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College Hockey:
WCHA picks: Oct. 21-23

Michigan Tech (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) at Bemidji State (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA)

Tyler:  The Beavers are battle tested after splitting with then-No. 2 Miami before losing a couple tight games at then-No. 7 Colorado College. Tech had to sweat out a couple of close ones against one of the worst teams in the land, American International, a couple weeks ago. BSU sweeps the home opener.

Brian: Bemidji State opens the home portion of its schedule hosting the league’s feel-good story. That is, of course, if you’re not a Wisconsin fan. MTU has thrived so far playing offensively-challenged teams at home while the Beavers have played solid road hockey against a pair of NCAA tournament-caliber teams. BSU will take full advantage of the home ice and take a pair of tight, low-scoring games.

Minnesota State (1-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) at No. 3 Denver (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)

Tyler: The Jason Zucker/Drew Shore/Luke Salazar will just be too much for a punchless banged up Minnesota State team. DU sweep.

Brian: Stealing a game inDenver would be a gargantuan task for the Mavericks under normal circumstances. But with Michael Dorr, Tyler Elbrecht, J.P. Burkemper, Max Gaede, Danny Heath and Eriah Hayes all staying home this weekend, that ain’t happening. Pioneers sweep.

Alaska-Anchorage (3-0-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) at Nebraska-Omaha (1-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)

Tyler: The Mavericks haven’t gotten the offense they need from its top line (Broadhurst/Montpetit/White) since the season opener but the possible return of Alex Hudson might add some punch. Hudson’s addition would be nice because UNO hasn’t gotten much from outside the top line. John Faulkner’s struggles will probably lead to another start for freshman Ryan Massa this weekend. I expect a breakout weekend from the UNO offense, which is a must in order to get a win this weekend because the UAA offense has proven to be a dynamic one so far, getting points from guys up and down the roster. Split

Brian: Although these teams met once already this season–with UAA wining 3-0 in last weekend’s Brice Alaska Gold Rush tournament in Fairbanks–Mavericks coach Dean Blais said neither team learned much about the other which would help them this weekend. With no penalties called in the game there weren’t any opportunities for special teams scouting for either team. The return of Alex Hudson could give UNO a boost but the Seawolves have been playing very well so far. UAA earns a split in its first-ever trip to Omaha.

No. 5 North Dakota (2-1-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) at Wisconsin (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA)

Tyler: The problem with Wisconsin this season has been the Badgers’ inability to score, especially in the first period. The Sioux will jump on the Badgers early and if UND get a two-goal lead, Wisconsin won’t have the punch to catch up. UND’s goaltending situation will continue to solidify and the Sioux will leave Madison with a sweep.

Brian: Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves is hoping some line juggling perks up the Badgers’ struggling offense against the Sioux this week. Freshman winger Joseph LaBate, for instance, was inserted onto UW’s top line with center Mark Zengerle and RW Tyler Barnes. North Dakota has won five of the last six meetings in Madison and swept last season’s series 1-0 and 4-2. The line of Corban Knight, Danny Kristo, and Brock Nelson is the best Wisconsin’s rookie goaltenders Landon Peterson and Joel Rumpel have seen so far in their young careers and a lot more will be known about them by Saturday night. The Badgers find a way to grind out their first conference win and earn a split.

No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA) at Providence (2-0-0, 2-0-0 HE)

Tyler: The Friars have scored 11 times in two games and that’s not a good sign for UMD goalies Kenny Reiter and Aaron Crandall, who share an .820 save percentage. Was there too much pressure on the Bulldogs, who began their national title defense with four games in front of the home fans. Maybe a road trip could do some good for UMD. Split.

Brian: The Nate Leaman era at Providence got off to an impressive start with a pair of conference victories over Boston University (5-3) and Massachusetts (6-4). The Bulldogs, after an impressive season-opening win over then top-ranked Notre Dame, have lost three straight. The bad news is the Bulldogs must now right the ship on the road. The good news is they don’t have to face Kent Patterson until, possibly, the postseason. The Bulldogs know how to get pucks to the net and will be rewarded for it this weekend with a road sweep.

