Friday, October 12, 2018

Another Trip to Michigan Tech

UMD and MTU Renew Rivalry

Not that this is as big of games as UMD and other Minnesota teams or MTU vs North Michigan, but these games this weekend are the 231st and 232nd of the series between these teams.

Some of the games have been heated, some laughers, while others head scratchers as both the Bulldogs and Huskies have had their ups, downs, and National Championships over the years.

Last meeting went to the Huskies in Duluth last season 4-3, but the Bulldogs are currently 7-1-1 in the last nine games at McInnes Ice Arena.

It will be a good weekend to see if UMD can rebound from a 0-1-1 weekend with the Gophers and this is a good time to go on the road to build the team bonds for the Bulldogs.

StatPack.

Coming soon as the stats stack up!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Could It Be More Sweet?

Same Formula Brings Championship to Duluth

Now who would have thunk that? Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs getting into the NCAA Tournament by the narrowest of margins, sweeps their way from #3 seed in the West to the champion of NCAA Division I National Champions.

leveraging three straight 2-1 wins, preceded by a 3-2 OT win, makes UMD the first team to win all their NCAA Tournament games by one goal. That is is the key to the championship run for the Bulldogs, defense and just enough scoring to get the win.

In UMD's three straight 2-1 wins the equation seemed to stay the same: jump out to a fast start scoring two goals in the first period, play strong defense all game, and keep the offensive pressure on. This equals wins and a championship.

This UMD Bulldogs team, thankful just to get into the NCAA Tournament, now can look back and relax with the new label, Champion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

All the Way to the Frozen Four

Unlikely Return for UMD Makes This Frozen Four Sweet

Last year's Frozen Four was almost expected, though it didn't come easy. This year's Frozen Four is an unexpected surprise.

The story line is well known: seven seniors graduated and three underclassmen left for pro deals after the National Championship loss to Denver. 10 major players out of the lineup including five starting defensemen and the goaltender that played just shy of 90% of the games by minutes played.

Rebuild was on the minds of many fans. Maybe even those close tot he program, but this Bulldog coaching staff has proven that they are up to the task in a big way. They have taken an inexperienced team and built them up all year.

Evidence is plentiful, but just he improvement in the NCHC conference play says it all. At the Holiday Break, UMD was in seventh place just ahead of Omaha whom they had just split a series with. After the break in the NCHC UMD peeled off a 10-4-0 record to bolt into third place, host a first round series, and make it to the Frozen Faceoff for the third straight year.

Only nine current Bulldogs played in the 2017 Frozen Four.

All this leads us to say: not rebuild, but RELOAD.

UMD is in rarefied air making their program record fourth straight NCAA appearance and they look to make the most of it by crashing the B1G Ten party in St. Paul.

There is only one thing left for this group of upstarts to do but to win it all.

StatPack:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

0.0001

Back to the West Regional

After a disappointing Frozen Faceoff weekend, UMD squeaked in to the NCAA Tournament by 0.0001 points on the PWR. Yes, that number is correct, 0.0001. And for the last at-large bid.

This season UMD has come from so far behind last year's team in experience, that it is a victory for the program and the coaching staff, and most of all the players for this chance to return to the NCAA Tournament.

The West Regional:

4 Air Force
1 St. Cloud State

3 UMD
4 MSUM

Friday, March 16, 2018

NCHC Frozen Faceoff

The NCHC Frozen Faceoff is here and at the Xcel Energy Center for the first time.  I am excited to attend the games at a true hockey rink.  This change of venues should also be better for fans as the slight lines at Xcel are better then the Target Center's.  As we have discussed at CH3, we will miss being able to take photos and watch the games from the corners of the rink like you could at Target Center.

It should be at least three really good hockey games.  The third place game could anywhere from a snoozer to a play-in game to the NCAAs all depending on the matchups.  I personally hope UMD wins the first game and seals a trip to the NCAAs with that win. 

Picks:
North Dakota vs. St. Cloud State:  The NCAA playoffs have essentially started for the Fighting Hawks a loss could doom their hopes.  The Huskies are a much better team and I think they will use their defense and goaltending to get the win.

UMD vs Denver:  These are two evenly matched teams even though the Pioneers have had UMDs number this season.  I like the all around play the Bulldogs have shown recently and I am picking them to win in a close one.

Championship:  My pick for the Champion is the Huskies.  They seem to be the best all-around team and likely to be the one holding the NCHC Frozen Faceoff Champions Trophy. 

Third Place game:  If it is UND and DU there will be two very different levels of effort given on the rink.  The Fighting Hawks need the win and Denver needs to stay healthy.  The Pioneers are good enough to have this end in a tie. 



Friday, March 9, 2018

NCHC Playoffs

The greatest time of the year is finally here for college hockey fans, conference playoffs and the NCAAs.  This year playoffs results, like past years, will have big implications in the Pairwise Rankings and NCAA playoffs seedings.  Thankfully for Bulldogs fans UMD is a near lock to make the NCAAs.

The NCHC first round playoff matchups are very good and I think they will be some upsets.  From top to bottom the conference is so close that any team could step up and make a run.  I particularly like Colorado College and Nebraska Omaha as potential first round upsets.  The Mavericks power play is so potent that if they get hot they could easily propel them for a trip to St. Paul.  Like wise, the Tigers have developed some high ends players who if matched with some good defense and goal tending also have what it takes to get the upset.  It should be some great hockey over St. Patrick's weekend in St. Paul. 

Picks
#RV Western Michigan @ #8 Minnesota Duluth:  The last time they played a couple weeks ago UMD won the two games with a combined score of 14-1.  It will be different this weekend as the Broncos are healthier, but they won't be able to win two games at Amsoil.  UMD wins in 3 games.

Miami @ #1 St. Cloud State:  The Huskies have played like a #1 team recently and the Redhawks won't be able to change that, the Huskies sweep.

#13 Nebraska Omaha @ #14 North Dakota:  Both the Fighting Hawks and the Mavericks are playing for an NCAA birth, winner likely goes and loser is done.  I like the PP for the Mavericks to carry them to a playoff birth in three games even with their poor road record. 

Colorado College @ #4 Denver:  This years matchup is much closer than last years for these teams.  My gut says the Tigers get the upset in three games, so I am going with it.