All eight NCHC teams have 10 league games remaining over the final five weeks of the regular season. Five teams – league-leader St. Cloud State; Denver, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota are all tied for second; Minnesota Duluth in fifth — are within three points (one win) of first place in the NCHC standings.
• Coming off a sweep at then No. 20 Western Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, which returned to the USCHO.com Poll this week at No. 17, was named the College Hockey News Team of the Week. The Bulldogs are the fourth NCHC team to earn the honor this year, joining Miami, St. Cloud State and Nebraska-Omaha. The Bulldogs are 6-1-2 in their last nine overall with the lone loss coming in overtime.
• Four NCHC programs will be represented in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics with a combined six alumni to Sochi, Russia. North Dakota will have three representatives as Zach Parise (2002-04) and T.J. Oshie (2005-08) will play for Team USA, with Parise serving as captain. Jonathan Toews (2005-07) will play for Canada. Former Denver star Paul Stastny (2004-06) and UMD alum Justin Faulk (2010-11) will both also play for the U.S., while St. Cloud State alum Andreas Nodl (2006-08) will suit up for his native Austria.
• The NCHC announced its January monthly honors Wednesday with SCSU sophomore forward Jonny Brodzinski earning player of the month and UMD freshman forward Alex Iafallo claiming rookie honors.
• Friday’s Miami/Western Michigan game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Here are some other links, including an injury update for North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha.
Atlantic Hockey Association leader Mewrcyhurst, which travels to Air Force this weekend, is benefiting from its goalie depth. Hockey East’s nonconference record has its teams in good position in the Pairwise rankings.