Friday, December 16, 2011

UMD Mid-Season Break

WCHA in a Very Limited Weekend Schedule

It is the mid-season break for most teams including UMD. It is hard to believe that we are right at the halfway point of the regular season and maybe as unbelievable that UMD is tied atop the WCHA with the Gophers after losing a pair against the Twin Cities team in October. The Bulldogs will take it and the 14 game unbeaten streak while resting up for the new calendar year.

In the meantime, we look at the weekend’s schedule to find only eight games in total, all with at least one WCHA team involved.

Colorado College at Minnesota State – Mankato: The Mavericks swept the Chargers of UAH at home last weekend. The Friday night contest was tight and Saturday was a blowout. The Tigers come into this weekend after coming from behind to earn a split at home against the Seawolves. CC is the better team, but there play has not been consistent and that will not change in a split.

Denver at Saint Cloud State: SCSU is rested after a week off and DU continues a road trip through The State of Hockey. Denver has recognized the importance of this series in recent Twitter posts by players, but will there be enough focus by their star players prior to leaving for the World Juniors? Included are all the injuries the Pioneers are dealing with, most recently Beau Bennett. Denver's road struggles will continue and they will split.

Alabama – Huntsville at Bemidji State: The Beavers earned a split against DU last weekend and even though the Chargers looked plucky on Friday night they don't have enough horses to beat another. The slow-it-down, grind-it-out down Beavers sweep this series.

Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan (Friday only): This is the first game of a home and home series between the two teams with the second game coming on January 21 in Houghton. NMU is coming off a split in Sault Sainte Marie with Lake Superior State and Tech split against Minnesota – Twin Cities. The Huskies last weekend left Minneapolis with 2 points. The big question is did Tech leave with a new fight after the emotional Saturday night loss, or did they lose all composure and now fade away? NMU is a pretty good team and plays very good at home, but my impression was a Tech team with fight and they will get a win on the road.

Russian Red Stars at North Dakota (Saturday exhibition).

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