Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend WCHA Wrap

UMD Idle; Prepare for Pioneers

With a Holiday weekend, the WCAH had one conference series and six other teams playing in non-conference games.

In Colorado Springs, CC hosted UAA for the only conference match ups of the weekend. What appeared to be two bottom dwelling teams playing a series turned out to be a couple, well, at least one interesting game. The series ended in a split, but had its share of excitement on Friday night when UAA took the Tigers to OT and finished them off in the extra time. The following night had goaltender Joe Howe being himself in shutting out the Seawolves 2-0. Scoring is at a premium in Colorado Springs meaning Howe needs to be a shutdown goalie almost every night if CC wants to move out of the bottom of the WCHA.

The College Hockey Showcase.  In Minneapolis…to sum it up, expect the unexpected. UMTC gave up the ghost and were handily beaten by the Michigan State Spartans 5-2. That marks the first, and still only, road win on the season for MSU. The Spartans put the game away in the first period scoring the only goals including two in 0:22 to take a 3-0 lead. This was the game of the weekend that many, including the HighHorse expected UMTC to win.

On Sunday, the Gophers came out with Alex Kangas in net for his first start in five games. The Gophers played much better hockey and pulled off the mild upset of the Michigan Wolverines 3-1.

In Madison… The Badgers bounced back after being swept at home for two consecutive weekends to tie the Wolverines on Friday 4-4 and beat the Spartans on Saturday 4-1. The wins bring the badgers to an overall record of 7-6-3.

Shutout anyone? In Bemidji, the Beavers and Northern Michigan Tigers traded shutouts en route to a split. The scores were 4-0 for NMU and 3-0 for BSU.

In Denver, the Pioneers stayed on their hot streak while winning their tournament, the Denver Cup. Denver is currently on the nation’s longest winning streak and is the next opponent for UMD at the DECC this weekend.

Out east at UMass – Lowell, Mankato did the unexpected, they scored a lot of goals and swept the Riverhawks. I know that the Mavericks were missing some players who have now returned, but whoa! The eight goal output on Friday is very impressive. Then they came back to finish off the sweep Saturday. Can we expect more from the Mavs now? Let’s just wait to see what they do back in the WCHA as Lowell is 2-10-2 for the season.

In Grand Forks, disappointment was high after a three point weekend for the Sioux against Notre Dame. The reason wasn’t necessarily the tie, but the fact that UND held the one goal lead late into the third period before the Irish tied the score with 3:03 left in the third. “We’re not walking out of here with smiles tonight because of the tie,” Coach Hakstol said after the game. He did go on to credit the hard work the team used to get a three point weekend against a very good Notre Dame team.

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