Archive for February, 2011

Cavanagh’s Tortured Life

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

This is a great article about a very unfortunate topic:

From the San Jose Mercury-News … It confirms something not explicitly stated at the time — that former Harvard star Tom Cavanagh committed suicide. It goes into details of his mental deterioration and schizophrenia that he hid for a long time but became more acute over the last year.

I remember Tom Cavanagh’s time at Harvard, and he was everything that the article says — an “honest” player, a hard worker, whose play “exceeded his skill.”

WCHA Playoff Picture *UPDATED*

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

How about Mike Connolly tonight? Five goals in a 6-4 win over Minnesota. So like the Gophers did to the Bulldogs back in December, UMD turns around and takes three points at home over the Gophers. It’s a big win for UMD, which for the moment, moves into first place all alone in the WCHA. And is there any question on who the league’s Offensive

I say the moment because as I write this, Denver is leading Colorado College 5-3. Obviously there’s plenty of time left (20 minutes to be exact), but it appears as though the Pioneers will jump ahead of North Dakota too and tie the Bulldogs.

What has gotten into Nebraska-Omaha? That’s 2 out of 3 games now where the Red Mavericks have put at least 55 shots on goal. St. Cloud State’s Mike Lee stopped 51 shots tonight — AND GOT THE LOSS. You know things aren’t going your way when that happens. SCSU led the game 3-0 early, but UNO put so many shots on Lee, they were bound to catch up eventually.

Don’t tell Minnesota State that, though. One night after putting 43 shots on Bemidji State’s Dan Bakala and only scoring twice, the Purple Mavericks put 41 on Bakala and can only score once in a 4-1 loss. Any guess on who the league’s Defensive Player of the Week is going to be? And while Bakala was solid all weekend, the Mavs have nobody to blame but themselves — their power play was horrendous all weekend, including an 0-for-6 mark tonight. BSU meanwhile went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

So, what does all that mean?

The top of the league just got a little tighter. Bemidji made the bottom of the league a little tighter. Minnesota State missed a golden opportunity to put themselves in prime position to get in the home ice race next weekend at CC. And depending on how Alaska-Anchorage does tonight against Michigan Tech, the Seawolves could find themselves in the driver’s seat for home ice.

What a wacky season in the new WCHA.

WCHA playoff picture at a glance

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

As we head down the stretch, I’d like to make a post or two like this every week, just to keep you updated on the WCHA playoff picture heading down the stretch.

With a month or so left before the playoffs begin, the playoff picture is slowly starting to clear up — at least in terms of who will likely be hosting the first round games. Now who those teams are playing? That’s for the final month to decide.

Right now, North Dakota (28 points), Denver (27), Minnesota Duluth (27), Nebraska-Omaha (24) and Wisconsin (24) are in great shape. It would take unlikely poor finishes to knock these teams below sixth place in the standings.

From there, five teams are right in the thick of things for the sixth and final home ice slot. Heading into tonight’s action, Colorado College (20 points) has that spot. But Minnesota is right on their heels just a point back. Alaska-Anchorage is two points back in eighth while Minnesota State and St. Cloud State are four points back, tied for ninth place. One thing to keep in mind (as I mentioned on Twitter last night, @CHNDanMyers), one thing to keep in mind is games played. Minnesota State and Alaska-Anchorage have played in 21 games. CC, Minnesota and St. Cloud State have played in just 19 games.

And while MSU and UAA have played more games, they also have the easier games tonight (Seawolves host Tech, Mavs host Bemidji). Both squads are seeking home sweeps this evening. Minnesota plays at Minnesota Duluth, CC plays Denver and SCSU is in Omaha. What does all of that mean? There is a solid chance things could be even more muddled 8 hours from now.

Tonight’s game is especially important for the Mavericks. While they only have six games left after this evening, four of them are against teams directly in front of them (at CC next weekend, home vs. UAA the final weekend). A win tonight could very well move them within a victory of CC and the last home ice spot when the teams clash six days from now.

The Seawolves need two points tonight because their remaining schedule (at North Dakota, home vs. UNO and at Minnesota State) is extremely tough. St. Cloud’s schedule is as brutal as it gets, with home games against North Dakota and Wisconsin sandwiched by road series at Duluth and Denver. Combined with their game tonight at UNO, the Huskies will see each one of the top 5 teams in the league over the next four weeks.

Minnesota should get four points at home vs. Michigan Tech in three weeks, but will have their hands full with Denver and Wisconsin the next couple. They finish at Bemidji State. DU and Tech are at home, where the Gophers have lost more than they’ve won this season.

Bemidji State has fallen back to 11th position at 12 points while Michigan Tech hasn’t won a game since October and is buried in 12th. If the Beavers can grab a win in Mankato tonight, they may be able to catch the Mavericks down the stretch

I’ll post an update tonight after the first round of games.