Three things, Dec. 13

Three things I think I learned this weekend:

1. Maverick, Falcons keep rolling

Minnesota State and Bowling Green sit 1-2 atop the WCHA standings, separated by just two points. Both teams scored sweeps over the weekend with the Mavericks beating Alabama Huntsville twice at home, and Bowling Green getting two at Bemidji State. Each team extended its unbeaten streak to nine games. Minnesota State is 5-0-4 in that stretch, and Bowling Green is 7-0-2 at the same time. Impressive that the Falcons were able to keep things going after doing most of their damage during a six-game homestand.

2. Tech back on track

After getting swept at home by Alaska Anchorage a week ago and tying at Lake Superior State on Friday night, Michigan Tech exploded for four goals in the first period on Saturday against the Lakers, winning 6-2. That result came despite the Huskies getting outshot 37-20. Alex Petan had two goals and an assist in the game and a four-point series. Michigan Tech is three points behind Minnesota State but has played two more games. The Huskies will play in the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit and then the Desert Hockey Classic in Glendale, Arizona, before getting back into league play Jan. 15-16 with a showdown against the Mavericks.

3. Wildcats win in OT

Northern Michigan played its seventh overtime game of the season on Saturday night and got an extra-period victory for the first time, beating Ferris State 3-2 in Marquette. Dominik Shine scored the game-winner to get the series split. The Bulldogs won 4-2 on Friday. The Wildcats, who have six ties, including four in conference play, put themselves in a good spot to compete for home ice over the second half of the season. They are two points behind fourth-place Ferris, although the Bulldogs have played two more league games. They’re also two points ahead of Alaska Anchorage and Lake Superior State, both of which have played two fewer conference games than Northern.


  1. Abbott is on a very bad team, Connolly on the nation’s top team.  Do those factors come into play or is it just the player’s performance?

    • “1. Candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice.   

      2. Candidates must contribute to the integrity of the team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game.  

      3. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportmanship. [sic]
      4. Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules: be full time students in
      an accredited NCAA college or university; and complete 50% or more of
      the season.”

      There’s nothing in there about the player’s prowess relative to his teammates, but presumably the writers and coaches who vote for Hobey will take such intangibles into account when making their selections.

    • Which means Connolly and his teammates have a big target on their back, they get every teams best and they haven’t blanked.  Remember this was a UMD team that was suppose to have lost too much to complete for a top four WCHA finish let alone another national championship. 

      • No, means they never went thru a stretch of 3 wins in the first 11 games and still keep putting up the points.  A lot eassier to get points blowing teams out of the water.

    • 4th place in Hockey East and a 7-0-2 record in the last 9 games with a win at Fenway and a tourney win in FL recently?  yeah…very bad team.  you’re an ass

    • Tough question. For now, obviously none of the top three are being overlooked. However, come April, don’t be surprised if the winning player out of the Hobey hat trick is the one with the team that is still in contention (if any). 

  2. I think the fan vote it is an interesting way to keep fans involved in and interested in the Hobey Baker Award.    

    Could it have an impact on who ends up in the top ten?  Yeah probably, but so what!  What players life is really gonna change if they don’t get that tenth spot on the Hobey Baker list!  

    I completely agree that some undeserving players will end up on the top ten but tell me what poll doesn’t have that issue!  

    Since I love college hockey and want to see it flourish, I am in favor of anything that will draw more spectators into the game.  If a popularity contest is what it takes to get them here then so be it!

  3.  The
    obvious problem with fan voting is the discrepancy with the size of the
    schools. Karpowich and Flynn have about equal number of votes, yet Karpowich
    comes from a school of about a fourth the size. If fan voting did count, the biggest universities would have a stiff advantage.

    • You’d think so, but at the moment, Austin Smith, Spencer Abbott, and Jack Connolly are tied for the lead in fan voting with 13%.  Colgate is not exactly an enrollment behemoth.

    • Another argument to size of school is that Bjustad is not in the top five!  I think the people that take time to place a vote on the Hobey Fan voting are pretty levelheaded (obviously not all) and respect what the Hobey stands for!

  4. Pretty nice article. But I can’t believe there’s no love for Bjugstad?? 19 goals and 12 assists in 23 games and he doesn’t even crack the top 10?

    • If we’re talking about goals only, then Austin Smith is running away with the title and any other vote is a waste… and he’s a senior. If Bjugstad stays a couple years and is still putting up big numbers and helping out his team, then he will get a look

      • Austin Smith is a nice player and if he wins the Hobey I have no problem with that at all. But personally I’m a little more impressed with the Sophmore Bjugstad’s 20/12 in the WCHA then the senior Smith’s 24/14 in the ECAC. 

  5. Can’t believe Bjugstad isn’t on the list. He leads the WCHA in goals and you rarely find someone that is his size, 6’5″ 211, that is as good as he is at stick handling and skating. 

