Showing posts with label Colorado Springs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado Springs. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

All Quarter Final Games will be Streamed for Free

NCHC Fans... You won't need cable, or a satellite dish this weekend. You will be able to watch whatever NCHC playoff game you want this weekend. All you need is a internet connection.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the inaugural NCHC Tournament starting this weekend, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference is giving fans a chance to watch every single quarterfinal game live for free right from their home or mobile device. will have a live stream of each contest this weekend (March 13-16), allowing fans to watch any game they want without paying a penny.

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Weekend Match-Ups, 1st Round NCHC games (by Donn)

Here we are the regular season has come to an end in the inaugural NCHC season.  The race for the Penrose Cup is over with SCSU claiming the first ever NCHC regular season title.  Now we are at the first round of playoffs, so let’s get it started in here.


St. Cloud St……………….15-6-3-0…………...48
North Dakota……………..15-9-0-0…..…….….45
Western Michigan………..11-11-2-2…….……37
Colorado College……….. ..6-13-5-1…….….…24

NCHC 1st Round Playoff Series

#21 Western Michigan @ #18 Minnesota-Duluth
Last weekend the Broncos split with NoDak (2-0L, 2-1W) in Grand Forks and the Bulldogs split with UNO (8-2W, 4-1L) in Duluth.

Season series – UMD wins 3-1-0 – split in Duluth swept in Kalamazoo

Well with the teams tying in the standing, with identical records too, it make sense to predict a three game series.  These teams are evenly matched on paper, and similar on the ice. I’m giving my nod to the home team.  BULLDOGS IN 3

#27 Denver @ #26 Nebraska-Omaha (Thurs/Fri/Sun)
Last weekend the Pioneers split with the RedHawks (5-2W, 2-1L) in Denver and the Mavericks split with the Bulldogs (8-2L, 4-1W) in Duluth.

Season series – UNO wins 3-1-0 – swept in Denver and split in Omaha

This is short week for both teams with the series starting on Thursday.  DU was one win away from hosting a first round game, but could pull it off on Saturday night.  Can the Pioneers put last weekend behind them and focus on the Mavericks?  The Pioneers are 6-6-5 on the road, doesn’t get much more even than that, the Mavericks are 9-9-0 at home and 7-7-2 on the road… someone is going to end up with a losing there five hundred record.  MAVERICKS IN 3

#40 Miami @ #5 SCSU
Last weekend the RedHawks split with the Pioneers (5-2L, 2-1W) in Denver and the Huskies split swept CC (7-4, 4-1) in Colorado Springs.

Season series – tied 2-2-0 – splits in both Oxford and St. Cloud  

The RedHawks started the season the number one team in land, now they are 40th in the pairwise rankings, and the Huskies are 5th in the PWR.  The Huskies have only 8 loses all season, 6 in the NCHC and 2 are to Miami.  I think the Huskies will be ready when MU comes calling this weekend, but it wouldn’t surprise me if MU forced a three game series.  HUSKIES IN 2

#51 Colorado College @ #10 North Dakota
Last weekend NoDak split with the Broncos (2-0W, 2-1L) in Grand Forks and the Tigers were swept by SCSU (7-4, 4-1) in Colorado Springs.

Season series – UND wins 2-0-0 – UND swept in Grand Forks

The Tigers have been abysmal on the road this season, going 1-13-2 away from Colorado Springs.  CC is currently on a four game skid, after winning the previous three, they have given up 19 goals in those last four loses.  Look for UND to bring the pressure and score early and often, to keep the Tigers in their cage, so to speak.  NODAK IN 2
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Monday, March 10, 2014

To touch or not to touch... They touched it.

Just for the record, the Saint Cloud State Huskies did touch the Penrose Trophy after they won the trophy on Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the past, of course some teams will not touch the trophy they're are awarded because they have higher aspirations than the current trophy. In 2011, UND took some heat from the college hockey media for not touching the MAcNaughton Cup and Broadmoor trophy after they won them.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

The race for the Penrose Cup is on.  We are down to the last three weekends of NCHC regular season play.  The only thing we know for sure is Miami is out of contention for the title.  The other good bet is CC will also not win the title.


St. Cloud St……………….11-4-3-0…………...36
North Dakota……………..11-7-0-0…..…….….33
Western Michigan……….8-8-2-1…….……….28
Colorado College……….. 4-9-5-1…….….…...18

NCHC Games

Colorado College vs #22 Denver (home/home)
Last weekend the Tigers tied and beat the Broncos (4-4SOW, 3-0W) in Colorado Springs and the Pioneers split with the Mavericks (4-2L, 4-1W) in Omaha.

The fight for the Gold Pan continues this weekend.  The teams met back in November, with the Pioneers winning the first game in a shoot-out and taking the second game 2-1 in regulation.  The Tigers shot at the title are not realistic, but a shot at taking arch-rival Denver out of the race picture is realistic.  The Pioneers need to get points this weekend for two reasons, one to keep the last home ice spot, and keep a shot at the title within reach.  I think CC will get a win this weekend and so will DU.  SPLIT

#28 Nebraska-Omaha @ #22 Western Michigan
Last weekend the Mavericks split with the Pioneers (4-2W, 4-1L) in Omaha and the Broncos tied and lost to Tigers (4-4SOL, 3-0L) in Colorado Springs.

