Weekend of March 4-5

As the final weekend always is, that was a fun weekend of hockey. It’s also enjoyable when it comes down to the last games in play to figure out seeding for the playoffs … which of course we now know.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Minnesota took three from Bemidji State
– On Friday, Brad Hunt scored with 19 seconds left in the third to tie the game for the Beavers who then held on through the extra frame for a 3-3 tie.
– BSU also lost captain Matt Read to injury in the game.
– UM’s Patrick White scored two goals; one to start it off 94 seconds in and one to put the Gophers up late.
– On Saturday, the game went to overtime again, but Nick Bjugstad potted his third of the series 20 seconds in to give the Gophers a 3-2 win.
– He also got the goal to start the third period rally, as BSU was up 2-0 going into the frame.
“It felt like a pond hockey game for a little while,” BSU coach Frank Serratore told the Bemidji Pioneer‘s Eric Stromgren. “It was race horse hockey and pretty wide open. When you play wide open with Minnesota they eventually are going to convert. We had a 2-0 lead and that’s the thing that frustrates you as a coach.”
– Matt Read also sat out Saturday’s game – his first full game out since he started as a Beaver (143 games and a D-1 program record 139 points).
– Another fun fact: prior to Saturday’s game, the Beavers hadn’t lost in 49 games when leading after two.

St. Cloud State and Denver split
– Friday was a back and forth game, with SCSU taking the upper hand, gaining a 3-2 win thanks to an Aaron Marvin goal with 1:36 remaining.
– Not that DU didn’t make it interesting; Luke Salazar one-timed a shot late that clanged off the post.
– On Saturday, the score was identical, but the results reversed – DU ended up on top, 3-2.
– The teams exchanged goals in the first two periods (DU first, SCSU second), but then DU scored two within the first seven minutes of the third to take a 3-1 lead and held on despite a late Husky power play goal with three minutes left.
“I couldn’t ask for a more challenging series to prepare us for the playoffs,” Pioneer coach George Gwozdecky told the Denver Post‘s Mike Chambers. “St. Cloud is arguably the hottest team in our league, maybe the hottest team in the West. They’re really good and to prepare us for a playoff round, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Alaska-Anchorage swept Minnesota State
– I thought that this maybe possibly could happen when doing picks, but didn’t let the thought get vocalized. Oops.
– On Friday, the Seawolves spread out the scoring among all three periods and Nick Haddad scored two for a 4-0 victory.
– Chris Kamal stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season.
– For the Maverick netminders, life wasn’t so pretty. Austin Lee was yanked after the third UAA goal (so about 7:30 into the second) in favor of Phil Cook.
“You can’t give up three goals on eight shots,” MSU coach Troy Jutting told the Mankato Free Press‘s Shane Frederick (who added a note that it ended up being 11 shots according to the final stats). “And you can’t have 35 shots and not score. It’s a disaster.”
– On Saturday, it was Tommy Grant with a two-goal performance to help the Seawolves win 4-1 for their first road sweep of the season.
– The lone Maverick goal came from senior Brett Peterson … who was playing in his third game in four years at MSU. The goal was the first of his career.
– Kamal was in net again for the Seawolves, stopping 31 shots (66 of 67 total on the weekend.
“Another player of the week (award) for the goalie who played against us,” Jutting remarked to Frederick after the game.
– Fun fact for the Seawolves, courtesy of the Anchorage Daily News‘s Doyle Woody:
UAA’s .464 winning percentage in WCHA games this season is the second-best in the program’s 18 seasons in the league. UAA went 14-16-2 in its inaugural WCHA season in 1993-94 for a .469 winning percentage.

North Dakota swept Michigan Tech
– In preview number one of next weekend’s playoff series.
– The result wasn’t surprising, but the final goal output was: the Sioux outscored the Huskies 17-3 on the weekend.
– Ouch.
– Six different Sioux scored on Friday in UND’s 6-1 victory.
– The game was close for a while, as it was a 1-1 game for about 34 minutes. Then, the Sioux scored three goals in 3:42 to pull away and take the game with them.
– On Saturday, the Sioux opened it up, scoring on their first shot and winning 11-2. Jason Gregoire had a hat trick and both Brett Hextall and Brock Nelson scored two.
– All three MTU goaltenders got playing time. Josh Robinson was yanked 4:39 in after the Sioux made it 4-1. Corson Cramer and Kevin Genoe split time to cover the rest of the game.
– Of note: Chay Genoway played in Saturday’s game for the first time in eight games, since being injured Jan. 28 at CC.
– Also of note: Brad Eidsness played on Saturday, getting his second win of the season.

