Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Morning Skate

The Mavericks are on the road at Bowling Green this weekend in what could be a very good, entertaining series between two teams that played four one-goal games during the regular season last year with three of them decided in overtime.

The series also could also showcase that the WCHA is no slouch this season. Minnesota State certainly understands that, especially knowing there will be no more gimmes now that Alabama Huntsville has been played and is off the schedule (And can you really call UAH a gimme when Friday's game was scoreless after two periods?).

But the Huntsville series did help the Mavericks find some consistency in its lineup. Don't expect any changes from last week to this week. If there is a substitution this weekend, junior forward Brett Knowles is finally ready for some action. That and more in The Free Press' gameday preview.

As for Bowling Green, sophomore Kevin Dufour leads the nation with eight goals in six games and has fans worshiping his game.

Going around the WCHA ...

Michigan at Michigan Tech: For the first time since 1983, the Wolverines will trek all the way to Houghton for a series. It should be a fun weekend on the Keweenaw with Tech 4-0-0, Huskies coach Mel Pearson hosting his longtime boss, Red Berenson, and some of the sport's most famous trophies on display.

Alaska at Bemidji State: The Nanooks and Beavers begin league play after starting the season against some tough nonconference competition. Bemidji State has one win, playing against North Dakota and Minnesota, two of the top three teams in the country. Alaska is 5-1-0 in its early season schedule.

Ferris State at Michigan State: The Bulldogs look to bounce back from a pair of home losses to Michigan Tech against another in-state rivalry, an old CCHA cohort they've beaten four times in a row.

Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage: The Seawolves open league play at home where they hope to continue playing well. Meanwhile, the winless Lakers and their new coach have not gotten a break since playing a series on the first weekend that practice could begin.

Alabama Huntsville at Northern Michigan: This is a nonconference series between conference opponents, a quirk from a schedule set up before conference realignement. The Wildcats have not lost yet this season, and the Chargers have not one.

Check out Jack Hittinger's and my USCHO column as well as our weekend picks.

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