Friday, October 28, 2016

NCHC League Play Starts: UMD and UND

Can Bulldogs Break Regular Season Slump Against UND

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Bulldogs Take to the Road for Test in Massachusetts

Second Straight Weekend of Ranked Opponent for UMD

It is early in the college hockey season. This is the earliest start for UMD hockey and the first 2-0-0 start since 2001-02 (Maverick Stampede Tournament) and the first sweep of one opponent to start the season since 1995-96 (Ferris State).

There have only been five total NCAA games played, but already UMD is making a statement with their sweep over Michigan Tech. Now the stakes are higher with a fellow top ten ranked opponent in UML and playing them on the road.

Like UMD, UML ended their season last year in the NCAA Regional Finals and roster nine freshman this season. It will be a matchup that will give a broader view of the prospects of both teams even though we are not in double digits of October.

StatPack. Full StatPack next week, but of note now:

  • Bulldogs have a perfect 10 for 10 on penalty kill with one shorthanded goal.
  • UMD is currently clicking at 33% for power play.
Picks by @afiskness. One week is in the books for UMD who looked great against Michigan Tech in the 6-0 shutout Saturday night and the gutty come from behind win.  This week the Bulldogs go out east to take on the highly ranked River Hawks of U-Mass Lowell.  It will be two highly entertaining games with these two good teams.    

Ferris State vs. Western Michigan:  This is a home and home home series and I just don't see the Bulldogs starting the season 0-4.  I will pick the home teams winning resulting in a split.

Miami @ Providence:  This is a good test for the Redhawks going out eat to play a ranked foe. The Redhawks should be a good team this season, I will pick a split.

Colorado College @ UMass:  The Minutemen had eight wins last year to trump the Tigers six wins. Two evenly match teams playing two games often end in a split.

Minnesota Duluth @ Massachusetts Lowell:  The Bulldogs are red hot after one week of play.  This should be two great games that will result in a split.  

Canisius @ North Dakota:  The reigning nation champion Fighting Hawks will have little trouble earning a sweep on home ice this weekend. 

Icebreaker Tournament
Ohio State vs. Denver:  The Pioneers will advance to the championship game.  
Denver vs. Air Force or Boston College:  I am going to say BC will advance to play Denver and Denver will get the big win for the tournament title.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Unlikely Ending Lends to Possible New Start

UMD Shrugs Off Slow Start to Earn Sweep

Fans of UMD have been there before. Who can blame them for having doubts?

After watching the Bulldogs open up the season with a Saturday night shellacking of the Michigan Technological University Huskies 6-0, they watched the Bulldogs come out flat Sunday giving up a 2-0 lead 8:21 into the game.

In what seemed to be the second night let down so many recent UMD teams have been prone to, exasperation, or maybe expectation of bad results, took over in many people's minds. Mine included. "Here it comes, another split..."

But in a departure of recent teams' struggles with putting two games together, this edition of Bulldog Hockey fought through whatever it is and prevailed taking their first lead with 0:15 left in the game for the win and sweep.

So getting back to the original thought about fans rightfully having panic and doubts about the tenacity and killer instinct of the Bulldogs... How did we get to this place?

The last few seasons have seen UMD reel off long win streaks, but in the midst of those seasons, there have been more then a few games that should have been wins either based on caliber of opponent or results from a previous game. But in many of those situations, UMD came out on the losing end leaving fans frustrated and confused.

So where does the problem, perceived or real, lie and is it gone?

The beauty of college sports is that teams are always changing from year to year and teams have the opportunity to reinvent themselves. As a result, this may be a trend towards a true upper echelon hockey team, not the recent UMD teams that hang on in the PairWise with a few key wins and multiple perplexing losses.

The one thing that does stay the same, nearly the same, from year to year is the coaching. As we have stated time and again, this coaching staff headed by Coach Sandelin is top notch, and they deserve a group that looks like they can persevere and win the games they should.