New Hampshire (0-3-0, 0-3-0 HE) at St. Cloud State (1-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)

Tyler: UNH has been outscored 14-1 in its first three games but the Huskies first need to get a lead early, play 60 minutes and hang on to the lead. The Huskies can’t sleep on Wildcats goaltender Matt Di Girolamo, who had one of the best save percentages in the country last season (.923) but UNH lost its top three scorers in the offseason. Huskies win.

Brian: The Huskies return to the friendly confines of the National Hockey Center for the first time this season after trips to Alaska and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Jared Festler’s six points (3-3–6) and Drew LeBlanc’s five (1-4–5) lead the way for SCSU but others need to step up and bury their chances. Junior captain Ben Hanowski comes to mind as only one of his team leading 12 shots have found the net thus far. While scoring has been an issue for UNH, it’s not for lack of trying as the Wildcats are averaging 34 shots per game so expect Mike Lee to see a lot of rubber this weekend. Lee weathers the storm and the Huskies take two at home.

Vermont (0-0-0, 0-0-0 HE) at No. 8 Minnesota (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA)

Tyler: Rob Madore might be the best goaltender the Gophers will face in the first three weeks of the season, but his counterpart, Kent Patterson, is the best goaltender in the WCHA right now. Plus, Vermont hasn’t played a real game yet and won’t be ready for the much more prepared Gophers, entering their third weekend of play. Minnesota sweep.

Brian: The Gophers have never lost to or tied the Catamounts in their history. Of course Vermont can say the same of Minnesota. Amazingly, these two programs have never met before but the Catamounts have played in Minnesota as recently as 2010 when they were defeated 3-2 by Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament at Xcel Energy Center. I expect Minnesota’s first impression to be the strongest as the Gophers will sweep this rare Friday and Sunday series due to homecoming festivities.

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  • confused

    …not sure what schedule you are looking at. North Dakota was definitely hosting St. Cloud last weekend, so I don’t know how the Huskies could have tied with Duluth. As for your pick for the Duluth-North Dakota series, I think you will have a hard time getting either of those right since North Dakota is at Mankato this weekend, and I am watching Duluth play at Minnesota right now…

  • correction

    Yeah, that would be right confused, if you were looking at the Men’s page instead of Women’s… check your site before you post and make yourself look stupid.

  • wow

    Of course WMU still carries “the nation’s best 13-game unbeaten streak” and “Michigan no carries” something I can probably figure out….

    This isn’t Paula’s fault. Everyone makes typos when writing. Apparently USCHO doesn’t have an editor, who would be responsible for catching the mistakes in the article that spell-check does not….

    Petty? Yes. But it is comical how poorly written these professionally-published articles usually are.

  • Paula Weston

    Dear “Wow,”

    Thank you for bringing to my attention the errors in my blog post. Seriously, I do appreciate it. You’re incorrect about your assumptions about editing; the blog posts don’t go through an editor, so I am solely responsible for the content. Columns go through an editorial process.

    Poorly written? *shrug* Your opinion and one I don’t happen to share. Hastily written? Yes, that I’ll cop to. I did proofread. The first thing you take issue with doesn’t strike me as incorrect so much as awkwardly phrased, and I am disappointed myself that it didn’t hit me as necessary for revision the first time I proofed it. The second thing is an outright typo, and my eye must have scanned right over it.

    Petty? You said it, not me.

    Thank you for reading my poorly written and clearly disappointing work at USCHO. I hope you find many things in your usual daily routine with which to find fault, and therefore enjoyment. :-D

    • wow!

      Paula,

      We go to USCHO.com because we love college hockey and there are few sites out there to follow. It is common knowledge on this site that many of us find the work sub-par. If it were of high quality, I would be inclined to pay for the premium membership. I’m certainly not going to do that when every week material is published that is full or errors.

      I don’t find pleasure in looking for mistakes, but I would never turn work into my boss that had sentences that don’t make sense, typos, and flat-out incorrect information. I guess that is my problem though, not yours.

    • wow!!!

      Paula,

      Now that you blocked me, I’ll try another route to respond to you.

      It is common knowledge here that many of us are consistently disappointed with the quality of USCHO.com these days, but there are few options for college hockey fans out there, so we endure.

