Top-ranked Minnesota drops points on the road; No. 2 North Dakota loses, too, in an upset in Alaska; and St. Cloud State and Denver both pick up a pair of wins.
1.) MINNESOTA (3-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA)
Last time: L at Michigan Tech 5-3; W at Michigan Tech 3-2
Next time: V United States Under-18 Team (Oct. 26); v Canisius (Oct. 28)
- The Golden Gophers look set to lose their No. 1 ranking from last week’s USCHO.com Division I men’s poll after only earning a split Friday and Saturday at Michigan Tech. Friday’s goal came in part thanks to a world-class effort on MTU’s opening goal on Friday from Alex Petan which, if you haven’t seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. Minnesota hasn’t yet answered the looming questions about how to replace the departed Kent Patterson in goal, but they’ll have a chance to sort some of the kinks out next weekend at home against lesser competition.
2.) DENVER (2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Massachusetts-Lowell 5-1; W v Air Force 5-2
Next time: V Michigan Tech (Oct. 26-27)
- The Pioneers only did themselves favors last week towards winning Colorado’s state college hockey championship, rolling past Air Force at home one night after a 5-1 win over a very good Massachusetts-Lowell club that made the NCAA tournament last season. DU is at home again this next weekend to open WCHA play against a Michigan Tech team that more than held its own last time out against the No. 1 team in the country.
3.) NORTH DAKOTA (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Alaska Anchorage 5-0 (at Fairbanks, Alaska); L at Alaska 2-1
Next time: V Alaska Anchorage (Oct. 26-27)
- UND steamrolled (normal WCHA foe) Alaska Anchorage in what counts as a non-conference game at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks, but the Green & White struggled the following night against host side Alaska. UAA comes to Grand Forks, N.D. on Friday, though, and the 5-0 win for UND in the teams’ first meeting this season won’t be lost on either of them.
4.) MINNESOTA DULUTH (2-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W at Notre Dame 3-1; L at Notre Dame 4-1
Next time: V Wisconsin (Oct. 26-27)
- Thirteenth-ranked UMD came away from South Bend, Ind. with a split in its Thursday-Friday series at No. 9 Notre Dame. The Bulldogs will need to be on alert this week, though, as they welcome a Wisconsin team that had a week off after dropping two games to Northern Michigan on in Green Bay, Wis.
5.) ST. CLOUD STATE (2-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Alabama Huntsville 8-3; W v Alabama Huntsville 4-0
Next time: V Minnesota State (Oct. 26-27)
- Few expected the Huskies to have much trouble against Division I independent Alabama Huntsville at home, and SCSU routed the Chargers in both games. Head coach Bob Motzko’s men should be full of confidence this week ahead of another home series, this time against in-state league rival Minnesota State.
6.) MICHIGAN TECH (2-2-0, 1-1-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Minnesota 5-3; L v Minnesota 3-2
Next time: At Denver (Oct. 26-27)
- Tech should be more than happy with last weekend’s split against Minnesota in Houghton, Mich., and they’ll hope to keep the momentum going this week. Their next series is against another very tough opponent, with the Huskies traveling to face a seventh-ranked Denver team that beat No. 10 Massachusetts-Lowell at home by four goals.
7.) NEBRASKA OMAHA (2-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Northern Michigan 5-2; L v Northern Michigan 2-1
Next time: V Bemidji State (Oct. 26-27)
- UNO pounded road-weary No. 17 Northern Michigan on Friday before falling to NMU the following night on the back of a 35-save performance from Wildcat goaltender Jared Coreau. The WCHA’s red Mavericks need to find some consistency on offense, as they’ve scored ten goals in their two wins but only three tallies in their two losses thus far. The UNO defense, though, has been more than adequate in its first four games.
8.) WISCONSIN (0-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: Idle last weekend
Next time: At Minnesota-Duluth (Oct. 26-27)
- The Badgers were embarrassed in a pair of losses ‘at’ (somehow) Northern Michigan in Green Bay two weeks ago, and UW will be ready to show what it feels is its real self this week at Minnesota Duluth. It promises to be an interesting series, though, between two teams that haven’t had the strongest of starts to the season.
9.) COLORADO COLLEGE (3-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W at Air Force 6-2; L v Massachusetts-Lowell 3-1
Next time: At Cornell (Oct. 26-27)
- The Tigers were up and down this last weekend, blowing past cross-town rival Air Force 6-2 on Friday before dropping a 3-1 decision the following night against 10th-ranked Massachusetts-Lowell. This week promises to be no cakewalk, either, as CC travels to Ithaca, N.Y. to face No. 6 Cornell.
10.) MINNESOTA STATE (2-0-2, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: T v Rensselaer 3-3; W v Rensselaer 4-3 (OT)
Next timeL At St. Cloud State (Oct. 26-27)
- The purple Mavericks struggled at home, earning a tie and an overtime win against non-conference foe Rensselaer. First-year head coach Mike Hastings’s club will need to bump its ideas this week away to a St. Cloud State team that, despite it’s 2-2-0 start, deserves its place in the top six of the WCHA.
11.) BEMIDJI STATE (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: L v Lake Superior State 2-0; W v Lake Superior State 5-0
Next time: At Nebraska Omaha (Oct. 26-27)
- The Beavers only managed a split at home last weekend against non-conference foe Lake Superior State, but BSU’s 5-0 win in the second game of the series should leave them feeling confident. Even better, they travel this week to face UNO in Omaha, a city in which the Beavers are unbeaten in their last six outings.
12.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE (2-1-1, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: L v North Dakota 5-0 (at Fairbanks, Alaska); W v Merrimack 6-3 (at Fairbanks, Alaska)
Next time: At North Dakota (Oct. 26-27)
- The Seawolves took a 5-0 pounding Friday in Fairbanks against North Dakota, but UAA recovered well in upending Merrimack the following night to take one of their two games in the Goal Rush tournament. The Seawolves will get a shot at revenge this week as they travel to square off twice more with UND.