Capitals College Credits: Ryan Leonard’s First, Brent Johnson Scores Again, Chase Clark Receives Honors And Ryan Chesley Opens Scoring

Though week four of the college hockey season did not have the upsets that the past three weeks provided, it was still yet another exciting weekend of collegiate hockey. It was also another great week for the Washington Capitals student-athletes. Let’s look at how each of them performed for week four. 

In this week’s update I will be mentioning what is called the PairWise Rankings. The PairWise is a very complicated system but it is very important, especially in the second half of the season. The PairWise deems the 16 teams that will compete in the NCAA tournament. We will explain more in detail as the season gets deeper.

Here is the full PairWise rankings as of now. 

Ryan Leonard, F, 2023 1st RD, No. 1 Boston College Eagles (5-1-0)

Leonard continues to get better and become a more impactful player for Boston College. After having two assists last weekend, Leonard scored his first career goal in Game 1 against the Michigan State Spartans. It was a back-and-forth contest that was filled with excitement.

Leonard also had the secondary assist on Will Smith’s goal. He did a great job at winning the 50/50 puck battle in the corner and feeding linemate Gabe Perreault.

The Eagles would go on to win 6-4. 

The eighth overall pick did not register a point in Game 2. He only had one shot on goal and was a plus-1. Boston College completed the sweep with a 5-1 win over Michigan State, in front of another sellout crowd at Conte Forum.

Boston College will begin Hockey East play on Nov. 3-4, with a home-and-home series against the UMass-Lowell River Hawks (4-2-0, 1-1-1). Although it is still early into the season, the Eagles are currently seventh in the PairWise rankings. 

David Gucciardi, LD, 2022 7th RD, No. 12 Michigan State Spartans (5-1-0)

Gucciardi’s squad had a tough weekend against BC. In a back-and-forth Game 1, the 21-year-old defenseman had a tough time staying out of the penalty box. He took a team leading three penalties, one of which was against Leonard in the second period. Though he was a plus-1 in the game. 

Game 2 was even worse. Michigan State’s offense could not get anything past Boston College goaltender Jacob Fowler. Gucciardi was a minus-1 and had two shots on goal. 

The Spartans will begin Big Ten play when they travel to Columbus to face off against the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes. 

Chase Clark, G, 2021 6th RD, Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-4-1, 2-2-1)

The Pioneers are slowly trending upwards, but it appears like they will have a long season ahead of them. Sacred Heart split with the Niagara Purple Eagles (1-3-1, 1-1-1) over the weekend. In Game 1, Clark allowed four goals on 22 shots. 

He faced just four shots in the second and third period and allowed one goal in each frame. Niagara erased leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before the Eagles took care of business in overtime. 

The game-winning goal is certainly one that the sophomore netminder would want back.

In Game 2, Clark and the Pioneers bounced back earning their second straight, series finale victory. The Williamsville, N.Y., native made 37 saves and Sacred Heart went on to win 4-1 to earn its second Atlantic Hockey victory. The Pioneers are second in the AHA with seven points.

The Pioneers are quickly back in action on Oct. 31 for a one-game slate against the Army Black Knights.

Ryan Chesley, RD, 2022 2nd RD, No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3-0, 0-2-0)

 The Golden Gophers were humbled big time over the weekend. They were swept by the then-ranked No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers (7-1-0, 2-0-0) and have now lost three straight games.

However, Chesley continues to earn big minutes and be a legitimate top four defenseman for the Gophers. He earned his first regular season point, having the primary assist on Jaxson Nelson’s opening tally in Game 1, which came 15 seconds into the first period. He also had one shot on goal and five shot attempts.

But the Badgers would quickly respond, and they eventually took Game 1 5-2.

Minnesota played better in Game 2. It was a very even game, but Wisconsin capitalized in the final minutes of regulation completing the sweep, by a score of 3-2. 

The Gophers will be back in action on Nov. 3-4 for a home-and-home slate against the No. 14 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. 

Brent Johnson, RD, 2021 3rd RD, No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-1-3, 0-1-1)

Johnson and the Buckeyes had a very solid weekend. They earned a tie and a win for the second consecutive weekend against the Omaha Mavericks. In Game 1, Johnson had one penalty and one shot on goal. He had three shot attempts and two blocked shots. 

Game 2 was a much different story for the Buckeyes. 

Unlike his first goal of the year, which was a one-time shot on the backdoor, Johnson showed off his slick hands for his second goal of the season and Ohio State’s third marker of the game.

The 20-year-old also had the secondary assist on John Larkin’s first career goal, and Ohio State would shut out the Mavericks 4-0. Meanwhile, he had six shot attempts and one shot on goal.

Johnson and the Buckeyes will resume conference play when they host the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans on Nov. 3-4.

Joaquim Lemay, LD, 2021 4th RD, Omaha Mavericks (2-1-1)

As mentioned above, it was a bit of a rough weekend for Omaha. However, despite losing the tiebreaker to the Buckeyes in Game 1, Lemay had a strong showing. He had a team-leading six shot attempts and a team-leading three blocked shots. 

Lemay did not play in Game 2 of the series. Omaha will begin NCHC play on Nov. 3-4 against the No. 11 Western Michigan Broncos. 

Other College Hockey Storylines

  • No. 15 (Originally unranked) UNH takes down Northeastern (originally No. 18). The third straight ranked opponent the Wildcats have beaten (No. 1 BU, No. 5 Quinnipiac). The Wildcats have won four straight after they took down Dartmouth 3-1. 
  • Augustana ties 5-5 with No. 2 Denver, but earned the extra point in the shootout. They also beat Colorado College 4-3.  
  • No. 8 Quinnipiac splits with No. 20 Maine (originally unranked) (2-1OTL, 4-1W)
  • Alaska Anchorage splits with No. 17 (originally No. 15) Penn State (2-1L, 6-4W)
  • UMass Lowell splits with UConn (2-1OTL, 1-0W)
  • No. 4 Michigan (originally No. 3) sweeps Lindenwood (9-1W, 10-1W)
  • No. 7 Providence earns a win and a tie to Vermont (4-1L, 2-2 SO L)
  • No. 9 Boston University earns a win and tie against No. 18 UMass (originally No. 19) (5-2W, 2-2 BU S/O W)
  • RIT Sweeps Holy Cross (3-2OTW, 3-2W)

 By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Capitals College Credits: Ryan Leonard’s First, Brent Johnson Scores Again, Chase Clark Receives Honors And Ryan Chesley Opens Scoring

  1. Jacob Cheris says:

    Hockey East is once again cracked and the Big Ten is falling down hard. This year has been something else.

  2. DWGie26 says:

    Gucc can’t stay out of the penalty box! Haha.

    Leonard continues to look strong. Lot to be excited about with this 2023 draft class including Cristall. I like the other picks but we’ll.

    Chesley is steady and still finished a bad weekend with +/- of 0. Love to see him unlock some offense.

    Clark is scrappy good. He may need to go pro next year or go to a more competitive school.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Saw the second BC vs Michigan State game. Leonard was very solid. Constantly pushing the puck into the offensive zone and not shying away from physical contact with the Spartan defense,

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