The Broncos have been hit and miss this season, one weekend their hot, the next their not.  It’s hard to guess what WMU team will show up at Kalamazoo this weekend.  The Broncos are 5-6-1 at home this season and the Mavericks are 5-5-2 on the road.  The numbers point to these old CCHA teams splitting this weekend’s games.  SPLIT

#3 SCSU @ Miami
Last weekend the Huskies swept the Bulldogs (5-3, 4-3) in St. Cloud and the RedHawks were swept by NoDak (3-2, 9-2) in Grand Forks.

Honestly what can I say about this series, the top team in the conference versus the bottom team.  A bottom team now, that started off the season the top team in the nation, in the pre-season polls.  The RedHawks have fallen on hard times, especially after their last game in Grand Forks.  MU might show some life this weekend, to prove that they are not dead, and recoup some pride.  The Huskies on the other hand look to be rolling right along, and could just flatten the RedHawks this weekend.  A SCSU sweep would just about secure them home ice advantage and dibs on the Penrose Cup.  I think the RedHawks might surprise the Huskies, but they still won’t win.  HUSKIES SWEEP

#11 North Dakota @ #16 Minnesota-Duluth
Last weekend NoDak swept the RedHawks (3-2, 9-2) in Grand Forks and the Bulldogs were swept by the Huskies (5-3, 4-3) in St. Cloud.

These teams met back in November in Grand Forks, with UND wining the opener 4-2, and UMD winning the next night 6-3.  The Bulldogs might have lost their shot at the conference last weekend at SCSU, now eight points behind the Huskies.  But NoDak is holding steady at second place with a shot next weekend at SCSU.  NoDak needs to keep on keeping on, and that means getting at least one win this weekend in Duluth.  If the can play like they did last Saturday, watch out, they can score goals.  UMD needs to play sound defense this weekend to keep the scoring low, if they want to win.  SPLIT 
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Thursday, August 01, 2013


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Ticket packages for the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Championship are now on sale.  Fans are being encouraged to purchase tickets early to reserve their spot for this historic event. The four-game packages can be obtained for as low as $15/game. Packages start at $60 for an upper level ticket while fans can enjoy the action up-close in the lower bowl for $130. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or visiting the newly released conference website,

In addition to the great game action, fans will have the opportunity to experience the NCHC Fan Fest, featuring interactive games, food and beverage specials, music, and pep rallies throughout the weekend. More details about the Fan Fest will be released at a later date. 

"The NCHC is committed to providing a championship experience for our student-athletes, coaches and passionate fans,” said NCHC Commissioner, Josh Fenton. “Fans investing in the championship weekend will be provided an unrivaled and unique experience while watching the best college hockey has to offer."

The puck will drop on the NCHC’s inaugural championship weekend on Friday, March 21, 2014 with two semifinals. The third-place and championship games will take place on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Game times are still being determined and will be released at a later date. All games will be held at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.  As previously announced, the Target Center will be the home to the NCHC Championship for the next five years.  

“Target Center is thrilled to be hosting such an exciting and prestigious event,” said Target Center Vice President/General Manager, Steve Mattson.  “When event ticket packages go on sale to the general public, those inaugural ticket purchasers will become a part of hockey history.” 

Through its partnership with Meet Minneapolis, the NCHC has secured fan hotel blocks at several Minneapolis hotels within walking distance to Target Center. To secure your hotel for the championship click here or visit

“Our new conference website can be used as a portal for fans to find anything they need to know about the Championship weekend,” stated Fenton. “The entire Minneapolis area, including Meet Minneapolis and Target Center, has shown great enthusiasm for our championship weekend.”

To learn more about the NCHC Championship Tournament, purchasing tickets and reserving a hotel room, please visit the NCHC website at

For information on group tickets please contact the Target Center directly at 612-673-1311 or

The NCHC, which includes member institutions Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan, begins its inaugural season on October 18, 2013, with a double-header featuring North Dakota at Miami and Colorado College hosting Minnesota Duluth. Games times are to be announced.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

NCHC Hockey: Jim Scherr Accepts COO Position with European Games

Colorado Springs, CO (Friday, May 31, 2013) – The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) announced today that NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr has resigned effective immediately in order to accept the position of Chief Operation Officer for the inaugural European Games.

Scherr, who has served as NCHC Commissioner since January 2012, will oversee the operation of the 49-nation Games in Baku, Azerbaijan -- which will feature up to 10,000 athletes -- in June 2015.

“We knew when we hired Jim that there would come a time when there would be competing bids for his services,” said NCHC Chairman of the Board and University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison. “We are grateful for what Jim has done in his time with the NCHC and we are very happy that he has the opportunity to return to the Olympic sports world with the European Games in Baku. We know his expertise will greatly benefit their event.”

