By Nate Ewell
A 7-1-1 run in conference games has Robert Morris sitting third in Atlantic Hockey and in striking distance of a conference title despite a 5-7-1 start. Senior Brady Ferguson (Lewisville, Texas/Amarillo-NAHL) and junior Alex Tonge (Kingston, Ont./Kingston-OJHL) have led that resurgence, the nation’s only players with 20-plus points since Dec. 15. Ferguson is the nation’s top active career scorer with 155 points, one shy of Zac Lynch’s career record at RMU entering this weekend’s home series with RIT.
Most Points, Dec. 16 to Present
21 – Brady Ferguson, RMU
20 – Alex Tonge, RMU
19 – David Pope, UNO (DET)
19 – Adam Gaudette, NU (VAN)
19 – Troy Loggins, NMU
Must Read/See/Hear Material
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College Hockey News: Sato, Miura grew up in Japan, now blaze new trail
Duluth News Tribune: College hockey teams seeking small, shifty defensemen
Boston Globe: Northeastern’s Gaudette is no longer overlooked
The Athletic: How David Pope improved and what it means for his future
Watertown Daily Times: Brey heats up for St. Lawrence
Michigan Daily: The continuous rise of Dakota Raabe
FloHockey: Against all odds: The rise of Sun Devil hockey
Westman Journal: NHL clubs knocking on Whitecloud’s door
Five More Storylines No One Should Be Without
Princeton’s Rangers – Princeton is rolling with three wins since its exam break and a four-game streak dating to Jan. 18, led by its Ottawa connection of juniors Ryan Kuffner (Ottawa, Ont./Gloucester-CCHL) and Max Veronneau (Ottawa, Ont./Gloucester-CCHL). The duo – who spent two seasons as teammates with the CCHL’s Gloucester Rangers – has combined for 22 points in the four-game win streak. Kuffner ranks second nationally in goals per game (0.83), while Veronneau is fifth in points per game (1.39).
Most Points Per Game, Two Teammates (Points/Team GP)
2.86 – Adam Gaudette/Dylan Sikura, NU
2.81 – Mason Bergh/Nick Halloran, CC
2.74 – Ryan Kuffner/Max Veronneau, PU
2.54 – Henrik Borgstrom/Dylan Gambrell, DU
2.46 – Tanner Laczynski/Matthew Weis, OSU
UConn’s shorthanded sparkplug – Senior forward Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass./St. Sebastian’s) has helped spark a five-game winning streak for Connecticut with his second and third shorthanded goals of the season, tying him for the national lead in that category. In fact, three of Ronan’s four goals this year – and six of 18 in his career – have come while killing penalties. Ronan’s father, Ed, played at Boston University and won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993. Ed also had a crucial connection to UConn, growing up with Huskies head coach Mike Cavanaugh. Now Corey and Cavanaugh have the Huskies on a roll entering the final stretch of the regular season. | Hartford Courant: Cavanaugh brought the Ronan tenacity to UConn
Longest Active Winning Streak
6 – Boston University
5 – Connecticut
5 – Minnesota State
4 – Princeton
Lucchini leads MTU – Michigan Tech plays five of its last six at home and headed back to Houghton on a high thanks to WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Jake Lucchini (Trail, B.C./Trail-BCHL). Lucchini, the team’s leading scorer, had two goals and two assists in a 4-0 win at Bowling Green Saturday. This weekend’s Winter Carnival home series with Bemidji State will go a long way toward determining whether the defending WCHA playoff champions can earn home ice as one of the top four seeds in this year’s tournament.
Gatt, defense lift MSU – Michigan State’s defense combined for two goals and six assists in Saturday’s upset of No. 6 Ohio State, led by one goal and one assist from Carson Gatt (Farmington Hills, Mich./Muskegon-USHL). The only senior regular in the Spartan lineup, Gatt heads into a series with Michigan (home Friday, at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena on Saturday) with a career-best 15 points. The rivals split a home-and-home in December. | Hometownlife.com: Gatt remains steady anchor for Spartans | Saturday’s game is on FOX Sports Detroit
D helps WMU – Western Michigan maintains third place in the NCHC despite injuries to top scorers Wade Allison (Myrtyle, Man./Tri-City-USHL/PHI) and Colt Conrad (St. Alphonse, Man./Shattuck St. Mary’s), and defensemen have played a big role. Blueliners Cam Lee (Ferguson’s Cove, Nova Scotia/Green Bay-USHL) and Corey Schueneman (Milford, Mich./Muskegon-USHL) ranked 1-2 on the team in January scoring, while senior Paul Stoykewych (Winnipeg, Man./Penticton-BCHL) has moved from defense to wing and also chipped in. The Broncos have a history of producing talented defensemen, with five former blueliners appearing in the NHL this season.
NHL Note of the Week
Alec Martinez joined a growing number of former college players who have recently completed their degrees while playing in the NHL. Others include Justin Abdelkader, David Backes, Colton Parayko, Chris Kreider, Nick Bjugstad, Torey Krug and Anders Lee.
Olympic Note of the Week
38 current or former NCAA players are slated to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics men’s hockey tournament that gets underway next week.
Fries at the Bottom of the Bag
Northeastern seeks its first Beanpot title in 30 years on Monday against Boston University (7:30 p.m. ET, NESN/TSN2) … The top two teams in the Big Ten (Notre Dame-Ohio State) and ECAC Hockey (Cornell-Clarkson) both face off this weekend … Five finalists have been named for the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award, given to “college hockey’s finest citizen” … Lake Superior State posted its first consecutive wins of the season last weekend, both by shutout and from two goalies: junior Nick Kossoff (W. Des Moines, Iowa/Keystone-NAHL) and freshman Mareks Mitens (Ventspils, Latvia/Aston-NAHL) … Teams have anywhere from three (Connecticut) to eight (Colorado College, Miami, North Dakota, St. Cloud State) regular-season games remaining.