This weekend UMD is off. The punch line some may insert here is that they have been “off” their game all season. And that is why having time to fix things early in the season may likely get the Bulldogs on track.
The hope is that time off, extra coaching, and relaxation will get the players ready for the grueling road series coming up at Omaha and North Dakota before coming back to Duluth to face Saint Cloud State right after Thanksgiving.
Around the WCHA and Picks by Fiskness. The bye week for the Bulldog’s couldn’t come at a better time. This statement on the fourth weekend of the season is a little unsettling for Bulldog fans, but true. Last weekend UMD hosted the Badgers and after two games the Bulldogs were able to hold on for a 1 point weekend. The Bulldogs continue to have issues scoring and giving consistent play for a whole game. Another problem seems to be the rate at which UMD is taking penalties. The Bulldogs will need to be more disciplined if they want to finish in the top half of the standings. A weekend off should help the Bulldogs regroup after this past disappointing weekend.
It is still early in the season and teams are still trying to get an identity. More analysis can be made after a few more series are played.
Nebraska – Omaha at Michigan Tech: The huskies have played some good hockey on their home ice and the Mavericks will have to be ready for a tough weekend. I still am skeptical that Tech can put together 2 solid games back to back so I will pick a split.
Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Twin Cities (home and home): The Gophers barely got past the Golden Griffins last weekend meanwhile the Mavericks got run over in St. Cloud. The Gophers are a much more talented team, but this series always ends up being very physical. I think the Mavericks will be able to do enough to earn 1 point as the Gopher will win one and the other game will be a tie.
Colorado College at Wisconsin: The Badgers had an impressive weekend against Duluth and appear to have gained positive momentum back after being swept the first weekend of the season. The Tigers come into this series trying to get the ship back upright after giving up 5 power play goals and getting swept by the Big Red of Cornell. If the Tigers defense and special teams play good enough they will be able to get a split, but they are very suspect right now. Split.
Saint Cloud State at Denver: The Huskies put up a bunch of goals against the Mavericks last weekend and may now be playing with the potential that many expected. Going to Denver will not be easy for the Huskies though as the Pioneers appear to be in mid-season form this early in the season. Two hard fought games resulting in a split.
Boston University at North Dakota: This should be a good matchup for both teams. The advantage goes to North Dakota on the home ice, but the Terriers should have enough to earn a split in this series.