Michigan Tech’s road unbeaten streak hit eight this weekend, and in the process inched closer to Bowling Green in the WCHA standings.
The Huskies earned the 4-4 tie in Friday night’s game in Bowling Green before scoring four more goals in Saturday’s 4-1 win.
It’s the second-straight three-point weekend for Tech — both against the top two teams in the league. Two weeks ago, the Huskies tied and beat Minnesota State in Houghton.
That means the three league leaders are neck-and-neck going into the final month of the regular season. All have played 20 games to this point, and the Mavericks (with 29 points) are just two points clear of Bowling Green and four points ahead of Tech.
All that means is that this upcoming weekend’s series between the Mavericks and the Falcons in Mankato becomes even more important. A sweep by the Mavericks makes it that much harder for the Falcons to catch up, while a BG sweep puts them in first place with six games to play.
Huntsville stays alive
Meanwhile, on the other end of the standings, Alabama Huntsville managed to earn a split with Alaska Anchorage and keep up some hope of making the WCHA playoffs.
The Chargers beat the Seawolves 2-1 on Friday, but Anchorage won Saturday’s series finale 3-2. UAH is in last place with 11 points — they’re three points behind Anchorage and five points back of Alaska. Not an ideal situation for them, to be sure, but they’re not quite out of the picture entirely, especially since they have eight games left.
The Seawolves are in a little better shape in ninth place, and have a more favorable schedule. The question is, can they catch the Nanooks? With Tyler Morley perhaps out for a lengthy period of time after suffering an injury this week in Alaska, the Seawolves definitely have a shot at catching them.
Nonconference still not good enough
With opportunities for league teams to score some valuable Pairwise-boosting nonconference wins dwindling, the league did OK in that regard this weekend. But at this point in the season, isn’t good enough.
The league is 22-33-9 in nonconference play overall, but 19-15-7 over everyone except the NCHC.
That’s right: The league’s record over the NCHC this season is a pretty dismal 3-18-2. Northern Michigan managed to pick up one of those three wins this weekend when the Wildcats beat Minnesota Duluth (they ended up splitting their series in Marquette). The other two league victories against the NCHC belong to Bemidji State (also over UMD) and Huntsville (over Colorado College).
Speaking of Bemidji State, they and Minnesota State both went 1-1 in the North Star College Cup this weekend both teams lost to St. Cloud State, but both also defeated Minnesota.
So although Wisconsin’s sweep of Alaska didn’t help, the WCHA is 10-8-5 over the Big Ten this season with a single game between Ferris State and Michigan left to play.
The other two nonconference opportunities for the WCHA this season are against the NCHC: Bemidji State’s power-outage-delayed makeup game against Duluth will be played next Tuesday, as will the home leg of Bowling Green’s home-and-home with Miami.