Wednesday, November 23, 2011

UMD: Taking Care of Business

UMD Uses Favorable Schedule to Get Rolling

UMD has done what they needed to do. A team that has aspirations of being tops in the nation has to beat lesser opponents, especially at home. And beating them soundly is always a positive.

In the first 14 games, UMD has played top teams in their conferences like Notre Dame, Minnesota – Twin Cities, Denver and Providence (debatable whether Providence should be included here). In those games the Bulldogs have compiled a 3-3-2 record. In the other games, really against the bottom half teams of the WCHA, UMD has a 6-0-0 record. In total, UMD has outscored opponents 56-33.

There are so many things that UMD is doing right. Arguably, the rebound the team made from the less than stellar (1-3-0) start. This team is good and it has been noted by players that they believe the best is yet to come.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving break Bulldogs team and fans. There are many UMD Hockey accomplishments to be thankful for.

Around the WCHA. With the holiday weekend, we have many non-conference games that will play an important role in WCHA SOS and PWR when the end of the season rolls around.

Alaska – Anchorage at Minnesota State Mankato: This maybe the weekend to decide who will be last in the WCHA. The Mavericks did show signs of hope from returning players from injury in the games against UMD the previous weekend even though they were swept. This weekend the Seawolves who have played poor on the road come into Mankato after winning their first conference game at home. We don't think UAA has the mustard to find a win on the road, but maybe enough to sqeek out a tie. Mavericks take 3 points.

Colorado College at North Dakota: UND hockey fans might still be in denial, but CC is the better team. However, with the ups and downs in the net for CC right now, UND finds a way to get a split.

Saint Cloud State at Nebraska – Omaha: This might be the most even match up of the weekend. Other than a sweep in Marquette, Michigan, SCSU has be able to at least a split in every weekend series this season. This should continue in Omaha as the teams split.

Mercyhurst at Wisconsin: Mercyhurst is currently at the top of Atlantic Hockey and did beat a pretty good Cornell team on the road earlier in the season. And they may be going to Madison at a good time as the Badger's are 1-4-1 in their last 6 games. But this Badgers team has played decent at home. This will be a good test for both teams and end in a split.

Minnesota – Twin Cities at Michigan State: A future Bi6 Ten matchup in East Lansing should be a good series and a big test for the Gophers. After a slow start the Spartans have been playing pretty good hockey as of late and have played good defense. The Gophers will have to work to get some goals and playing better on the road. Gophers are 1-2-0 in their last three away from Mariucci and thus it will be a split

Princeton at Denver and Miami at Denver (Denver Cup): Denver may be righting the ship after a tough spot in the schedule. The Tigers of Princeton are not the team they were a few years ago when they beat Denver in the NCAA Tournament. This year, the Pioneers beat the Tigers. Miami (Future NCHC matchup) is finding their legs at the same time as Denver which really makes this the better of the two games. Miami will win giving Denver a split.

Michigan Tech at St. Lawrence: The Saint's are looking to get some wins at home. They have been somewhat inconsistent this season, which is a similar story for MTU on the road. So something has got to give. Tech will look to continue the positive momentum from the road win in Anchorage by leaving Canton, NY with 3 points.

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