Prior to his appointment with the NCHC, Scherr served as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure in that role, he oversaw the U.S. contingent at the 2004 Summer Olympics (Athens), 2006 Winter Olympics (Turin), and the 2008 Summer Olympics (Beijing), while managing a budget in excess of $150 million. Scherr was appointed USOC CEO after having served for 10 years as the Executive Director of USA Wrestling. A former wrestling standout himself, Scherr was a three-time national champion and a 1988 Olympian.

“Jim was presented with what is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Ken Ralph, NCHC Treasurer and Colorado College Director of Athletics. “While it is difficult to see him go, we understand his decision. With what has already been done with our bylaws, operating manuals, office setup and personnel, officiating program, and championship site, we are in a great position for our inaugural season.”

“Serving as commissioner of the NCHC has been a tremendous experience and it is a difficult position to leave behind,” said Scherr. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Board for understanding the opportunity presented to me, and for working with me to make it a reality. I regret that I will not be there to lead the conference through its inaugural season, but I have full confidence in the coaches, administrators and conference staff that the NCHC will set the standard for excellence in college hockey.”

Faison said that a search for a new commissioner would begin immediately.

The NCHC, which begins its inaugural season in 2013-14, includes member institutions Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, and Western Michigan. 

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

This is it!  The last weekend of the regular season, buckle up sports fan, ‘cause we got a full slate of games.  The standings are still jam packed, with the top seven teams separated by 5 points.  It is possible to have a four-way tie for the McNaughton Cup, if things work out that way, not likely, but possible.  What we do know is that CC, UMD, MTU, BSU, and UAA will be on the road next weekend, we just don’t know who’s rink they will be at, and SCSU and UND have wrapped up home ice.


1. St. Cloud St……………17-8-1.…….….35
2. Minnesota……………...14-7-2……..…33
2. North Dakota.………….13-6-7………..33
4. Minnesota State………15-10-1....…....31
4. Wisconsin…....………..12-7-7………...31
6. Nebraska-Omaha…......14-10-2…...…30
7. Denver…………..……..12-9-5..…........29
8. Colorado College …….10-12-4...…….24
9. Minnesota-Duluth….…..8-13-5……….21
10. Michigan Tech………..7-15-4.…..…..18
11. Bemidji State……..…..6-13-7.......…..17
12. Alaska-Anchorage…...2-18-6.......…..10

The # numbers below are now the PAIRWISE rankings.

WCHA Games

#2 Minnesota @ Bemidji St.
Last weekend the Gophers split (2-0L, 5-1W) with the Pioneers in Minneapolis and the Beavers got a point from NoDak (4-2, 2-2) in Grand Forks.

The Gopher faithfully will be hoping for some help, from Wisconsin, this weekend to keep their hopes alive for the last WCHA title.  The Beavers still have a chance to move up the standings, they could finish as high as ninth place, with a sweep.  BSU plays sound defense and clogs up the passing and shooting lanes.  The Beavers style can frustrate teams, but if their opponents can get a lead, they can force BSU to change their style.  The Gophers will need to draw some penalties to get the power play some chances to score.  All the numbers point to the Gophers, but when teams like have BSU nothing to lose, you need to watch out for the kitchen sink.  GOPHERS 3-PTS

Alaska-Anchorage @ #8 Denver (Fri/Sun)
Last weekend the Seawolves were swept by the Nanooks (2-1ot, 3-1) in the home/home series and the Pioneers split (2-0W, 5-1L) with the Gophers in Minneapolis.

The Pioneers still have some control over their own fate, but they need to sweep the Seawolves, and have UNO drop below them.  I’m sure the Seawolves would like to welcome DU to the bottom half of the bracket and keep them there, by winning a game or two.  DU played well last weekend in Minneapolis, I watched the replays. And if they play like that again this weekend, they should secure four points.  UAA has nothing to lose; they have been locked into last place for a couple of weeks now.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Shyiak pulled a few tricks out of his sleeve this weekend.  PIONEERS SWEEP

#7 North Dakota @ #8 Minnesota State
Last weekend NoDak got three points (4-2, 2-2ot) from the Beavers in Grand Forks and the Mavericks split (4-1L, 7-2W) with the Tigers in Colorado Springs.

This is a big series for both teams.  UND still has an outside chance at the title and MSUM for that matter too.  The Mavericks are 10-5-1 at home this year and UND is 8-6-1 away from Grand Forks.  NoDak has scored three more goals and given up three more than MSUM has in the WCHA this season, so those are pretty even numbers.  The big difference is that NoDak has 7 ties in the league and the Mavericks have just one.  With so much on the line for both teams, this should be a very entertaining series to watch.  SPLIT

Colorado College @ Michigan Tech
Last weekend the Tigers split (4-1W, 7-2L) with the MSUM Mavericks in Colorado Springs and the Huskies split (5-3L, 5-1W) with the SCSU Huskies in St. Cloud.

