I'm sitting at home with a cup of coffee, looking at the standings and trying to figure out how things can play out for North Dakota, both in terms of winning the WCHA and getting into the NCAA's.
DU beat Duluth last night 4-3. I was talking with the WCHA writer how that matchup meant a lot to both teams. If DU swept the series, they are probably looking at a first place finish. If Duluth swept, they would be right in the thick of a top 5 finish. I'm not saying Duluth can't get that with a split, but a sweep at home would have been real nice. Unfortunately for Duluth, it's still going to be an uphill battle.
Wisconsin beat the stumbling Gophers 3-2. I don't really know what to say about this except the trend for Minnesota in recent years has been to come out real strong, by December be the #1 ranked team in the nation and have everyone picking them for the FF. But either their goaltenders get tired, or they somehow can't score, but whatever it is, Minnesota is struggling right now.
Tech mustered a tie out of CC last night. CC is easily the league disappointment of the year. Tech, when they want to, can play with anyone in the WCHA. It's just a matter of which team shows up.
Finally St. Cloud topped UAA 3-1. I'm not too surprised by this. UAA, which the WCHA writer pointed out, stumbles down the 2nd half pretty consistently. It appears they are well on their way to doing so again.
So I was looking at the pairwise info and it looks like UND is now in 13th. Still not a GUARANTEE, but they keep going the right way. As for the standings, UND is in 3rd place now and no matter what will finish the weekend in 3rd place. If Minnesota beats Wisconsin tonight, the Sioux are out of 2nd by one game. If DU loses, the Sioux are out of 1st by only 3 points. I do think it will be tough to get into 1st place, but a 2nd place finish is not out of the question.