Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday morning skate

It's another bye week for the Mavericks, who might not be in third place in the WCHA after the weekend. Will they still be in seventh place in the Pairwise? There will be some serious scoreboard watching on Friday and Saturday as six league teams are in action against each other.

Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota: The Bulldogs will try to end a six-game winless streak when they play the Gophers. The two teams haven't played each other in nearly two full seasons. For the Gophers,  they are hoping to be one of those teams that jumps over the Mavericks, with captain Zach Budish leading the way.

St. Cloud State at Colorado College: The Huskies are trying to stay on top of the WCHA, and the Tigers are wondering if they can get back into home-ice contention. Another sidebar to the weekend is CC assistant coach Eric Rud, who spent some time on St. Cloud's bench, too. On the Tigers' side (first of all, welcome back to the beat, Joe Paisley!), a late-season push by the team's freshmen seems to have given them a boost.

North Dakota at Denver: This should be battle, as always, and will have an impact on the standings at the end of the weekend. Denver has a Zajac (Nolan) playing well right now, which must look odd to the UNDers, who had his two older brothers. The Denver Post, meanwhile, takes a look at all of the NHL talent these two teams have produced in recent years.

Also Wisconsin will host Penn State on Sunday and Monday in matchup of future Big Ten foes.

In other reading, the Star Tribune's Patrick Reusse weighs in on next year's Minnesota Cup (working title). He has a goo idea for a tournament name but a not-so-good one for the tournament format. My idea for a tournament name? Well Boston has its Beanpot; maybe Minnesota can have its Hotdish.

As for me, I covered the Mankato West boys team's playoff win over Red Wing on Thursday night. The Scarlets will move on to the Section 1A semifinals against New Prague in Rochester on Saturday night. Tonight, I will be in St. Peter, covering the Gustavus Adolphus men in the first round of the MIAC tournament against St. Olaf.

Finally, thanks to everyone who joined in on the hockey chat over the noon hour on Thursday. Great participation. We'll do it again soon, maybe next week!

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