Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday morning skate

The Mavericks are idle this weekend, resting up for next week's showdown against Michigan Tech. But here's what's happening around the WCHA and college hockey this week:

 • Ferris State and Alaska Anchorage kicked off their series on Thursday night, and the schedule change might have been just the shakeup the Bulldogs needed. After scoring just 11 goals in their first  nine games, including four in their last seven, they put a 10-spot on the Seawolves, winning 10-2. Anchorage coach Matt Thomas called it "rock bottom" for his team, which has lost four straight. Despite Anchorage's record in recent years, this was only the third time it has allowed 10 goals in a game.

• Bemidji State hosts No. 5 Michigan Tech and will try to be the first team to knock off the Huskies this season. "Bring it on," Beavers goalie Andrew Walsh said this week. Tech ranks second in the WCHA in scoring (behind MSU) with 3.5 goals per game and is second in defense (behind Northern Michigan), allowing 1.12 per game.

• Lake Superior State travels to Alabama Huntsville in the battle of the league's bottom two teams. But it's also a battle to see which team can continue an unbeaten streak. The Lakers won their last game, getting their first win of the season on Nov. 1 at Anchorage. The Chargers won and tied last weekend at Air Force and with their tie at Northern Michigan on Halloween, are unbeaten in three of their last four.

• Bowling Green will try to keep alive the WCHA's solid record (9-3-1) against the Big Ten with a home-and-home series against Ohio State. The Falcons, who have won three in a row since losing a series opener against MSU, moved into the national rankings this week. Read about BG senior forward Dan DeSalvo here.

• In our WCHA column this week on USCHO, Jack Hittinger and I take a look at Huntsville's awakening and Bowling Green's move into the national conversation. We also make or weekend picks.

• Don't tell anyone because they're way too volatile and it's a little sick to be looking at them in mid-November, but Minnesota State is No. 3 in the Pairwise Rankings. Four WCHA teams are in the top 13.

• Earlier this week, Ryan Lambert did his NCAA post for the fabulous Puck Daddy blog and wrote about his distrust of the WCHA's good start, lumping the league in with Atlantic Hockey as one of the nation's weaker conferences. Not sure that is a fair analysis of this season, so it sparked some twitter back and forth between Lambert and me that I'm sure you can find on my timeline.

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