Minnesota-Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha split
– The Bulldogs got their second win in seven games as well as their third consecutive 20-win season on Friday, beating the Mavericks 4-1.
“We actually worked hard for 60 minutes and showed what we could do,” forward Travis Oleksuk told USCHO’s Kevin Pates. “That was basically our problem. We weren’t working hard from start to finish.” Oleksuk had two goals for the Bulldogs.
– The game was the first ever meeting between the two head coaches (UMD’s Scott Sandelin; UNO’s Dean Blais) who had coached together at North Dakota.
– On Saturday, helped out by Terry Broadhurst’s two goals, UNO won 5-2 to hop over UMD in the standings and finish third in the league.
“We could tell right away from the start of the game – as soon as they dropped the puck, we were ready to go,” Blais told Pates.

Colorado College and Wisconsin split
– In preview number two of next weekend’s playoffs series.
– On Friday, CC went ahead and clinched home ice right away, refusing to prolong any waiting, by winning 3-2 thanks to two goals in the final five minutes.
– “I am prepared for a marathon, but I am glad it’s going to be at 6,200 feet,” CC coach Scott Owens told USCHO’s Benjamin Worgull after the game.
– On Saturday, the Badgers broke a seven-game winless streak, winning 3-1. The victory gave the Badgers their 20th of the season.
– It also helped that Scott Gudmandson seemed back up to form for the Badgers.
“He was excellent. He made some unbelievable saves, but the thing that was most impressive from the bench was his rebound control,” UW coach Mike Eaves told Worgull. “Any shots that were up in his chest, around his arm padding, he just controlled like he was a Hoover vacuum cleaner.”

Playoff Seedings
Even though we’ll go into this in a lot more detail later this week …
1. UND vs. 12. MTU
2. DU vs. 11. MSU
3. UNO vs. 10. BSU
4. UMD vs. 9. SCSU
5. UM vs. 8. UAA
6. CC vs. 7. UW

WCHA teams in the PairWise Rankings
UND – 3rd
DU – 5th
UNO – t-6th
UMD – t-10th
CC – t-14th
UM - t-18th
SCSU – 20th
UW - 23rd
UAA – 24th
MSU – t-26th


  1. As a UNH fan it’s always great when the team beats Maine. And this year, it was great to sweep the season series by winning two of the games in exciting fashion, an OT win by a freshman (Silengo) at the ugliest hockey venue in Hockey East, Alfond, and the final game in the series with 15.3 seconds on the clock and the goal scored by Hobey Baker Hat Trick Finalist/winner Paul Thompson!
    However, what gave me the greatest pleasure was that because of Paul Thompson’s goal, a NH bred player, the totally obnoxious Maine fans were finally silenced into submission and them realizing that their team is a lower tier team in Hockey East this year. Sure, they can carry around signs that they’ve won two Frozen Fours or that every venue is “Our House” but when you come right down to it, what has their team done for them lately, 2010 – 2011? In the team’s last 5 games they’re 0-3-2. If I remember correctly that’s a whopping 2 points out of 10!
    Face it Maine fans, your team has a long road ahead of it. And, the way your team is playing right now, you’ll be silenced many more times this season. Don’t live on past glories, live in the present. Oh yeah, that’s hard to do when your team has a hard time WINNING!

    • Firstly, Maine’s long road has to start with a new coach. As long as Whitehead is behind the bench, this team will be second-rate. Secondly, as far as obnoxious goes, nothing can compare to the UNH fans at Orono last year, just sayin’

  2. Hey University of No Hardware, Yes it was a big weekend series to win over the black bears but UNH has still done NOTHING this season yet. Umile may even win the HE crown (just like last year) but BC owns the wildcats in the post season 2001, 2008, 2010 NCAA CHAMPIONS. Regan was a stud and UNH wasted that opportunity in 2008

    • A win over BC, a season sweep over Maine, 2 out of 3 against BU, a win at Miami(OH), a win at Cornell, and a tie against Michigan. what do all of these teams that UNH has played have in common?

      all were top-10 teams when they played UNH (except Maine, but you throw out records in the border war).

      That doesn’t sound like nothing to me. Even the loss to Dartmouth isn’t looking so bad as Dartmouth has beaten former number 1 Yale and continues to improve each week.

      • Type your comment here.Bharvey13 – you are doing ver ywell unti lthe last paragraph. UNH has had an excellent star tto the season, long way to go still, but Dartmouth has lost to Yale 3 times this year and have not beaten them. Despite this they have been playing well. The UNH loss to them will have little impact on them.

