Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sweep Though Shorthanded

UMD Wins Pair at Clarkson 4-1 and 4-2

Just what the doctor ordered, a sweep. And speaking of doctors, a few were needed over the weekend with Basaraba and Seidel going through the stomach flu while in New York. That left UMD really short with Faulk at the Juniors Tournament and injuries to Danberg and Schmidt.

UMD was so short manned that they had 11 forwards skating in Monday’s game and that included Trent Palm on wing, but the sweep was still obtained.

After the down turn in December, the sweep at Clarkson is a great way to get on track. And according to Bruce Ciskie, it is also a strong step forward to ensuring the Bulldogs a place in the NCAA Tournament.

I really get what he is saying about the east/west games being important. And what really makes the Bulldog’s situation so unique positive is the fact that Clarkson plays those top three ECAC teams (Yale, RPI and Union) two times each. Any wins by Clarkson in those games gives UMD a leg up in comparisons based on the Common Opponents criteria. UMD should be pulling for Clarkson here on out, that is assuming that the ECAC Three stay in the Teams Under Consideration (TUC) of the PairWise.

For now, UMD needs to get Faulk back and get the injuries healed. The Bulldogs will need every available body for the second half of the conference season as they push for a beneficial top two finish in the WCHA standings.

In the rest of the league that has not taken to Monday/Tuesday series, and that would be every other team, play continues this weekend with lots of non-conference and one WCHA series.

Michigan Tech at Saint Cloud State: The downward spiral of the MTU Huskies travels to the resurgent (maybe) SCSU Huskies. Just as it looks that SCSU is on the way back after winning the Florida Ever-whatever-it-is-called Tournament, drama strikes. Now two men short, SCSU has to move on. Tony Mosey was dismissed from the team earlier this week for violation of team rules. Just previous to Mosey, Chris Hepp signed with the Stealheads of the ECHL.

Reports are surfacing that maybe Hepp was provided “professional courtesy” and was allowed to leave instead of being dismissed. In fact, Coach Motzko almost gave an audible hard swallow when asked if the two incidents were related as both have run afoul of team rules in the near past.

Ahh, the drama, just what a team needs to derail a resurgence. Look for a sweep in Saint Cloud giving blessed relief to the Huskies of MTU currently on a 13 game losing streak.

The rest of the teams are in non-conference series, and pretty poor ones at that. So we will make the bold prediction that North Dakota, Minnesota State – Mankato, Bemidji State and Wisconsin will all sweep. We do have these notes on those teams in action:

Minnesota State – Mankato: With a sweep this weekend, the Mavs will be above 0.500 for the first time this year at 10-8-4. Good news is that will make them 4-0-2 in non-conference games, bad news is that makes them 6-8-2 in the WCHA.

Bemidji State: The Beavers renew their old CHA rivalry with Alabama – Huntsville. UAH is without a league affiliation and are currently 2-18-2.
And as a last note, UMTC and UMD each play an exhibition game this weekend against the Under 18 US Developmental team.

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