Thursday, October 21, 2010

This weekend

Apologies for the lack of content... as I said a couple of weeks ago, I coach high school football -- meaning this is the end of our season. With playoffs beginning, weeks are getting shorter and shorter and I have less time to devote to college hockey right now. That will change.

I also spent last weekend in Green Bay meaning I didn't see a single second of action last weekend. That's why the site was updated so late.

Anyways, here is a quick look at this weekend's action, as well as some predictions.


Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota Duluth
The Seawolves and Bulldogs both played nonconference games last weekend but open conference play at the DECC Friday night. As I predicted, the Bulldogs split time in net last weekend, with Aaron Crandall putting together a solid outing in a 7-1 win Saturday. All together, UMD put 80 shots on goal last weekend and with their firepower, that should be enough most nights. After starting 1-0-1, UAA dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions. In each night, the Seawolves allowed three goals in the first period, and they simply don't have the power to dig out of such messes.

St. Cloud State at Minnesota
After breaking ranks by winning AND allowing three goals or more two weeks ago, the Gophers simply couldn't keep Nebraska-Omaha off the board last weekend. Minnesota fell behind 4-0 Friday before rallying late to tie, but losing with less than two minutes to play. Minnesota fell behind 3-0 Saturday before pulling within one, but it wasn't enough as he Mavericks closed the game with an empty netter. Despite the loss, Alex Kangas came within one save of posting a career high with 44 Saturday night. The Huskies lost and tied at home to Miami last weekend, six goals for the second straight game Friday night. In one win and a tie so far, SCSU has allowed just two goals. In two losses, they have allowed 12 goals. Neither goaltender has been particularly stellar so far, something that must change if the Huskies are going to live up to their lofty expectations.

Colorado College at Minnesota State
All four of the Tigers games thus far have been of the one goal variety, which should put a premium on special teams this weekend. CC is scoring just over two goals per game, not totally unexpected for a young group of forwards. Speaking of scoring, it was supposed to be a major concern for the Mavericks this season. Yet this group of young scorers has posted five goals in a game twice now, although both finished in 5-5 ties. Both Austin Lee and Phil Cook have been abysmal so far, and it may not be too much longer before the Mavericks are forced to see what they have in freshman Evan Karambelas.

Wisconsin at Denver
A tale of two nonconference weekends for these two last week, the Badgers hammered Alabama-Huntsville in a pair at the Kohl Center while DU was rocked twice by defending national champion Boston College. The Pioneers will need more than two goals if they're going to knock off the national runner-up from a year ago. Luke Salazar scored both goals Friday night but it was long after the game was out of control. Nobody bothered to post any offense Saturday. In goal, Adam Murray was the 6-2 loser Friday and has yet to put together consecutive quality starts. Six different players scored goals for Wisconsin in a 7-0 win Friday before Jordy Murray's hat trick Saturday paced the offense for the Badgers. In two goals, UAH was only able to muster 37 shots against UW.

North Dakota at Maine
An emotional weekend for Bemidji State last weekend as they opened WCHA play with North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux went into Bemidji and calmly won twice by scores of 5-2. It was the kind of workmanlike effort expected from the conference favorites, outshooting the Beavers both nights (including a wide margin Friday) and posting a goal with the man advantage in each outing. Matt Frattin had a hat trick Friday and added another goal Saturday en route to WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Nebraska-Omaha at Michigan
The Mavericks come off an impressive sweep of Minnesota at Mariucci Arena, moving into the top-10 in the national polls. This weekend, they travel to Ann Arbor to take on a former conference rival and yet another storied hockey program. Both nights in Minneapolis, the Mavs were able to build insurmountable leads of four goals Friday and three Saturday. Senior Matt Ambroz already has five goals and two other Mavs have matched his eight points, making life easier on sophomore goaltender John Faulkner.

PREDICTIONS
Last Weekend: 9-6-2
Season: 9-6-2

UAA at UMD: UMD Sweep
SCSU at MIN: SCSU Sweep
CC at MSU: CC Sweep
WIS at DU: Split
UND at Maine: Split
UNO at Michigan: UNO Sweep

UPDATE: For an explanation on why I picked who I picked, click here.

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