Friday, November 1, 2019

Start It Up - The NCHC Conference Season!

NCHC Play Starts Tonight - Conference Predictions

Last year we at CollegeHockeyHH started a new theory about predictions of the NCHC Conference. We thought why should predictions be made before any play when the rosters of college hockey teams can be in so much flux every year?

So we take a look at the non-conference play and made our prediction last year just prior to the NCHC regular season started. And you what? we could make some pretty good predictions! We picked 1-2, that North Dakota would travel for the playoffs, and out top four were the four for the Frozen Faceoff.

So this year we are doing the same and adding another component, two knowledgeable NCHC fan prognosticators, in addition to the two main writers here at CollegeHockeyHH, bring us a conglomerate predicted finish tot he NCHC.

Here is our conglomerated predictions:

T-1. Denver (2 first place votes) 30 poll points
T-1. Minnesota Duluth (2) 30
3.   North Dakota 23
4.   Saint Cloud State 19
5.   Western Michigan 16
6.   Omaha 12
7.   Colorado College 10
8.   Miami 4

Of note:

  • Miami was the only unanimous decision.
  • Saint Cloud State had the highest variance with pollsters ranging them from 3rd to 6th.
  • Can UMD finally end the drought of regular season championships? Their last was 1992-93 in the WCHA.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Bulldog and Gophers Go Home-and-Home

UMD Plays Intrastate Rivals UMTC

After playing the Badgers who UMD has not played since the days of them both being in the WCHA, there should be kudos to the Bulldogs and Gophers for keeping this series going.

Last year, the Gophers broke the UMD streak of winning series between these two teams, but it may just be back in the Bulldogs' corner this year.

Again, the Taconite Trophy is on the line, but no one can find the hardware, so the winner wins it in name only.

Friday, October 11, 2019

UMD Heads Back to Madison

Bulldogs Renew Series with Badgers

New season, so the stats cupboard is pretty bare. But here is the maiden voyage for the 2019-20 season:

Friday, October 4, 2019

It all Starts Again...On Top

UMD Unveils Banner Against UMass - Lowell

For the second straight year, the Bulldogs will be unveiling a National Championship banner at AMSOil Arena. That is certainly something to celebrate! But now the new season stats and the bullseye on their back is even bigger this year.

Questions for the new year:

  • Who will pick up the scoring from last year's leaders?
  • Can the defense keep up the strong play?
  • Will UMD finally break the streak of not winning a regular season conference championship? (Last one was 1992-93 in the WCHA)
For now, fans should enjoy the celebration and enjoy the season.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Title Game - Part Three

Take Three (in a row!!) on the NCAA Title Game for UMD. So far 1-1.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Frozen Four - Game One

The first of hopefully two games in Buffalo! Here is the whole four!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Frozen Faceoff Date: UMD and Denver

Last Two National Champions Faceoff in Semifinal

Denver...again. It seems like a postseason right of passage to meet Denver somewhere in the postseason for UMD. And it generally has not been good for the last few years. Before this year's home and home split series, UMD has done pretty poorly, 3-13-1, against Denver in the previous three seasons. So here we are.

Denver is in the way of a rematch that UMD should want with Saint Cloud State to show them this is not as much of a blowout in the NCHC as the regular season standings indicate. Without the win, the only third place game in the nation will be the fate of UMD.

Friday, March 15, 2019

NCHC Playoffs Round One

Don't Pick Winners, Look for the Rare Upsets

First round of the college hockey playoffs brings the more pro-like series rather than a one-and-done format. This gives less of a chance for upsets, but they still do happen. Take last place Miami knocking off St. Cloud State, the same set up as this year, in 2013-14.

Colorado College at Western Michigan is an example of the winter that just does not give up. CC had trouble due to weather and plane issues getting to Kalamazoo, MI and their series is now set up to take place Saturday - Monday (if needed). As much as I would not like to go against the Broncos, the Tigers of CC are finally making the strides in their game that prompted me to pick them 4th in the preseason. This is my best bet for a first round upset.

