After Minnesota lost to Wisconsin in the outdoor game in Chicago on Sunday, Minnesota State remained in third place in the WCHA standings. The Mavericks will have another idle weekend coming up before closing out the regular season at Colorado College and at home against North Dakota.
I'm not a huge fan of the schedule makers who have MSU getting two bye weeks in a span of a month and would love to see the league have three or four weeks of a real race down the stretch with all 12 teams playing against each other.
The Mavericks used their first bye week (Feb. 1-2) wisely, coach Mike Hastings said, and it came at a good time following a long stretch of games with a lot of travel. After the break, the Mavericks won four in a row. This one? We'll have to see how the team responds.
"We've got to move on and be smart about our week off," Hastings said after Saturday night's win over Michigan Tech. "I'd tell you two weeks ago I didn't know if we really wanted to have another week off, but we'll take it. We've got to stay focused. We did a really good job of managing our time last time we had a bye week, and we've got to do that again this next week."
As for the standings, the Mavericks are one point behind Nebraska Omaha and two behind first-place St. Cloud State. They lead Minnesota and North Dakota by a point and Wisconsin by two. St. Cloud, Minnesota, North Dakota and Denver (four points behind MSU) all have two games in hand.
Scoreboard watching this weekend? Series to watch include Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota, St. Cloud State at Colorado College, Denver at North Dakota. Where do you think MSU will end up at the end of the weekend? What about the end of the season?
For more on MSU's sweep over Michigan Tech last weekend, read my Monday notebook/review here.