Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New (Hockey) World Order?

The past weekend’s games at the DECC brought to a point a new trend in college hockey, the amount of penalty minutes per game.

The Clarkson – UMD series saw in Friday’s game, both teams took 5 minute checking from behind penalties with the automatic 10 minute misconduct. Including those penalties, UMD had 9 penalties for 29 minutes and Clarkson had 8-27. That isn’t that much considering the 5’s and the 10’s, but there were 12 total power play chances between the two teams. Let’s move on to Saturday where it gets really hairy. Clarkson took two 5’s for checking from behind with their accompanying 10’s for a grand total of 16-54. The Bulldogs were a measly 9-18 in this penalty marred weekend of hockey. The power play total was 23 with 15 of them for UMD.

In other WCHA games Alaska – Anchorage and Minnesota combined or 78 minutes of penalties Friday with 13 total power play chances. Saint Cloud and Michigan Tech combined for 53 minutes Saturday with 9 power play chances. These are numbers that are surprising.

Are we to get alarmed and think that hockey is a street brawl taken to the ice? Is it a crack down to try to change the game of hockey in the WCHA? Are new officials contributing to the increase for one reason or another? It is likely a combination of the three.

One thing to be sure is the Bulldogs will live and die by their power play and penalty kill. At this rate, 5 on 5 hockey will be the minority and the fourth line will likely get very little playing time. I would like to se it all even out and be able to watch some good quality hockey again, no this choppy type of game we have witnessed so far.

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