• WCHA playoff scenarios

    Mon, February 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Here’s the league’s release about this weekend’s regular season finales and the playoff scenarios.

    MADISON, Wis. – The final weekend of the 2010-11 regular season will carry plenty of intrigue as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s 12 men’s member teams engage in a full slate of six league series. The match ups for Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 have North Dakota at Michigan Tech, Colorado College at Wisconsin, Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota at Bemidji State, Alaska Anchorage at Minnesota State and St. Cloud State at Denver.
    At stake are the two remaining first round home playoff berths, up for grabs between Minnesota, Colorado College, Wisconsin and St. Cloud State, and 11 of the 12 first round playoff matchups. What’s been decided to date? North Dakota has clinched at least a share of the regular season title and MacNaughton Cup as well as the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. Denver can still earn a share of the league title but the Sioux would prevail in the tie-breaking scenario for playoff seeding purposes based on more league wins (UND and DU tied their two-game regular season series, 1-1-0.) If Denver earns a share of the league title, the Pioneers would be the No. 2 playoff seed.
    Although there are too many possible scenarios regarding final positions in the standings and first round matchups heading into the final 12 games to list them all, the following is known:
    •    the current top four – North Dakota, Denver, Nebraska Omaha and Minnesota Duluth – will be the final top four in some order.
    •    Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech will be traveling for the first round. MTU will be seeded 12th for the WCHA tournament.
    •     That leaves four teams – Minnesota, Colorado College, Wisconsin and St. Cloud State – for the last two home ice spots. Minnesota, Colorado College and Wisconsin all control their own destinies to get one:
    •    Minnesota needs one point to clinch home ice, or for St. Cloud State to lose a point.
    •    Colorado College needs two points to clinch home ice.
    •    Wisconsin needs four points to clinch home ice. (UW would clinch with three points if St. Cloud State does not sweep at Denver).
    •    St. Cloud State gets home ice if: they sweep Denver and UW gets exactly three points, OR they sweep Denver, UW gets 0, 1, or 4 points, Minnesota gets 0 points, and St. Cloud State’s final goal differential in league play (goals for minus goals against) is greater than Minnesota’s.
    •    If St. Cloud State does not sweep Denver, then the final two home ice playoff slots will go to Minnesota and the winner of the CC-UW series (or CC if the series splits).
    On the docket this weekend, March 4-5, five of the six WCHA series being contested – UND at MTU, CC at UW, UNO at UMD, UM at BSU and SCSU at DU – mark the only regular season series between the respective clubs.
    North Dakota (24-8-3, 19-6-1 WCHA, 1st) will take on Michigan Tech (4-26-4, 2-22-2 WCHA, 12th) at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena (4,128) in Houghton on Friday evening at 7:07 pm ET and Saturday at 5:07 pm ET. The Sioux enter the weekend in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak at 6-0-1.
    Colorado College (18-15-3,12-12-2 WCHA, 6th) heads to Madison and the Kohl Center (15,325) to face-off against Wisconsin (19-13-4, 11-12-3 WCHA, 7th) at 7:07 pm CT on both Friday and Saturday.
    Nebraska Omaha (20-12-2, 16-8-2 WCHA, 3rd) travels to Duluth and new AMSOIL Arena (6,764) to skate against Minnesota Duluth (19-8-6, 14-7-5 WCHA, 4th) in Friday-Saturday, 7:07 pm CT puck drops.
    Up at the new Sanford Center (4,258) in Bemidji this weekend, streaking Minnesota (15-12-5, 12-10-4 WCHA, 5th) goes up against Bemidji State (12-16-4, 8-14-4, tie 10th) in Friday and Saturday 7:07 pm CT face-offs. The Golden Gophers are unbeaten over their last five games at 4-0-1.
    In the Mile High City, host Denver (20-9-5, 16-7-3 WCHA, 2nd) will engage St. Cloud State (14-15-5, 10-12-4 WCHA, 8th) at the Pioneers’ Magness Arena (6,026) on Friday night at 7:37 pm MT and Saturday evening at 7:07 pm MT.
    And in Mankato, Minnesota State (14-14-6, 8-14-4 WCHA, tie 10th) will entertain visiting Alaska Anchorage (12-17-3, 10-14-2 WCHA, 9th) at Verizon Wireless Center (4,832) at Friday at 7:37 pm CT and Saturday at 7:07 pm CT. The Mavericks are 1-0-1 vs the Seawolves this season after a 3-2 victory and 2-2 (ot) tie at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage back on Oct. 29-30.

