Monday, October 15, 2012

WCHA happenings (updated)

Bob Gathany/
It was an interesting opening weekend in the WCHA, whose teams went 9-6-2 in nonconference play over the weekend. That mark included Minnesota State's win and tie at Alabama Huntsville.

There's a nice photo gallery from the Mavericks' Saturday game against the Chargers here.

Minnesota swept Michigan State in impressive fashion, and Colorado College swept Clarkson. But Wisconsin and St. Cloud State were both beaten twice, somewhat surprisingly, by Northern Michigan and New Hampshire, respectively.

Minnesota Duluth (playing Ohio State) and Michigan Tech (Lake Superior State) split their first series, while Alaska Anchorage had a win over Canisius and a tie with Air Force in its tournament.

Nebraska Omaha beat Army then lost to Notre Dame in the Icebreaker tournament, which appeared to be played in front of literally dozens of people in Kansas City over the weekend. I'm all for trying to grow the sport of college hockey, but I'd rather see an opening-weekend tournament that also showcases the sport's fans. 

The more interesting news came off the ice, as WCHA referee Peter Friesema was arrested on Saturday and caused the Anchorage airport to be evacuated for allegedly making a joke about a bomb. Read the story here. Friesema had officiated the Anchorage tournament. The WCHA is expected to make a statement on the matter later today. UPDATE: The WCHA has suspended Friesema indefinitely, pending an investigation.

In Omaha, UNO has finally proposed its on-campus hockey arena, a 7,500-seat building that would also house the red Mavericks' basketball and volleyball teams. Costs are being estimated at $65 million to $80 million, and the school is hoping to finance it privately. Read more here.

Finally, the MSU women's hockey team continued its strong start to the season by sweeping Lindenwood in Mankato. The Mavericks are 3-2-1 and have head coach Eric Means back from suspension and their leading scorer from two years ago, Kathleen Rogan, back after an injury caused her to miss nearly a full calendar year of hockey. Check out my game story from Saturday here.

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