First, a thanks and an apology
Thank you to my friends and colleagues, Bob Miller and Jeff Svoboda. Bob is USCHO’s arena reporter at Yost, and Jeff covers Buckeye hockey for the Buckeye Sports Bulletin. In yesterday’s column, I used quotes from OSU head coach Mark Osiecki that Bob forwarded to me by email and that Jeff got for Bob after Michigan’s 2-1 win Saturday (Feb. 12). I forgot to thank them for sharing in the column. I’m sorry, gents.
Second, another apology
In Monday’s blogs, I’ve been putting my picks record at the end of the post. In Friday’s blogs, I’ve been putting it near the top. On Valentine’s Day, I put the record near the top – very near the top – apparently dazzled by my own success. As another good friend and colleague, Jayson Moy, would say, “What a dope.”
And now, the picks
That, however, will not stop me from posting my picks record and last week’s dazzling win percentage near the top of this blog post.
Last week: 8-2-2 (.750)
Season to date: 95-62-23 (.592)
There’s little left to do this season but play the game. Everyone plays but Miami; in their bye week, the second-place RedHawks can only watch and root for Ferris State and Western Michigan. All games are Friday-Saturday. Start times are noted.
I’ll be at Yost Arena for tonight’s Broncos-Wolverines game, but Bob Miller will have the recap. All you kids can get me on the Twitter: @paulacweston.
LSSU at OSU. Last weekend, the Lakers took four points at home from visiting Alaska while the Buckeyes lost two one-goal games in Ann Arbor. Last season, LSSU swept OSU in Sault Ste. Marie and the Lakers are 4-2-0 against the Buckeyes in the last three seasons. The last times the teams met in Columbus was last season, where they split. Senior Laker Rick Schofield needs just three more points to hit the century mark. The Buckeyes were 7-for-7 on the penalty kill in front of goaltender Cal Heeter against the Wolverines. 7:05 p.m. both nights. OSU 4-2, LSSU 4-3.
MSU at UAF. Last weekend, the Spartans were swept at home by the Wildcats, marking the first time that that’s happened since Miami did it in 2008. The Nanooks tied the Lakers Friday and won the shootout but lost Saturday, a game in which they gave up their first power-play goal in 19 opponent tries. These teams met at the start of the season in East Lansing, when Alaska won the extra point after a 1-1 tie and MSU took a 4-1 win the following night. The teams are 4-4-2 in their last 10 in Fairbanks. 7:05 p.m. AT both nights. UAF 3-2, 4-1.
ND at FSU. Last weekend, Notre Dame moved back into first place with a home sweep of Bowling Green, while the Bulldogs swept the visiting Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in nonconference play. Irish freshman T.J. Tynan recorded a four-point weekend; Tynan is 10th in the country in overall points per game and first among rookies in scoring – although classmate Anders Lee has as many goals (19). Showoffs. The Bulldogs are riding a five-game win streak into this weekend while the Irish have five unbeaten (3-0-2). FSU has outscored opponents 17-7 in the last five games. I guess Bob Daniels knows where the goals are coming from now. The last time ND visited FSU, the Irish swept (Dec. 2008), but the Bulldogs took two from Notre Dame in South Bend last year. 7:05 p.m. both nights. FSU 4-2, ND 3-2.
NMU at BGSU. Last weekend, the Wildcats came out of East Lansing with a pair of wins while the Falcons dropped two on the road to Notre Dame. The Wildcats’ Friday win was dull, but NMU came back from a three-goal deficit to beat the Spartans 6-5 Saturday, spurred by Tyler Gron’s natural hat trick. Ten goals in a weekend – that’s more than NMU has scored in a weekend since Nov. 2009. In Friday’s 2-1 loss to Notre Dame, Andrew Hammond stopped 36, his third consecutive game with more than 30 saves. Hammond is 1-2-1-1 in his last four starts, with a 1.72 GAA and .946 SV% in those games, dating back to Feb. 4. The teams split a series in Marquette in November. 7:05 p.m. both nights. NMU 4-2, 3-2.
WMU at UM. Last weekend, the Broncos tied Miami on Friday and captured the extra shootout point before losing a 3-1 game Saturday, putting an end to their 14-game (8-0-6) unbeaten streak. Their Friday tie tied the Broncos for the most by any NCAA team in one season (10). The Wolverines took two close games at home from Ohio State to keep pace with the Irish, one point behind ND in the standings. The Broncos haven’t scored more than two goals in a game against Michigan since Dec. 1, 2006. They won that one 6-3. Best note of the weekend: the Broncos and Wolverines have met just five times when nationally ranked, and UM holds a 3-1-1 lead in those games. (Thank you, Matt Trevor.) 7:35 p.m. both nights. UM 3-2, 3-2.
These are in order.
- Conference wins.
- Best regular-season win percentage against other teams tied for position.
- Total goals in regular-season league play, for and against, in contests between or among the teams tied for position.
- Best win percentage of tied teams against the remaining highest-ranking CCHA teams.
- Coin toss.