  • CC climbs in both polls

    Mon, February 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Colorado College moved up from No. 19 to No. 17 in the U.S. College Hockey Online weekly poll, moving ahead of No. 18 Wisconsin, this weekend’s foe.

    CC garnered some points in the USA Hockey poll, which The Gazette uses for its rankings and remains at No. 14 in the Pairwise rankings.

    USA Hockey/USA Today weekly rankings

    Team (1st-place votes)          Rec.                Pts.      Prev.

    1. North Dakota (30)               24-8-3             505      1

    2. Boston College (4)               24-7-1             473      2

    3. Yale                                     23-5-1             432      3

    4. Union                                   25-7-4             401      5
    5. Michigan                              23-9-4             333      10

    6. Denver                                 20-9-5             331      6

    7. Merrimack                           21-7-4             264      4

    8. New Hampshire                   19-7-6             263      4

    9. Notre Dame                         21-10-5           253      8

    10. Miami                                 19-9-6             247      11

    11.Minnesota-Duluth                19-8-6             214      7

    12. Nebraska-Omaha               20-12-2           153      12

    13. Boston University               17-9-8             74        15

    14. Maine                                 16-10-6           53        NR

    15. RPI                                    19-10-5           37        13

    Others receiving votes: Western Michigan 21; Colorado College 12; Wisconsin 7; Dartmouth 3; Minnesota 3; Rochester Institute of Technology 1.

    U.S. College Hockey Online poll

    Team (1st-place votes)          Rec.                Pts.      Prev.

    1. North Dakota (42)             24- 8-3            989      1

    2. Boston College (6)             24- 7-1                        948      2

    3. Yale (1)                               23- 5-1            887      3

    4. Union (1)                             25- 7-4            837      5

    5 (tie). Denver 20- 9-5                        726      6

    5 (tie). Michigan 23- 9-4                        726      10

    7. New Hampshire 19- 7-6                        659      9

    8. Miami 19- 9-6                        628      11

    9. Merrimack 21- 7-4                        620      4

    10. Notre Dame 21-10-5           608      8

    11. Minnesota-Duluth 19- 8-6                        569      7

    12. Nebraska-Omaha 20-12-2           457      12

    13. Boston University 17- 9-8                        365      15

    14. Maine 16-10-6           342      16

    15. Western Michigan 16-10-10         248      17

    16. RPI 19-10-5           227      14

    17. Colorado College 18-15-3           182      19

    18. Wisconsin 19-13-4           177      13

    19. Minnesota 15-12-5           148      20

    20. Dartmouth 16-10-3           114      18

    Others receiving votes: Princeton 18, Ferris State 8, Rochester Institute of Technology 6, St. Cloud State 5, Cornell 3, Robert Morris 2, Air Force 1.

  • In the pros: McElhinney, M. Stuart

    Mon, February 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Former Tigers goalie Curtis McElhinney is now with Ottawa.

    Mark Stuart signed a three-year deal with Atlanta.

  • Monday reading: CC at No. 14 in Pairwise

    Mon, February 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    North Dakota clinched the regular-season title and the top seed in the playoffs with a 5-1 win over Bemidji State. Here are interesting game notes including an injury update. Here is a senior tribute video for the Sioux.

    The Western College Hockey Blog points out that Denver could share the title:  “North Dakota is guaranteed to earn the top seed, but technically if Denver sweeps, North Dakota gets swept by Michigan Tech, and the universe doesn’t collapse upon itself, Denver would still be considered the “Co-Champion” in  the eyes of the WCHA.”

