A quick glance at the standings after this past weekend’s play shows us something we haven’t seen all season: nearly every team occupies a place of its own in the CCHA standings. Only Notre Dame and Northern Michigan share a spot — and what a surprise it is that those two teams are tied nearer the bottom than the top.
Three things learned from the most recent CCHA play:
1. You don’t need a single NHL draft pick to earn the regular-season title. Congratulations to the Ferris State Bulldogs, your regular-season CCHA champs! Of course, this being the season that it is, there’s still a chance that FSU will have to share that title with Michigan next weekend, but only if the Bulldogs fail to take a single point against Western Michigan. In sweeping Bowling Green at home, FSU extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games (11-0-3) and became the first team in the country to reach 22 wins.
2. Never count out the Wolverines. Never. For a team that was a long way down looking up in December, not only has Michigan played itself into a first-round CCHA playoff bye, the Wolverines have a chance at a top seed in the NCAA tournament. Since their seven-game winless skid in the first half, the Wolverines are 13-2-2, and their win Saturday to sweep visiting Northern Michigan was their second overtime win in three games. Senior A.J. Treais had the OT goal, his eighth in the second half and seventh in seven games.
3. If I’m in the building, there’s a good chance the game is going to overtime. I was lucky enough to cover the Alaska-Michigan State game Friday and I was in the press box gathering information for my column Saturday when Michigan hosted Northern Michigan. Both games went to overtime; in both cases, the home team won 3-2. I’ve seen seven overtime games this season; there have been 31 played between CCHA teams in regular-season games.