Pre-season expectations vs. Reality

Posted by: Avash Kalra

There are no more CCHA league games until 2012, so as we head into the holiday break, here’s a look at the CCHA standings — compared to the projected standings as predicted in the pre-season by the media.

First, the 2011-12 pre-season media poll:

2011-12 Preseason Media Poll
1. Notre Dame (44) 819
2. Miami (16) 772
3. Michigan (12) 757
4. Western Michigan 604
5. Alaska 449
6. Michigan State 439
7. Ferris State 425
7. Northern Michigan (Tie) 425
9. Ohio State 386
10. Lake Superior 298
11. Bowling Green 170

… Compared to the current CCHA standings:

CCHA
Conference Overall
GP W-L-T SOW PTS GF-GA GP  W-L-T GF-GA
1 Ohio State 14 10-3-1 1 32 48-33 18 13-4-1 59-38
2 Notre Dame 14 8-3-3 0 27 41-33 20 11-6-3 60-55
Western Michigan 14 7-4-3 3 27 42-32 18 9-4-5 58-38
4 Lake Superior 14 7-6-1 1 23 38-37 20 11-7-2 53-48
5 Ferris State 14 7-6-1 0 22 33-32 18 11-6-1 48-35
6 Michigan State 12 6-5-1 1 20 38-30 18 10-6-2 62-48
Northern Michigan 14 5-6-3 2 20 33-38 18 8-7-3 46-47
8 Michigan 14 5-6-3 1 19 43-38 20 9-8-3 71-53
9 Miami 14 5-7-2 1 18 33-37 20 9-9-2 55-54
10 Alaska 14 4-8-2 0 14 26-33 18 7-9-2 39-41
11 Bowling Green 14 1-11-2 1 6 18-50 20 6-11-3 36-58

Here’s what stands out:

  • Ohio State, obviously, has far exceeded expectations, thanks in large part to senior goaltender Cal Heeter. The St. Louis native had won eight consecutive starts until this past Saturday night, when he allowed five goals against a rejuvenated Miami team. Freshman Ryan Dzingel, currently in the nation’s top 10 rookie scorers, has played well also. Four of Dzingel’s 15 points came in a noteworthy win at Michigan, where the Buckeyes completed a rare weekend sweep. Currently ranked first in the Pairwise, OSU still has a long way to go to convince others of its abilities this season. Notably, the only nonconference action that Mark Osiecki’s club has seen this season was a pair of wins against Alabama-Huntsville and a two-game split with Quinnipiac.
  • Miami and Michigan have, overall, fallen below their pre-season expectations, though both have shown signs of recovering lately. After a seven game winless streak, the Wolverines are now unbeaten in their last three games. This past weekend, Michigan took three points in a home-and-home series with rival Michigan State. In Friday’s win, the Wolverines were able to spread out their offensive output — with goals coming from senior David Wohlberg, juniors forward Chris Brown and Kevin Lynch, and freshman Alex Guptill. Miami, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate inconsistency — after an undefeated November, the RedHawks have lost three of four in December, including a pair of games to Northern Michigan.
  • In the coming weeks on this blog, we’ll take a deeper look at each CCHA team and evaluate their first-half performances. Also watch out for feature articles on Ohio State’s Ryan Dzingel, Notre Dame’s T. J. Tynan, and Ferris State goaltenders C. J. Motte and Taylor Nelson.

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