North Dakota at Denver seems like a good bet for an upset series and I do see this going three games, but in the end, Denver will prevail. With a lost series, North Dakota's season would be over.

Miami at St. Cloud State is a no brainer this weekend. SCSU is primed for a long run and this weekend will just be the start.

Omaha at UMD brings the second series between the two teams for the year. If the first is an indicator, UMD should have a good weekend. Since that late January sweep of Omaha by the Bulldogs, UMD have had just one sweep in five weekends. UMD has to use this weekend as a springboard for their future tournaments.

Bulldogs and Mavericks Meet in Playoffs

Single Series Regular Season Extends to Playoffs

Only meeting once this season, The Mavs and Bulldogs go at it again this weekend and again it will be in Duluth. UMD swept Omaha in January 7-2 and 3-1.

Since that series meeting, the Bulldogs have had three splits, one sweep, and one time being swept in that order. So, things haven't been all roses for UMD.

Omaha has had the same bad luck as the rest of the season going 2-7-1 since the last time these teams met. Ouch. But that is how it goes for a team tied for last place in the NCHC going 5-17-2. It has been a rough year.

Looking at the stats, it is all on the UMD side, but that doesn't mean that things have not gone well for the Mavs. Their power play is top ten in the nation, four team shutouts, and their teams save percent is close to our criteria of 90% for a contending team.

On the other hand, scoring defense is 58th out of the 60 Division I teams and have come out a winner only nine times this season out of their 34 games.

This should be a good weekend for UMD to get rolling for the playoffs, but no team in the NCHC is ever truly out of any game.

Friday, March 1, 2019

UMD Looks for Season Sweep with Visiting Miami

Redhawks Reeling Recently Against Bulldogs

After coming off of four straight shutouts at the hands of the Bulldogs, the Redhawks look to regroup and change their season outlook this weekend in Duluth.

UMD has plenty to play for this weekend as one win against Miami will clinch home ice for the first round of the NCHC playoffs.

At the heart of this weekend is Hunter Shepherd, goalie for UMD, who has four straight shutouts against Miami. Can he pull off another improbable weekend? Probably not, but who wants to go against whatever he has on Miami right now.

Friday, February 22, 2019

North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth Go At It Again

Second Shot With the Hawks in Grand Forks

Friday, February 1, 2019

UMD Travels to Colorado Springs

Bulldogs Look to Keep Winning Ways at CC

Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

UMD Out East to Meet Miami

Redhawks Host Bulldogs

UMD has had their way with Miami. Going 3-1 against Miami, UMD has shutout the Redhawks on the last two games of the 2017-18 season and both were in Oxford, OH. Can the streak continue? With a goalie like Hunter Shepard, that is a possibility.

And if it were to continue, it would be a great stride forward for UMD as they start to enter the home stretch.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Familiar Faces from SCSU meet in Duluth

Top Teams and Familiar Coaches Faceoff this Weekend

The story lines are endless: Top teams meeting, the what-ifs from the Western Regional last year, and the former Bulldogs assistant now Huskies head coach to name a few.

As in many recent years, Saint Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth are playing good hockey, ranked in the nation, and vying for top in the State of Hockey. Plenty to play for this weekend.

When Coach Sandelin was asked in December about his former assistant, now head coach, Brett Larson at SCSU he glowing comments. Sandelin is not surprised he and the Huskies are doing well and he attributes it to Larson's passion he showed at UMD.

Further, Sandelin was asked about his other assistants, Jason Herter more specifically, if he expects them to eave too and he said yes. Sandelin stated that he hires good people and he expects them to leave someday. That is the symptom of good things going on at UMD.

So friend of the UMD program turns foe for at least this weekend. And with these games becoming more and more important in both the NCHC and NCAA possibilities, fans may feel the friends ties may get strained.