It was an interesting weekend in the WCHA, but it was mostly preface for a few huge series next weekend, which I have now dubbed “Are you not entertained?” weekend. Here’s what I thought:
1. Tech closes in on first
Michigan Tech closed the gap between them and first-place Bemidji State to just four points ahead of their huge showdown in Bemidji next weekend, thanks to their five-point weekend against Alabama Huntsville. The Huskies won 5-2 on Friday before rallying three separate times to tie it up 4-4 on Saturday — Tech came back from down 2-0, and again from down 3-2 and finally scored an extra-attacker goal with 12 seconds left to make it 4-4. The Huskies won the shootout to take five of six points.
2. Minnesota State pulls ahead of BG
Before this weekend, Bowling Green was one point ahead of Minnesota State for third place. After this weekend, the Mavericks moved one point ahead of the Falcons for third. MSU took five points from Lake Superior while BGSU split with Ferris State. As a result, the Mavs have sole possession of third — plus two games-in-hand on the Falcons. MSU still has a long trip to Anchorage remaining, plus a showdown with Bemidji State at the end of the season. They also have a home series with Northern Michigan. BG, meanwhile, has a slightly favorable schedule. The Falcons don’t have to leave Ohio — they have home series with NMU and Huntsville, plus a single nonconference game with Mercyhurst.
3. Cluster in the middle
Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Alaska and Alabama Huntsville occupy the fifth through eighth (read: playoff) spots, and, in true WCHA fashion, there’s no telling where they’ll finish. The fifth and eighth place teams are separated by a mere five points. (What did you expect?) LSSU and Ferris are both off next weekend, while Alaska visits Huntsville. Either team could move into sole possession of fifth with a sweep (or, the teams could muddle things even further with a split).