If the first two weekends of CCHA play are any indication, this last season of the CCHA isn’t going to be over until it’s over. No sweeps, five teams with six points each, three shutouts.
1. A.J. Treais, dream crusher. The reason that Northern Michigan didn’t sweep Michigan at home came down to one play, at 19:59 in the third period Friday night. The Wildcats owned the second period of that game, scoring four goals — three on the power play — to take a 4-1 lead into the third. The Wolverines scored two power-play goals of their own in the third to bring it to within one, and with the extra attacker, Treais scored the goal that sent the game into overtime with one second left on the clock. Treais has seven goals in seven games this season, second in the nation to Niagara’s Giancarlo Iuorio (8). Treais had seven total goals in 44 games as a freshman in 2009-10.
2. An alphabet soup of second place. Five teams — Alaska, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Miami, Michigan State — are in second. Yes, it’s early. Yes, this will change. What won’t change throughout the season, though, is this kind of configuration in league standings, multiple teams knotted in one spot and separated from teams above or below them in the standings by a single point. The rare sweep, like Notre Dame’s sweep of NMU Oct. 26-27, will determine who rises to the top, and I won’t be surprised if playoff home ice and first-round byes are determined by tie breakers.
3. Three shutouts in one weekend but lots of goals otherwise. Sophomore C.J. Motte had his first shutout of the season (third of his career) when FSU beat Miami 3-0. Senior Andrew Hammond made 29 saves in his fifth career shutout, first of the season, when Bowling Green beat MSU 1-0 Friday night. Notre Dame junior Steven Summerhays had just 14 saves yesterday when Notre Dame beat Western Michigan, 4-0, his second of the season and sixth of his career. Yet seven times this past weekend, four or more goals were scored by a single team in a given contest; UM and NMU tied 4-4 Friday.
And Michigan State scoring six goals in one game? With five different players scoring? After that 1-0 shutout loss to Bowling Green? I don’t know what to make of that one.