Three things we thought we learned about the WCHA the weekend …
1. Bottom’s up
Yes, I know it’s early, but it surprising to look at the WCHA standings and see Alabama Huntsville and Alaska Anchorage sitting in a tie for third place right now. Huntsville won twice at Lake Superior State — in overtime on Friday and by shutout on Saturday. The sweep was the first on the road for the Chargers since Oct. 16-17, 2009 at Air Force. Anchorage, meanwhile, was shut out on Sunday against a good Bowling Green team – but not before extending an unbeaten streak to five games, its longest since late in the 2011 season. A little early season confidence could be a good thing for these teams.
2. One unbeaten
Minnesota State swept Alaska to go to 4-0-0 in conference play (after an 0-4-0 start in out-of-league play) and is the only WCHA team that doesn’t have a conference loss. Interestingly, the Mavericks swept the two teams that gave them the most fits as season ago, Bemidji State and Alaska, who, combined, went 4-4-1 against MSU last year. The Mavericks looked like last year’s team on Friday, scoring five goals and limiting the Nanooks to just 15 shots on goal. The grinded out a 2-1 win on Saturday.
3. Done with each other
In a quirk of the schedule, Michigan Tech and Ferris State are done playing each other for the season, as they played twice in three weeks. It’s too bad, too, as they split the two series, with three of the games — both this past weekend — being one-goal games. The Huskies won on Malcom Gould’s overtime goal on Friday and the Bulldogs rebounded thanks to goalie Darren Smith’s 36 save performance and Andrew Dorantes’ late-third-period game-winner.