Three things: Jan. 28

Omaha moves up in PairWise
Further proof of the NCHC’s strength: Omaha is sixth in its conference and eighth nationally in the PairWise rankings.

This came about after the Mavericks swept Western Michigan this weekend at UNO’s Baxter Arena. The series began Friday when six different Omaha players scored but Joel Messner’s game-winner with 6:48 left was what opened the floodgates in a 6-2 win.

On Saturday, a Dawson DiPietro power play goal put Western out on the right foot 4:29 in, but UNO responded with four consecutive goals en route to a 7-3 win. David Pope and Tyler Vesel had two goals apiece.

Omaha travels next week to face No. 5 St. Cloud State, while Western is on the road again to face Miami.

Tigers get back on track
Talking of Miami, the RedHawks’ frustrating season continued at pace this weekend with a loss and a tie at fellow struggler Colorado College, which had previously won two of its last seven games.

CC opened the series with a 6-3 victory on Friday. Brian Williams scored twice, including an empty-netter with 1:09 left, and four teammates also pushed the puck past Miami goalie Ryan Larkin.

Saturday’s rematch saw the teams skate to a 4-4 tie before CC scored in a three-on-three overtime session to take two NCHC standings points when Christian Versich scored on a wraparound.

CC is off next week ahead of a series at North Dakota on Feb. 9-10.

Huskies, Bulldogs share spoils
St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth are third and 10th in the PairWise, respectively, after splitting a series in Duluth.

UMD burst out to a 5-1 win Friday at Amsoil Arena. Five different Bulldogs scored (three in the first period, two in the second) on UMD’s 18 shots on goal, and St. Cloud’s Ryan Poehling pulled one back midway through the third period. Special teams helped Duluth move out of sight in the second period as Parker Mackay and Karson Kuhlman scored shorthanded goals 2:30 apart.

The rematch went SCSU’s way, 2-1, thanks to Patrick Newell’s eventual game-winner with 5:10 left in the second period. Dávid Hrenák then made 12 of his 19 saves in the third period to help the Huskies salvage a split.

UMD faces another tough test next week as it visits fourth-ranked Denver, which skated to a pair of ties this weekend at North Dakota.


  1. The Gophers hold the tie-breaker, BUT ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF WCHA PLAYOFF SEEDING!  For the purposes on the McNaughton Cup, no tiebreakers are employed.  Co-champions exist if the Bulldogs and Gophers have the same amount of points.  And whether you are a 1 or 2 seed is irrelevant – both get the 2nd round playoff bye!!!

    • Good point!!! Additionally if there are any upsets in the first round of best-of-three, the teams are reseeded for the Frozen Five (really Frozen Six). Should the Gophers or UMD get upset, at least the #2 has lost in the past, either DU or Sioux could get the bye.

      •  I believe it’s actually the WCHA Final Five tournament – the final five GAMES of the WCHA season – to eliminate 5 teams and leave one league playoff champion (2 lose in the quarterfinals, 2 lose in the semifinals, and 1 more loses in the championship game.  No 3rd place game this year).

  2. They didn’t have third place game last year either. I think it hurts the teams close to making tournament one more game can be huge of course you have to win. Plus if I was traveling far I would want a little more chance of seeing my team twice

    • I never liked the 3rd place game under the old format!  Reason?  The play-in game loser went home, why not the semi-finalist losers!  I understand the mentality of wanting to see your team play one more game as it would be counted in PWR if your team is on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament.
      However, the 3rd place combatants never seemed to be “mentally” all-in to playing that game after losing the day before!  For the fans sake though, I agree playing one more game would make the trip worthwhile!

      Just MHO

  3. you are all missing the most important point….and that would be the Sioux winning the WCHA Final 5 and then a national championship. this team is eerily similar to the 2000 championship team…lol im just being a goof but the similarities are astounding. good luck to whoever plays them come playoff time


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