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Welcome to the holiday break and holiday tournament time! Just before Christmas there were a few WCHA series that ended in sweeps, SCSU swept the visiting CC Tigers, the Bulldogs swept the Seawolves in Anchorage, and UND swept MTU in Houghton, and the Beavers almost swept the Pioneers, win and tied. The other WCHA series saw the Mavericks split with the Mavericks, both MSUM and UNO got wins against each other. The Badgers also got a sweep, and their first home win(s) of the season, against the lowly UAH Chargers.
WCHA STANDINGS 2012-2013
Team………………………W-L-T………Points1. St. Cloud St………….…9-5-0………….18
2. North Dakota.………..…7-2-3…..……...17
4. Minnesota State……….8-6-0.…...…….16
8. Colorado College ……..5-6-1..….……..11
8. Bemidji State……..…….4-7-3..…….......11
10. Michigan Tech………….3-8-3……….….9
Non Conference Games
Rensselaer @ #16 St. Could St. (Thu/Fri)The Huskies enter the holiday season atop the WCHA. I’m guessing if you would have placed a bet in Vegas on that in October, you’d be a little or a lot richer. In my preseason predictions I have them finishing fifth, so they have been the surprise team of the first half.
The RPI Engineers are 4-6-4 overall this season, and are 1-5-2 in the ECAC, SCSU is 11-7-0 overall, with an 8-2-0 record in the National Hockey Center. I don’t think the Huskies will end 2012 with a loss, they will say good bye to 2012 with a pair of wins. HUSKIES SWEEP
#6 Boston U @ #14 Denver (Sat Only)The Pioneers enter this game, winless in their last eight outings, going 0-5-3 during their drought. DU’s last win was against their rivals CC on November 17th. The Pioneers are 9-6-3 overall and the Terriers are 10-5-0 overall. I’ve see both teams play UND in Grand Forks this year. And I’ll say it, BU looked better than DU in the game they play at The Ralph. I have to go with the visitors here. TERRIERS WIN
#12 Nebraska-Omaha @ #9 Quinnipiac (Sat/Sun)The Bobcats enter this weekend on a 10 game unbeaten streak, or a four game winning streak, they are 9-0-1 over that long span. QU is 5-2-1 at home in Hamden, Connecticut, and UNO is 4-2-0 away from Omaha this season. The Bobcats are 12-3-2 overall, but remember they play in the ECAC, and the Mavericks are 11-6-1 overall.
Given both teams rankings it should be a good series, but in the end, I see the WCHA standing tall. MAVERICKS SWEEP
Florida College Classic (Fri/Sat)
Minnesota-Duluth vs MaineUp to this point in the season both UMD and UMaine fans have to be disappointed with their records, Maine is 2-11-2 overall and UMD is 7-8-3 overall. The Bulldogs got a sweep last weekend at the expensive to the UAA Seawolves. Since both are on the road, I’m going to go with the better record. BULLDOGS WIN
Minnesota-Duluth vs #19 Ferris St. / #11 CornellFerris St is 7-7-3 overall and Cornell is 6-3-2 overall, and I would like to a Bulldogs versus Bulldogs match-up, with the boys from Duluth winning. Or if UMD plays the Big Red, the Bulldogs might have some scoring woes, so I’ll go with a TIE.
Mariucci Classic (Sat/Sun)
Air Force @ MinnesotaThe Gophers enter their tournament with an 11-3-3 overall record, 6-1-1 at home, and the Falcons are 5-7-4 overall, 3-4-3 on the road, this season. The Gophers better not be looking past Air Force and towards Sunday’s game with Boston College. If UM isn’t too rusty from the two weekends off they should dispatch the Falcons. GOPHERS WIN
#1 Boston College @ #4 MinnesotaThis should be the match-up of the weekend; the Eagles enter the tournament with a 11-2-1 overall record, and are 4-2-1 on the road. These teams met last April in the Frozen Four with the Eagles winning their semi-final game easily over the Gophers by a 6-1 score. No doubt the Gophers remember that and will want some redemption this weekend at home against a partisan crowd. Unfortunately I don’t think they will get the revenge they are seeking. EAGLES WIN
In case you’re wondering the other team in the Mariucci tournament the UAH Chargers.
Great Lakes Invitational (Sat/Sun)
Michigan Tech vs MichiganThe Huskies started the season winning two of three games, and it looked promising, and then the runners came of the sled, ugh. The upside is that UM is not doing so well this year either, the Wolverines are 6-9-2 overall, and the Huskies are 4-10-3 overall. Being an in-state rival though, you can over look all the records. I’m going with the mild upset. HUSKIES WIN
#8 WMU/MSU vs Michigan TechWMU is 11-4-1 overall, and MSU is 5-10-2 overall, I’m going with WMU over MSU. So we have the Broncos versus the Huskies and Michigan v Michigan State in the other game. If my predictions are right, I’m saying the Broncos bust the Huskies in their game. BRONCOS WIN
UConn Hockey Classic (Sat/Sun)
Brown vs #18 Minnesota StateThe Mavericks had their seven game winning streak snapped the last game before the Christmas break. MSUM has overall record of 10-6-2 this season and the Brown Bears have an overall record of 3-5-4, and are 0-3-4 in the ECAC. The Bears have yet to score more than three goals in a single game, so the key for the Bears will be play solid defense and get some timely goaltending. The Mavericks have found their scoring touch during their long winning streak and if they can tickle the twine they should win this came. MAVERICKS WIN
AIC/Connecticut vs #18 Minnesota StateAIC is 4-8-3 overall and 1-6-3 in Atlantic Hockey this year, and Connecticut is 4-7-2 overall and 3-6-1 in Atlantic Hockey. Since I don’t know much about either American International or Connecticut, I’m going off their records, UConn wins over AIC. But looking at them versus MSUM, I have to go with the WCHA. MAVERICKS WIN
Bemidji St. vs MassachusettsThe Beavers have to have some confidence in their game after tying and beating Denver just before Christmas. BSU is now on a three game unbeaten streak, and own a 5-8-3 overall record. The Minutemen are on a three game losing streak and are 5-9-2 overall. Given the almost identical records overall, it should be a close game, but the Beavers heating up; I’m giving them the nod. BEAVERS WIN
#2 UNH / #10 Dartmouth vs Bemidji St.Even with the Beavers playing well as of late, the depth of either UNH or DU, will prove just too much for them to overcome. BSU drops this game.
#7 North Dakota