NCRHA Division AA Matchup of the Week
CSU Fullerton vs. Arizona State University vs. University of Arizona
Saturday, February 18 – 7pm, 11pm
Sunday, February 19 – 10am
Season Head to Head: Arizona State leads WCRHL AA teams with a 4-1 record against U of A and CSUF AA
Arizona State AA Season Record: 6 wins, 5 losses (currently tied for 1st in WCRHL Division AA)
Arizona AA Season Record: 6 wins, 5 losses (currently tied for 1st in WCRHL Division AA)
CSU Fullerton AA Season Record: 5 wins, 6 losses, 1 overtime loss (currently 3rd in WCRHL Division AA)
Arizona State has the 4-1 record against these teams (overall) this season, so they are favored going into the weekend. Teams 1 and 2 will go on to play a best-of-3 series at the WCRHL Conference Championships in 2 weeks. ASU and U of A have 5 games to play this weekend, 1 more than CSU Fullerton who trails the tied teams by just 1 point.
CSU Fullerton’s Caden Fehr leads all 3 teams in scoring, with 19 goals and 9 assists in just 8 games, while the next set of players (one for each team) all have 10 goals and 10 assists. The 3 games between these teams will likely come down to goaltending and power play opportunities. U of A’s Ethan Valentine leads all 3 teams’ goaltenders with a 3.89 GAA and 82.7% Save Percentage.
NCRHA Cross-Divisional Matchup of the Week
Henry Ford College (JC) vs. The Ohio State University (DII)
Saturday, February 18 – 6pm
Season Head to Head: Henry Ford leads season series 3-0
Henry Ford Season Standings: 7 wins, 6 losses
Ohio State Season Standings: 7 wins, 7 losses (1st in MCRHL DII)
Henry Ford comes in leading the season series 3 games to 0 and is heavily favored. Each game between these teams has resulted in a Henry Ford victory of 5 or more goals. However, we are heading towards Conference Championships and every game counts. Count on Ohio State to give it everything they’ve got.
Henry Ford’s Dustin Foran is good for 3 points per game, and goaltender Carter Pattenaude is stopping over 85% of the shots he’s faced. Ohio State’s Bradley Ryniawec is also around the 3 points per game mark. It’s going to be up to the OSU defense to keep the shot count low, keep the shots outside, and stay out of the box. If those can be accomplished, OSU can make a game of it.