Three things: Jan. 24

We came out of this last round of NCHC games with plenty to discuss in the days ahead. What follows are three of the bigger talking points that caught our eyes.

Omaha swept at home again
It wasn’t that long ago that Omaha was easily a top-10 team in the country looking poised to build on its deep Frozen Four run last season. Now, though, the Mavericks are in a little trouble.

UNO won each of the first eight games in its new Baxter Arena home, but the Mavs are now on a four-game losing streak there after a pair of losses this weekend against unranked Miami. Two weeks ago, Omaha dropped two home games against Denver.

Omaha entered this weekend’s series against the RedHawks ranked seventh in the latest USCHO Division I poll. They’re likely to face a sharp drop when the new poll comes out Monday.

They’re also all but out of the Penrose Cup competition. UNO now sits in fifth place in the NCHC, 22 points behind league-leading St. Cloud State.

Miami will surely get consideration from voters. Including one three-on-three overtime victory against Minnesota-Duluth on Jan. 8, the RedHawks have now picked up wins in five of its last six games.

Huskies keep rolling
Western Michigan picked up points in both of the Broncos’ first two NCHC trips to St. Cloud State. Not on the third one, though.

Fifth-ranked SCSU rolled past Western in a pair of home wins this weekend. An 8-2 win over the Broncos on Friday gave way to the Huskies’ 7-3 triumph in Saturday’s rematch.

St. Cloud now hasn’t lost since falling 5-2 on Jan. 9 at home against a resurgent Colorado College team (more on CC in a bit). The Huskies will be full of confidence going into next weekend’s North Star College Cup games, first against No. 20 Minnesota State and then either Minnesota or Bemidji State.

That said, keep an eye out for MSU. The Mavericks are 3-1-1 in their past five games and put 13 goals past Lake Superior this weekend.

Colorado College gives North Dakota a fright
Arguably the biggest recent surprise in the NCHC has been Colorado College’s uptick, and the Tigers were unlucky to come away empty-handed from its series this weekend at North Dakota.

Second-ranked North Dakota beat CC 5-4 on Friday thanks to a 1-0 shootout triumph, but the Fighting Hawks will feel it shouldn’t have come to that. UND opened the game with four first-period goals before the Tigers erased the deficit and then went ahead 5-4 on Hunter Fejes’s second goal of the night 6:34 into the fourth period.

A 6-on-5 Rhett Gardner goal inside the final minute of regulation tied the game up at 5-5 before UND prevailed in a shootout.

CC goaltender Tyler Marble was a big reason for his team’s success Friday. After starting goalie Jacob Nehama was pulled when he gave up a third goal 9:10 into the game, Marble came in and made 23 saves the rest of the way.

The Hawks had fewer headaches in a 5-1 win over CC on Saturday. Next weekend, CC hosts a struggling Omaha club while UND visits Western Michigan.


    • Hard to argue against Yale, this weekend notwithstanding. They’re the team to beat, until they’ve been thoroughly beaten.

        • What does anything we just said have to do with the WCHA? The only part of this entry that addressed anyone outside of ECAC Hockey was the ballot, and your comment clearly doesn’t pertain to that. Please try to keep your contributions somewhat relevant, if you care to engage others in something resembling a reasonable discussion.

          • Please! This comment is absolutely silly…
            “I think so. Yale has more margin for error than it — or we — may believe. The Bulldogs are still atop the PairWise, and could likely lose out the rest of the way and still pull a No. 1 seed in the NCAA’s.”

            Second your post is nothing but chest pounding arrogance. Like I said if you team actually played in a league that was tough top to bottom we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

          • @ Goon maybe ECAC teams would be more willing to come to the Ralph if they were more willing to reciprocate a series the next year on the road. You can’t complain about teams not scheduling you when you go out of your way to ensure they won’t schedule you.

