Three thoughts fromt his weekend in the WCHA:
1. Look out for BSU
Bemidji State took three of four points from visiting Bowling Green, which makes them unbeaten in four consecutive games against top-10 teams. Last week, the Beavers beat No. 7 Minnesota Duluth and then-No. 1 Minnesota State in the North Star College Cup. The Falcons are ranked sixth. “It’s huge to get three out of four points,” Beavers defenseman Matt Prapavessis told The Bemidji Pioneer. “On home ice, getting conference points. It was a huge, huge game. Maybe the biggest game of the season. Last week would have meant nothing if we didn’t do some damage this week, so it was huge.” Bemidji State has two losses in its last 13 games. And, although those defeats seem somewhat perplexing coming at Lake Superior State, they did outshoot the Lakers 78-44 that weekend. The Falcons have just two wins in their last seven games.
2. Mavericks have Bulldogs’ number
Minnesota State swept Ferris State with a pair of 5-1 victories. They teams quickly became rivals when the new WCHA began last year with a slugfest a year ago in Mankato and another meeting in the Final Five championship game. The Mavericks won all three of those games, and, this season, tacked on four more wins for seven straight against the defending league champions. MSU outscored Ferris 15-4, with 11 different players scoring goals. Kyle Schempp scored all four of the Bulldogs’ goals. “I think of it as a rivalry game,” Mavericks captain Chase Grant told the Mankato Free Press. “The intensity and focus levels up a little bit. We have plenty of motivation.” The sweep was a big bounce-back from MSU’s loss in the finals of the North Star College Cup against Bemidji State a week earlier. Ferris State, meanwhile, has lost four in a row (all to MSU) and eight of its last 10.
3. Showdown looming
Minnesota State and Michigan Tech became the first teams in the country to reach 20 victories, with the Mavericks doing it on Friday and the Huskies hitting the mark on Saturday against Alabama Huntsville. It was the third 20-win season in a row for MSU but the first for Tech since the 1987-88 season. That was also the last time the Huskies scored 11 goals in a game, which it did Saturday night against the Chargers. First-place MSU and second-place Tech, which has won four straight and five of six, are separated by just four points in the standings, four points that the Mavericks grabbed in mid-November in Houghton. Mark your calendar: They will meet again Feb. 27-28 in Mankato. Between now and then their schedules are quite similar: home next weekend (Alaska Anchorage is at MSU, Bemidji State is at Tech), in Alaska the following week (MSU at Fairbanks, Tech at Anchorage) and on bye the week before they meet.