Happy New Year! This is the year of the great reshuffling in college hockey as the Big Ten and NCHC start up. 2013 will certainly bring new changes, but not until the start of the next college hockey season in October.
For now, looking for the leaders and finding champion of the WCHA will occur. At the same time, we will be watching closely the new teams of the NCHC of with Minnesota Duluth will be a member.
Looking Back. Congratulations to the Michigan Tech Huskies on taking the Great Lakes Invitational, their own tournament now located in Detroit. It has been many years of struggle for the Huskies, but this year they came out scoring eight goals over two games and surrendering zero in a pair of 4-0 wins over Michigan and Western Michigan. The last GLI Championship for MTU was 32 years ago in 1980.
Minnesota State Mankato traveled east and continued their winning ways at the UConn Hockey Classic. Not the greatest of opponents in Brown and UConn, but MSUM kept up their winning ways in preparing for the second half of the WCHA season.
First half WCHA surprise Omaha also went east, but came back humbled after a pair of losses at Quinnipiac. Again, the games get the Mavericks ready to finish off the WCHA season and Quinnipiac is the top team in the surging ECAC.
The Gophers of Minnesota Twin Cities hosted their own Mariucci Classic and got back on their winning ways capped with an 8-1 drubbing of then number one ranked Boston College.
The Hall of Fame Game took place at Denver where the Pioneers unceremoniously sent Boston University home with a 6-0 loss.
In yet another trip east, Bemidji State lost two one-goal games to Massachusetts and New Hampshire on their way to last place in the Ledyard Bank Classic.
In the final of the east trips of WCHA teams was Minnesota Duluth who travelled to sunny Florida. The Bulldogs played uninspired hockey scoring two goals in two games losing 1-0 and 6-2 to Maine and Ferris State, respectively. In losing the two games, UMD took fourth in the Florida College Classic and lost a great chance to get their record to or above the 0.500 mark. Currently UMD is 7-10-3 overall, but in the hunt for the middle of the WCHA at 5-6-3 good for seventh place.
Up Next. UMD is off this weekend to try to get healthy and get things straightened out for the run to the end of their WCHA stay. Their next games will be at home against Michigan Tech January 11 and 12. Michigan Tech is also off this weekend.