Friday, December 02, 2011

Putting on the foil – Friday links.

In the predictions department, Roman Augustoviz from the Red Star and Sickle and Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press made their predictions for this weekend’s games.
North Dakota at Alaska Anchorage
Shane: Anybody out there write off North Dakota after its slow start? Me neither. The Sioux face a Seawolves team that left Mankato with three points this week but also one that blew a 5-1 lead over the second half of Saturday’s game. Of course, those five goals came on just seven shots. That’s not going to happen again. North Dakota will build off last week’s impressive sweep of Colorado College and get an early jump on it annual second-half surge. ... NORTH DAKOTA SWEEP

Roman: The Seawolves scored seven goals in their first eight WCHA games before getting 10 in a three-point weekend at Mankato. Scoring on NoDak will be tougher. UAA is a respectable 14-15-1 against the Fighting Sioux in Alaska.... UND's top line had a huge weekend against CC. Brock Nelson had three goals and three assists, Corban Knight one goal and four assists and Danny Kristo three goals and two assists. That's 16 points combined. ... SPLIT
Delusions of Grandeur, aka the UAA Fan Blog, breaks down the series between the Sioux and the Seawolves, err, goes on a rant about his love for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Hockey program. [Click to be entertained]

The race in the WCHA is far from over, yet some seem to be penciling in the Gophers and the Bulldogs for the WCHA title game already. Seems a bit premature if you ask me; there is a lot of hockey left and the Gophers probably have one of the toughest schedules during the second half of the season.
We're not even halfway through the WCHA season. Some teams have played a disproportionate number of road games so far, while others just wrapped up a home stretch and won't play at home again for two months.

Hey, I don't make the schedules, okay?

As we get close to the Christmas break that marks what is basically the halfway point of the year, Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth -- longtime rivals -- appear to be on a collision course in the WCHA title race.
[Hockey Wilderness]
Just for the record the next six games for the Gophers “on paper” are games against the weak sisters of the poor. The Gophers will be heavily favored in all six games. The Gophers should go 6-0-0 and hardly breaking a sweat to roll their less than stellar opponents.

If you don’t believe me take a look, the Gophers play MSU-M (X2), Michigan Tech (X2), Niagara in the opening game of the Mariucci Cupcake Classic and then the winner of the Providence and Northeastern game. We all know that neither of those teams will have a chance against the mighty Gophers. Heck, neither of those teams should even bother showing up for the games right.

UAA appears to have a few players banged up this weekend.
UAA senior wing Jade Portwood (knee), junior center Alex Gellert (shoulder) and junior center Daniel Naslund (concussion) will all miss the series with injuries. Nine different Seawolves have already missed a total of 39 games this season because of injuries. [Anchorage Daily News]
The Fighting Sioux are ranked 6th in the College Hockey News power rankings.
6 — North Dakota (Last week: 7)
Back into the top-half of the rankings comes North Dakota, fresh off a weekend sweep of Colorado College. All that talk about the Sioux’s inability to score goals? Um, nevermind. And that first line of Brock Nelson, Danny Kristo and Corban Knight? Yeah, they’re pretty good. UND is still lacking a reliable second line, although head coach Dave Hakstol told me this week he was pleased with how the entire group played last weekend. Aaron Dell was not good last Friday, allowing six goals before getting the hook halfway through, but recovered nicely to post the win Saturday. UND is still very much lacking consistency in that area, however.
[College Hockey News]