      If it were high quality material, I would happily pay the premium charge for the site to support it. But I’m not going to do that when every week material is published with sentences that don’t make sense, typos, or flat-out incorrect information.

      Believe it or not, I don’t find pleasure in finding others’ mistakes. I would never turn work into my boss that hasn’t been polished. I guess that’s my problem though, not yours.

      • http://www.uscho.com/ USCHO

        Posts that include URLs are automatically held for moderation by the Disqus software to avoid spam. When you typed USCHO.com, that caused it to be held.

        It perhaps is not common knowledge, “wow!!”, that there are no full-time staffers at USCHO and all do this for not much money in addition to other work. Yet the staff here is expected to turn out the same amount of work as full-time sports writers at major papers, and does so even in the face of non-constructive criticism.

      • Paula Weston

        I didn’t block you. All I did was reply. You saw the explanation for the block below — and it came from someone else on the USCHO staff who monitors comments, not from me.

        Seriously, I do hope you find some joy this week. I’m not being facetious.

  • Guest

    Dustin Sather, not Justin Sather.

    • Paula Weston

      Thanks. Fixed. Shamed.

  • Hockey Fan

    It never ceases to amaze me that people post such rude comments. For the record, I haven’t exactly been thrilled with all of the USCHO content either, but is the appropriate and mature means of expressing your frustration to publicly ridicule someone?

  • Joe C

    Jim, RPI makes sense if the basis is geography and history. I have not heard the RPI is disappointed in the ECAC. Is Hockey East enough of a lure for RPI to lose its in state rivalries in New York State? Perhaps it is. If it is RPI, this would be a fine addition to Hockey East, although I cannot name its biggest rival in Hockey Eat at 12 teams.

    I concur that Cornell is NOT going to Hockey East in Hockey, since the Ivy League is tighter than even the Big Ten.

    I still believe there will be a push to make the 12th school UConn, based on future potential, to include television. I know that there are reservations at UConn, revolving around Title IX and scholarships. However, UConn is a nationally known athletic department and a favored school of ESPN. I expect that ESPNU would not mind having more programming with Hockey East at 12 schools with schools that equal the BTHC in hockey cachet. Finally, UConn would bring the one New England state university (with a D-I program) not currently in Hockey East.

    If it is RPI, then ECAC would be 11 schools. Would ECAC poach a school from Atlantic Hockey? Buffalo is also in play. Both RPI and UConn have local AHL arenas they could used to sponsor the Northeast Regional.

    A dark horse might be Holy Cross, adding a school in Worcester and a Catholic school to join with Providence and Merrimack.

    • BigSlapshotUniversity

      Hope everything looks something like this when the dust settles…

      Atlantic Hockey:

      American International
      Army
      Bentley
      Holy Cross
      Mercyhurst
      Sacred Heart

      Big Ten:

      Michigan
      Michigan State
      Minnesota
      Ohio State
      Penn State
      Wisconsin

      CCHA:

      Alabama-Huntsville
      Bowling Green
      Buffalo
      Canisius
      Ferris State
      Niagra
      RIT
      Robert Morris

      ECAC:

      Brown
      Clarkson
      Colgate
      Cornell
      Dartmouth
      Harvard
      Princeton
      Quinnipiac
      Rensselaer
      St Lawrence
      Union
      Yale

      Hockey East:

      Boston Coll
      Boston U
      Connecticut
      Maine
      UMass
      UMass-Lowell
      Merrimack
      New Hampshire
      Notre Dame
      Northeastern
      Providence
      Vermont

      NCHC:

      Colorado Coll
      Denver
      Miami
      Minn-Duluth
      Nebraska-Omaha
      NoDak
      St Cloud State
      Western Mich

      WCHA:

      Air Force
      Alaska
      Alaska-Anchorage
      Bemidji State
      Lake Superior State
      Michigan Tech
      Minnesota State Mankato
      Northern Michigan

      • Joe C

        I like your list but can you update now that Bowling Green joined the WCHA and CCHA is officially done? I would like to see your take.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCPIBR5SQVNDYE4Y32Q53WTWAI Frank

    If RPI will leave from ECAC. RIT would join to 12th ECAC. That’s why CCHA wants RIT to joining their league. If RPI is staying in ECAC. Probably RIT will go to CCHA. if ECAC expansion for 13th and 14th teams. I bet or not RIT and Syrcause. We do not know what happens in near the future. For Hockey East  UCONN should be ready to join Hockey East. UCONN is big university.The world people know UCONN not Quinnipiac. It’s not fit on AHA. That AHA is lowest scholarships and small colleges. better chance UCONN is gong to H E soon. 

