Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Thoughts: December 2

Bulldogs Take Three Points at Tech, Should Have Been Four

The series marks a possible turning point in the season.  The long offensive drought seems to be breaking, but the defense still is in need of assistance.

The three points are good.  You should take that for any road trip in the WCHA.  The most perplexing part is the way that the tie occurred.  Tie games are interesting to examine in how they occur.

When UMD tied the Friday night game at North Dakota to salvage one point, the Bulldogs were forced to come from behind to get the tying goal.  The point seemed “earned” and the tie was positive. 

The tie at Michigan Tech this past Saturday night was the result of the Huskies scoring the last two goals of the third period with the game tying goal coming with an extra MTU attacker with 0:50 to play.  This tie doesn’t sit well.  It was a game that was for UMD’s taking and they let it slip away.  The point seems tarnished as much as the point at UND seemed earned. 

The series was an excellent chance to sweep an opponent at heir place and set the beginning of the middle third of the season off on the right note.  Again, you can’t complain about three points on the road, but this really should have been UMD’s first sweep of the year and a four point weekend.

Still Looking for a Sweep.  Along with UMD, fellow bottom half dwellers Alaska – Anchorage, Bemidji State, and Wisconsin are looking for their first sweep of the season.  Surprisingly on the list yet to get a sweep is the team picked by the coaches to be the #2 team in the WCHA, North Dakota.  UND is 7-5-2 overall and 4-2-2 in the WCHA.  

North Dakota has had a two game winning streak, but that was within two series, so not really a sweep.  And the lack of sweeps, and wins for that matter, have not gone unnoticed in Grand Forks as murmurings from the team’s rabid fans of questioning the coaching is starting to become more vocal.  Dave Hakstol is a great coach and should be given time and leeway to right the ship that isn’t even sinking.

Of Note This Past Weekend.  Bemidji was swept in Mankato by the Mavericks.  The Beavers only scored one goal on the weekend while surrendering nine.  Minnesota State Mankato now has a four game winning streak…  Visiting Omaha gave host Minnesota Twin Cities all they could handle in a split series where each team won 3-2…  North Dakota squeaked out a split in at Colorado College losing Friday 5-3 then winning in OT Saturday only after an extra attacker goal in the third to tie up the game…   Wisconsin kept WCHA leader Denver reeling in a split in Denver.  The Pioneers are now 1-3-0 in their last four games, all at home…  Saint Cloud State had to work to earn a split at Alaska – Anchorage.  The Huskies won Friday 4-3 in OT after giving up three goals on UAA’s first three shots.  The Seawolves won 3-1 in the rematch.

Next Up.  UMD will play host to Bemidji State in Duluth next weekend as all 12 WCHA again play in conference series.  The match up again should be favorable to UMD and they are games that the Bulldogs need to win to get back into the hunt for home ice.

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