Amazingly, five teams still have a shot at winning at least a share of the MacNaughton Cup as league champion (including Minnesota State), and five teams could end up in seventh place and going on the road for the playofffs (including Minnesota State). And with Denver playing Alaska Anchorage in a Friday-Sunday series, we might not know how everything shakes out until late Sunday afternoon.
Although Minnesota State can clinch a share of the title, it can't be the top overall seed for the playoffs due to the league's tiebreaking system.
Going into the weekend, only St. Cloud State and North Dakota have wrapped up upper-division (home ice) spots.
Other teams vying for home ice including MSU, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska Omaha and Denver.
The only team locked into a spot is Anchorage, which will finish 12th (last). Other teams going on the road for the playoffs for certain will be Colorado College, Minnesota Duluth, Michigan Tech and Bemidji State.
This weekend's matchups are:
North Dakota at Minnesota State
St. Cloud State at Wisconsin
Minnesota at Bemidji State
Colorado College at Michigan Tech
Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota Duluth
Alaska Anchorage at Denver
As I wrote about in today's column, it has to be refreshing for MSU fans to see the Mavericks in this position after the team finished 11th the last two seasons and hasn't hosted a playoff series since 2008.