Friday, October 23, 2009

Power-Play and People

The first road assignment is coming this weekend in Saint Cloud as the Bulldogs travel to take on SCSU. The Huskies are a team that is projected to finish in the top half of the WCHA and above UMD. Those two factors make this weekend the first watershed moment for this young, and largely untested, Bulldog team.

To make the weekend a total success there are many factors that must be controlled. The scorers must keep scoring, and not only on the power-play; the defense must keep up its focus; and someone else has to step up and make their presence known on the goal sheet. It is time that the big names on offense get the supporting help to take the coming defensive pressure and focus that will be coming from teams preparing for the Bulldogs.

Interesting Match-ups for the Weekend:

  • Proven scorers of SCSU vs. The Young UMD Defense. Roe and Lasch can prove to be a challenge for any college team. Throw in a young Bulldog defense and freshman goalies, and we have a nice test for UMD. As far as defensemen go, we need to see more leadership on the ice from Mike Montgomery to help out the rest of the corps. But maybe this is not that big of an issue as the Huskies have scored an average of 2.00 goals per game in four games.
  • High Flying Bulldog Scorers vs. SCSU’s Freshman Goalminder. When Jace weslosky was deemed ineligible this summer, it was clear that Mike Lee, freshman from Roseau, was going to put to the test to see if the hype was true. So far it seems top be a good run for Lee who owns a 1.97 goals against average. He will have to face the nation’s fourth ranked power-play with UMD’s Fontaine, JConnolly, and MConnolly. That being said, it must be reiterated that more offensive contributors need to emerge for UMD to be successful.
  • Young UMD Team in a Hostile Environment. Saint Cloud loves their hockey team and makes the National Hockey Center a difficult place to visit.
Around the WCHA. It is a full slate of WCHA conference play this weekend.

Michigan Tech at Colorado College: Can CC goalie Howe keep up his pace and make believers of all the skeptics?

Wisconsin at Minnesota State – Mankato: Badger fans are looking for a bounce back for their team after taking only one point at home last weekend from CC. Mankato is good place to do that, unless insiders we have talked are correct and the Badgers are highly overrated.

North Dakota at Alaska Anchorage: Time to burst the yearly swell of taking anchorage seriously in the national picture. A good thrashing by the Sioux at home should dispel those thoughts…and votes.

Denver at Minnesota: The WCHA favorite at the perennial nationally ranked team. Both teams are trying to turn around their starts to the season. DU is 2-2 and UM-TC is 0-1-1. This series, to me, looks like a split.

We are in full WCHA conference swing, and we at the HighHorse look forward to attending the games at Saint Cloud this weekend. Watch for analysis and photos fo the games right here.

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