Cornell vs Yale
Cornell is a perfect 5-0 with their biggest win over a previously undefeated Virginia team last week. However, earlier in the year, Cornell struggled to beat Michigan in OT (15-14).
Yale is 3-1 with wins over ranked Bryant and Lehigh. Their only loss was an OT loss to ranked Fairfield.
Statistically Cornell has this in the bag. Yale’s goalie saves 50%, and they win 50% Face Offs, with no one scoring into the double digit goals. Cornell on the other hand has 3 players with double digit goals, winning 59% of their FOs, and with their Goalie switch to Freshman Knight, he is saving 63% of the shots he faces. Yale plays up or down to their opponents and could give Cornell a run for their money. Cornell wins in a surprisingly close game.
Denver vs Ohio State
This is another game that could be an interesting one. Denver can score alot and is on a roll winning 2 in a row against ranked opponents, but Ohio State could be tricky as they can play it tight.
Denver is 5-2 with wins over ranked Penn State, and Notre Dame, with their losses to ranked Penn and Duke
Four different players are averaging 2+ goals per game. They also have depth, with many players seeing the field (13 players have at least 1 goal). Both main goalies while good, haven’t put up the numbers one would expect from a Tierney team (LaPlante with save percentage of 53%, and Faus with 54%). Denver wins only 40% of the face offs.
OSU is only 1-4. Their losses include a triple OT loss to a ranked Hopkins, another OT loss to a ranked UMass, and a 2 goal loss to a good but unranked Hofstra.
Much of OSU’s success rides on the shoulders of Jesse King who is averaging over 4 points per game. Three other players with 5+ goals are shooting over 30%. OSU just needs to shoot MORE. Less than 30 shots per game, doesn’t offer many chances to score. They need to get more possessions, because they can clearly make it count. OSU Goalie Dutton is saving 50% which isn’t much better or worse than Denver. OSU face offs is at 40% as well. And not to e a broken record, but in a game where both teams struggle at FO, and getting ground balls, possession will be crucial. If given a chance in the possession column, OSU could pull off a win.
Penn State vs UMass
UMass is 5-1 with no ranked wins, and a loss to ranked Albany.
UMass’s heralded defense melted down against Albany, and on Tuesday didn’t look as stalwart as they did early in the season against Providence letting in 11.
UMass’s defense looks to get their magic back and contain a Penn State team that is averaging almost 13 goals per game. How they do on Saturday should prove if they are really as good as they showed against Brown and Harvard, or if they are overrated.
Penn State is 3-2 with a win over ranked Notre Dame, and losses to ranked Loyola in OT, and Denver.
Sturgis is unstoppable averaging 6 points per game (with 21 goals and a shooting % of 62!) The main surpise for Penn State has been the play of goalie Austin Kaut only saving 48% on the year. He hasn’t played consistently bad, but when he has bad days, they are terrible (33% against Loyola and 35% against Denver). This is in stark contrast to his consistent top play. He led the nation in 2011 as a freshman with 64%, and ended second last year with 61%. If Kaut was playing at his old form, there is a chance Penn State could be undefeated right now.
UMass is still overrated, but if the bad Kaut comes to play, UMass could pull out a big win.