Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bulldogs to Host Huskies of SCSU

UMD Plays Third Straight Series Against Future NCHC Team

There is a lot of talk about the importance of the upcoming series when Saint Cloud comes to Duluth.  It all isn’t necessarily true, but doors can start to shut with each loss tacked onto the six already.

The problem is the regular season is one third complete after the weekend and the conference schedule is about one fourth complete.  Time is ticking, but it is never too late.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and take a look at this weekend against the Huskies.

Penalties Abound.  UMD is the most penalized team in the nation with the average of 20.6 minutes per game.  The counter to that is opponents average 20.1 minutes in all games.  Does UMD bring the worst out of teams or is there something else going on?

It may be the latter as the conference disparity is larger where UMD averages 21.3 minutes and opponents average 15.8 minutes.  Bottom line is UMD needs to stay out of the penalty box.
Scoring.  The Bulldogs are in an interesting position as far as time they are playing in the lead.  UMD is 2-6-2 but have equal percent of time in the lead as trailing, 31.9%.  So UMD has been in some close games or when they go the wrong way, it goes fast.

The only period UMD has the advantage in scoring is the first period.  That fact is not lost on most who tuned into last Saturday’s game when the Bulldogs held a 3-1 lead after the first only to lose 4-3 OT.

Young and Old.  The disparity of freshman/senior scoring versus sophomore/junior scoring continues to grow.  This week scoring is 50 to 17.

The player who is definitely missing from the scoring sheet is sophomore Caleb Herbert.  He was the leading freshman scorer last season and is 0-4-4 for the season.  He currently is on a seven game pointless streak and is a good player that UMD needs to be successful this season.  Kick the sophomore slump, Caleb, and get in on the scoring.

StatPack.  Huskies and Bulldogs by the numbers in this week's StatPack.

Images via Wikipedia: Bulldog, WCHA, SCSU
Of note.

  • Penalties may not be the achilles heel as UMD holds the advantage in PP and PK.
  • Both Crandall and McNeely have career saves percentage similar to the team average, 0.889 and 0.888 respectively.
  • This is UMD's first home series in 4 weeks.

Around the WCHA and Picks by Fiskness.
Last weekends games didn't go exactly as UMD fans had hoped, but there was some signs of encouragement.  We did learn that the Bulldogs can skate with anybody, however if they continue to take penalties at the current rate they will be one of the bottom teams in the league.  We also learned that the Bulldogs have one good line and three number 3 lines.  Earlier we at the C3H had speculated that UMD was the only team in the nation with four number 3 lines.  I think it is safe to say the Seidel, Farley and Carmanisi is an actual number 1 line.

WCHA Conference.
Saint Cloud at Minnesota Duluth:  The Huskies come into this series well rested and UMD is looking to get their first win in conference play.  The Dogs get home ice, only problem is with Thanksgiving it will likely be a split crowd.  I am going with a split based on the glimmers of prosperity shown last weekend in Grand Forks. 
Minnesota State Mankato at Wisconsin:  This should be a really good series.  The Badgers with home ice will play better, but without Zengerle they will only be able to get a split. 
Alaska - Anchorage at Bemidji State:  Last weekend was disappointing for the Beavers getting swept at home by MTU.  The Seawolves managed to get a point at home against the much favored Gophers.  Both teams are looking for consistency and scoring.  This should be two good games.  I will go with a split.
Minnesota Twin Cities at Vermont:  Vermont appears to be much improved over last season, but are currently in the bottom half of Hockey East.  The Gophers have not put together two really good games back to back and have had difficulties on the road.  The Gophers have more talent but willnot be able to get the two win, win and a tie.

Yale and New Hampshire at Denver:  Denver is hot and will be playing two good teams on their home ice.  Yale is #9 in the Pairwise and UNH is #2 right behind Denver.  I don't think the Pioneers will be able to keep the win streak going through both of these teams.  The Bulldogs have not played the strongest competition, whereas the Wildcat have played good teams and handled them without any problems.  I will go with a Denver win and a UNH win. 
New Hampshire and Yale at Colorado College:  The Tigers got swept by the Pioneers last weekend and will definitely be playing with an edge.  As much as I like the Wildcats this season, CC will bounce back and get a win.  However, the jubilation will be short lived as the Bulldogs will get a win over the Tigers the following night. 
North Dakota at Notre Dame:  UMD has played both of these teams and they are really well matched for this series.  Look for UND to cause the Fighting Irish to be more physical.  These should be a split. 
Alabama - Huntsville at Nebraska - Omaha:   The chargers come in having gotten their first win of the season last weekend against the Lakers, while the Mavericks were resting.  The Mavericks will remember their games against the Chargers last season in Nashville and will not have a problem winning both games.

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