WCHA Season Starts for Unbeaten UMD
The warm-ups are over; it is time to start the journey through the gauntlet of the WCHA season for the UMD Bulldogs. Alaska – Anchorage is the opponent at the DECC this weekend. UAA is a struggling team, 1-2-1, that is not on its usual early season tear before running out of steam later in the season.
But not matter where UAA is in the standings, the Seawolves have been a struggle for the Bulldogs over the past years. The Bulldogs are 1-5-2 against UAA over the last three seasons, not impressive at all. In fact it is alarming, but it should be noted that the win in that streak is the most recent game, if that really matters. UMD has to beat on the bottom half teams to keep their top three aspirations.
Slow Starts. UAA has not scored the first goal in any of their first four games. In the same vein, the Bulldogs have scored the first goal in only one of their first four games. First goal is sometimes a statistical marker for losses, thus far it has not hindered UMD.
Only Planned Meeting. UAA makes the trip to Duluth for the regular season this weekend. The host Bulldogs will not be polite in taking two games from the visiting Seawolves.
Around the WCHA.
We are still waiting for the first full weekend of WCHA games which doesn’t happen until December 3!
Colorado College at Minnesota State – Mankato: CC will continue the Mav’s skid. The Tigers will take home three points.
Wisconsin at Denver: Here is an interesting match-up pitting two teams that lost a lot of talent and are still trying to ascertain what they have this year. Wisconsin has had a fairly easy schedule while Denver has been in a meat grinder. So what will we have? If Denver’s will is not yet broken, we will see a split. If the Pioneers have had enough and need confidence, they will not get it from Bucky. And behind this all is the drama with the Gwozdecky contract non-extension that occurred this summer fueling rumors that George will go to Penn State. Enough distractions? Denver is well coached team and they will gain a split.
Saint Cloud State at University of Minnesota – Twin Cities: Again, two teams looking to see who they are and what they are made of. UMTC had two slow starts last weekend against UNO that they couldn’t overcome while SCSU is just having problems scoring. Both will likely keep their trends leaving us with a series split.
North Dakota at Maine: This looked interesting on the pre-season radar, but has lost some luster based on Maine’s struggles. UND will take three points.
Nebraska – Omaha at Michigan: A renewed CCHA series where two unbeatens meet. I guess that they could both remain unbeaten with two ties which has already happened to the Wolverines this season. But this series will be a win for Michigan as they take both games in a split.