All four top teams slipped up last weekend; Colorado College impressed in a sweep at Wisconsin; and Nebraska Omaha is also up following a pair of wins at Michigan Tech.
1.) DENVER (5-1-0 overall, 3-1-0 WCHA)
Last time: L v St. Cloud State 3-0, W v St. Cloud State 6-1
Next time: At Minnesota State Nov. 9-10
- When the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s two highest-scoring teams so far this season met this last weekend at DU’s Magness Arena, goals were never going to come at much of a premium. The Pioneers did suffer a minor upset on Friday in a 3-0 loss, but they came back very strong the following night. Normal service resumed quickly after the defeat to the Huskies, and DU will be expected to keep up its current form next time out at Minnesota State.
2.) ST. CLOUD STATE (5-3-0, 3-1-0)
Last time: W at Denver 3-0, L at Denver 6-1
Next time: V North Dakota Nov. 9-10
- A split at third-ranked Denver is a perfectly good result for a SCSU team that deserves to be ranked much higher than it was this past week (18th). The Huskies will have another chance to make their case to national pollsters next time out at home against a good – not that it’s ever bad – North Dakota team.
3.) MINNESOTA (5-2-0, 2-2-0)
Last time: W v Minnesota State 3-2, L at Minnesota State 5-3
Next time: At Alaska Anchorage Nov. 9-10
- The Golden Gophers haven’t really given anyone a pounding since taking future Big Ten rival Michigan Tech behind the shed at the start of the season, and, following a 5-3 loss Saturday at Minnesota State, Minnesota is unlikely to hold onto its national No. 2 ranking on Monday. It’s hard to imagine that Alaska Anchorage could pick a better time to face the Gophers – at home or otherwise – than this next week.
4.) NORTH DAKOTA (3-2-1, 1-0-1)
Last time: W v Boston University 4-2, L v Boston University 4-2
Next time: At St. Cloud State Nov. 9-10
- The talent is undeniably there on this year’s UND team, but the results up until now haven’t always been. That’s not great news for head coach Dave Hakstol’s club, considering it’s entering a brutal five-week stretch where it will play surging St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, seventh-ranked Notre Dame, an improved Colorado College side, and second-ranked Denver.
5.) COLORADO COLLEGE (5-3-0, 2-2-0)
Last time: W-OT at Wisconsin 5-4, W at Wisconsin 3-0
Next time: V Bemidji State Nov. 9-10
- The Tigers sweep at Wisconsin this weekend was just what the doctor ordered following a pair of losses the week before at Cornell. CC ought to reap the rewards next time out at home against Bemidji State, although BSU will be fresh off a week in which it didn’t play and was able to rest.
6.) WISCONSIN (1-4-1, 1-2-1)
Last time: L-OT v Colorado College 5-4, L v Colorado College 3-0
Next time: At Minnesota Nov. 16-17
- Spirits were up a week ago in the Badger camp after UW invaded Duluth and came away with three points against UMD, but this weekend’s results were the opposite of what Wisconsin wanted against Colorado College. What’s worse, our buddy Andy Johnson at Bucky’s Fifth Quarter broke the news that UW top-line center Mark Zengerle is now out for the next five to six weeks with a broken finger, and the Badgers will undoubtedly miss him terribly.
7.) MINNESOTA DULUTH (2-3-1, 0-1-1)
Last time: Idle last week; L v Wisconsin 2-0 Oct. 26, T v Wisconsin 2-2 Oct. 27
Next time: At Nebraska Omaha Nov. 10-11
- Wisconsin had a week off following a somewhat humiliating sweep at the hands of Northern Michigan before it went and took three points from UMD at the Amsoil Arena. Duluth has had this last week off, and the Bulldogs will be hoping for a similar bounce to what UW experienced when UMD visits Nebraska Omaha for a rare Saturday-Sunday series.
8.) NEBRASKA OMAHA (4-3-1, 2-1-1)
Last time: W at Michigan Tech 2-1, W at Michigan Tech 5-3
Next time: V Minnesota Duluth Nov. 10-11
- Junior Maverick forward Zahn Raubenheimer was certifiably on fire this last weekend at Michigan Tech, scoring twice in each game in a sweep of the homestanding Huskies. We may have also seen a glimpse into what head coach Dean Blais is thinking in terms of who his No. 1 goaltender is, with John Faulkner starting both games at Tech and backstopping UNO to a win each night.
9.) MICHIGAN TECH (2-6-0, 1-5-0)
Last time: L v Nebraska Omaha 2-1, L v Nebraska Omaha 5-3
Next time: At Bemidji State Nov. 16-17
- Raubenheimer’s late winner with under two minutes left in Friday’s game was a backbreaker for Tech, and UNO won the following night’s rematch by a much bigger gap than the 5-3 score suggests. We’ll learn a whole lot about the Huskies in two weeks’ time, though, when they travel to Bemidji State for a showdown between two teams from the WCHA’s lower echelon.
10.) BEMIDJI STATE (2-1-1, 1-0-1)
Last time: Idle last week; T at Nebraska Omaha 3-3 Oct. 26, W 3-2 at Nebraska Omaha OCt. 27
Next time: At Colorado College Nov. 9-10
- The case could be made that the Beavers were unlucky to have this past weekend off after picking up three big points at Nebraska Omaha on Oct. 26-27. They did have time to rest, though, and that might come in handy this week as BSU heads west to face a Colorado College team that just swept Wisconsin in the Badgers’ own barn.
11.) MINNESOTA STATE (3-3-2, 1-3-0)
Last time: L at Minnesota 3-2, W v Minnesota 5-3
Next time: V Denver Nov. 9-10
- It’s still too early to talk about teams picking up signature wins on a season, but we may look back at Minnesota State’s 5-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday as a defining win for the Mavericks in its 2012-13 campaign. MSU had been decidedly average so far this season, but here’s hoping that that upset win over the Gophers is a sign that the Mike Hastings revolution is really taking hold.
12.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE (2-2-2, 0-1-1)
Last time: Idle last week; L at North Dakota 4-1 Oct. 26, T at North Dakota 3-3 Oct. 27
Next time: V Minnesota Nov. 9-10
- There will be WCHA series this week where the combatants are more evenly-matched in terms of talent, but I’m weirdly intrigued by the Seawolves’ set at home against Minnesota. The Gophers haven’t really blown anyone away in a while, and their loss at Minnesota State on Saturday ought to leave UAA feeling hopeful that it can pick up results of its own when the Gophers come to Sullivan Arena.