Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Morning Skate

The No. 16 Mavericks are on the road to Michigan, set to play WCHA-rival Ferris State on Friday and Saturday. The key is Friday and Saturday, as MSU is looking to put together a full weekend, something it hasn't done — in terms of sweeping a series — since the first weeks of the season.

Some good news for Minnesota State is that senior defenseman and team leader Carter Foguth is expected to be back in the lineup. He was missed on the back end in last week's win and tie with Alaska. If he's in, along with Daniel Brickley, who returned from injury last week, the Mavericks appear to be fully healthy on the blue line for the first time since the third weekend of the season. For more, read the Freep's College Hockey Gameday.

The Bulldogs are coming off a split at Alabama Huntsville but also split at Mankato in late October. They trail MSU by three points in the WCHA standings, while the Mavericks trail Bowling Green by three as well.

In an occurrence seemingly as rare as the planets aligning, all 10 WCHA teams are in action against each other this weekend (although it still won't even out the games-played column in the standings).

Michigan Tech at Bowling Green: This is a matchup of the league's second- and third-place teams and should be a good one. Even Falcons coach Chris Bergeron is putting a little extra emphasis on the importance of the series. The games will take place at the BGSU Ice Arena, which will soon get a name change and with it, an influx of cash. For the Huskies, after a slow start to the season, they appear to be back on track, thanks to a freshman goaltender.

Alabama Huntsville at Northern Michigan: The Chargers have moved up to the middle of the pack in the WCHA and have made themselves a team to be reckoned with. Three of their four wins have come against Ferris State. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have had a rocky first half and are still looking for their first home victory.

Lake Superior State at Bemidji State: The Beavers finally lost a WCHA game last week but still sit comfortably atop the WCHA standings. As well as they have played over the first half of the season, they still believe there's room for improvement, namely with their offense. They will host the Lakers, who split at home with Bowling Green last weekend and did the same at Michigan a week earlier.

Alaska Anchorage at Alaska: The Governor's Cup battle begins this weekend in Fairbanks as the two Alaska teams square off. The host Nanooks, coming off a two-point weekend in Mankato, would like to create some separation between themselves and the bottom of the league. No matter how the games come out, they're going to look good doing it. The Seawolves haven't won the Governor's Cup since 2009.

This week's USCHO column focuses on Lake Superior State.

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