Friday, February 17, 2017

Last Push for NCHC Title

UMD Looks to Avenge Bad Weekend Against CC

What were you thinking that Saturday night in early January after UMD scraped a two point weekend from the basement dwelling CC Tigers? Here we go again? Just a bump in the road? Who are these guys with Bulldog jerseys on?

Luckily UMD bounced back showing that it was a bump in the road. But another bad weekend could be a blueprint for opponents moving towards playoff time. 

It must be a good weekend for UMD, a sweep most likely, to keep hopes of an NCHC title alive. A sweep would also be beneficial coming off of a bye weekend setting the stage for the end of regular season run.

Picks by @afiskness

Tonight's game for the Bulldogs marks the final stretch run and the Bulldogs now find themselves in second place in the conference.  At this point if they want to take the home the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup they just may need to win out.

Minnesota Duluth @ Colorado College:  This rematch is very important series for the Bulldogs.  I think the rest from the break and now on this road will result in a sweep.

North Dakota @ Western Michigan:  The Fighting Hawks have been a little streaky this year and going to the Harry W. Lawson ice area will not be easy.  The Broncos have been great at home this year, but I think the Fighting Hawks will steal one and get a split.

Denver @ Miami:  The Redhawks are a much better team at home then on the road, but the Pioneers haven't showed much weakness this year.  My gut says this will be a Pioneer sweep. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Much Deserved Break

The Bulldogs have reached their final bye weekend of the season.  I personally think this comes at a good time.  The team is currently #1 in the polls, the pairwise rankings, the NCHC conference standings and riding a seven game unbeaten streak; so one might say don't stop while you are hot, but a break should help for the final stretch run.

There are six conference games left for the Bulldogs prior to the conference playoffs and these will be very important games.  League wide you couldn't ask for better match ups  especially considering they the way the standings are bunched from 3rd to 7th place only being separated by five points.  It should be a great run for the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup.

Colorado College vs #2 Denver (home/home):  The rivalry factor with the home/home format could be an equalizer leading to a split, but I will go with a Pioneers sweep for the Golden Pan.

Miami @ St. Cloud State:  The Redhawks have been very competitive both at home and on the road recently.  Not knowing what Huskies team will show up leads me to believe this will be a split.

#8 Western Michigan @ Nebraska Omaha:  The Mavericks have struggled at home and the Broncos haven't been very good on the road lead me to believe it will be a split or a pair of ties.  Split.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Bulldogs host the Mavericks

In arguably the most important North Start College Hockey Cup tournament ever the Bulldogs finished the mission of winning the tournament.  This in all accounts gives the trophy to UMD to keep for perpetuity.  This will be a nice addition to the trophy case.  More importantly the Bulldogs got two more wins and are now on a five game winning streak.  Now the team enters the final push with four series of conference games for the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup.  This trophy is much more meaningful and should be the next milestone the team is eyeing.

Nebraska Omaha @ #1 Minnesota Duluth:  I am concerned about a let down and the general home funk that the Bulldogs seem to get when going back to Amsoil Arena.  Having said that I will pick the Bulldogs who are the better team to get a sweep.

St. Cloud State @ #13 North Dakota:  The Fighting Hawks continue to be inconsistent after split in Colorado Springs last week.  The Huskies are a very good 7th team in the NCHC.  This will be a split.

Arizona State @ #9 Western Michigan:  The Sun Devils picked up arguably their best win since joining D1 last, season beating Quinnipiac 4-2 last weekend.  This weekend they go to the Harry W. Lawson Ice Arena and will hear the chants from the Lawson Lunatics.  There will be home cooking and the Broncos will sweep.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

North Star College Cup 2017

This weekend the Bulldog get the opportunity to rekindle an old flame playing the Gophers in the North Star College Cup.  Coming into this tournament the Bulldogs are the only team that has won the Cup.  They have come close losing in a shootout in the first year of the event.  There is more on the line now that it has been announced that this is the final year.  The question has been brought up who will keep the Cup?  The Gophers who organized the event or the this years champion if it is someone other than the Gophers?

