University of Minnesota – Duluth men’s hockey team returns to the site of their first round WCHA playoff sweep at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO. Colorado College is atop the WCHA just two points ahead of UMD.
Return to Me. UMD was short handed even before all the penalties were called. Out from last Saturday’s game were defenseman Scott Kishel, Dylan Olsen and Trent Palm; right winger Justin Fontaine; and center Travis Oleksuk who has been sidelined since the second game of the season. Returning regular players to the lineup will help, especially on the road in the WCHA.
Time Keeps On Ticking. The article on penalties maybe for naught. It is now official that UMD is the second most penalized team in NCAA Div. I hockey. Their 22.9 PIM/game is only eclipsed by Ferris State’s 24.6 PIM/game. To put it perspective, Wisconsin is second in the WCHA with 21.2 PIM/game.
Keep on Scoring. Rob Bordson continues his tear with 1 goal and 4 assists this past weekend. His efforts and achievements are not being overlooked either. Bordson received nomination for Red Baron WCHA Offensive Player of the Week. Players who step up to become integral is what makes average teams better by creating more balanced scoring.
Around the WCHA this weekend:
Denver at Alaska – Anchorage: Denver will have to cope without Cheverie. What better team to get WCHA time for a freshman goalie than against Anchorage? The underlying interest here is the expected goalie for DU, Adam Murray, is from Anchorage, so this may not be the easiest place for Murray to concentrate. Denver will not have a problem scoring, but a tie here is definitely likely coupled with a DU win.
North Dakota at Michigan Tech: North Dakota has shown some struggles on the road and Tech has shown flashes at home. It does certainly appear that this will be a Siouz sweep.
Minnesota at Wisconsin: Border Battle continued after the Packer-Vikings game of last Sunday. The true test for Wisconsin is if they can complete a full weekend of games in the WCHA. The true test for Minnesota is to prove that they can compete with more than the bottom half of the WCHA. Both teams have something to prove, so why not say that you can throw the record books out and expect 110% from both teams while their backs are against the wall. That being said, I see Bucky coming out with a series win, 3 or 4 points.
As the season continues, more trends come to the forefront. After this weekend, the standings should reflect those trends setting up. It will be a good weekend of hockey.