    • Few factors:

      -He’s only a sophomore. Keep in mind that academics play a role in the
      criteria. Why would the HB award be nothing but a resume/contract
      booster to somebody who is going to turn pro halfway through college who
      already collected free scholarships with no intention of ever even
      getting a degree. Morally, a waste of  a scholarship (despite the team temporarily
      getting more wins over a couple seasons).

      -As others have said, his size allows him to sit in front of the net and
      score goals. That doesn’t make him a dynamic team player who makes those around
      him play better (which says more about a players role on the team than
      their goal totals).
      -He’s playing in the shadow of conference foe J. Connolly, who is A: a senior, B: a dynamic team player, and C: was a Hobey Finalist last year as well. Everybody thought after last year, that losing Faulk, Fontaine, M. Connolly was too much and UMD would struggle to defend their title as national champions, but they haven’t. That makes WCHA voters see Connolly as a much more legitimate candidate, and proves that he may be the actual glue that has held the team together for such success. Can you make a better argument to WCHA voters on why they should vote for Bjugstad? Good luck… I’d be amazed if Connolly wasn’t the HB winner this year.

      • have you ever watched the gophers or Bjugstad play? he does not sit in front of the net and put in goals. he makes things happen whenever he is on the ice. Kyle Rau is reaping the benefits of bjug by getting a lot of chances because of him. the only reason he is not in the hobby finalist is because he is a sophmore and he most likely wont be back next year because he is too good. He left high school early because he was to good and all signs are pointing that way for college. I suggest you watch a couple of gopher hockey games or even some of the wjc from a couple of weeks ago before you bash on arguably the best player in the country.

      • Connolly is a great player and will likely win the Hobey and I don’t have a problem with that but to say Bjugstad sits in front of the net is incredibly  insulting. I’ve never read a USCHO columnist write that about him and I’ve never seen that in any game. He’s 6’5 so people assume that. Budish sits in front of the net and screens the Goalie and Rau sits on the side of the net and cleans up rebounds. Bjugstad has great hands and speed and is absolutely 1 of the top 10 hockey players in Division 1 so thats where the Gopher fans are coming from.

  6. Go figure it has to be a Gopher fan complaining about their guy no getting votes. By the end of the year the coaches will pick the finalist via the stats and leadership on their respected teams. Bjustad is good for a guy who sits in front of the net waiting for a rebound but that’s it ( proved at the world juniors). Smith, Abbott, and Connelly each make things happen all around the zones. It’s going to be a good group of finalists.

    • I agree Smith, Abbott and Connelly will be a great group of finalists… But I think you’re thinking of Budish who sits in front of the net. Bjugstad has great hands and scores highlight reel goals. 

    • Do you even watch Gopher games? The game against North Dakota when he had two goals the last goal was off a second rebound in which he crashed the net from the right point, like any good player is supposed to do. If there is anybody on this team that stands in front of the net it’s Rau, I’ll give you that.

  7. Not only does Jack Connolly lead the nation in scoring, but he is captaining a team that has only lost one game since mid-October.  The Bulldogs have been rated number one since November.  Oh yeah, UMD are defending Nat’l Champs, too.  Yet he only gets 13 percent?    I know there are a lot of great players out there, some I have not even seen yet.  But if we are looking at resumes, there is Jack, and then, well, there is everyone else.   

  8. I’m extremely confused by this article. Why isn’t Justin Schultz from Wisconsin not mentioned here at all? Is this some sort of joke? He’s fifth in the nation in scoring…. as a defenseman….. on a team that is barely over .500. Where would Wisconsin be without him? He’s not even in the top ten players in the country? Really?….

  9. I can’t believe Brock Nelson or Danny Kristo didn’t get 35% of the vote!!!….

    Hahaha just kidding, because those are the comments I’d expect from my fellow Sioux fans.As a Sioux fan though, I would have to agree Bjugstad belongs on this list. He is very dynamic and gets the puck in the net by shooting, playing rebounds, getting in front of the net and seemingly blazes by the competition. As for the question of “character” that someone stated earlier, he is an extremely nice person who graduated from high school early by taking extra courses.

    A couple more honorable mentions should be:
    Justin Schultz, Wisconsin is doing not so great but at D he has 37 points, very impressive.
    Troy Grosenick, I can’t imagine Union being in the top 20 without this guy, he’s currently atop of all the goaltending stats.
    Drew Shore, gotta give the guy at least a look. Denver has been kind of down this year, but D. Shore and J. Zucker are keeping this team in it. If Brittain comes back and Zucker or Shore get hot, we could see a repeat of exactly what happened to Miele last year.

  10. Abbott is doing it all on a team that isn’t great. Jack is on the top team in the nation, that speaks volumes for Abbotts contribution. Austin is also in a pretty weak division.


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