Pre-season expectations vs. RealityPosted 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:
|1. Notre Dame (44)||819|
|2. Miami (16)||772|
|3. Michigan (12)||757|
|4. Western Michigan||604|
|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:
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.