The Huskies gave themselves a boost with a win over SCSU on Saturday, and gave the rest of the league hope at title with that win.  MTU has been better over the last month, going 4-4-0 in their last eight games, and CC has gone 3-2-3 over their last eight contests.  The Tigers can’t move up the standings, they are stuck at 8th place and could slip to 9th if they lose twice this weekend.  CC hasn’t been too good on the road this season going 4-8-3 away from home and the Huskies are 5-7-2 at home in MacInnis Student Ice Arena.  I’m going say both black and gold teams win.  SPLIT

#10 St. Could St.  @ #20 Wisconsin
Last weekend the Huskies split (5-3W, 5-1L) with the MTU Huskies in St. Cloud and the Badgers swept (4-3, 6-2) the UNO Mavericks in Omaha.

The other top teams will be watching the scoreboard for these games.  If the Huskies win on Friday, they will secure at least a share of the McNaughton Cup.  The Badgers have plans of their own; a win on Friday (coupled with a UNO loss or DU tie/loss) would secure them home ice.  The Badgers are 7-7-3 home this year, but they aren’t playing in the Kohl center this weekend, they are at coliseum, for a throwback weekend, and the Huskies are 7-6-1 on the road.  I’m not sure if the pressure got to SCSU last Saturday, because if they would have won, they would have already secured a share of the title.  This series should have the feel of a playoff series with the stakes high for both teams.  The Badgers need some quality wins to move up the rankings, and improve their odds of getting into the NCAA tournament.  SPLIT

#25 Nebraska-Omaha @ Minnesota-Duluth
Last weekend the Mavericks were swept by the Badgers (4-3, 6-2) in Omaha and the Bulldogs swept the UAH Chargers (4-2, 4-0) in Duluth.

The Mavericks saw their chance at the McNaughton Cup slip away last weekend.  UNO also saw their home ice spot put in jeopardy, with suffering a pair of losses in Omaha.  They need to put last weekend in the past and move on to this series and get back on track.  UMD is looking to continue to build momentum for the playoffs and what better way to do that by dragging UNO to the bottom half with a sweep in Duluth.  However, that is a tall order given Omaha’s scoring ability and the Bulldogs porous defensive play this year.  SPLIT
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Monday, March 04, 2013