  • Guestofaguest2

    Any rumor about Cornell going to Hockey East was probably generated to light a fire under RPI or any other schools considering moves.  

    • Joe C

      Ivy League schools NEVER leave the Ivy League (which is ECAC for Hockey) to play someplace else in any sport.

      In fact, the Ivies have the own trophy in every sport they play, the Ivy League trophy, which, in hockey, represents the ECAC results of all the Ivy schools playing one another and excludes non-Ivy play.

      While the Big Red certainly would be a natural fit otherwise in Hockey East, one would think that Dartmouth, Harvard and Brown are much better Ivy/ECAC fits to move to Hockey East, and yet they are not going anywhere, either.

  • JamesDee

    The MTU Huskies would be an excellent travel partner for Notre Dame in Hockey East.

    They are centrally located and very easy for east teams to fly from out east. They could play Notre Dame on Friday and fly from Chicago to Houghton to play a second game against MTU.

    Plus MTU has high standards as does Notre Dame.

    So please Notre Dame take MTU Huskies with you to play in Hockey East as a travel partner for 2013-2014 season.

  • Mark

    UConn would make sense based on all of the other D1 hockey-playing public schools being in Hockey East, but I don’t see them making the move. They play in a tiny rink (1000 fewer seats than Merrimack), and I don’t think they can play hockey in Gampel Pavilion (nothing on the school’s website for it suggests it can hold a rink). Not sure they have the money, or the will to spend the money, to get up to even the current HE minimum.

    There’s also scholarship implications, as they’d need to add scholarships to be competitive in HE (currently can give 12, NCAA max is 18), which wouldn’t help with whatever concerns over Title IX they have after adding football (I’m guessing about concerns, but think adding any men’s scholarships could be difficult).

    Personally I’d like to see them make the move, but RPI is more ready to do so.

  • Jd Smid

    Rumor in Worcester Ma.has Holy Cross another Jesuit school  making 3 in division history and geography .
     Conneticut is a definite no Basketball school with no history  new program poor recruiting Big East school that might move to ACC with BC . 
    Hockey East knows that Conneticut just does not fit in a prestigous league they want Hockey schools heard  RPI was a thought .

  • drop da puck

    There will be 5 Catholic Schools when Holy Cross joins heard its a done deal waiting on Notre Dame.

  • Wspd16

    Being a University of Massachusetts hockey fan I’d love to see Notre Dame come to Hockey East.  Teams like Boston College and Boston University often fill the UMASS Mullins Center which holds just over 8300 for ice hockey.  Very large crowds often of 6000+ come in for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  I’m sure that Notre Dame would be a yearly sell out, and it would be an exciting new venue to travel to with their new arena being completed.  And with Providence, Merrimack, and hopefully Holy Cross it would be a great fit for all parties involved.

    • Joe C

      I have to agree with you on all of this. I sure hope that Notre Dame joins.

  • ben james

    There is no CCHA… it’s gone. RPI will not join Hockey East… They passed on two opportunities before, why now? UConn has a weak hockey history, offers no scholarships, and has poor facilities… no where near the commitment HE will be looking for. Holy Cross has an unacceptable barn as well. I disagree with Dave here… Quinnippiac makes more sense than you think… Are UMass-Lowell, UMass, or Merrimack any more distinguished on the national level?  Take your pick, your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for certain… HE will take the right team.