    Wisconsin’s fan blog breaks down its playoff scenarios. I wrote up a CC-centric story

  • Sunday reading

    Sun, February 27, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    This column is a day old but still relevant for Wisconsin. This followup updates that theme.

    Anchorage bounced back against the Nanooks, but Fairbanks retained the Governor’s Cup.

  • WCHA roundup and standings: Denver garners split

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    No. 6 Denver 4, No. 12 Nebraska-Omaha 2

    OMAHA — Freshman forward Jason Zucker scored two goals to help the Denver Pioneers move back into second place in the WCHA standings with a 4-2 win against Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday night at Qwest Center. The Mavs fell to third, one point ahead of Minnesota-Duluth.

    St. Cloud State 7, No. 14 Wisconsin 3

    ST. CLOUD — Senior forwards Aaron Marvin and Garrett Roe scored two goals each and junior forward Jared Festler added three assists to lead St. Cloud State to a 7-3 win against Wisconsin on Saturday night at National Hockey Center. Seventh-place Wisconsin is one point ahead of SCSU.

    No. 1 North Dakota 5, Bemidji State 2

    GRAND FORKS — Senior forward Matt Frattin and junior forward Jason Gregoire posted a pair of goals each to lead North Dakota to a 5-2 victory against Bemidji State on Saturday afternoon at Engelstad Arena. The series concludes Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota 5, Michigan Tech 2

    MINNEAPOLIS — Junior forward Jake Hansen scored two goals and added an assist to lead fifth-place Minnesota to 5-2 win against Michigan Tech as the Gophers swept a two game weekend series on Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.

    Alaska-Fairbanks at Alaska-Anchorage, LATE

    WCHA Games
    Overall
    GP
    W
    L
    T
    Pts
    GF
    GA
    W
    L
    T
    GF
    GA
    1
    North Dakota
    25
    18
    6
    1
    37
    90
    58
    23
    8
    3
    126
    81
    2
    Denver
    26
    16
    7
    3
    35
    88
    70
    20
    9
    5
    112
    91
    3
    Nebraska-Omaha
    26
    16
    8
    2
    34
    88
    63
    20
    12
    2
    116
    83
    4
    Minnesota Duluth
    26
    14
    7
    5
    33
    85
    67
    19
    8
    6
    114
    87
    5
    Minnesota
    26
    12
    10
    4
    28
    85
    73
    15
    12
    5
    104
    91
    6
    Colorado College
    26
    12
    12
    2
    26
    79
    79
    18
    15
    3
    116
    107
    7
    Wisconsin
    26
    11
    12
    3
    25
    70
    68
    19
    13
    4
    117
    87
    8
    St. Cloud State
    26
    10
    12
    4
    24
    79
    75
    14
    15
    5
    103
    101
    9
    Alaska Anchorage
    26
    10
    14
    2
    22
    54
    77
    11
    17
    3
    69
    97
    10
    Bemidji State
    25
    8
    13
    4
    20
    56
    67
    12
    15
    4
    71
    79
    Minnesota State
    26
    8
    14
    4
    20
    66
    82
    14
    14
    6
    100
    101
    12
    Michigan Tech
    26
    2
    22
    2
    6
    46
    107
    4
    26
    4
    71
    141
  • Emptying the notebook

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by admin with 2 comments

    Schultz, J. Schwartz key to power play’s resurgence

    The return of CC freshman Jaden Schwartz rightfully garnered some attention last weekend, but on Friday, it was the play of Stephen Schultz that sparked the Tigers power play.

    With a power-play goal on Saturday, it was Jaden Schwartz’s turn. He is now on a seven-game points streak dating to before his injury.

    “Whenever you have Jaden out there, that helps,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “But Schultz was key. He was engaged from the start and when he’s engaged, he’s very good.”

    The Tigers went 2-for-5 on Friday and setup another goal recorded after the man advantage expired. It was the first game since Jan. 21 versus Alabama-Huntsville that CC has scored more than one power-play goal. On Saturday, CC opened on a 2-for-4 clip through two periods.

