I have a hard time being impartial, but I see good things happening for the Bulldogs this weekend at Mariucci. I think they match up well against the other teams and that they will win the first for sure and win a hard fought Region Championship game.
Key to Success at the Rink. The UMTC players bemoaned the fact that they had to play UMD on the smaller rink at the Xcel rather than the huge olympic ice sheet like at Mariucci. The players noted that on the bigger ice sheet Stalock can be made to move more side to side and scoring opportunities ensue. I got thinking about that sentiment and reminisced to the game I witness at Mariucci when UMD lost 5-3. It did seem that Stalock was aggressive and out of position more than other games I watched him play. Was it the ice sheet, the defense, or a bad night? Let’s look at the Dog’s play on olympic sized (200x100) ice at UMTC, SCSU and CC and the near olympic sized ice (200x97) at Wisconsin. The results are pretty grim looking at UMTC, SCSU, and Wisconsin with a combined 1-4-1 record. The bright spot is at Colorado College where the Dogs sported a 3-0-1 record this year. Conclusions? No clear trend can be made, but it is an interesting question. What is known is that the defense needs to come to play and Stalock needs to keep playing like he can and has been.
Key to Success at the Rink II. On the flip side, the national writers have been buzzing about how Denver’s speed will be well suited for the olympic rink. But when their numbers are looked at, you find that they are 2-3-1 against the same teams listed above. Taking out Wisconsin and their close-to-an-olympic rink, the Pioneers are 0-3-1. Let the games be played, but again, interesting numbers.
Soak It All In, Beavers. This will likely be the last time for a while that Bemidji State sees the NCAA Tournament now that the CHA is defunct. Playing 10 games against 5 WCHA teams and getting 3 wins this year is pretty good. Making the NCAA Tournamnt with an RPI of 37, now that is priceless!
Good luck to all entrants and may this Bulldog team play their game. This will be another exciting weekend of hockey, that is for sure!
HERE’S YOUR UMD SCORING!