Friday, February 8, 2013

UMD Has Another Shot to Better Standing

MSUM Visits Duluth With Something to Prove

It has been a rough patch the past few years for MSUM.  but over the last offseason coach Jutting stepped down and Mike Hastings took over.

With largely the same roster, MSUM has been turning many heads in the conference.  especially with the emergence of freshman goaltender Stephon Williams.

Williams has a 1.82 GAA  and a 0.927 saves percentage.  UMD will certainly have their work cut out for them.

And it isn't just a strong defense and grind it out offense for the Mavericks.  The purple Mavs are scoring at an impressive clip above three goals per game.

Bottom LIne.  Faith is shaken for the UMD fans and likely for the players after a big bust last weekend.  UMD certainly has the opportunity again to move up in the standings, but it will take full 60 minute stretches of focused play.  Even one slip up can change teh whole game as was witnessed in 91 seconds last Saturday night.

StatPack.  Here is the statistical comparison for the weekend:
Images via Wikipedia: Bulldog, WCHA, Maverick

Of Note:

  • The power plays of the UMD and MSUM are the same percentage, but the Mavs are rated higher due to unequal chances and rounding.
  • The Bulldogs still have an issue with penalties.  They are dropping in rank, but stilla re number three in the nation.

Around the WCHA and Picks by @afiskness.  All the teams play this week and most of the series could have big impacts on the final conference standings.  The Bulldogs have 16 points remaining in their conference schedule and currently sit in 8th place with 19 points.  It is my feeling if the Bulldogs really want home ice they will need to get to 30 points, meaning they need to go 5-2-1 in the last 8 games.  It is fast approaching must win time.  After this weekend they could be anywhere from 6th to 9th place in the conference.

WCHA Conference
Minnesota State Mankato at Minnesota Duluth:  The Mavericks have had plenty of time to get ready for this weekend in Duluth, now it will be interesting it to see if the Bulldogs can bounce back from a sweep by the Pioneers.  The Bulldogs have been a Jekyll and Hyde team all season and the Friday night loss concerns me.  Bulldogs get 1 point as the Mavericks win and tie.  
Alaska - Anchorage at Michigan Tech:  It is Winter Carnival in Houghton and Seawolves come to town.  The Seawolves basically split last weekend with a couple of ties and the Huskies split against Omaha.  Carnival gives Tech the edge and will take 3 points with a win and a tie.  
North Dakota at Omaha:  The battle of Dean Blais schools.  North Dakota played well in a couple of penalty filled games last weekend and the Mavericks lost to Tech in a nail-bitter in OT.  This looks like a split. Bemidji State at Wisconsin:  The Beavers just do not have enough scoring and the Badgers have a strong defense.  Only one way to go on this series and that is a Badger sweep.  
Minnesota Twin Cities at Saint Cloud State:  This should be a great series with a lot on the line.  The Gophers should be rested after the week off last weekend.  The Huskies at home should get a split.  
Colorado College and Denver (home & home):  The Pioneers stole one on Saturday after a defensive breakdown by the Bulldogs lead to a full meltdown meanwhile the Tigers earned a split with a couple ties in Anchorage.  I like the home teams in this heated series, split. 
Future NCHC
Miami at Western Michigan

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