1. Tech beats MSU (finally), and gains some ground
For once, a key WCHA series this weekend didn’t end in a split. Michigan Tech took three of four points from conference leaders Minnesota State in a (very snowy) Houghton on Friday and Saturday. Despite the crazy lake-effect snow on Saturday night, 3,153 people saw the Huskies beat the Mavericks 3-1 — their first win over the MSU since the 2011-12 season. That snapped a 10-game winless streak (which included Friday night’s 2-2 tie) and ultimately pulled the Huskies into a a tie for second place with idle (in the conference) Bowling Green.
2. Nonconference struggles continue
Speaking of Bowling Green, the Falcons once again lost in nonconference play — this time falling to instate rivals Miami 2-1. The RedHawks scored with two seconds left in the game to earn the win in Oxford. The loss gives BG an 0-3 record against NCHC foes and moves them to 4-4-1 overall in nonconference play. It’s one area where the league has struggled — overall conference teams are 23-28-9 out of the league, including a dismal 2-15-2 against the NCHC. The only two teams to beat NCHC foes so far are Bemidji State (over Minnesota Duluth) and Alabama Huntsville (which split with Colorado College). It’s part of the reason why there’s only one WCHA team (MSU) in the top 20 of the Pairwise rankings so far. And it’s getting to the point where opportunities for nonconference wins (and chances to improve PRW rankings) are going to be scarce. On a more positive n0te, Bemidji State swept Arizona State, which should help a little — especially since the conference’s PWR took a hit when the Sun Devils swept Lake Superior State on the road, and also beat Alaska earlier this season.
3. More splits (shocking, right?)
Aside from Tech taking three points from MSU, two conference series ended in splits: Alaska at Northern Michigan and Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State. In Marquette, the Nanooks beat the Wildcats 3-2 (in overtime, because of course) on Friday before NMU won 5-3 on Saturday. In Sault Ste. Marie, the Lakers ended up with a 4-2 win in Saturday before the Seawolves took Sunday’s game 3-1.
And finally, one more result of note: Ferris State has yet to sweep or be swept, and the Bulldogs continued that streak this week, when they took three points from Huntsville. The Bulldogs and Chargers tied 3-3 on Friday but the Bulldogs won 4-1 on Saturday.