North Star College Cup
#2 Minnesota Duluth vs. #6 Minnesota Twin Cities:  The Bulldogs goaltending has been considerable better than the Gophers this year and that will carry them to victory.  UMD Win.

#20 Bemidji State vs. St. Cloud State:  The Beavers started hot but they have been a .500 team since hosting Princeton at Thanksgiving.  Blitzer has been good between the pipes.  The Huskies are very inconsistent with average goaltending.  I am picking the Beavers.  

Based on my picks, I am going with a Bulldogs victory in the championship since they have been the most consistent and best team of the group this year.  Likewise, the Gophers will beat the Huskies as well.  

#12 North Dakota @ Colorado College:  The Tigers have yet to win at home this season and the Fighting Hawks are a better road team than home will lead to a Fight Hawks sweep.

#18 Nebraska Omaha @ #3 Denver:  These should be two good games as the Mavericks have played great on the road this year.  Split.

#10 Western Michigan @ Miami:  The Broncos are for real and a very good team.  Having said that, I can't see the Broncos leaving Oxford with a season sweep, so I will go with a split.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

Second #1 vs #2 Weekend for UMD

This Time UMD Comes in as #1

It is surprising to me in the volatile world of college hockey that a two week layoff finds no change at the top spot in the major polls. Certainly some team that is shinier and just of a crushing upset would have bumped the Bulldogs, but here we are.

So what is the take away? UMD is just that good or there isn't a dominant team out there to take the spot? It has been a year of spread out losses for the top teams and usual upper echelon teams maybe struggling a bit.

So take Penn State, the team with the least losses in the country in D-1. One loss, but lack of competition is likely the reason for PSU staying #3 or lower in polls. They did go 1-0-1 against Notre Dame, but that was they're only quality opponent with the lone loss to St. Lawrence.

So here we are again, NCHC teams meeting as #1 and #2. It should be a quality series. That is if UMD can get back up to speed right away.

That "knocking the rust off" stuff has to stay off minds and mouths around the Bulldogs. Self fulfilling prophesy... Top teams don't need or use that and it is what should be expected from this year's Bulldogs.


Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2nd Bye Weekend

The Bulldogs again have the week off to rest up for next weekend likely match up of #1 versus #2 in Denver.

#2 Denver @ Colorado College:  This is a true rivalry weekend and it would seem that home teams win, but I have a feeling that the Pioneers will get the sweep.

#17 St. Cloud State @ #16 Western Michigan:  The Broncos have found a faster pace of play this and it has resulted in great start of the season.  The Huskies goal tending and defense has been suspect this year and the Broncos are looking to pay back the thumping that the Huskies put on them last season.  Broncos sweep.

Miami @ Cornell:  Cornell is likely the better team and at home pointing to a tough go for the Redhawks.  My gut says split.

Nebraska Omaha @ Wisconsin:  The Mavericks have played well on the road this year, but the Badgers have a much improved team this year.  Split.

College Hockey Showdown at MSG (Satuday)
Boston College vs. North Dakota:  The Fighting Fighting Hawks are too inconsistent this season to pick them a winner.  Eagles win.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend Picks

The Bulldogs are currently have the Thanksgiving weekend off, with there next game coming on December 9th against the Pioneers in Denver.  Even though the Bulldogs aren't playing this weekend the picks will continue. 

#2 Denver @ Air Force:  The Pioneers don't have to travel to far for this single game.  The Pioneers as #2 in the nation should get the road win.

Wisconsin @ Colorado College:  Both teams are much improved over last years teams.  I like the home ice for the Tigers, but I think the Badgers will get a win on the road.

Michigan State @ #5 North Dakota:  The Fighting Hawks finally got the goal tending they were looking for last weekend.  I don't see the Spartans being able to get a win this weekend in Grand Forks.  Fighting Hawks sweep.

Air Force @ Colorado College:  The Tigers will get their home win hosting the Falcons.

Wisconsin @ #2 Denver:  The old WCHA rivals gets renewed.  The Pioneers will continue to show why they are top team in the nations.  Pioneers win.