Word from coaches and players is that practices have been good and that the break came at a good time. That was a tough nonconference stretch that included long road trips to Bemidji and Omaha. They're still disappointed about losing that OT game at Omaha right before break.
Lines have been flipped around a bit. They're looking for more scoring, and they're considering this weekend the start of the second half of the season. A couple of reasons for the line changes: 1. Tyler Thompson is banged up but he's also out for Friday's game after getting a fighting major in the game at Omaha. 2. Michael Dorr is moving up the line chart. As I've said all along: They've been looking forward to his availability all season. Dorr has three points in three games.
Jason Wiley returned to practice this week. He's been out since getting injured in the second Gopher game. It doesn't look like he's going to be playing on Friday, but it's good to see him skating again. It sounds like Andy Sackrison's recovery from a broken leg is coming along nicely, and may be try to skate on it next week.
As for the second half. The Bemidji series was the official end of the first half of the regular season. However the second half of the WCHA schedule begins next week at North Dakota. Someone mentioned a favorable second-half schedule. Is it? I'll put the remaining games below. Tell me what you think:
Jan. 8-9, North Dakota (road)
Jan. 15-16, Minnesota Duluth (home)
Jan. 22-23, idle
Jan. 29-30, Michigan Tech (road)
Feb. 5-6, idle
Feb. 12-13, Wisconsin (road)
Feb. 19-20, Alaska-Anchorage (home)
Feb. 26-27, Denver (home)
March 5-6, St. Cloud State (road, home)