WCHA Power Rankings: Week 21

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here is the week 21 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for The Hockey Writers Combine.
1. University of North Dakota – (18-9-7, WCHA 13-6-7) – This past weekend, UND took (4-2 W – 2-2 T) three points in their weekend series with the Bemidji State Beavers at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This weekend, the University of North Dakota travels to Mankato, Minnesota to play the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center. North Dakota is 5-2-3 in it's last 10 games. UND’s Pairwise Ranking 7.
2Minnesota – (22-7-5, WCHA 14-7-5) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers split (0-2 L – 5-1 L) there weekend series with the Denver Pioneers at Mariucci Arena. This weekend, the Gophers travel to Bemidji, Minnesota to play the Bemidji State Beavers at the Sanford Center. Minnesota is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and has only swept one WCHA opponent all-season long (UAA). Minnesota Gophers Pairwise Ranking 2.Minnesota Gophers Pairwise Ranking 2.
3. Saint Cloud State – (20-13-1, WCHA 17-8-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (5-3 W – 1- 5 W) their weekend series with the Michigan Tech Huskies at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Huskies travel to Madison Wisconsin to play the Wisconsin Badgers. The Saint Cloud State Huskies have split the last three series they have played in and have a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games. Saint Cloud State Huskies Pairwise Ranking 10t.
4. Minnesota State Mankato – (21-10-3, WCHA 15-10-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks split (1-4 L – 7-2 W) their weekend series with Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs. This weekend, the Mavericks entertain North Dakota at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota. The Mavericks are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Minnesota State Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 8t.
5. Denver University – (17-11-5, WCHA 12-9-5) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers split (2-0 W – 1-5 L) their weekend series with the University of Minnesota Gophers at Mariucci Arena. This weekend, the Pioneers entertain the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Magness Arena in Denver Colorado. The Pioneers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. Denver Pioneers Pairwise Ranking 8t.
6. Wisconsin – (16-11-7, WCHA 12-7-7) – The Wisconsin Badgers swept (4-3 W – 6-2 W) their weekend series with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. This weekend, the Badgers entertain the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. After starting the season 1-7-3, the Badgers still have an outside chance of finishing in first place. The Badgers would probably have to win the Final Five to make the NCAA tourney. The Badgers are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. Wisconsin Badgers Pairwise Ranking 20.
7. Nebraska Omaha – (18-14-2, WCHA 14-10-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were swept (3-4 L – 2-6 L) by the Wisconsin Badgers. This weekend, the Mavericks travel to Duluth Minnesota to play the Bulldogs in Amsoil Arena. The Mavericks are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 25. With the Mavericks being swept by the Badgers this past weekend, the Mavericks will probably have to win the Final Five to make the NCAA tourney. 
8. Colorado College – (13-16-5, WCHA 10-12-4) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers split (4-1 W – 2-7 L) their weekend series with the Minnesota State Mavericks. This weekend, the Tigers travel to Houghton, Michigan to play the Michigan Tech Huskies at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Tigers are 4-3-3 in the last 10 games. Colorado College Tigers Pairwise Ranking 30.
9. Minnesota Duluth – (12-17-4, WCHA 8-13-5) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs swept (4-0 W – 4-2 W) their weekend series with the Alabama Huntsville Chargers (1-20-1) at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs entertain Nebraska-Omaha at Amsoil Arena.
10. Michigan Tech – (11-17-4, WCHA 7-15-4) – This past week, the Huskies split (3-5 L – 5-1 W) their weekend series with the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Michigan Tech Huskies entertain the Colorado College Tigers at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
11. Bemidji State – (6-18-8, WCHA 5-14-7) – This past weekend, the Beavers took one point (2-4 L, 2-2 T) from the University of North Dakota in a two game series at Ralph Engelstad Arena. This weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers entertain the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-21-7, WCHA 2-18-6) – This past weekend, the Seawolves were swept (1-2 L – 1-3 L) by the University of Alaska Nanooks in the Governor’s cup. This weekend, the Seawolves travel to Denver to play the Pioneers at Magness Arena.
Taylor Seibel’s WCHA Power Rankings
1. St. Cloud State – (20-13-1, 17-8-1 WCHA) – The Huskies struggled at times against Michigan Tech, but still maintain a two point lead (and tiebreakers) over both Minnesota and North Dakota. That means that two points next weekend at Wisconsin will clinch at least a share of the MacNaughton Cup for the Huskies.
2. Minnesota – (22-7-5, 14-7-5 WCHA) – A tale of two nights, as Minnesota split their series against Denver this weekend. Friday was an abysmal showing for Minnesota, but Saturday, both teams brought it, and Minnesota came out on top thanks to a strong third period. The Gophers still have MacNaughton Cup aspirations, but they will need to sweep Bemidji State next weekend, and hope for some help from rival Wisconsin.
3. North Dakota – (18-9-7, 13-6-7 WCHA) – North Dakota played strong both nights, but were often frustrated by Bemidji’s physical play. The result was three points, moving North Dakota up into a tie for second place. Similar to Minnesota, North Dakota will be looking for a sweep next weekend against a strong Mankato squad, and then they will hope for some help from Wisconsin.
4. Wisconsin – (16-11-7, 12-7-7 WCHA) – The Badgers are peaking at the right time. Following a shocking loss to Penn State on Monday, Wisconsin stormed back, dominating Omaha in a weekend sweep. The Badgers can actually wind up with the MacNaughton Cup with a sweep of St. Cloud State next weekend at home, but they would need help from Bemidji and Mankato to get a share of the Cup.
5. Minnesota State – (21-10-3, 15-10-1 WCHA) – The Mavericks went down to Colorado Springs and managed to take two points against the Tigers. Mankato has a very slight chance at winning the MacNaughton heading into the final weekend, but it would begin with sweeping visiting North Dakota next weekend, and then hope for a miracle from both Bemidji and Wisconsin.
6. Denver – (17-11-5, 12-9-5 WCHA) – Denver played very well in their series up in Minnesota, scoring two points, and nearly holding on for a third (or fourth). Next weekend, the Pioneers host Alaska Anchorage in a Friday-Sunday series, giving DU fans and players a chance to survey exactly what they need to do to prevent them from being on the road in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs.
7. Nebraska Omaha – (18-14-2, 14-10-2 WCHA) – The Mavericks from Omaha were crushed this weekend by Wisconsin, getting swept by the Badgers. They still control their own destiny when it comes to home ice, but they will need to play much better next weekend when they make the trek up to Duluth to take on the Bulldogs.
8. Colorado College – (13-16-5, 10-12-4 WCHA) – The Tigers were eliminated from the home ice race on Saturday with their loss to Mankato, but CC will look to bounce back next weekend, as the Tigers host Michigan Tech in the WCHA finale. CC will wrap up the #8 spot with two points against the Huskies.
9. Minnesota Duluth – (12-17-5, 8-13-5 WCHA) – The Bulldogs swept Alabama Huntsville in non-conference action this weekend. The sweep should give Duluth some needed confidence heading into their WCHA finale against Nebraska Omaha next weekend. While Duluth is eliminated from home ice contention, they have an outside shot at moving up to the #8 ranking in the conference, and at the very least could avoid a top 4 team in the WCHA Playoffs.
10. Michigan Tech – (11-17-4, 7-15-4 WCHA) – The Huskies played with WCHA leader SCSU in St. Cloud, and arguably could have fared better than leaving with just two points. Tech is a dangerous team, that if they play up to their potential could easily make another trip to the Final Five. Next weekend, Tech looks to sharpen their skills as they travel to Colorado College.
11. Bemidji State – (6-18-8, 5-14-7 WCHA) – The Beavers played strong against North Dakota this weekend, and managed to take a point from the series. Bemidji will need to play another tight series next weekend as Minnesota comes to town for the WCHA finale. The Beavers play a style that should help them in the playoffs, and they will hope to showcase that against the Gophers, and these two squads could very well meet up in the WCHA Playoffs.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-21-7, 2-18-6 WCHA) – The Seawolves were swept this weekend in a home and home against non-conference, in-state rival Alaska. UAA played the Nanooks tough, but were unable to solve the UA netminder, scoring only two goals on the weekend. UAA will be playing for pride next weekend against Denver, as the Seawolves are locked into the twelfth spot.
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The end is near, we have this weekend and next and then the WCHA regular season comes to an end.  This friday starts a new month, March, or for some teams the playoff run month. 


