Three thoughts: Return to Splitsville

Three league series this past weekend, and all ended up with splits (or the equivalent two ties). Let’s go over them:

1. Weird weekend in Huntsville keeps UAH hopes alive

One likely won’t come across a weirder series than the one between Alabama Huntsville and Minnesota State this weekend in Alabama. On Friday, the Mavericks scored the oddest own-goal you’ll ever see when a puck deflected off a stick and into the empty net during a delayed penalty on the Chargers. That goal — credited to Madison Dunn, his second of the game — gave UAH a 3-2 lead. MSU’s Bryce Gervais tied it up in the third period but the Chargers held on for the tie and the point. UAH actually played pretty well in that game, but Saturday’s game is one the Mavericks will likely be kicking themselves about. MSU dominated UAH and outshot them 50-20 in the game. But they allowed Matt Salhaney to break free and score a shorthanded breakaway goal with just more than a minute to play to tie it up at 1-1. UAH eventually held on for the tie and in the process, kept their playoff hopes alive. With both Alaska schools idle, the last-place Chargers, with 13 points now, gained ground on both of them. Anchorage is in the 8th and final playoff spot with 16 points while Fairbanks is in 9th with 14. UAH is on the road the next two weekends — at Northern Michigan and Bemidji — and need to keep winning to have a chance. However, this weekend gives them a chance.

2. Cluster in the middle

Teams No. 4 through 7 in the standings were separated by 10 points coming into this weekend. They’re still separated by the same amount after the results of this weekend. Fourth-place Ferris State and fifth-place Northern Michigan split their weekend series in Big Rapids, Mich., while sixth-place Bemidji State and seventh-place Lake Superior State did the same in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Ferris currently has 28 points and is four points ahead of NMU — who is, in turn, four points ahead of BSU. The good news for BSU, NMU and LSSU, though: They all have two games-in-hand on the Bulldogs, who are idle in league play next week.

3. Bowling Green loses to Miami again

The Falcons finished the nonconference portion of their schedule in disappointing fashion Friday night, as they were outclassed by instate rivals Miami once again. The Redhawks beat the Falcons 4-1 to complete the series sweep they started with January’s 2-1 win. However, Friday night’s game was shocking in that the Redhawks completely dominated the game from start to finish — in Bowling Green, no less. BG’s Brett Tate scored the first goal but Miami scored the next four, in the process outshooting BG 49-22. The loss means the Falcons will finish 4-5-1 in nonconference play — including 0-4 against their former CCHA rivals Miami and Western Michigan, both in the NCHC. The game could have helped give them a boost in the Pairwise, but instead it’s becoming ever clearer that BG will need to win the Final Five for a shot at the NCAA Tournament — a bummer for the Falcons after they were the last bubble team out of the field a season ago.