Capitals College Credits: Ryan Leonard Remains Hot, Chase Clark Heats Up, Brent Johnson Scores Third Goal Of The Season

It was another strong weekend for the Washington Capitals’ collegiate prospects. Though some are battling injuries, the ones that did play continue to thrive and get better with each series. Here is how the six prospects performed during week five of the college hockey season. 

Ryan Leonard, F, 2023 1st RD, No. 1 Boston College Eagles (7-1-0, 2-0-0)

Leonard is hot. Like scorching hot. He is finally settling into the college game and continues to be noticeable on every single shift. Leonard had two goals in Boston College’s sweep over the UMass Lowell River Hawks. He now has three goals in his last four games and has seven points (three goals, four assists) this season.

His first goal in Game 1 can be seen in this highlight video. It was a one timer from the slot. Meanwhile, he also had seven shots on goal which led the team.

The Eagles took the series opener 3-2. 

Leonard’s goal in Game 2 of the series was similar to his first career goal he scored last week against Michigan State. It was a backdoor tap in off a gorgeous feed from Will Smith. However this time it proved to be the game-winner.

Leonard once again led the way in the shot on goal department in the series finale. He, along with Cutter Gauthier, had four shots on goal.

Boston College will look to remain undefeated in conference play when it takes on the No. 13 Maine Black Bears on Nov. 10-11.

David Gucciardi, LD, 2022 7th RD, No. 11 Michigan State Spartans (7-3-0, 2-0-0)

Gucciardi did not play in Michigan State’s sweep over the Ohio State Buckeyes. It is unclear why but it is probably due to an injury. 

The Spartans will host the No. 17 Penn State Nittany Lions on Nov. 10-11. 

Chase Clark, G, 2021 6th RD, Sacred Heart Pioneers (3-5-1, 3-2-1)

The Pioneers had two one game slates against the Army Black Knights (0-4-0) and the LIU Sharks. Sacred Heart took momentum from its 4-1 win over the Niagara Purple Eagles last week and ended up dominating Army 6-1. The Pioneers were so dominant that Clark himself had a point. He had the secondary assist on Kevin Lombardi’s game-winning goal in the first period.

Clark ended the evening with 21 saves on 22 shots. However things were a lot tighter on Sunday against LIU. Clark did his best to keep the Pioneers in the game, however the Sharks ended up sneaking a puck past him with about five minutes to go in the third period. LIU would go on to win 2-1.

The Sacred Heart netminder ended the game with 13 saves on 15 shots. Clark is currently 3-5-0 with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. 

The Pioneers will resume Atlantic Hockey play against the Canisius Golden Griffins on Nov. 10-11. 

Ryan Chesley, RD, 2022 2nd RD, No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-3-1, 0-2-0)

Minnesota has not gotten out to the start that it had hoped for. The Gophers earned four points in their home-and-home series against the No. 18 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. They dominated the Bulldogs 5-1 in Game 1. Chesley had one shot on goal and two shot attempts. 

Game 2 was a lot tighter. After being down 2-1 headed into the second period, Minnesota took a 3-2 lead with about five minutes to go in the middle frame, with two quick strikes from Aaron Huglen and Jaxson Nelson. However UMD battled back to tie the game and it ended up in a 3-3 tie. 

Chesley had four shots on goal and nine shot attempts. His nine shot attempts led Gopher defenseman.

Minnesota will travel to Ann Arbor this week to face off against the No. 8 Michigan Wolverines for its second Big Ten series. 

Brent Johnson, RD, 2021 3rd RD, No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-3-3, 0-3-1)

Ohio State had a very tough weekend. The Buckeyes were blanked 6-0 in Game 1 against the No. 11 Michigan State Spartans. Johnson was a minus-2 and only had one shot on goal. 

Things were much closer in the series finale. The Buckeyes came out flying right out of the gate and Johnson gave Ohio State a 1-0 lead 11 seconds into the game. It was a perfectly placed wrist shot from the point, going blocker side on Michigan State goaltender Trey Augustine.

It was Johnson’s third goal of the season. However, it was not enough as Michigan State battled back with three unanswered goals to take Game 2 6-4, earning their first Big Ten sweep. Johnson had six shot attempts and led the team with three blocked shots.

Joaquim Lemay, LD, 2021 4th RD, Omaha Mavericks (3-2-1, 1-1-0)

Lemay did not play in Omaha’s series against the No. 12 Western Michigan Broncos. The Mavericks split the series with the Broncos, falling in Game 1 5-2 but bouncing back with a 3-2 overtime win to earn the split.

The Mavericks play their final two games of their eight-game homestand against the LIU Sharks. 

Other College Hockey Storylines

  • No. 3 Wisconsin sweeps No. 8 Michigan (5-4W, 2-1W) The Badgers scored in the final seconds of Game 2. 
  • No. 10 Quinnipiac ties (but falls in a shootout) to Dartmouth 2-2, but bounces back to dominate Harvard 6-0. 
  • No. 4 North Dakota earns split against No. 9 BU (3-2L, 5-4OTW)
  • Michigan Tech sweeps Augustana in two tight contests (6-4W, 4-3OTW)
  • Vermont splits with UConn (4-1W, 5-2L)
  • Mercyhurst splits with Bowling Green (4-3OTW, 4-2L)
  • No. 16 Arizona State narrowly sweeps Stonehill (5-4OTW, 3-2W)
  • No. 13 Maine sweeps Merrimack (2-1W, 5-4W)
  • No. 17 Penn State and Notre Dame tie (ND 4-3 SOW. PSU 3-2SOW)
  • No. 2 Denver sweeps Colorado College (6-1W, 5-1W)
  • No. 5 Providence ties and wins with No. 14 UNH (2-2SOW, 2-0W)
  • Union splits with RPI (8-6L, 5-1W)
  • Alaska Fairbanks sweeps Alaska Anchorage (6-1W, 5-4W)
  • St. Cloud sweeps Miami (OH) (3-2W, 6-0W)
  • St. Thomas sweeps Northern Michigan (4-2W, 6-1W)


 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 Remains Hot, Chase Clark Heats Up, Brent Johnson Scores Third Goal Of The Season

  1. DWGie26 says:

    Well the success is getting thinner. Leonard looking good. Chelsey continues to be steady. I like him. Want to see him turn pro and stretch next year. Chase needs to win.

    • Jacob Cheris says:

      I’m not sure if Clark struggling is because of him or the team isn’t helping him out. The only reason why Sacred Heart is second in Atlantic Hockey, is because Atlantic Hockey is terrible. It’s always the worst conference in college hockey.

      • DWGie26 says:

        It’s 100% of the team in front of him. Which I didn’t describe well. He needs to be on a winning team to develop. Bjorklund had same issue being on a bad team in juniors. Winning matters.

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