Three things from the weekend:
1. Ferris State is taking care of business. I don’t know of any better way to put it. In a season when sweeps are rare, the Bulldogs are able to close that deal better than anyone else in the second half — and that simple fact may lead to a regular-season title. In dispatching of Notre Dame twice, FSU’s fourth-best defense in the nation kept the Fighting Irish to one goal and the Bulldogs increased their CCHA point lead to five. FSU is also the first team in the country to reach 20 wins. Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson had both wins, including his third shutout of the season, fifth of his career. With the wins, the Bulldogs bring their unbeaten streak to 12 (9-0-3), the best in the nation.
2. The race for CCHA scoring leader is just as interesting as the race for the regular-season title. No one should be surprised that Notre Dame sophomore forward T.J. Tynan (8-19–27) leads the league in conference scoring — for now — but what’s interesting is who’s knocking on the proverbial scoring door and the numbers putting them close to the lead. Michigan State junior defenseman Torey Krug is second (10-15–25). Northern Michigan senior forward Tyler Gron (10-14–24) and Alaska sophomore forward Cody Kunyk (12-12–24) are tied for third. Another trio of forwards — Michigan junior Chris Brown (9-13–22), NMU senior Justin Florek (9-13–22) and Notre Dame sophomore Anders Lee (7-15–22) — is tied for fifth. Michigan (10th) and Michigan State (15th) are the only two CCHA teams among the top 20 teams nationally in offense. This is a year when the CCHA is determined to prove the old adage that defense wins games.
3. College hockey can fill an NHL rink without a tournament to help the cause. Saturday’s Michigan State-Michigan game in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena drew 20,066 fans. That was no statistical exaggeration. The place was packed right down to the luxury boxes, and the crowd was officially standing-room only. I’ve never seen JLA with so many bodies in the stands for any other college hockey game. I’m glad it was a good one.