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Friday reading: WCHA previews, features, NCAA Tournament predictions, TV schedule, women’s playoffs

Published: March 1, 2013, 6:11 pm, by Joe Paisley

CC Joe Howe actionCC senior goalie Joe Howe has quietly gone about carving out a place in the program’s record books as the 4th all-time career saves leader.

Same questions, but much different situation for Minnesota State this season. Here is the Mankato Free Press’ capsule look at the series.

Of course all the other league series bear watching, especially the first two listed:

No. 16 Wisconsin at No. 13Nebraska-Omaha: The Badgers’ up-and-down season is best exemplified by the past week: On Feb. 18, they were basking in the afterglow of an outdoor win over No. 2 Minnesota. Seven days later, they are choking down the ashes of an OT loss to undermanned Penn State. How will the Badgers bounce back? UNO is approaching the weekend as a dress rehearsal for the WCHA playoffs.

No. 10 Denver at No. 2 Minnesota: The Pioneers are taking a similar approach; the playoffs have already begun.  David Makowski has been an offensive bright spot for the Pioneers. The Gophers’ only senior is featured.

To sum up, eighth-place CC is five points behind sixth-place UW and DU and must make up those points in the four remaining games. Next weekend, UW hosts North Dakota while DU entertains Alaska-Anchorage. CC travels to Michigan Tech. The Tigers’ home playoff ice hopes are slim, but not mathematically impossible. They need a lot of help.

UND MacMillan (2)Bemidji State at No. 6 North Dakota: BSU is trying to right the ship in time for the playoffs. The Beavers have only won one game in Grand Forks in program history, and that was back in 1970. The Beavers have defeated UND just once, a 1-0 WCHA win at the Sanford Center on Nov. 20, 2011. Interestingly enough, UND senior Danny Kristo, one of the more dynamic players in the WCHA, has never recorded a point against BSU, his father’s alma mater. The games between the two schools will continue.

North Dakota’s Dillon Simpson is featured to lead off the weekly NCAA college hockey notebook while Mark MacMillan gets a look by The Hockey Writers web site. Here is more from the Herald beat writer.

Michigan Tech at St. Cloud State: The Huskies are looking to build toward the playoffs while SCSU senior Drew LeBlanc continues to have an outstanding senior season.

Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota-Duluth: The Chargers’ coach is from northern Minnesota. UMD’s Keegan Flaherty and his hockey family are profiled here. Here is a series preview capsule by the news-Tribune’s Kevin Pates.

Alaska-Anchorage vs. Alaska-Fairbanks: The Seawolf seniors want to hoist the Governors’ Cup for the first time.

Here is a look at what the USCHO expert thinks will be the NCAA Tournament field before this weekend’s game get underway. Inside College Hockey weighs in what looks like a dynamite Toledo regional: Miami, North Dakota, Notre Dame and RPI, winners of nine of its last 11 games.

This weekend’s USCHO predictions can be found here. Four WCHA and three CCHA games are on TV tonight.

Miami Barber road jerseyThe final regular-season weekend for the CCHA is previewed here. Miami looks to clinch the title this weekend. Western Michigan sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski is featured.

Women’s ice hockey playoffs start tonight with at least two locals involved:

St. Cloud State junior Molli Mott leads the No. 7 seed  Huskies with 22 points (13 assists)  into a road series at runner-up Wisconsin. Penn State captain Taylor Gross, second on the Nittany Lions with 21 points (15 assists), is headed to College Hockey America third-seeded RIT for a best-of-three playoff series.