Three things, Jan. 4

1. Positive Charge(rs)

Alabama-Huntsville made a big stride over the weekend, scoring its first-ever WCHA sweep, beating Alaska-Anchorage at home 3-2 and 2-1. It was also the Chargers’ first series sweep of a Division I opponent since Jan. 29-30, 2010, when they swept Niagara. “We were trying to figure out when was the last time we had a Division I sweep here, and nobody knew,” coach Mike Corbett said in a UAH video posted after the game. “[Assistant] coach [Gavin] Morgan, it’s his fifth year, and he hasn’t seen one since he’s been here. It’s been a long time and a long time coming and our guys did a great job tonight.” Max McHugh and Cody Marooney each scored two goals in the series, and goalie Carmine Guerriero stopped 58 of 61 shots. The Chargers are on a three-game unbeaten streak and are sitting in eighth place in the WCHA, one point behind next week’s opponent, Bemidji State.

2. Bulldogs stumbling

Ferris State began its long trip to Alaska and a tough second-half schedule on a flat note, getting swept in Fairbanks. Perhaps most surprising about the weekend was seeing star goalie CJ Motte allow six goals in a 6-0 loss on Saturday night. The Bulldogs have lost four games in a row and have set themselves up to be in a real battle for a home-ice playoff spot over the rest of the season. They’ll stay in Alaska to face Alaska-Anchorage Thursday and Friday and then face each of the conference’s top two teams — Minnesota State and Bowling Green — back to back over the following five weeks. Meanwhile, second-half spoiler Alaska has won five of its last six games.

3. No brooms at the top

The WCHA’s top three teams had solid weekends but not perfect ones. Minnesota State was the only team in league action and took three of four points at Northern Michigan. The Mavericks had to kill off a five-minute major for the majority of overtime on Saturday to preserve a tie with the Wildcats. Michigan Tech split a nonconference series at Wisconsin despite dominating the weekend. The Huskies won 8-1 on Friday but lost 2-0 on Saturday despite a 47-19 shot advantage. Shot stats don’t show up on the PairWise comparisons, however, and losing to the now-two-win Badgers was a bit of a blow. Finally, Bowling Green got a boost from a tie and win against Robert Morris. The tie took place outdoors in Toledo, Ohio, and the win took place Sunday in Pittsburgh. After the weekend, MSU dropped from first to second in the PairWise, BGSU moved up to fifth and Tech dropped to 13th.

36 COMMENTS

  1. People, come on, the B1G did not make a mistake when it formed the B1G Hockey Conference.

    Even with only 6 teams, 1 of which didn’t exist as a Div 1 team until 2 or 3 years ago, the B1G still can claim more NCAA Natl Titles than any other conference I believe. 9 for Michigan, 6 for Wisconsin, 5 for Minnesota, 3 for Michigan St, so 23 total.

    And compare which teams have the most former players playing in the NHL and scoring the most points. Last year Wisconsin was #1 in points scored with Minnesota #2 and Michigan was either #3 or #4? At the All-Star break this year, Minnesota was #1 and Wisconsin was #2 with Michigan #3 or #4 again. UND, BC & BU for the most part fill in the #3/4, #5 and #6 spots. So is it really that hard to figure out why the B1G can sometimes have a down year?

    Face it, the B1G teams as a whole went out and played all the other conferences in the first half of the season and stunk it up. Minnesota doing so badly after bringing back so many from last years Runner Up team really hurt the conference as a whole because then when Minnesota got it together and started beating most of the other B1G teams, which they were probably going to do no matter what, those losses hurt even worse, and the times teams got wins against the Gophers didn’t help them as much as it otherwise would have.

    But the thing is, the B1G TV network plays alot of hockey, Minnesota, and Michigan are still big names and draws and are still bringing in top notch recruits and will continue to be NHL player factories, and hockey is HUGE at PSU. I read PSU made over a million dollars in profit from hockey last year. And they have become quite competitive very quickly and its gotten the attention of hockey players coming up through the ranks. Michigan St and Wisconsin both have Natl Titles in the last Decade so neither of those programs are as bad off as it may seem, although not sure about Wisconsin, but if UW brings in a new coach, who knows, and its possible that the success both schools are having with Football and Basketball are hurting their hockey programs? But the B1G will never get all 6 teams into the tourney, so it isn’t the end of the world to have 2 or 3 teams that are having down years. If all 6 are good, they will beat up on each other and a deserving team may get left out, but with at least 2 down teams, it can sort of pad the stats a little and help the top 4 at least get in. A year like this year, it seemed all 6 teams either had down years, or just plain sucked or went through a slump at the wrong time? If two of these 3 teams, Minny, Michigan and PSU take turns having good seasons while one has a down year, and one of the other 3 teams has an up season, the B1G could get 3 or 4 teams into the tourney, which would be either 50 or 66%, which would be incredible. They are NOT going to only get 1 in every year. The Conference may never do this badly again? And even getting 2 in is still 33% of the conference, which is comparible to other larger conferences getting 3 in. And if they do only get 1 in, its because all of its best players are making millions in the NHL.

    • Wow, 33% in. That is wonderful, until you compare it to a conference that has 75% in. It is a real shame that UND, DU, UMD, Miami, St. Cloud, CC, UNO, and Western Michigan have never lost anyone early to the NHL. The B1G “may never do this badly again”, but they may. They also might do worse. Do you have any more excuses as to why they suck? By the way, do you think Paul Statsny, Beau Bennet, Tyler Bozak, Matt Carle, Chris Butler, Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, or Matt Donavan are part of the current “players making millions”?

      • One last note, since my last post obviously was not long enough. Let me know if you want to talk # of players teams send to the US Olympic teams, or # of former players in the US Hockey Hall of Fame. :)

  2. Huskies are in because they played most teams that appeared in top 10 and at least split against all of them. Strength of schedule….teams that swept low ranked non-conference teams are not in…very simple

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