The guys are recovering from an excellent weekend in Mankato, MN. It was truly one of our favorite road trips we’ve ever made, and one we’d suggest any fan to make sometime. A special thank you to Shane Frederick (Mankato Free Press) and Paul Allan (MSU SID) for welcoming us to Mankato.
The Falcons had a very poor performance Friday, losing 5-1. But, the Falcons followed it up with a great 3-1 win Saturday, including keeping the Mavericks scoreless despite a six-on-five advantage with five minutes to play in the game. While Bowling Green was certainly disappointed not to bring the WCHA lead home with them, they’re in striking distance with five conference games to play.
Did the Mavericks/Falcons split affect the power rankings? Let’s take a look:
Michigan Tech: After spending most of the season outside of the top two, the Huskies now find themselves tied for #2 in the WCHA standings with the Falcons. Michigan Tech thoroughly handled Lake Superior, picking up a 3-0, 3-1 sweep. The only thing that might bother the Huskies is having this weekend off. You have to imagine Mel Pearson wants to keep the run going.
- Minnesota State: Like we’ve already discussed, the Mavericks split with the Falcons. MSU was certainly disappointed to not pick up a weekend sweep, however, after such a dominating performance Friday. But, Minnesota State is in the driver’s seat at #1 and heads to UAH this weekend. Anything less than four points for the Mavs would be a disappointment.
- Bowling Green: Saturday night was a signature win for the Falcons: great goaltending, a tight defense/backcheck, and gritty goal scoring gave BG a must-win victory Saturday. Friday? Not so much. But, the Falcons also are in a great spot sitting just two points out of #1 in the WCHA with six games to play. They’ll finish up the season series with Miami Friday in Bowling Green.
- Ferris State: Bob Daniels probably has the Coach of the Year award just about wrapped up. FSU was supposed to take a year off to recover from the loss of C.J. Motte. But, with a sweep of Alaska in Fairbanks the Bulldogs are close to securing the final home playoff spot. They’ll have a chance to put distance between themselves and the #5 team this weekend: Northern Michigan.
- Northern Michigan: The Wildcats welcomed the Wile E. Coyote Seawolves this weekend to Marquette. A weekend sweep continued the downward spiral for UAA and kept NMU in the hunt for the final home playoff spot. NMU is four points behind FSU, but the Wildcats have two games in hand. That NMU/FSU match-up this weekend will be a fun one.
- Bemidji State: Speaking of teams with games in hand, here’s the Beavers. BSU was off this past weekend after getting 2nd place in the North Star Cup tournament two weekends ago. The Beavers have a tough week on tap: Tuesday night they’ll head to Duluth to face UMD, before a long weekend road trip to Sault Ste. Marie where the Lakers will be waiting. BSU still has an outside chance at home-ice, but they need to sweep.
- Alaska-Anchorage: The Seawolves find themselves walking a dangerous line, possibly missing the playoffs two years in a row. UAA was swept by NMU and find themselves just two points out of staying home. The Seawolves are off this weekend, and will need to use it to get hot for their final three WCHA series.
- Lake Superior: The Lakers are my second favorite team in the WCHA. They certainly aren’t playing up to my oh-so-lofty level (tongue firmly planted in cheek). The Lakers got to run through the Huskies buzzsaw this weekend and went back east without any points to show for their effort. Like UAA the Lakers are walking a thin line when it comes to playoff eligibility. A series this weekend at home against BSU could be a turning point (good or bad) for LSSU.
- Alaska-Fairbanks: You have to go back to January 15th to find the last victory for UAF. Getting swept at home by FSU was old-hat for the Nanooks, who are just 3-8-1 at the Carlson Center this season. The Nanooks are off this weekend before welcoming BG in two weeks. The final weekend match-up with UAA in the Governor’s Cup might end up being for the final playoff spot.
- Alabama-Huntsville: The Chargers have had two weeks to get ready for MSU. I’m not sure any amount of time will be enough for UAH, but Mike Corbett’s squad is playing for their season’s lives as the season winds down. I’m guessing the Huskies and Falcons are hoping for some UAH magic this weekend.