1. St. Cloud St……………16-7-1.……….33
2. Minnesota……………...13-6-2……..…31
3. North Dakota.………….12-6-6………..30
3. Nebraska-Omaha…......14-8-2…....…..30
5. Minnesota State……….14-9-1.…...….29
6. Denver…………..……..11-8-5..….......27
6. Wisconsin…....………..10-7-7………...27
8. Colorado College ……..9-11-4..…..….22
9. Minnesota-Duluth….…..8-13-5……….21
10. Michigan Tech………..6-14-4…..……16
11. Bemidji State……..…..5-13-6......……16
12. Alaska-Anchorage…....2-18-6.....……10

The # numbers below are now the PAIRWISE rankings.
(I was using the USCHO poll previously)

WCHA Games

#7 Minnesota State @ #30 Colorado College
Last weekend the Mavericks were resting up for the playoffs coming up and the Tigers split with the SCSU Huskies (4-3W, 5-2L) in Colorado Springs.

The Mavericks could almost lock up home ice with a pair of wins this weekend against the Tigers.  But, the Tigers still have a chance, however slim, of getting into the top half and host the first round.  Realistically the Tigers are going to end up in eighth place.  The Tigers will need to pounce on the Mavericks early and capitalize on MSUM’s rust, from a week off, if there is any rust.  The big number that sticks out to me in these teams stats is goals for and against.  CC has scored 78 goals in WCHA action this year and MSUM has scored 77, but their againsts are much different, MSUM has allowed 57 and CC has allowed 85.  I’m going to give each team the nod in offense department, but defense goes to the Mavericks.  MAVERICKS 3-pts

Michigan Tech @ #10 St. Could St. 
Last weekend the MTU Huskies were resting up for the playoffs coming up and the SCSU Huskies split with the Tigers (4-3L, 5-2W) in Colorado Springs.

It’s the battle of the Huskies this weekend in Saint Cloud.  SCSU can put a strangle hold on the McNaughton Cup with a sweep of their doppelgänger’s from Houghton.  MTU is relegated to the bottom half and now are in a familiar role, spoiler.  If a little rust doesn’t affect SCSU or the pressure of winning the WCHA title doesn’t weigh them down, they should get a couple of wins this weekend.  But don’t count MTU out just yet, they are 3-4-0 in their last seven games.  So, the Houghton Huskies are starting to play better as of late.  In the end, I see the SCSU getting the points this weekend.  SCSU SWEEP

#12 Denver @ #2 Minnesota
Last weekend the Pioneers split with NoDak (5-4W, 6-1L) in Denver and the Gophers took 3-pts from the UMD Bulldogs (5-3, 2-2ot) in Minneapolis.

Both teams are fighting for position late in the season, DU for securing home ice in the first round, UM hopes for the top spot.  These teams haven’t played each other since February 10-11, 2012 in Denver, with Pioneers getting the sweep (5-3, 4-3ot).  The Gophers are 3-2-1 in their last six games and the Pioneers are also 3-2-1.  The numbers point to the Gophers winning the series, but DU seems to have had the Gophers number that last few years.  Couple that with DU fighting for the home ice and I don’t see DU getting swept.  SPLIT

Bemidji St. @ #6 North Dakota
Last weekend the Beavers were resting up for the playoffs coming up and NoDak with the Pioneers in Denver.

The last time the Beavers visited Grand Forks was March 8-9, 2012 for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, in which they were swept 4-1, 4-3.  BSU has only one win in 2013 and it might be their only one until next fall, the Beavers host the Gophers next weekend.  I think NoDak will be looking at this series as a must have sweep, and to lock up home ice for the first round.  The Beavers are tied for last place with UAA for the fewest goals scored in WCHA play, at 50.  Needless to say, if BSU wants any chance at getting a point or two this weekend they will need to limit UND to two or less goals per game.  NoDak appears to have heated up during the month of February and will look to keep heating up in March at the expensive of BSU.  NODAK SWEEP

#28 Wisconsin @ #21 Nebraska-Omaha
Last weekend the Badgers split with the PSU Lions (5-0W, 3-2otL) in Madison and the Mavericks beat the US U-18 team in Omaha.

These teams are in a very similar boat, both need points to try and secure home ice in the first round of the playoffs.  And they both need wins to try and move up the rankings and have a shot at the NCAA tournament.  Of course, either could win the WCHA playoffs and receive an auto-bid.  These games will come down to how well the Badgers play their defensive game against the high scoring Mavericks.  If UW can control the tempo and avoid falling behind, they could get a win or two.  However, if UNO scores first and dictates the pace, UW could return home pointless.  SPLIT

NON-Conference Games

#17 Alaska (14-14-4) vs Alaska-Anchorage (4-19-7)
Last weekend the Seawolves were resting up and the Nanooks split with the Michigan State Spartans (1-0L, 4-2W) in Fairbanks.