    • FrozenFourFan

      Ben,

      I agree with your assesment regarding the HE candidates, and I agree that Quinnippiac is a solid choice.  Not so sure I agree with the collapse of the CCHA.  I believe Bowling Green is doing everything in their power right now to protect the conference and keep from traveling to Northern MN and Alaska.  I think there are enough AHA teams that are looking to expand their scholarship numbers that would consider the move.  When you look at location, it just makes sense for those schools to band together.  Plus, somehow, someway, somebody needs to make room for Huntsville.  I’m not a fan or from there, but the demise of any hockey program is not good for college hockey in general.  The CCHA should grab four or five schools from the AHA, invite Ala-Huntsville, and talk Ferris State into returning.  Air Force should move back west and join the WCHA.  More conferences, more auto-bids, more exposure for these non-powerhouse teams=good for the sport.

    • Anonymous

      I also believe it will be Quinnipiac.  Their location is a good fit, they have had some success.

  • FrozenFourFan

    I’ll give it a try…   I think that Air Force and Ala-Huntsville are interchangable in this list, but I will try it the way I would like to see it.

    Atlantic Hockey:

    Alabama-Huntsville
    American International
    Army
    Bentley
    Canisius
    UConn
    Holy Cross
    Mercyhurst
    Niagra
    Robert Morris
    RIT
    Sacred Heart

    B1G:

    Michigan
    Mich-State
    Minnesota
    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Wisconsin

    ECAC:

    Brown
    Clarkson
    Colgate
    Cornell
    Dartmouth
    Harvard
    Princeton
    RPI
    St Lawrence
    Union
    Yale

    HE:

    Boston Coll
    Boston U
    Maine
    UMass
    UMass-Lowell
    Merrimack
    New Hampshire
    Northeastern
    Notre Dame
    Providence
    Quinnipiac
    Vermont

    NCHC:

    Colorado College
    Denver
    Miami (OH)
    Minnesota Duluth
    Nebraska-Omaha
    NoDak
    St Cloud State
    Western Michigan

    WCHA:

    Air Force
    Alaska
    Alaska-Anchorage
    Bemidji State
    Bowling Green
    Ferris State
    Lake Superior State
    Michigan Tech
    Minnesota State-Mankato
    Northern Michigan

    Wouldn’t be suprised to see some moves between AHA and ECAC also after one of the teams moves to HE…

  • ULowellChief87

    RPI, Holy Cross, UConn are three teams that would all work.  What about RIT?

  • Guest

    What did they erase all posted messages??? 

  • Ebergsven

    BSU and MTU low scoring… Hmmm. Should have been there, one wild 1st period.

  • sean

    ok i did this once before and didnt fare to badly so ill try it again

    RPI@RIT -the tiger has woken up from the early season slump and with madalora in goal r even better and with RPI not exactly being a top team this year im going with (and as an army fan i hate to do this) RIT 5-2 and thats pushing it with RPI’s inability to score goals

    Brown@Holy Cross-after witnessing an unbelievable tie game against army and then getting shut out against AIC i agree i dont think brown finds a win here 2-1 holy cross

    Clarkson@Holy Cross-also agreed holy cross settles for a split with the ecac but im going 4-2 clarkson                                                                                               

    Army@Robert Morris-as much as it pains me to do this i dont see much luck for army this weekend the first game i can see a 2-2 tie but the second i predict a 3-1 robert morris victory (trying not to be biased)

    Niagara@Sacred Heart-with niagara not having a great season and with alot of low scoring/close games they’ve lost and with alot of momentum/uplift sacred hearts shocking win over #8 yale(and thats putting it lightly)gave them i can see sacred heart taking the first game 2-1 but niagara rebounds in the second for a 3-1 win

    UCONN@Air Force-well first off UCONN sucks on the road and Air Force is undefeated at home so far this season and i can see that trend continuing but only for the first game Air Force wins the first game 4-3 and UCONN winning the second 3-2

    Mercyhurst@Wisconsin-with mercyhurst leading the AHA and Wisconsin being middle of the pack in the WCHA and having 1 win in its last 6 games i can see a split here first game 4-3 mercyhurst then 3-2 wisconsin

    Canisius@AIC-with AIC coming off an impressive 3-0 shutout of brown and surprisingly high in the standings for them and actually their last 2 wins have been shutouts and Canisus not exactly doing a whole lot this year nd not winning since november 6th im going out on a limb here and seeing an AIC sweep of 2-1 nd 3-1
    –hopefully i can beat u—sean the army fan

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