So, I said that UMD would sweep. I said that their record in the Engelstad didn't matter and they would control the weekend series and reverse their trend of struggling here. I figured with the rash of Sioux injuries, illnesses, and suspensions, that UMD would basically be able to score at will and control the entire game.
Someone at UMD didn't read my blog, aside from Donna, who worships me.
The Sioux dominated last nights game, winning 4-2. Behind an offense that was buzzing all night long, good defense that limited UMD's chances, and decent goaltending by Aaron Dell, the Sioux were able to do what it took to beat the Bulldogs. Their goals were gritty, Fighting Sioux hockey style goals.
So was I sandbagging?
No. I was not. Let me explain why.
Past records do not mean a damn thing in the WCHA. How's that, you might ask? Because past records fall all the time in this league. DU had never lost the Final Five when they were there. Fell last year. Two years ago, Duluth stormed the Final Five and won the whole thing from the play-in game. Never had happened before. Hell, Minnesota had never missed the Final Five since it moved to the Xcel Energy Center, but we saw how that went last year, didn't we? My point is, records don't mean a thing. Minnesota-Duluth, normally stymied by the superiority of the Engelstad, had the skill and the ability to come into the Sioux's house and make a statement Friday night. Instead, the Sioux won, Duluth is no longer undefeated, and I'm forced to explain that I wasn't sandbagging.
Besides, a split is possible still.
In the post-game radio interview, Dave Hakstol and Tim Hennessey again mentioned the benefit of having the Sioux roll with 4 lines. Hak loves to roll the 4 lines. It showcases the depth of this hockey team. Generally, the teams in the Minnesota high school hockey tournament that can run 3 lines compared to 2 are the ones that have the most success. With the Sioux running a strong 4 line system, it keeps the best players fresh. Even guys who don't see the most playing time (Bruneteau) got a chance last night, and it didn't seem wasted on anybody.
In other news...
- Minnesota got blanked by Bucky in Minneapolis last night 6-0. After a strong showing in CC, Minnesota definitely struggled last night
- DU won at home against CC 4-1. The student section chanted Jesse Martin's name in the pregame
- St. Cloud put up half a dozen against Bemidji State, who continues to struggle in the WCHA
- In the battle of the Mavericks, Nebraska-Omaha won 5-1, continuing to do well in the WCHA
and outside the WCHA...
- Boston College fell to UNH 2-1
- Michigan got shutout by Alaska 3-0
- Ferris State beat Miami of Ohio 3-2
- Air Force continues to get beat up by the AHA, losing to Mercyhurst 6-2
- UConn beat Canisius 3-2
- Sparty, one of my early teams to watch out for, lost to Western Michigan 4-3. So much for that
- Union over Harvard 2-1
There will probably be a big shake-up in the polls based on those results. BU, with the bye, could be #1.