Over and over Bulldog fans have been hearing how important the games are. Every weekend seems to be "the last stand" for UMD and their chances for home ice in the NCHC playoffs, NCAA playoffs, and to live up to expectations of this talented team.
And over and over, the struggles for UMD trump the efforts. Some say UMD can't score "enough", but when they do, the defense sags. When the defense is tops, offense sags. Early leads vaporize, late leads don't feel safe. Baffling season.
But here it is again, the chance to right the ship with a 110% effort when backs are against the wall in this must-have weekend. Check.
Picks by @afiskness. This weekends series against the Tigers is likely to be one that Bulldog fans will point back to no matter the outcome. A sweep will really help UMD stay in the race for home ice in the playoffs. A split or a couple ties won't change the standings much and being swept will likely keep UMD in the bottom half of the standings at the end of the year. My concern is the lack of scoring will continue and UMD will fall to seven or eight in the NCHC standings. Not a good place to be this or any year.
What seems crazy with the remaining schedule I think if UMD won six of the next nine games they will be a top 15 team in the pairwise when the playoffs start even though they currently have only won nine games.
PWR #2 St. Cloud State @ #22 Miami: The Huskies are currently finding it pretty easy to put the puck in the back of the net, but the improved play by the Redhawks will help them get a split at home.
PWR #48 Colorado College @ #19 Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs are having significant difficulties scoring this season, playing the Tigers may be a good short term cure. I think UMD will play strong enough defense and score enough goals in one of the two games to get a split.
PWR #34 Bemidji State @ #19 Minnesota Duluth: This is the make up game for the power outage at the beginning of the season. I don't like the match up for the Bulldogs who have not played well at AMSOil Arena. I will pick a Beavers win.