A person could burn up a ton of clichés describing the importance of this week’s matchup between the SCSU Huskies and the UND Fighting Sioux. The Huskies and Sioux are natural rivals as determined by the league a few years back. What does this mean? It means the Sioux and the Huskies are going to play 4 times a year every year. I have not heard a lot of people grumble about this and I am fine with it.
The UND Fighting Sioux and SCSU Huskies usually play exciting games and this year has been no different. Under Coach Bob Motzko the Huskies have gotten away from the ever boring trap and now play a more exciting brand of up tempo hockey. Back to the Clichés; did I mention that this weekend is crunch time? With the final week of the season there is a lot at stake. A WCHA regular season title (possible if DU co-operates and UND sweeps) and seeding for the WCHA tourney. This weekend’s series also has national implications as well, because the Sioux want to keep winning so they can secure a number one seed. If the Huskies get swept this weekend they probably go on the road for the First round of the WCHA playoffs and run the risk of not making the NCAA tourney.
SCSU Huskies 17-14-3 -- 12-12-2 5th place in the WCHA
R. Lasch 22-24-46
G. Roe 18-22-40
A. Nodl 17-23-40
N. Dey 10-10-20
M. Hartman 7-12-19
J. Weslosky 14-11-0 2.20
D. Dunn 3-2-2 2.63
B. O'Brien 0-1-1 3.54
Fighting Sioux 23-8-2 -- 18-7-1 2nd place in the WCHA
T. Oshie 14-21-35
R. Duncan 13-20-33
C. VandeVelde 14-14-28
R. Bina 2-21-23
C. Genoway 6-16-22
A. Walski 1-0-0 0.00
J. Lamoureux 22-8-2 1.68
UND is 14-5-4 the last 24 games against SCSU.
This post isn't going to make Husky fans very happy.
Jim Connelly said; We’ve reached the first full week of March with only one regular season league championship still up for grabs. The WCHA will come down to the final weekend of play, with North Dakota sitting just two points behind league-leader Colorado College.
The Tigers may have the tougher opponent this weekend then they’ll face in-state rival Denver, while North Dakota squares off against St. Cloud State. SCSU did prove a problem for Wisconsin over the weekend, earning a split, but they’ll be traveling to Grand Forks for this final weekend which gives the edge to the Sioux.
Here is another interesting perspective from this blog post.
WCHA Dominance in the PairWise
If the NCAA Tournament Selection Show were taking place today, the WCHA would have a 50/50 chance of winning this year’s national championship based on the field itself (WCHA fans, I’m sure, will argue that the league’s “superiority” would give them better than a 50/50 shot, but to that I digress).
Currently, eight of the ten WCHA teams rank in the top 14 of the PairWise rankings. That was made possibly when Minnesota crept from the 15th spot to the 12th position over the weekend, while a skidding Minnesota-Duluth club held on for dear life to the 14th and final PWR rank.
I don’t have the math brain to say what the chances are the through the playoffs that eight WCHA teams will maintain their PWR. Obviously, the lower the seeds that advance to the Final Five the better the chance that we’ll see seven or eight WCHA teams.