Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving from the Peach State, y’all, home of the University of Georgia Ice Dogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, both of the ACHA. Would I love D-I hockey in these here parts, where the club-level sport is so well supported.
Closer to home, this is how I’m doing:
Last week: 7-1-2
What’s my pick percentage? You tell me. No, I mean it – you tell me. After recalculating picks last week according to David Chute’s formula, another reader (who shall remain nameless) wrote to tell me that I sold myself short.
Apparently, there is some debate about how ties should be figured into pick success. Please email me with your thoughts.
And, no, I didn’t publish a pick for Tuesday night’s game into the mix. Would you believe me if I told you I intended to pick FSU to shut out MSU 3-0?
This week there are two conference series and a mess of nonconference matches, including the final College Hockey Showcase.
Miami at WMU, 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday. This series pits Miami head coach Enrico Blasi against his former assistant – for whom he couldn’t be happier – Western Michigan’s Jeff Blashill. It also give the third-place RedHawks, just two points out of first, to jump past either or both Michigan and Notre Dame in the CCHA standings, while the seventh-place Broncos – who have played six games to the 10 everyone ahead of them has – have an even greater opportunity for genuine advancement. Blasi is 20-6-4 all-time against the Broncos, but as they say, that was then. The last WMU win over Miami came Jan. 13, 2007. Miami 4-2, WMU 3-2.
UAF at OSU (Nationwide Arena) 1:45 p.m. Friday, 8:05 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes are juggling their weekend schedule to either accommodate other sports or attempt to take advantage of other key area matches, depending on whether you’re a cynic (like me) or an optimist. Friday’s game precedes the Detroit-Blue Jackets game in Nationwide, and Saturday’s contest is after the UM-OSU football game at the Horseshoe, an event that makes me profoundly grateful that I now live elsewhere. Last season, UAF took four points from OSU and the Nanooks are 6-3-2 against the Buckeyes in the last three seasons, including winning two out of three in a 2008-09 playoff series. OSU has never lost in Nationwide Arena (7-0-2). I see that changing this weekend. In fact, I see that changing today. UAF 3-2, OSU 3-1.
NMU at BSU 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Last year, the Beavers visited Marquette and came away with a tie and a win. Going into this year’s rematch series, BSU is 2-7-1 overall, having lost twice to Denver last weekend. Senior Matt Read leads BSU in both goals and points (7-5–12) and Dan Bakala (3.57 GAA, .871 SV%) and Mathieu Dugas (2.18, .913) have split time in net. Wildcat Reid Ellingson is this week’s CCHA Goaltender of the Week after stopping 75-of-77 against Alaska last week. NMU 3-2, 4-2.
RPI Holiday Tournament, Troy, N.Y.
UAH vs. BGSU 4 p.m. Friday. The Chargers (1-10-1) are looking for their second win of the season against a team that swept them in two games Oct. 22-23. Keenan Desmet (4-4–8) is UAH’s lead scorer, while Clarke Saunders (4.29 GAA, .875 SV%) has the Beavers’ only win of the year. Saunders and C.J. Groh (3.74, .903) split time in last weekend’s two losses to Providence. When the Chargers and Falcons last met, UAH’s Jamie Easton scored a late third-period goal to send the first contest to overtime, but BGSU’s Ryan Peltoma had the game-winner 31 seconds into the OT. In the 4-2 BGSU win the following night, the Falcons scored three goals within six minutes in the third period to break open that game. BGSU 4-2.
UConn/RPI vs. BGSU 4:00/7:00 p.m. Saturday. The Huskies (3-4-3) lost to Bentley and beat American International last weekend. Four UConn players have three or more goals and Garrett Bartus (3.51 GAA, .898 SV%) is the starter. The No. 17 Engineers (5-3-3) split with Union last weekend. Chase Polacek (5-8–13) is RPI’s lead scorer; Allen York (1.78, .931) has played every game for the Engineers. BGSU 3-2 over UConn or RPI 4-1 over BGSU.
College Hockey Showcase, Madison, Wisc. and Minneapolis, Minn.
MSU at UMN 7:07 p.m. Friday, MSU at UW 8:07 p.m. Saturday. The Spartans may not be playing poorly, but so far this season MSU hasn’t played well enough to elevate itself beyond the lower third of the CCHA. No. 16 Minnesota (7-4-1) swept Michigan Tech last weekend. Jay Barriball (9-6–15) is UMN’s leading goal scorer; Kent Patterson (2:39 GAA, .914 SV%) played both games last weekend and is undefeated (6-0-1). No. 17 Wisconsin (6-6-2) lost twice in overtime to top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth last weekend. Jordy Murray (10-3–13) is UW’s leading goal-scorer; Scott Gudmandson (2.37, .920) and Brett Bennett (2.09, .921) divide time in goal. The last time the Spartans won a CHS game was in 2004. UMN 4-2, UW 4-2.
UM at UW 7:07 p.m. Friday, UM at UMN 4:37 p.m. Sunday. Michigan has the best CHS record (20-13-1) among all of its participants. UM sweeps, but a closer game against UW than UMN.
Denver Cup, Denver, Colo.
LSSU at DU 7:37 p.m. Friday, LSSU vs. Clarkson 4:07 p.m. Saturday. The No. 12 Pioneers are riding a four-game win streak into Friday’s contest. Jason Zucker (9-4–13) is the leading goal-scorer for DU, but Drew Shore and Luke Salazar have eight goals each. Sam Brittain (1.95 GAA, .934 SV%) is the freshman phenom in net for Denver. Clarkson (6-4-2) beat Harvard and St. Lawrence last weekend. The Golden Knights are scoring by committee, with no player having registered more than four goals. Paul Karpowich (2.69, .921) is in net for Clarkson. The Lakers lost two to Michigan last weekend. DU 5-1, Clarkson 4-2.
Subway Holiday Classic, Grand Forks, N.D.
ND at UND 7:37 p.m. Friday and Saturday. This series pits the No. 9 Fighting Sioux (8-5-1) against the No. 11 Fighting Irish (9-3-1). UND split with UNO last weekend, and the Saturday loss ended a three-game win streak for the Sioux. North Dakota’s Matt Frattin has a dozen goals in 14 games this season and Corban Knight has seven; Aaron Dell (2.26 GAA, .895 SV%) is the goalie of record in 11 games for UND so far. The Irish swept the Spartans last weekend, scoring three shorthanded goals in the process. Notre Dame barely leads this all-time series 16-15-2 and has a 9-7-0 record on Grand Forks. The teams tied, 3-3, Jan. 3, 2010 in the title game of the Shillalegh Tournament. ND 4-2, 3-1.