I've talked to a few people about the WCHA recently. My buddies from college, Joe, who writes Gross Misconduct, and my dad. The main thing that comes up is unpredictibility. Yes, it's only October. Yes, the season is not won in this month. But I tell you what, this last weekend certainly provided some interesting things to talk about.
Take the Bemidji/St. Cloud series. St. Cloud is "supposedly" a top 5 team in the WCHA, according to some bloggers. *rolls eyes* Yet they drop the first game to BEMIDJI 4-2. This is a team that was owned by Air Force the previous weekend. (I'm not saying Air Force is a bad team; I'm just saying they were owned) The Huskies salvaged a split on Saturday, winning 5-3, but again, unpredictable. It gets better though.
CC vs. Clarkson. Who is Clarkson, you ask? I'm not going to write about them, cause I'm lazy. Here's a link to their dealie on USCHO. CC is supposed to repeat as WCHA champs, right? Even I picked them for that. But they skate to a 1-1 tie and a 2-2 tie. Where is the high flying CC offense? Rau, Sweatt, and Testwuide were supposed to be the best combo in the WCHA since the DOT line of UND. But only scoring 3 goals on the weekend? The only solace in that series tie is that Bachman is still playing solid.
Sconni's woes continue. And this time, at the Kohl Center. Against a Minnesota team that really had no offense against St. Cloud the previous weekend. Minnesota salvaged a 2-2 tie on Friday, outshooting the Badgers 36-20. Stoa continues to prove his doubters wrong (Brandon hides right now). On Saturday, the Badgers got lit up 5-2 in a penalty laden game. Minnesota had 19 for 38 minutes, the Badgers had 20 for 51 minutes. You read that right. Shane Connellly is struggling mightily right now, and I can't help but wonder if Eaves will try the sophomore Gudmandson against North Dakota next weekend. The Gophers are playing very well right now, with solid goaltending and Stoa scoring 3 goals on the weekend.
Anchorage and Duluth. Anchorage was up 4-1 and Duluth tried to storm back. But they only managed 21 shots. But wait! Anchorage managed 14. 14! The teams skated to a 1-1 tie on Saturday. I thought it was interesting to see Anchorage respond to losing two guys this last week for "personal reasons". And Duluth, while I love them, could end up falling farther than expected in the WCHA this year.
Finally, Denver hosted The Ohio State University. (someone please shoot me)
Denver was in control on Friday, winning 3-1. Kyle Ostrow came up big, scoring 2 goals, and Cheverie made 41 saves. Saturday though, it came apart. Ohio St. scored first in the 1st period. Denver scored 3 in the 2nd and it looked like again they would cruise to victory. But Ohio came roaring back, scoring 2 in the third and sinking the Pioneers at home. Cheverie is not the answer in Denver, IMO. I saw him a week ago against Wisconsin, and he is shaky, at best.
So there you have it. You see why this has been a talked about subject recently with my friends and family. Hope next weekend provides the same excitment.