Monday, November 22, 2010

Cliche, Yes...UMD is "Cardiac Kids"

Pair of OT Wins Over Wisconsin, 6-5 and 3-2

The age old quandary is the needed mixture to create a championship team. UMD is a good current study. One can look at the attributes of the Bulldogs squad, fleshing out the positives and shortcomings in relation to championship chances. Here one will be examined, winning the close games.

High power teams have sometimes been faulted, usually through no fault of their own, for beating teams at will and by comfortable margins. The question usually is asked about how a team will react when it comes down to the wire in a close game if they don’t have experience.

UMD certainly does have the experience needed in close games. Check it off, it is complete. The Bulldogs are 6-0 in one goal games including 5-0-2 in overtime.

But is it possible to play in too many close games? Maybe those against what should be inferior opponents? In 11 wins this season, the Bulldogs have won by more than two goals twice, and they have played teams like Alaska – Anchorage, Michigan Tech, and Providence. These are teams that UMD is definitely better than.

Maybe the next check-off for the Bulldogs on the list to creating a championship team should be putting teams away with their scoring power. Now that is something I would like to see.

Minnesota Teams. UMTC, MSUM, SCSU, and BSU are not helping the State of Hockey keep its name. Outside of Duluth, Minnesota Division I teams are placing 5th or below in the WCHA. The Gophers are the only Minnesota team that have an above 0.500 record thanks to a 5-1-1 current streak.

Scary in Anchorage. It is not all about the split the Huskies gave up in Alaska, as if that wasn’t bad enough for the swooning SCSU team. It was the injury to SCSU’s Travis Novak that has us worried. He went hard into the boards and had to be taken off on the backboard. We hope the best for Novak as he recovers.

Controversy in Omaha? After Friday’s game where North Dakota scored three straight goals in the third period en route to a come from behind 6-5 win, there was considerably more defense and controversy. Saturday’s game saw UNO under the direction of Dean Blais extracted revenge in the form of a 1-0 score. OK, revenge is a strong word, but this was a highly contested game where the lone goal was scored in the last second of the game. To add to the drama, the play that scored the goal started with a close onsides call at the blueline.

Talked about long after the game, the final verdict is had to be freeze framed to see that it was maybe offsides. Consensus that it was a tough call…defiantely not a consensus if it was the right call. Either way, the split happened.

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