UMD Disappoints; Off This Weekend
The holiday tournaments are complete and a few surprises were observed. Maybe not really surprises as this year their really does appear to be parity in the WCHA and the NCAA as a whole. The dominate teams in college hockey just have not been able to really maintain for more than a couple weeks before a big stumble. Hockey East looks like the best conference based on the PairWise much in part to Quinnipiac sweep of Omaha and Maine's winning the Florida College Classic.
It was a disappointing tournament for UMD fans as the previously mentioned Black Bears of Maine beat UMD in a tight 1-0 contest the first game, before UMD coasted to 2-6 loss against Ferris State the next night. The most troubling thing for me was the major penalties that were taken each night by Bulldog players in the third periods. It is very hard to make a comeback on a 5 minute penalty kill and with a shortened bench. Saturday, especially so, when the bench was already reduced due to a couple of player injuries during the game. As I said before, unless the Bulldogs play smarter and take less penalties they will be a bottom half of the conference team. Hopefully UMD will be well rested with this week off as their next series is a the GLI winning Huskies of Michigan Tech.
Picks this Week by @asfikness:
WCHA Conference:Colorado @ Omaha: This should be a couple of good games between what I think are pretty even teams. I will go with a split.
Wisconsin @ Alaska Anchorage: The trip to Alaska always seems to be tough for teams. Both teams should be well rested. I think this will be a split.
Non-Conference:Western Michigan @ Bemidji State: The Beavers are coming home after a couple losses in the Ledyard Bank Classic. They did come close to winning against UNH, but did not have enough. The Broncos are a balanced team and unless they get sucked into the slow Beavers game they will sweep. I will go with a Western Sweep.
Providence @ Minnesota State Mankato: This should be a good test for the Mavericks. The Friars are not a great team, but a good team from Hockey East they are well rested as they didn't play any Holiday tournament games. I will go with a split.
Northern Michigan @ St. Cloud State: The Wildcats should either be rested or rusty as they haven't played a game in weeks. The Huskies split at home with RPI last weekend. The Huskies should be the better team, but they have had consistency issues this season. I will say SCSU gets a win and a tie.
Holy Cross @ North Dakota: The Crusaders have a couple nice wins this season, but they haven't played anyone as good as UND. Even though there will likely be a few Holy Cross jerseys in the stands in Grand Forks UND will get an easy home sweep.
Cornell @ Denver: Denver seems to be turning things around and the Big Red has had their own issues with consistency this season. I will go with a split.