          • That is an incorrect statement as well, UND has played @ Harvard and they had played at REA before. Also, Harvard is coming to the REA next season, UND also traveled to SLU and had a home and home with Cornell the last two season. Harvard also coming to UND next season. UND played QU two or three season back at REA. I am sure if the Yale coach asked Coach Hakstol they would be happy to have them come to UND as well as travel out to Yales home rink.

          • Not going to argue with you on that point: UND has been good at reciprocating. One of the ECAC’s biggest problems is that half its teams – the Ivies – play restricted schedules, with only seven non-conference games on the docket. Add in universal challenges to arranging a reasonable schedule, and you get the current arrangement.

          • Fair enough, I am a recent newcomer to the sport, as I am now a freshman in the Lynah Faithful, but I know many WCHA teams aren’t great at reciprocating series. UND however has my respect as a program no doubt.

          • That said Yale plays great hockey, you have to see them in person to really see them play, and yes I wish they’d play fewer AHA teams out of conference, but they are a solid team, and I say that having seen them in person. I’m convinced they can play with anyone in the country, I guess we just have to wait until March to see it.

  1. I’m just surprised they didn’t delete the guest’s comment. Usually anything perceived as negative towards Paula, no matter how factual, is quickly scrubbed from the comments section. Though oddly enough Paula’s mean spirited comments are never removed. [remainder of post edited for policy violations]

      • Then why have criticisms of Paula’s articles that contain no personal attacks been deleted in the past by USCHO? Not to mention there was no policy violation in that post seeing as Paula described herself as that in her article this week.

          • So pointing out that your writer calls 3-1 games shutouts and thinks it’s possible to have a 4-2 double overtime win is considered grounds for deletion? Pointing out factual errors by one of your writers is now considered derogatory or a personal attack. Interesting.

    • Dear FirePW,

      When are my comments mean-spirited? Seriously, I’m asking. I don’t respond to people in a negative way. I am concerned when readers display real anger about something written here at USCHO. Seriously. Life is short. I don’t understand the level of vitriol. What has happened to civil discourse? I don’t get it.

      I saw the rest of your comment that was scrubbed. I will say this about what I saw that you wrote: You do not understand the tone in which some information in my columns is presented, nor do you understand the long-running history behind much of what I write. I’m not saying that in the spirit of anything other than pointing out that you misunderstand some things. In fact, I ran into several people tonight at the OSU-UM game who made comments pertaining to what was edited from your comment — long-time readers and fans of both teams — who laughed at the jokes contained in my annual Valentine’s Day column, jokes that are very much of a long-term, running nature and clearly at my own expense.

      I do make mistakes and I hate that I do. I’m grateful when readers point out the typos and I make an effort to come back to the blogs and columns and fix mistakes. I always own my mistakes. I’m not making excuses here, but I will say that I deliver the best writing I can in the time that I have. You are entitled to disagree with me.

      I am grateful that you’ve taken the time to read and share your thoughts.

  2. Pointing out factual errors is not grounds for deletion. Attaching snide derogatory comments or personal attacks to them like you have and then lying about not doing so as you did tonight is grounds for deletion, and if repeated, being banned.

  3. I just read Penn State is streaming the game live. Should be a great battle in front of a good crowd. Both teams could really use the win. I don’t see Vermont stopping Bailey- Holstrom-Goodwin from inflicting major damage.

    • JCN, loved watching that line two weeks ago in State College. As on old lacrosse player I love their go to the stinking goal mentality. Both games have too much finesse and not enough testicles. With that being said we are taking six from you in 2 weeks…

      • Based on your reply, I assume you are a Michigan State fan who attended the MSU-PSU games at Pegula earlier this month. What was your overall impression with Pegula Ice Arena as a venue to watch college hockey?

        • You assume correctly. I have been around the PSU campus for 23 years and watching the evolution of their athletic facilities has been astounding. Pegula has set the standard for college ice hockey facilities much like Camden Yards did for MLB, PSU spent Pegula’s money very well…

  4. The MSU-UM game isn’t going to be as close as Paula and Drew think. Hildebrand is going to have to stand on his head for all 60 minutes to keep it a 5-1 UM game.


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