There’s a single game tonight between Bowling Green and Michigan in Ann Arbor. I’ll post the rest of my picks for this weekend plus my picks record Friday morning.
Bowling Green at No. 19 Michigan
In their TMQ column this week, my friends and colleagues, Jim Connelly and Todd D. Milewski, ask, “How much respect is too much?” They open by discussing the Wolverines, a team with a 4-6-1 overall record and a national ranking, albeit a low one. It’s a fair question. The Wolverines have one more conference win and two more CCHA points than do the Falcons, their opponent tonight. I have Michigan at No. 13 in my USCHO.com Division I Poll ballot, based not on their reputation — as Jimmy and Todd speculate — but the talent they have and the team I’ve seen play. The Wolverines also lost two games to one of the best teams in the country last week, Notre Dame. That could have happened to nearly anyone, and so UM still gets a vote for a respectable spot from me.
That explanation aside, there’s no reason for a good team to melt down as the Wolverines have in their last three games, and should that trend continue, we’ll all know that this year’s UM squad is in trouble. I’m sure there are many people rooting for just that, but let’s not forget that the Wolverines were near the bottom of the standings at midseason last year.
The Falcons were likewise swept by an excellent team last weekend, Ferris State. It was the first CCHA series this season in which BGSU did not take at least one conference point, and the Falcons came close when they were down 3-0 late in the third period and scored three unanswered goals to tie up Friday’s game, a 4-3 overtime loss.
These teams last met in Joe Louis Arena in the 2012 CCHA tournament, where the Wolverines beat the Falcons 3-2 in double overtime. The Falcons have lost five straight in Yost Ice Arena, dating back to Nov. 20, 2009. The Wolverines have won nine of their last ten meetings versus the Falcons, dating back to Nov. 21, 2009.