Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friday Morning Skate

Posting this Thursday night, as I'll be leaving bright and early for Houghton in the morning ...

It's a big series between the Mavericks and the Huskies of Michigan Tech, one that could have major playoff implications, considering we're six weeks from the end of the regular season. Will it have Pairwise implications? Probably not, but that doesn't really matter for WCHA teams.

The two teams met back on MSU's opening weekend, and the Mavericks swept the series. They're not playing the same team they saw then, coach Mike Hastings said in this week's College Hockey Gameday.

Earlier in the week, Minnesota State's C.J. Franklin was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week. That and other notes in Thursday's Hockey Notebook.

As for Michigan Tech, it is looking for a spark after a pair of ties at home to Alaska Anchorage last week. Each team got an extra tiebreaker point int he series.

Every WCHA team is in league action this weekend. So it should be an interesting weekend.

Ferris State at Bemidji State: The Beavers are sitting pretty atop the WCHA standings. Can they keep things rolling as they approach the home stretch? The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are hoping to snap a seven-game winless streak.

Alabama Huntsville at Lake Superior State: The Lakers suffered a big blow on Thursday when the WCHA's fifth-leading scorer among defensemen, Owen Headrick, announced he was leaving the team to play major junior. The Chargers were off last week after getting swept at home by MSU.

Alaska at Bowling Green: The Nanooks have moved into fifth place in the standings and would love to make their way up to where the Falcons (and Mavericks) are sitting. Eight points currently separate third from fifth.

Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan: These are the two bottom teams in the league and are at risk of missing the playoffs. The Seawolves are six points ahead of the Wildcats and three out of eighth place. NMU hopes that it has a turnaround left in its season.

Going outside of college hockey, there were two high school games at Mankato's Verizon Center on Thursday night as the Mankato West and Mankato East/Loyola boys and girls teams played each other. I covered those games, with the East girls and the West boys winning.

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