October 26, 2009

A split with Anchorage...

Friday night, it appeared this UND squad was one of the best teams in college hockey. Passes were clicking, shots were easily going in the net, and UND basically stomped over the Seawolves. Saturday night, it's a different story...UND played well for the first 10 minutes of the first period, then dropped off quickly. UAA took over the game from there and didn't look back, scoring two goals in the 2nd period and holding off the listless Sioux for a 2-1 win.

In my opinion, the Sioux looked uninspired and quit playing hockey. And that brings me to my next point. Over the past couple years, I think we're looking at the parity in college hockey closing. In other words, on any given night, any team can compete and win. Take a look at Bemidji's run to the Frozen Four last year or Alabama-Huntsville upsetting Nortre Dame this year. These are just some examples. Now I can hear the argument of if the parity is getting closer, why aren't these teams winning the Frozen Four or their respective league championships? I think the reason is that while these teams are good enough to win on any given night, sustaining these victories is a lot tougher. Obviously schools like North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, BU, and BC are going to attract the prime talent that is available in college hockey. However, players may be electing to go to a school that is a better fit for them (see baby Lammy at Air Force, James van Riemsdyk at UNH last year) and therefore, the talent is getting spread out.

Granted, schools like AIC, Michigan Tech, UConn, or Western Michigan are going to play second fiddle pretty much all the time. Every now and then they might eek out a win against a good powerhouse team, but for the most part, I believe that college hockey is becoming more and more competitive every year.



FargoForceBlog said...

Parity is good for sports, even though it is at the expense of the Sioux...it's nice to see other teams getting the chance to play top level competition night-in, night-out.....as long as the Sioux keep winning!

Sarah said...

I certainly agree with this. I know you WCHA-ers look down on *all* other leagues, but if you take a look at Hockey East this year, you'll see even Merrimack and Providence with poll votes. In fact, every team in Hockey East except for Maine has a poll vote. (Talk about a change in circumstances!)