We have our first official WCHA games this weekend with MTU hosting UM in Houghton. We also really get cracking with the “official” start of the season, with a slew of non-conference and tournaments. Maybe college hockey will gain a few more fans this season with the NHL still not playing games, with their lock-out.
On a completely different tangent, I would like to take this paragraph and say thanks to the Goon. Last week he and I went out to the “hunting shack” (the “t” is silent in hunting by the way) bird hunting. We shot some nice ducks and some humungous canadain geese. It was relaxing time away from work and the big city (I think Fargo is getting big enough, ugh). Thanks Goon! (Thanks to Dakota Dog too, for retrieving all those birds.)
4. North Dakota.………..…0-0-0….……
5. Colorado College ……..0-0-0……….
6. St. Cloud St………….…0-0-0………
8. Michigan Tech………….0-0-0………
9. Bemidji State……..…….0-0-0.……...
11. Minnesota State………0-0-0...……..
#1 Minnesota @ Michigan TechLast weekend the Gophers stomped Michigan State by scores of 5-1 and 7-1 in Minneapolis and last Thursday, the 11th, the Huskies lost their opener to Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan, 4-2, in Marquette.
Now that both teams have gotten legitimate games under their belts, the first game jitters should be out of the way. These games also are the first of the last WCHA season (well the WCHA as it currently is). Last December these teams played one series in Minneapolis with the Huskies winning the opener 3-2 in OT and the Gophers winning the closer 6-2. This time it’s Tech has the home ice, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Huskies give Minnesota all the can handle, with second year coach Pearson’s leading the pack. Gophers 3-pts.
#13 Minnesota-Duluth @ #9 Notre Dame (Thurs/Fri)Last weekend the Bulldogs split with Ohio State in Duluth with UMD winning the opener 6-2 and the Buckeyes getting even on Saturday winning 3-2. Notre Dame beat Maine 1-0 and then beat Nebraska-Omaha 3-2 in the IceBreaker in Kansas City.
Since this season is still in its infancy, I’m not sure what to expect with the rankings teams have, but it the pollsters are close, this should be a heckuva match-up. I’m going to call it a split.
#19 Colorado College @ Air Force (Fri)Last weekend the Tigers swept Clarkson in Colorado Springs by identical 5-4 scores and Air Force tied Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage by identical scores of 3-3 in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage.
This game is literally across town affair. Even though it is non-conference, it’s always nice to win and have bragging rights around town. Tigers Win.
#10 Massachusetts-Lowell @ #7 Denver (Fri)Last weekend the River Hawks tied Vermont 1-1 in Lowell and the Pioneers were off last weekend.
With the Pioneers only having one “unofficial” game under their belt, I’m not sure how this one will play out. But you know me; I got to go with the WCHA while I can, Pioneers Win.
#10 Massachusetts-Lowell @ #19 Colorado College (Sat)After playing the Pioneers on Friday, the River Hawks travel down the road an hour or so to play the Tigers. I’m going with the higher ranked team in this match-up, River Hawks Win.
Air Force @ #7 Denver (Sat)I’m going with the Pioneers in this match-up; DU has just too much depth for the Falcons to match them. DU Wins
Rensselaer @ Minnesota StateLast weekend the Engineers beat and tied Ferris State, 3-1 and 2-2, and the Mavericks beat and tied the UAH Chargers, with scores of 4-1 and 2-2 in Huntsville.
I don’t much about the Engineers, other than I like their name J, so just going with that I’m going to say a SPLIT is on tap for this series.
Alabama-Huntsville @ St. Could St.Last weekend the Chargers lost and tied the Minnesota State Mavericks and the Huskies were swept by the New Hampshire Wildcats in Durham.
Last season the Chargers managed to get 2 wins all season and 1 tie, losing all the rest. I’m not sure things are going to fair any better this year for the boys down south. Huskies Sweep
#17 Northern Michigan @ Nebraska-OmahaLast weekend the Wildcats swept the Wisconsin Badgers in Marquette by scores of 2-1 and 4-2 and the UNO Mavericks beat Army 5-1 and lost to Notre Dame 3-2 in the IceBreaker in Kansas City.
Those of you that are old enough remember the days when NMU was in the WCHA, and UNO didn’t have a D1 program. The Mavericks will no doubt want to bounce back after losing the championship game last weekend. This means trying to take out their frustration this weekend on the visiting Wildcats. I think they will get a win, but not two, SPLIT.
#2 North Dakota vs Alaska-Anchorage (Fri)Last weekend NoDak beat the US U-18 team 6-4 in Grand Forks and the Seawolves beat Canisius 2-0 and tied Air Force 3-3 in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage.
This will be the first of three games between these teams in a two weekend span, this one is non-conference game, and next weekend they play a pair of WCHA games in Grand Forks. It is early and the flight up North is a long one, but in the end, NoDak has just too talent for the Seawolves. NoDak Wins
Merrimack vs Alaska (Fri)I’ll take the home team, Nanooks win.
#2 North Dakota vs Alaska (Sat)Last weekend the Nanooks tied Air Force 3-3 and lost to Canisius 3-1 in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage.
The Nanooks (I like their jersey’s) will have the home crowd advantage. It will give them some inspiration, but that doesn’t win games, goals do. NoDak Wins
Merrimack vs Alaska-Anchorage (Sat)Last weekend the Warriors lost to fellow Hockey East foe Northeastern 4-2.
The Seawolves will not be heading south (not but once, maybe twice, a year I can say that) empty this weekend, Seawolves Win
BYE WEEKBemidji St.