  3. As a die hard wildcat fan, I agree that UNH’s season success will be judged upon what they do in March. HE regular season titles are nice but haven’t amounted to anything as of late. Growing up in the great state of Maine, I’ve heard the old University of No Hardware cry too many times to count. It’s warranted-yes, but I second the notion of living in the present. As of today, Umile’s squad will most likely be dancing as a #1 in their home state avoiding a matchup with the Eagles while the Black Bears will be out snowmobiling in Orono. As far as I’m concerned, Bears fans can continue with their favorite no hardware chants, but if I were a black bear I’d be more concerned with my hockey team who has not been to the NCAA tournament in 3 years looking to be 4. The Maine program is steadily falling off the college hockey map as they struggle to recruit against the Boston Powerhouses with better programs, coaches, and facilities. Believe me Bears, I enjoy seeing Maine come tournament time – they are/were a staple of college hockey. But take a good look in the mirror and evaluate this year’s team and your program as a whole as of today – not the past. On a side note, the Northeastern Huskies WILL win the Beanpot for the first time since 1988. Go NU!

  4. If the high seeds win this week it will work out great for the final five attendance. UMD vs UM in Thursday night game with the winner playing Nodak in the Friday night game.

  5. CC played and won more games against tougher competition. That’s why they’re ranked higher than the Gophers. Check out the Pairwise Rankings.

  6. wonderful pics. how does one get a copy of a picture? there is a picture of my son with Paul Broten standing out on the ice during the ceremony that I would love to have a copy of. thanks,
    Lori Holter

  7. My challenge to Paula is to become more familiar with the teams that are in the B1G that are not former CCHA teams. I understand that you covered the former CCHA and thus would be more familiar with those teams, but your comments on the pick blog for the Gophers mainly consist of regurgitating stats like the all time series record and the scores from the most recent contests and the TV schedule, trust me the Minnesota fans already know all of this, but you write 6 paragraphs about Michigan/Michigan State. When commenting on the Gophers back your picks up with some facts and reasons like you do for the former CCHA teams comments. I know you still love the CCHA, guess what? I would rather the Gophers were still in the former WCHA, but that isn’t going to happen. Your covering the B1G now and it would be really nice if you were knowledgeable about all the teams and if not if you would take the time to become so.

    • Well said ’92. With half of the BTHC being former CCHA schools, that only leaves three to brush up on. PSU’s history can be jotted on a cocktail napkin, so Paula, the challenge is to become intimately familiar with Bucky and Goldy.

    • I couldn’t have said it any better. I think most people who comment on here regularly know my distaste of her coverage of the B1G.

    • Well put Satriani, The CCHA is dead along with the true WCHA. We all have to deal with it, so Paula, have some respect for our fan bases as well and do your homework. Enough is enough already!

    • Agree with the sentiments expressed here. Please note: the Gopher fanbase is most likely larger than anything you’ve dealt with before. Add in the fair-weather Badger fans, who will show up if and when their squad stops embarrassing themselves. Combined, we snicker at the puny CCHA. Ignore the former WCHA powers and you can expect to get hammered on a regular and increasingly hostile basis.

  8. The Minnesota-Bemidji State matchup will be interesting. The Beavers are tough defensively, and have a lot of size… Also, this will be my first look at Leon Bristedt! Hoping for a Gopher sweep, but not over-confident…

    • I think that Gophers will do well and the big ice sheet will help to offset the size of Bemidji. I still think it will be a good contest as most interstate rivalries are. I saw Bristedt in the exhibition game and he looked good and had a couple nice stick handling moves. I am sure that there will be an adjustment period for him, but the news is that he won’t have a lot of pressure to produce right away. Anything he contributes will be gravy.

  9. Paula, how is Lowell going to to beat the Spartans on Friday and Michigan on Saturday when they play Michigan on Friday and the Spartans on Saturday? Also, the Minutemen didn’t win at Yost Ice Area last year. They are from UMass, the team that split with Michigan State last weekend. Lowell is the RiverHawks.

    • So much for that prediction. And if anyone should be brushing up on anything it should be Drew. He’ll probably pencil Michigan in for losses the entire season- and that’s his prerogative-but at least get the schools correct please.

  10. How exactly does Penn State bring a victory to the upper Midwest? I don’t consider Ohio to be a Midwestern state let alone Pennsylvanian.

    • They had 3 more PP’s than BU- I don’t think so. Let’s face it, Red has a bad history with the HEA officiating in the NCAA playoffs and these type of games with so many reviews can create a bad taste in one’s mouth. BU won the game, move on to MTU.


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