Monday, February 28, 2011

One Point Weekends Won't Suffice

UMD Ties CC Saturday for a One Point Bulldog Weekend

The results Saturday from Colorado Springs were not what fans were looking for. Followers of the Bulldogs wanted to be reassured their team was “back” with a convincing win like last…Saturday…in Mankato…Wait, that Mankato game was supposed to be the statement game, the one to quell fears and angst.

What went right Saturday? Reiter played well making the stops he needed to keeping UMD in the game. This past weekend is proof positive that UMD needs to go with Reiter until he proves he is not up to the task (I know that this is going on and on, week after week, but it NEEDS to happen).

The Bulldogs also never trailed in the game. But that is a double edged sword in that UMD then gave up the lead at least once. Actually, the game went every time the Bulldogs scored, the Tigers would answer to tie. Not that great of a positive.

What went wrong? Two goals came on the power play, but a five-minute major on CC went with very little pressure and organization by UMD. That is the time to cash in at least once, and really for multiple goals to salt the game away. Chances squandered.

The most painful part is USCHO now has the TUC record right on the PWR rankings. UMD is 19-8-6 overall good enough for 8th best in the nation. But the TUC record is lousy, only 10-8-5 and that is up since UAA beat Alaska Saturday night to become a TUC again.

Stock Dropping. During the past weekend at CC, UMD’s PWR fell from #7 to a tie for #11. Yes, 16 teams get into the NCAA Tournament, but really it is 15. No, this is not fuzzy math; it is the fact that every conference gets an atuo-bid to the tourney. Current ACHL leader RIT is at #26 in the PWR, so whoever wins that tournament will be a “spoiler.” Add in any other non-top 15 PWR team that wins their conference tournament and we winnow down the at-large openings.

After a great start, fans don’t know what to expect out of this team except for erratic play. Inside College Hockey put it best in their Power Rankings:
The Bulldogs hit Thanksgiving with an 11-1-2 overall record and an 8-1-1 mark in WCHA play. Since then, UMD has gone 8-7-4 overall , 6-6-4 against conference opponents, and hasn't won consecutive home games.
Those stats say a lot. It causes some to have painful memories of last season’s second half meltdown. The good news is UMD has two regular season games to go and the prospect of the WCHA playoffs to solidify their standing for the NCAA Tournament.

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