Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wild Western

WCHA Tough To Figure Out

Just when you think teams are starting to find their groove and become somewhat predictable, we have yet another weekend full of splits. The only conference series that was not a split was UMD continuing their unbeaten streak in tying and beating Wisconsin in Madison.

If there were a weekend that looked from the outset sweeps would prevail and set teams apart, it was this last weekend. Instead, we are one partial conference weekend away from the mid-point in the WCHA schedule with a logjam still in the middle of the standings. All teams have played 14 games, half of the conference schedule, except four teams that play each other this weekend: Colorado College is at Minnesota State – Mankato and Denver is at Saint Cloud State.

The top and bottom are aerating from the pack, but the middle is up for grabs. Fourth through 10th places are separated by four points. One weekend series could change the fortune of bottom half team and out them in the upper ranks.

The WCHA is harder than ever to figure out this season. About all we can do is sit back and enjoy the games and continue to see surprising results.

UMD’s Unbeaten in 14, But… It has to end at some point. UMD will lose a game at some point and the challenge will turn to getting back on track and not allowing a loss to change player’s mindsets. Doesn’t sound difficult, but these are college age kids we are talking about. But if we have learned anything about this Bulldogs team, they can face adversity and bounce back. You don’t have to look further than the start of the season with their three game losing streak that they bounced back nicely with the current 14 game unbeaten streak.

The Saturday night game did get dicey at the end. It was like UMD was on cruise control with a 4-0 lead. Then the five minute major happened and just like that Wisconsin cut the lead to 4-2. UMD of course still won, but that finishing instinct was markedly missing last Saturday. We will just chalk it up to one of “those games” at this point.

1 comment:

  1. There was no sense of urgency for UMD in Saturday night's game because of the big lead. The pulled goalie made for a different dynamic at the end of the game, UMD was still in control for the win.