Weekend of Jan. 14-15

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of the WCHA Round-up, where we condense the weekend that was and recap it in one handy-dandy place.

Denver took three of four from Minnesota State
– Friday was the story of two sides; MSU’s Troy Jutting thought a tie was the deserved the result, while DU’s George Gwozdecky said his Pioneers stole a point.
– The weekend marked the return of DU’s Beau Bennett from missing about a month and a half with a knee injury. Bennett had two points on the weekend – a goal and an assist, both on Saturday.
– Saturday the Pioneers started their comeback from being down 3-0 5:30 into the second and capped it just :21 seconds into overtime.
– The loss was MSU’s first since 12/12; the Pioneers are unbeaten since 12/4.
– The weekend shows the story of how much MSU has improved, despite them getting the short end of the point stick and of how resilient DU is, and has been all season.
– P.S. - more on that later this week.

Alaska-Anchorage swept Colorado College
– A result that probably not many expected, but was very welcome for the Seawolves and keeps them in the league mix.
– The sweep was UAA’s first in a year, since they swept Michigan Tech in Houghton on Jan.15-16, 2010.
– One reason why the sweep may have been a bit surprising was that it was UAA’s first action in just over a month. However, as Doyle Woody of the Anchorage Daily News reported in his Friday gamer, coach Dave Shyiak did something a little different to make sure his team was prepared – in the last two weeks, he instituted a training camp atmosphere, something senior Tommy Grant referred to as “boot camp.”
“We struggled on offense, ran into a goalie that has played well against us these last three games; that is the anatomy of a sweep in Anchorage,” – CC’s Scott Owens told the Colorado Springs Gazette‘s Joe Paisley on Saturday
“We’re getting the same amount of (scoring) chances as the other teams, but we haven’t been able to capitalize, and this weekend we did,” Shyiak told Woody on Saturday.

Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth split
– The expected result here, though the Bulldogs proved why they’re so dangerous, almost pulling out a tie on Saturday.
– Though UMD won Friday, from the sounds of things, the game was pretty even save the Bulldogs’ two first period power play goals, which ended up being the difference-makers.
– USCHO’s Kevin Pates included a fun stat from Saturday’s game in his recap:
“The Bulldogs held Wisconsin without a shot in the final period, a first for the Badgers since a 2-1 loss to Cornell on March 19, 1970 in the Frozen Four semifinals.”

North Dakota and Minnesota split
– Friday night showed that – no matter how the Gophers are doing in a given year, whether they may be in a relatively down year or not, whether they may be frustrating their fans or not – they’re still the Gophers which means, when it comes down to it, they’re still a pretty darn good team when they choose to be. Basically, even when they’re bad (and I don’t think they’re necessarily a “bad” team this year), they can still beat the “best.”
– UND’s Dave Hakstol summed this up on Friday, when he told USCHO’s Patrick C. Miller “We know they’re a good team. There’s nothing we learned about the WCHA tonight, we just got a bit of a reminder in the first 20 minutes.”
Yes, the teams brawled on Friday. It’s a rivalry series; what else did you expect?
– On Saturday, the Fighting Sioux showed why they’re so good … especially when they string together a full 60 minutes of hockey.

Bemidji State took three from Nebraska-Omaha
– Unlike Friday’s DU/MSU tie, in which the coaches had differing opinions on the result, both BSU’s Tom Serratore and UNO’s Dean Blais felt that their Friday night tie was the fairest result.
– The Beavers are now unbeaten in five of their last six games, marking a turnaround from where they were earlier this season.
– Meanwhile, the Mavericks continue to struggle somewhat.
– The weekend was the story of the Matts – UNO’s Matt Ambroz had three goals on the weekend while BSU’s Matt Read had two on Saturday, including the overtime game-winner.

Michigan Tech took one from St. Lawrence
– Not much to say here, unfortunately.
– The good news is that the Huskies’ losing streak ended at 15 games on Friday with their 4-4 tie and didn’t go to a school-record 16.
– The bad news is their winless streak still stands at 18 games thanks to Saturday’s 6-0 defeat.
– Also good: co-captain Brett Olson returned to the line-up for the first time since Nov. 13 and made an impact in Friday’s game with an assist as well as in the intangibles he provides as a leader.