Only one series this weekend showed up on our original “Games to Watch” at the beginning of the season, and that was Clarkson at St. Cloud this weekend. Brett and I both agree that there is a lot of “weird buzz” going around regarding this series which pits two ranked teams from the WCHA and ECAC against each other. The phrase “barn burner” comes to mind as we arrive at this series, with a wide-open pair of games expected on the “big ice” (or insert your favorite phrase) at the National Hockey Center this weekend.
After going through the motions in the first month of the season, a couple of other games have risen up to become marquee matchups this weekend. Most notably two “Are they the Real Deal?” series.
The 8-1-1 Fighting Irish take on Michigan State in a home and home series. On paper it looks like Notre Dame should do well, but the pundits will continue to question Notre Dame until they get somewhere around 15-1-1, and even then when they lose the mumbling will begin.
In Denver, the CHN TOTW will host a Michigan Tech team who suddenly everyone wrote off after a tough series against Colorado College. Has Denver turned the corner? Were they ever on the other side of the corner to begin with? Was everyone a hurry to dismiss Michigan Tech?
If you’re in the Troy / Albany area, there’s no reason not to check out the Sacred Heart / RPI game on Friday. RPI has only one loss on the season and is sneaking up the rankings, while Sacred Heart continues to be a force in the Atlantic.
It looks pretty slow in Hockey East this weekend until you get to a big time Sunday matchup featuring Boston College and Maine in what should be a statement game for both teams. BC looking to prove that they haven’t fallen from the top-tier, and Maine looking to rebound from a horrific 8-2 loss at UNH. Sure, they’ve still got some games to play before, but this is looking like a great matinee. BC Follows it up on Wednesday against UNH as well.
Last but not least Minnesota and Wisconsin on Sunday as well. Everyone is down on the Badgers right now who are 4-6-2 after being swept by Denver last weekend. A win over the Gophers would reinvigorate the team and the fan base. A loss will probably force the pollsters to give up on the Badgers until they can put on a big run and show they can win night in and night out.