Michigan Tech winning in Minneapolis? Alaska-Anchorage winning in Colorado Springs? Yeah, this was a crazy weekend.
Of course Minnesota and CC showed why they’re perennial contenders — finishing games in the third period Saturday night to salvage splits.
There is plenty to love if you’re a Michigan Tech fan though. My Monday feature is on the Huskies and how they’re close — but there’s still some things to learn.
Like handling success with aplomb. Daniel Sova tied the game tonight and shushed the Mariucci crowd. That didn’t sit well with a couple of Gopher players I chatted with after the game. They showed it too, blowing the doors off Tech with four goals in the next 17 minutes. But they’ll learn — and Pearson is a heck of a coach.
On Minnesota, the Gophers are a good team. They’re not a great team. When they play inspired hockey — like the did the first 10 minutes and the final 15 minutes Saturday — they’re as good as anyone in the nation. But then there’s spurts where they’re just not all there. It’s boring. It’s dull. And they lose to inferior teams. If they play that way in the NCAA’s they are a threat to get knocked off and knocked off early.
UMD keeps rolling along. Only three points, but the streak without a loss churns on. It’s at 14 now and won’t be tested until a road series at Western Michigan in early January. The Bulldogs showed the mettle Friday, battling back from 2-0 down after one and 3-2 in the third to salvage a tie. The Kohl Center is a tough place to play too. Minnesota and UNO split there. North Dakota got swept there. Three points on the road in any WCHA building is a very good weekend.
The finish to the UNO-UND game on Friday was outstanding. As I mentioned on my Twitter feed, the pass by Matt White to Ryan Walters on the game winner was as good a pass as you’ll ever see in hockey. North Dakota clawed back with a win Saturday — a one goal game again. These teams are very evenly matched.
Speaking of UND, Corban Knight is out for 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury. The holidays are coming at a good time though, as he may only miss four games. Something tells me both him and Mr. Grimaldi will have something to say when the Gophers head to Grand Forks this time next month, eh?
Minnesota State did what UNO couldn’t, sweeping Alabama-Huntsville. Mike Dorr scored a pair of short-handed power play goals Saturday in a 9-1 win, coming up just short of the rare short-handed hat trick. The last player to do it? Minnesota State’s Zach Harrison in 2008. Only five players have done it, ever. Say what you want about the Mavericks, but as they get healthy, they will be a dangerous team. They just need to find some consistency between the pipes. They’re playing better of late and January has some winnable games in it.
Bemidji scored its first ever win over Denver Saturday, stemming the tide on another potential Denver comeback. The Beavers are quietly putting together a solid season — sitting just two points behind fourth place CC.
Four points is all that separates fourth place from 10th right now in the WCHA. And if the first half of the season is any indication, the second half is going to be a real treat.