Last season the teams split the Governor’s Cup series, with each home team winning.  The Seawolves have been playing better hockey of late, but I don’t know if that will translate into a win or two this weekend.  Being the big rivalry in the last frontier state, you can throw the records and any other numbers out the window.  SPLIT

Alabama-Huntsville (3-19-1) @ Minnesota-Duluth (10-17-5)
Last weekend the Bulldogs got a point from the Gophers (5-3L, 2-2ot) in Minneapolis and the Chargers where off last weekend. 
(These are UAH's last games of the year.)

The Bulldogs slide continued last weekend, bringing their winless stretch to nine games, their last win came on Jan-18 versus CC.  The Chargers are a woeful 1-15-0 in away games this year, which is most of their schedule, they are 2-2-1 at home, and are 0-2-0 at neutral locales.  The Bulldogs need some wins this weekend to up their confidence and boost moral heading into the home stretch of the season.  BULLDOGS SWEEP
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EDIT... WCHA Power Rankings: Week 20

Wcha_newlogo_menHere is the week 20 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for The Hockey Writers Combine.

 1.  Saint Cloud State – (19-12-1, WCHA 16-7-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (3-4 L – 5-2 W) their weekend series with the Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies. The Huskies have split the last two series they have played in. Pairwise Ranking 10.

 2. Minnesota – (21-6-5, WCHA 13-6-5) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers took (5-3 W – 2-2 T) three points in their weekend series with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, who have won “one” game, in their last ten games (1-7-2). This weekend, the Gophers play the Denver Pioneers at Mariucci Arena. Fun fact, the Gophers have swept one “conference” series this season, Alaska Anchorage 01/11-01/12. The Gophers went an impressive 8-0-0 in their non-conference play. Pairwise Ranking 2.

 3University of North Dakota – (17-9-6, WCHA 12-6-6) – This past weekend, UND split (4-5 L – 6-1 L) their weekend series with the Denver Pioneers, at Magness Arena. This weekend, UND entertains the Bemidji State Beavers at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Pairwise Ranking 6.

4. Minnesota State Mankato – (20-9-3, WCHA 14-9-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were off. This weekend, the Purple Mavericks travel to Colorado Springs to play the Tigers. Pairwise Ranking 7.
5.  Nebraska Omaha – (18-12-2, WCHA 14-8-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks lost their exhibition game against the U-18 team 2-3. This weekend, the Red Mavericks entertain the Wisconsin Badgers. Friday’s game between the Mavericks and the Badgers will be on NBCSN. Pairwise Ranking 20t.

6. Denver University – (16-10-5, WCHA 11-8-5) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers split (5-4 W – 1-6 L) their weekend series with the University of North Dakota at Magness Arena. This weekend, the Pioneers travel to Minnesota to play the Gophers at Mariucci Arena. The Pioneers in essence, are competing with the Badgers for the last home playoff spot.  Pairwise Ranking 13t.

7.  Wisconsin – (14-11-7, WCHA 10-7-7) – The Wisconsin Badgers  split (5-0 w – 2-3 L O.T.) their non-conference series with future conference foe Penn State at the Kohl Center during a Sunday, Monday series. After starting the season 1-7-3, the Badgers have gone an amazing 13-4-4. This weekend, the Badgers travel to Nebraska-Omaha to play the Mavericks in an important two game series. The Badgers in essence, are competing with the Pioneers for the last home playoff spot.  Friday’s game between the Mavericks and the Badgers will be on NBCSN. Pairwise Ranking 28.
8.  Colorado College – (12-15-5, WCHA 9-11-4) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers split (4-3 W – 2-5 L) their weekend series with the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This weekend, the Tigers entertain the Minnesota State Mavericks. Pairwise Ranking 30.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (10-17-4, WCHA 8-13-5) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs took a single point (2-4 L – 1-1 T) in their weekend series with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Bulldogs have had a tough go recently, taking only a single point in each of their last two series and have one win in their last 10 games 1-7-2. This weekend that should change, as the Bulldogs entertain the Alabama Huntsville Chargers (1-18-1) at Amsoil Arena.

10. Michigan Tech – (10-16-4, WCHA 6-14-4) – This past week, the Huskies were off. The Michigan Tech Huskies travel to Saint Cloud Minnesota to play the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center in the battle of the Dogs.

11. Bemidji State – (6-17-7, WCHA 5-13-6) – This past weekend, the Beavers were off. Thiks weekend, the Beavers travel down Highway 2 to play the University of North Dakota in a two game series at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-19-7, WCHA 2-18-6) – This past weekend, the Seawolves were off. This weekend, the Seawolves play their cross state rivals the Nanooks in the Governor’s Cup. The Seawolves travel to Fairbanks on Friday and then entertain the Nanooks on Saturday night. The Seawolves have won one game since December 1, 2012, going 1-14-3.

