Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday morning skate (end-of-the-half edition)

The Mavericks will close out the first half of the regular season today and Saturday at Alabama Huntsville. They'll try to extend a five-game winning streak that has propelled them into second place in the WCHA standings. The streak is somewhat reminiscent of one from last year at this time that also gave Minnesota State a much-needed lift.

The Chargers got that much-eluded victory last Saturday after starting the season 0-15, and, if anything, that (as well as several other close games Huntsville's been involved in) should have reminded MSU not to overlook its opponent.

Sounds like it will be pretty busy at the rink in Huntsville this weekend.

Going around the WCHA ...

Bowling Green at Michigan Tech: Everything about the Falcons says they're a good team. However, they're reeling a bit right now, partially due to continued injury concerns. Bowling Green has won just two of its last nine games. Meanwhile, the Huskies are on a five-game unbeaten streak, although last weekends ties with Bemidji State were less than satisfying.

Alaska at Bemidji State: This series features two teams that have been able to score goals but also two teams that have given up quite a bit, too. Bemidji State got those two hard-fought ties at Michigan Tech last weekend but is a bit banged up going into break. The Nanooks got a much-needed win on Saturday at Anchorage, snapping a five-game losing streak.

Lake Superior at Alaska Anchorage: This should be a good series in Anchorage, where the Seawolves have been pretty good this year. However, for years, the series just before Christmas has been mailed in by UAA. Things seem to be different this year. The Lakers, meanwhile, have been one of the better road teams in the WCHA this season.

Northern Michigan at North Dakota: The Wildcats' trip to Grand Forks gave The Mining Journal reason to look the challenge of nonconference scheduling for Northern Michigan and other teams in the WCHA. Meanwhile, NMU, as we saw in Mankato last weekend, is pretty beat up right now. Of course, you can read lots more great coverage from Grand Forks' Brad Schlossman, whom we all miss in the WCHA.

Ferris State at Michigan State (Saturday only): The Bulldogs kept their unbeaten streak, now up to 14 games, going on Wednesday with a tie at Michigan and now face the Spartans in another matchup of old CCHA teams. Ferris State is now starting to get some national attention.

This week's USCHO notebook focuses on Huntsville's win, and check out Matt Wellens' and my picks for this weekend.

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