3/13 Recap: Biega, Tropp bounced; Kassian catchin' up

Alex Biega saw his collegiate career come to a close Saturday as Harvard was shut out by #9 Cornell, 3-0. The Big Red sweep of the ECAC quarterfinal sends the senior defenseman back to Cambridge with 15 goals and 55 assists in 131 games of his four-year NCAA career. The 5'11 righthander will now sit and wait for a contract offer from the Sabres. The club of course has until August 15th to make a decision on the player.

Also seeing his season come to frustrating close Saturday was Michigan State junior Corey Tropp. The Spartans fell for a second straight night to energy-laced Michigan, 5-3, but Tropp was forced to sit the game out after stepping on a puck and tweaking his ankle during pregame warm-ups. The freak accident put an abrupt end to Tropp's remarkable bounceback year where he led the Spartans with 20 goals and 42 points. Despite finishing 2nd in the CCHA regular season, MSU is essentially done as their current pairwise ranking projects them out of the 16-team NCAA tourney.

In the WCHA, Brad Eidsness stopped 22 shots as North Dakota saw their best-of-three series evened at one game apiece in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota. After a Friday shutout of the Gophers, the sophomore surrendered three goals against in game two - a pair with the Gophers on the power play and the third on a high point shot through traffic that came quickly off a draw. With the game tied 2-2, it appeared that Eidsness did not see the shot coming until it was too late, stabbing upward while standing up as the puck shot past him. Corey Fienhage did not dress for the Sioux, who will look to keep their healthy pairwise ranking in tact with a victory in Sunday's rubber match.

Connor Knapp did not get his usual Saturday start as #2 Miami suffered a 5-4 overtime loss to Ohio State. The move to not start Knapp backfired on RedHawks coach Enrico Blasi, as the nation's top netminder (numerically) Cody Reichard allowed three goals on his first 11 shots while fighting the puck all evening long. The Buckeye victory forces a Sunday game #3, and a likely opportunity for Knapp to assume the crease for Miami after a shutout in his last start.

In Hockey East, Drew MacKenzie registered three shots on goal as Vermont edged New Hampshire, 1-0. With the Catamounts leveling the series at one game each, the #1 seeded Wildcats are forced to defend home ice in Sunday's deciding game.

As expected, Justin Jokinen remained back in Mankato as Minnesota State lost to St. Cloud State, 3-2. After splitting the Friday/Saturday games, the clubs will play it back Sunday in St. Cloud.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian scored a pair of goals as Windsor ended their regular season with a 8-3 loss to Sarnia. The Spits sat five of their top players en route to losing to the league's worst team, while Kassian continued his tune-up on a line with Kenny Ryan and Stephen Jonhston. The two-goal night, highlighted by a clean slapper on the latter, allows the 6'3 wing to finish his 38-game regular season with 12 goals, 19 assists, 81 PIMS, and a -16 rating. The Spits will play either Saginaw or Erie when the playoffs begin next week.

Nick Crawford was +1 in Barrie's 4-2 win over Kingston. Heading into the final day of play, Crawford's 70 points gives him a three-point lead over Soo's Jacob Muzzin for the defensive scoring title. The Greyhounds finish their regular season on Sunday versus Kitchener. The Colts (57-9-0-2) finished the season first overall with 116 points and are guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They will open against either Niagara or Marcus Foligno's Sudbury Wolves pending the results of Sunday's closing slate.

Brayden McNabb finished even as Kootenay concluded their regular season by defeating Edmonton, 2-1. Prior to the game, the 6'4 McNabb was named the team's Top Defenseman for the 2009-10 season. The Ice will begin the playoffs at home on Friday against Medicine Hat.

Mark Adams was even while being 'credited' with the first fighting major of his junior "A" career as Chicago defeated Tri-City, 4-2. Coincidental delay of game penalties were also assessed on the play.
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