Weekend of Feb. 4-5

Ugh, sorry for this being so late, everybody.

Colorado College and Denver split
– … on each other’s home ice, like has been the trend.
– Given the rules of the Gold Pan, even though the teams split the season series, Denver retains the trophy.
– Joe Howe played in both games this series, so thankfully he wasn’t injured too badly the prior weekend.
– The Saturday game had a bit of “Hollywood” to it, as the Pioneers started showing life in the game after injured teammate Jesse Martin made an appearance in the first period to address the crowd and thank them for their support.
– While unconventional (and a tad weird), it wasn’t the first time the Pioneers had an in-game ceremony; the team did something similar a few years back for, if I recall correctly, their U.S. junior team medalists.
– After Saturday’s game, CC coach Scott Owens mentioned that his team’s power play is currently a concern (the team was 0-for-9 on the weekend).

Minnesota State and Bemidji State split
– MSU, who held a 1-0 lead for most of Friday’s game until late in the third, was able to come through in overtime thanks to Channing Boe to win 2-1.
– Dan Bakala had a great weekend for the Beavers, stopping 81 of 84 total shots.
– Which is made more impressive given Saturday’s stats: the Beavers won 4-1, despite being outshot 41-20.
– Unfortunately for the Mavs, their goal-scoring breakthrough that came around last weekend was stopped just as quickly.
– The win was good for BSU, though; it was the team’s first victory since January 15.

Alaska-Anchorage swept Michigan Tech
– Oh Tech. Winless streak now stands at 24 games.
– It’s not for lack of trying, though … MTU knotted the game at one on Friday in the second and it was only 2-1 after two before UAA opened it up. On Saturday, the Huskies took an early lead, lost it, tied it up … and then once again, the Seawolves opened it up in the third.
– The sweep marked the second home sweep in a row for the Seawolves … something that hasn’t happened in over a decade (last time was  in the 1998-99 season with back-to-back-to-back sweeps over Air Force, Denver and Wisconsin).
– UAA coach Dave Shyiak is apparently going with the hot hand in net, as Chris Kamal has started the last three games and won the last three games.
– The Seawolf defense hasn’t been too shabby, either though; it permitted Tech just 32 shots the whole weekend (14 Friday, 18 Saturday).

Minnesota-Duluth took three points from Minnesota
– On Saturday, Mike Connolly took two alone.
– But let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet.
– UMD had a school record scoreless streak of 168:39 come to an end on Friday when the Gophers’  Cade Fairchild scored about halfway through the first.
– On Saturday, even though the final score was UMD 6, UM 4, you could say it was Mike Connolly 5, UM 4. The junior had six total goals on the weekend and his three in the first period Saturday constituted a natural hat trick.
– The game showed how dangerous the Mike Connolly-Jack Connolly-Justin Fontaine line really is. Fontaine had been filling in on the second line while Kyle Schmidt was injured. Schmidt came back on Friday and the line was reunited Saturday … a wise decision, given that the three combined for 12 points.

Nebraska-Omaha swept St. Cloud State
– Props to Tyler for seeing this one, as I didn’t think it would happen.
– And yes, this was SCSU’s second visit to the Qwest Center, but first time there to play the building’s actual tenant.
– On Friday, the Mavericks scored three goals in 1:41 in the second period to top SCSU, 3-0.
“That minute and a half where we fell asleep was the game,” Husky coach Bob Motzko told USCHO’s Matthew Semisch.
– The shutout was John Faulkner’s sixth this year, in case you’re counting along at home.
– On Saturday, the Huskies came out of the first period with a 3-0 lead, but the Mavericks rallied to win, 4-3.
– Freshman Mike Taffe came in for the Mavericks in the second period for his second game of the season and stopped all 17 shots he saw.
– Given the last two weekends, it unfortunately seems that the small turnaround the Huskies had at the beginning of the year is now over.
– But let’s hope not.

WCHA teams in the PairWise Rankings
Minnesota-Duluth – t-2nd
North Dakota – t-2nd
Denver – 6th
Wisconsin – t-7th
Nebraska-Omaha – 15th
Colorado College – t-18th
Minnesota – 21st
Minnesota State – 24th
Alaska-Anchorage – t-25th