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.