What is a hockey program without talent? They are left in the waste land of empty buildings and fan apathy. Here in Minnesota, the Gophers are looked to as a college hockey measuring stick locally and nationally. Last season and the trend this season is Gopher struggles on the ice. But they are still the gold standard because they have players who really want to “wear the sweater.” We have discussions about why that is and the issue of TV always keeps coming up. The Gophers are televised for well over 95% of their games on a regional level and now national level with the prevalence of satellite dishes.
This topic is pertinent because the Bulldogs are at Bemidji this weekend. Still don’t follow? Remember that BSU home games are on the Minnesota Channel, 2.2 in the Twin Cities and found throughout Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and North Dakota over the air and on cable. At first look this looked like a huge recruiting tool paired with a new building, but take a look at the quality. Watching the UND-BSU series it is obvious that it is a one camera set-up with an operator who had WAY too much caffeine during the day. Analysts are mediocre and the booth looks like a closet. But still, they are on regional TV and I get to watch the games this weekend.
All in all, I would want a deal like UMD’s where you get quality coverage over Northern Minnesota.
Oleksuk Honored. Travis Oleksuk was name the Red baron WCHA Offensive Player of the week for his 2-2-4 weekend. One of his two goals Saturday night was a shorthanded, game winning goal. That give Oleksuk the NCAA lead in game winning goals at 3.
UMD Bucks Trend. Scoring the first goal is key to winning for most teams. But the Bulldogs still have their unbeaten season while not scoring the first goal. In last Friday’s game, it was the fourth time in five games that UMD did not score the first goal, but still didn’t lose. Saturday became the second game this season where the Bulldogs scored first en route to a 6-0 shutout of UAA. But maybe it doesn’t matter as BSU is 0-1-1 when scoring first this year and 0-1-0 when their opponent scores first.
A First this Weekend? Bemidji is still looking for their first win in their new building, the recently renamed Sanford Center. At the same time, UMD is striving to keep their unbeaten season going. We predict that BSU will not get their first, but will not go away pointless either. A tie Friday and a Bulldog win Saturday looks to be in order.
Around the WCHA.
Minnesota State – Mankato at Alaska – Anchorage: one win for each team this year so far in 12 games. It should be a real slug fest. This will be a sweep for UAA because of their home ice advantage.
Denver at North Dakota: The Sioux want to get back on track after a terrible weekend at Maine. The Pioneers happen to be the next on the list for UND. But Denver is not a pushover so, but they will not get a win this weekend. Watch for a three point weekend for NoDak.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities at Colorado College: Where is this season going for the Gophers? They have now decided to pull Kangas for the weekend and play Patterson in net. He is 1-0-0 and has let in one goal in 4 periods of play this season. Is he the answer? Yes and no, so give them partial credit and in college hockey that is a split.
Michigan Technological University at Wisconsin: The other unbeaten WCHA team, MTU, goes for more in Madison. Bucky is still an enigma this year after beating up on weaker teams, but not faring as well against decent teams. So which type of team is MTU? We are unsure about that too, so we see a split this weekend.
Quinnipiac at Saint Cloud State University: The Huskies challenging season continues as they struggle to score. A split in another non-conference series.