Taylor Seibel’s WCHA Power Rankings

1.  St. Cloud State – (19-12-1, 16-7-1 WCHA) – The Huskies managed only a split against the Tigers this weekend, but still have a strong hold to the top spot in the WCHA thanks in part to slip-ups from Minnesota and North Dakota.  St. Cloud State has an excellent chance at gaining four points next weekend as the SCSU Huskies host the Michigan Tech Huskies, a team that SCSU has not lost to at home in over a decade.

2. Minnesota – (21-6-5, 13-6-5 WCHA) – The Gophers managed three points on the weekend against Minnesota Duluth, and struggled at times against the visiting Bulldogs.  While Minnesota still has a chance at winning the MacNaughton, the point they dropped on Saturday could prove decisive.  It also gave North Dakota a little bit of room to sneak the #2 spot away from the Gophers.  Next weekend, Denver travels up to Mariucci for WCHA play.

3. North Dakota – (17-9-6, 12-6-6 WCHA) – North Dakota struggled mightily against Denver’s powerplay on Friday, but found a way to largely control Denver’s man advantage on Saturday.  The result was a weekend split between these two rivals.  North Dakota says three points back of St. Cloud and one point back of Minnesota in the race for the MacNaughton.  North Dakota hosts Bemidji State next weekend, and four points will be crucial for UND’s hopes of winning the Cup.

4. Nebraska Omaha – (18-12-2, 14-8-2 WCHA) – The Mavericks were essentially off this past weekend, or at least some of the players thought so, as Omaha was defeated by the USA Under-18 squad.  To be fair, that same Under-18 squad has registered draws against Minnesota and Notre Dame on the season.  While the Mavericks are in good position for home ice, a strong showing next weekend at home against Wisconsin could cement their spot in the top half.

5. Minnesota State – (20-9-3, 14-9-1 WCHA) – The Mavericks of Mankato were also off this weekend.  In a similar position to Omaha, Mankato has a chance to solidify their spot as a top half team next weekend if they can take four points from Colorado College down in Colorado Springs.  Anything less, and it will be a shakier proposition as North Dakota comes down to Mankato to close out the regular season.

6. Denver – (16-10-5, 11-8-5 WCHA) – Denver played quite well in their victory over North Dakota on Friday, but failed to respond effectively on Saturday, and the Pioneers were trounced by the Visiting squad from Grand Forks.  The split drew the Pioneers even with Wisconsin heading into the final two weekends of the season.  Given that Denver loses the tiebreaker with Wisconsin, it makes any points that they can gather next weekend at Minnesota that much more important to their chances for home ice.

7. Wisconsin – (14-10-7, 10-7-7 WCHA) – The Badgers defeated Penn State last night in the first game of an odd Sunday-Monday series.  The victory shot Wisconsin up to an NCAA bubble squad.  The Badgers are also on the bubble when it comes to gaining home ice in the WCHA Tournament.  Currently, Wisconsin is tied with Denver for the 6th and final spot.  Next weekend, the Badgers travel to Omaha to take on the Mavericks in a key series for both squads.

8. Colorado College – (12-15-5, 9-11-4 WCHA) – The Tigers surprised many in the WCHA with their victory over St. Cloud on Friday, but were unable to complete the sweep, losing on Saturday.  Barring surprising results elsewhere in the conference, it is likely that CC will remain in the #8 slot in the conference.  Any chance at home ice would start next weekend, when Minnesota State comes into town.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (10-17-5, 8-13-5 WCHA) – Minnesota Duluth was able to steal a point from Minnesota this weekend, but it was not enough to prevent the Bulldogs from being eliminated from home ice contention.  With only two WCHA games remaining, the Bulldogs will definitely be a team nobody in the top half will want to square off against in the first round of the WCHA Tournament.  Next weekend, the Bulldogs host Alabama Huntsville.

10. Bemidji State – (6-17-7, 5-13-6 WCHA) – The Beavers were off last weekend, but perhaps no team can play as much of a spoiler role over the next two weekends as Bemidji State.  Next weekend, Bemidji travels to North Dakota.  The following weekend, the Beavers host Minnesota.  Both UND and Minnesota will be looking for sweeps, while Bemidji State will look to dash both teams’ dreams of the MacNaughton Cup.

11. Michigan Tech – (10-16-4, 6-14-4 WCHA) – The Huskies of Michigan Tech were off this weekend.  Hopefully they used the time to come up with a strategy to knock off St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, who they play next weekend. The season has been a disappointment for most Tech fans who were hoping to challenge for home ice, but a strong end to the season, coupled with the program’s first GLI Championship in three decades, would be a good consolation prize.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-19-7, 2-18-6 WCHA) – The Seawolves were off this past weekend.  While UAA has been assured the cellar, and a First Round matchup against the MacNaughton Cup Champions, the Seawolves are still playing for pride.  Next weekend, the Seawolves square off against in-state (and future WCHA) rival Alaska before concluding the WCHA and regular season at Denver.

Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.
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