After a long summer, we officially have results in the WCHA standings.
The first weekend of the season only featured three WCHA teams and four official games. The rest of the league was still in exhibition mode, but it’s never too early to learn and here are my takeaways:
1. Alabama Huntsville is going to be a contender in the WCHA, especially with Matt LaRose in net. The WCHA’s southern-most program made a big statement this weekend by sweeping No. 20 Ferris State in Big Rapids. LaRose stole the show on opening night with a 37-save performance in a 2-1 victory. On Saturday LaRose made 30 saves in a 4-3 victory, and that included seven stops on Ferris State power plays.
2. Michigan Tech’s offense has to find its rhythm. The other actual hockey series (rather than an exhibition showing) featured Michigan Tech firing just 42 shots combined shots while getting swept by Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies were shut out on opening night, 6-0, but then scored three goals on 21 shots in a 4-3 loss Sunday. It certainly didn’t help that Michigan Tech went 0-for-10 combined on the power play.
3. Bowling Green has to replace junior Brandon Hawkins. It was announced earlier in the weekend that Hawkins has left the program after after totaling 29 goals and 29 assists in 80 career games. According to BGSUHockey.com Hawkins is still dealing with an ankle injury and hasn’t skated since sustaining the injury this summer.