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College Hockey:
Weekend work-up, Feb. 13, 2012: And the Bulldogs continue to roll

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.

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  • Malburj1

    Welcome to the DAWG POUND!!!!!! GO FERRIS!!!!!!

  • Broncobri79

    Ditto on the congrats to Ferris. It’s nice to see the proverbial “little” guy lead one of the toughest conferences in the nation this late in the season. I don’t intend any disrespect whatsoever in that comment either. A lot times, in the CCHA especially with its diverse mix of schools, everybody gets caught up in talking about the larger schools. FSU and WMU have battling for the confernce lead for about 3 weeks now, and all anybody could talk about was U of M. I really thought the NCHC should have given more consideration to giving invites to FSU, NMU, or LSSU. The Broncos will probably need to win out in the regular season now to catch the Bulldogs.

    • Anonymous

      Western probably would need to run the table here and as great as that would be, I just hope we can finish in the top four to host a playoff series at Lawson. Unless I missed something in my research, the last time the Broncos swept a team on the road was October of last season at Mercyhurst and the last time we swept a CCHA team on the road (and I’m counting two regulation/OT wins, not any SO wins) was at Lake State in March of the 2005-06 season. This trip to to Taffy Abel definitely has me concerned, hopefully all the teams below us can beat-up on one another these next two weekends.

  • Bigspartan

    Congrats to the BULLDOGS!

    Way to get it done down the stretch!
    Bob Daniels is Coach of the Year (unless they somehow give it to Red again)

    Small school, small facility, small budget…..who cares?
    Finish strong Bulldogs!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, FSU has earned their place at the top and a full congratulations goes their way.  You would think Daniels would be an obvious choice for Coach of the Year, but then again Blashill should’ve have been picked last year and they gave it to Jackson.

      • Ferris95

        Completely agree!!  Blashill should have received the Coach of the Year.  He turned that program around in 1 year, unbelieveable!  Being an Ferris Alum, of course my obvious pick would be Bob Daniels, but we’ll see how things shake out these final 2 weeks of the regular season.  Should be an exciting last week of hockey with a home and home series against those tough Bronco’s.

  • Captain Hindsight

    Can some please explain to me how Michigan is ranked 5th in the country?

  • http://twitter.com/DanKorn Dan Korn

    I would expect Paula to get the Big Ten beat.  She’s based in Columbus, after all.

    The CCHA trophy should be frozen in carbonite.  Or maybe they should just call the 9-team conference which will have five current CCHA members the CCHA instead of the WCHA, and call the 8-team conference with 6 current WCHA members the WCHA instead of the NCHC.

  • Guest

    They are ranked 5th because they are the hottest CCHA team behind Ferris. Michigan has only lost 2 games since Christmas while the rest of the CCHA (again, save Ferris) has been consistently playing .500 hockey. Polls are pretty much about what you’ve been doing lately, so losing for a while and then getting hot at the end of the year is going to bag you more credit than splitting every weekend.

    In terms of Pairwise, that’s probably got everything to do with the fact that we’ve split with good teams but have a winning record against the top teams we’ve played. We swept Ferris at the beginning of the season, and have a win over BC. If we can sweep Northern this weekend, that’ll make a winning record against the next CCHA team in the rankings, and we have a winning record against the next two CCHA teams in the Pairwise as well (2-1-1 with Miami, 3-1-1 with MSU).

    I would also like to point out that the scheduling this year is the exception, not the rule. Michigan generally schedules a HE team every year and normally has the College Hockey Showcase as well. Wisconsin decided they didn’t want to do the Showcase since the BTHC is on its way, and I’m not really sure why we didn’t play a HE team at the start of the season (which kind of makes me sad, since we have been @ BU, @ BU, and @ UNH the last three years and I would have liked to finally see one of them come to Yost during undergrad).

  • Sfitz88

    Paula, don’t know if it is still the record, but there was a GLI Final at the Joe in the 80sor early 90s that I was at, MSU and Munn South in it’s heyday, vs. MTU and I am pretty sure it was over 21,000.  Place was absolutely jammed and, of course, wild.   Was a great scene.