What I Think: Week 6

Some random (and not-so-random) thoughts after the sixth week of the season:

* Part of you has to feel bad for Niagara. As close as the Purple Eagles come to getting their first victory of the season, they just can’t get it done.

Saturday at Robert Morris, they were up 3-1 midway through the game but could only manage a 3-3 tie to, um, improve (?) to 0-8-2 this season.

Four of their eight losses have been by one goal. They’ve lost by three goals, with two of them empty-netters. The three other losses were by two goals.

Niagara has been in all of these games and has held a third-period lead in some.

But although we now know there will not be an unbeaten team this season, we still have three winless squads — Niagara, Brown (0-4-1) and Dartmouth (0-5).

* Teams headed in opposite directions met in Michigan this weekend, but it remains to be seen how far toward the top Michigan State is headed and how far toward the bottom Michigan will fall before leveling out.

The guess here is that the Spartans are going to be around for a while. The Wolverines? By all appearances, there haven’t been many reasons to think this is going to get much better in a hurry.

* Bemidji State isn’t the most talented team in the top 10, but it’s up there in the ranking of teams that work for everything they get.

* Remember a couple years ago, when schools were being encouraged to move the goal lines at their rinks to 11 feet from the end boards from 15?

Doesn’t look like that movement got very far. Besides schools that share rinks with pro teams, has anyone moved the goal line? Seriously. Let me know. I’m intrigued.

* Speaking of intriguing, then there’s Ferris State. If you had the Bulldogs getting four of a possible six points from a series at No. 1 Miami this weekend, well, congrats to you.

Ferris State continues to move along this season, and it has posted a 7-3-2 record. But, even without the shootout victories, the pair of ties at Miami was eye-opening.

* Six weeks into the season, five players are scoring at a goal-per-game pace, led by Minnesota-Duluth’s Justin Fontaine.

Fontaine, however, has scored in only five of his 11 games. He has three two-goal games and put up a four-spot on Michigan Tech on Saturday. (To be fair, two of those goals came on the power play, and against the Tech penalty kill many nights this season, that has been like taking candy from a baby.)

The others hitting on a goal-a-game rate: Quinnipiac’s Eric Lampe (9), Merrimack’s Stephane De La Costa (8), Cornell’s Blake Gallagher (5) and Yale’s Broc Little (5).

* If you have a place in your heart for those who endure season-ending injuries and have a long road to come back, there were good feelings Saturday night for Wisconsin’s Ben Street.

Street, who got a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA last season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament just four games into what would have been his last college season, scored a pair of goals in a 6-2 Badgers victory over Alaska-Anchorage.

You never know how things are going to turn out after major injuries like Street’s, but you have to appreciate it when those who put in the effort to come back get rewarded.

* Your national top five in scoring offense: Cornell (4.40 goals per game), Quinnipiac (4.22), Merrimack (4.00), Wisconsin (3.80) and Union (3.73).

Their ranks last season, respectively: tied for 40th, 15th, 51st, 11th and 28th.

* Here’s my top 20 this week:

1. Miami

2. Denver

3. North Dakota

4. Massachusetts-Lowell

5. Michigan State

6. Cornell

7. Colorado College

8. Yale

9. Bemidji State

10. Alaska

11. Notre Dame

12. Nebraska-Omaha

13. Princeton

14. Vermont

15. Quinnipiac

16. Boston College

17. Wisconsin

18. Massachusetts

19. Michigan

20. Ferris State