    J. Schwartz puts on a show

    Jaden Schwartz showed why he was a WCHA rookie of the year candidate before his injury during his power-play goal in the first period.

    He collected a loose puck in the CC end and skated end-to-end, scoring with all four Duluth defenders around him. Inexplicably, none of the Bulldogs stepped up to stop his advance as he stickhandled the puck around the first two and the others did not get a body on the freshman left winger, waiting for a pass.

    Instead, he wristed the puck past Duluth goalie Kenny Reiter from 12 feet away in between the faceoff circles to make it 1-1.

    Skate with the Tigers on Sunday

    Fans are invited to skate with the team, get autographs and take pictures from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Honnen arena on the CC campus. Admission is free.

    Etc.

    CC junior David Civitarese, who wears jersey No. 11, was the 11th Tiger to score a game-winner this season on Friday. … … Duluth junior goalie Kevin Reiter entered Saturday’s game with a 5-1 record and a .923 saves percentage against CC, including last season’s playoff series win. … Owens said a lot of teams like to use both goalies as the wear and tear of the season takes its toll. Sophomore Joe Howe got the start after freshman Josh Thorimbert won 5-4 on Friday. Owens praised the play of Thorimbert after Friday’s game. …  Nice to hear no Denver fans booed this time during CC’s Senior Night honors. A good-sized crowd took their seats early to recognize Tyler Johnson, Ryan Lowery, Tyler O’Brien and Stephen Schultz… The final coaches radio show is at 6:30 p.m. March 8 at McCabe’s Tavern, downtown Colorado Springs

  • Saturday stats

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Colorado College 3, No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth 3 OT

    Minnesota-Duluth         2          1          0          0          –3

    Colorado College         1          2          0          0          –3

    First period – 1. Minnesota-Duluth, M. Connolly (J. Connolly, Fontaine) 2:38; 2. Colorado College, J. Schwartz (unassisted) 9:28 (PP); 3. Minnesota-Duluth, Brown (M. Connolly, J. Connolly) 19:08 (PP). Penalties – UMD, J. Connolly (holding) 8:56; UMD, Tardy (slashing) 15:32; CC, Marciano (roughing) 15:32; CC, Hamburg (hooking) 18:39.

    Second period – 4. Colorado College, Johnson (Guentzel, Schultz) 11:07 (PP); 5. Minnesota-Duluth, Brown (Fontaine, M. Connolly) 16:15 (PP); 6. Colorado College, Johnson (Guentzel, Marciano) 17:52.

    Penalties – UMD, Fontaine (hooking) :51; CC, Schultz (elbowing) 1:43; CC, Civitarese (slashing) 5:42; UMD, Basaraba (roughing) 5:42; UMD, Brown (tripping) 9:53; UMD, Reiter (high-sticking) 10:08; CC, Bidwill (interference) 15:54; UMD, J. Connolly (cross-checking) 18:34; UMD, Schmidt (slashing) 19:53.

    Third period – No scoring. Penalties – CC, Marciano (5-minute checking from behind, game misconduct) 4:25; UMD, Bergman (tripping) 11:54; CC, Rapuzzi (interference) 13:46.

    Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – none.

    Power play – Minnesota-Duluth 2-5; Colorado College 2-7. Shots on goal – Minnesota-Duluth 9-5-8-1–23; Colorado College 8-23-10-1–42. Saves-minutes – Minnesota-Duluth, Reiter 7-21-10-1—65:00; Colorado College, Howe 7-4-8-164:34. Attendance – 7,262.

  • CC 3, Duluth 3, OT FINAL

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Colorado College battled through adversity, some of its own making, to gain a valuable point in its battle for home ice in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs in two weeks.

    But first the Tigers penalty kill and sophomore goalie Joe Howe had to come up huge in the third period as the hosts held on for a 3-3 tie against No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth Saturday.

  • CC ties it late in second

    Sat, February 26, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Tyler Johnson scored twice in the second period, including the tying goal late.

    CC has a 5-on-3 power play for 34 seconds to start the third period.