As it was when we started last year, UMD is on a bye this weekend and the article for this week will focus on rankings, namely the PWR and WCHA standings. Important games are being played this weekend in the WCHA that will affect UMD’s standing.
This Weekend in the WCHA: Alaska – Anchorage, Colorado College and Michigan Tech are all off this weekend along with the Bulldogs.
North Dakota at Saint Cloud State: Return to the scene of the crime, or at least a return of the match-up of teams, but in a different venue. It was the last series these two teams met that Chay Genoway was injured by an illegal hit. Any number of calls, including charging, boarding, or checking from behind, could have been made on the play as over the top it was. Genoway has been out since the hit and the Sioux have taken a slide in the standings all the down to 6th. This weekend is the time for the Sioux to let off some frustration and dampen the hopes of the Huskies to keep a close hold on first place in the WCHA. Both teams are currently in the PWR top 12.So, on this one year anniversary of the HighHorse, I want to say thanks to Andy who co-writes with me and our traveling photographer Andrew N. May the Bulldogs and the HighHorse continue their successes.
Looking at this series from the UMD point of view, a Sioux sweep would help the Bulldogs in the standings and in the PWR. At the same time, North Dakota is UMD’s next opponent, so for them to get it really rolling now maybe isn’t the best thing. Honest pick is a split.
Minnesota at Denver: Can Minnesota break the cycle? The Gophers have shutout the last three meetings against Denver and Marc Cheverie in net. The Gophers are currently in 7th place and their schedule isn’t conducive to moving up into the upper half for home ice in the playoffs.
From the Bulldog perspective, Minnesota needs to be a TUC to help out in the PWR. At the same time, Denver is one point behind UMD for WCHA standings, so Minnesota could help out with a win or two. Most beneficial to the Bulldogs is a split in Denver. Honest prediction is a DU sweep.
Minnesota State Mankato at Wisconsin: A split occurred in Mankato between these teams earlier this season, but it won’t happen this weekend. Most beneficial to UMD is wins by MSU, but in reality it should be a Wisconsin sweep.