Friday reading: Bachman nears return; previews and notes; NCHC announcement

Published: December 6, 2013, 3:50 am, by Joe Paisley

Bachman edmontonFormer Tiger Richard Bachman is nearing a return from injury and should have a good chance at starting for Edmonton after a rash of injuries for the other goalies.

Here are the preview notes from No. 16 Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado College. UNO junior goalie Ryan Massa of Littleton is happy to be headed to his home state to take on the Tigers. He watched CC growing up while playing midget hockey in Colorado Springs.

UNO coach Dean Blais is urging his team not to overlook the Tigers. The USCHO folks are not worried just from their prediction of a Mavs sweep.

No. 2 St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said the team’s strength has been defense , which is scary considering how deep the team is at forward. Here is a series preview. The Huskies head to No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth this weekend. It is UMD’s first home games in 42 days.

North Dakota benched defenseman Paul LaDue for Friday night’s game at Western Michigan after a noisy party citation earlier this week, according to the Grand Forks Herald.  Senior Mark MacMillan (lower body) is back at practice and could play Friday night; a likely gameday decision.

Here is a copy of a Grand Forks Herald table listing how North Dakota is a better second-half team. At 5-7-2 so far, UND fans are expressing concern, as usual this time of year. One of the reasons for the poor start is the weak center play so far.

Western Michigan knows better than to underestimate UND. The North Dakota-Western Michigan series is previewed by CHN columnist Dave Starman. The game will be broadcast on CBS-SN starting at 5:30 p.m. MT.  The name of the championship weekend for the NCHC will be announced during that broadcast.

For the first time, all eight NCHC teams will play conference games. Here is the league preview with notes on Miami and Denver.

Rumors of Big 10 hockey expansion appear unfounded at this point. Ohio State, which was in the market for a midseason replacement like CC is, has signed USHL goalie Chris Frey.

The Bemidji State and Michigan Tech series should be a good one. Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks start the annual Governors Cup series, which is now four games instead of two and for WCHA points. Here is more on the WCHA this weekend at Puckato.