It was a fun weekend of hockey at the BGSU Ice Arena and around the WCHA. We, of course, got to see Miracle McLain. But, down in Huntsville the Bemidji State Beavers picked up a holiday sweep over archrival Alabama-Huntsville.
The two wins doubled the Beavs total for the season and got them out of the basement. It also caused Alabama-Huntsville to stretch their losing streak to five. Was there some shuffling in the power rankings?
- Bowling Green: To be honest I thought about dropping the Falcons down a spot. Chris Nell struggled a bit on the weekend and they let a 3-1 lead slip away Saturday. But, BG is playing the most consistent hockey in the league at the moment as they ride a five game win streak and an 11 game unbeaten streak at home. A weekend sweep isn’t anything to sneeze at in the WCHA. It’ll be a marquee matchup this weekend as the Falcons welcome preseason favorite Minnesota State to the Madhouse.
- Michigan Tech: The Huskies had the long trip to Fairbanks and handled the Nanooks 4-1, 3-1 for the weekend sweep. The two goals allowed by Jamie Phillips is more in-line with what we expected coming in to the season. Ironically enough they come home this weekend to welcome the other Alaska as the Seawolves come to Houghton.
- Minnesota State: Speaking of teams that traveled to Alaska and took care of business; the Mavericks swept the Seawolves 2-0, 6-2. Teddy Blueger had himself a game as he racked up four points in the first period alone Saturday. Hopefully the team gave up the exit row on the flight home. The Mavericks head east to Bowling Green in what should be the top matchup in the WCHA this weekend.
- Ferris State: This is where I unfortunately have to drop some of that real talk: the Bulldogs probably don’t deserve to be this high in the power rankings. But with so many teams getting swept this past weekend FSU gets the bump up. The Bulldogs split with Lake Superior 1-0, 2-3 and continue to have cooled down after a hot start to the season. They’ll welcome an improving Bemidji State squad to Big Rapids this weekend. That will help answer questions about both the Bulldogs and Beavers.
- Lake Superior: There’s those plucky Lakers I’m used to. LSSU is 2-1-1 in their last four and held the Bulldogs to only three goals on the weekend in their split. Lake Superior continues to improve under Damon Whitten and are probably reminding Falcon fans about a certain program a few years ago. They’ll head to Fairbanks this weekend and should compete well against the Nanooks.
- Bemidji State: The Power Rankings are all about what you’ve done lately. All the Beavers did was sweep their rival on the road. Bemidji handled the Chargers 4-1 in a sandwich series around Thanksgiving Thursday. BSU still has a tough road though as they face another long road trip to Ferris State to play the Bulldogs. Like I mentioned above we’ll find out if this past weekend was just a team playing up against a rival or it Tom Serratore has got the ship righted.
- Alaska-Anchorage: This one was a toss-up with our #8 team. The Seawolves started so well this season, but somewhere along the way the wheels got loose. Since beating BG 4-2 Anchorage has gone 1-5-1. After missing the playoffs last season the Seawolves need to start getting back on track. This weekend won’t be an easy test as they head to Houghton to play Michigan Tech.
- Alaska: Again, this was a toss-up with #7. In their last eight games the Nanooks are 2-4-2. Tyler Morley is arguably the best player in the WCHA and is fourth in the league in total points. But sooner or later Dallas Ferguson will need to find some support for his star forward. The Nanooks will welcome the Lakers to Fairbanks this weekend.
- Northern Michigan: The Wildcats lost to the #1 team in the rankings this week, so why are they so low? Let’s look at the Wildcats total shots for the last four games, starting with this past Saturday: 23-10-13-15. There isn’t a single coach in hockey that looks at those numbers and nods approvingly. NMU needs offense and they need it right away. The UAH Chargers await Northern Michigan this weekend.
- Alabama-Huntsville: Mike Corbett is probably wondering how many black cats his bus passed on the way back from Lake Superior earlier this month. Since sweeping the Lakers the Chargers have lost six in a row, scoring an average of 1.5 goals/game in that stretch. Carmine Guerriero has a 2.993 GAA and Matt Larose is slightly better at 2.479. In other words nothing has gone right for Huntsville lately. They’ll welcome the shot-challenged Wildcats of Northern Michigan this weekend.