Tigers back in USCHO poll at No. 19

A road sweep at Wisconsin, which included a Saturday shutout by senior goalie Joe Howe, pictured,  moved Colorado College back into the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll at No. 19, matching its preseason ranking.

The Tigers (5-3, 2-0 WCHA) host Bemidji State this weekend.

With 36 teams receiving votes, the parity in college hockey has never been greater in the poll voters’ estimation.

From USCHO …     

The top three teams remain the same as last week, including top-ranked Boston College as the Eagles received 48 of 50 first-place votes and further solidified its hold on No. 1 with two wins while many other top teams split their weekend series..

Minnesota is still No. 2 and Denver stays No. 3. The Pioneers received a first-place vote this week as well.  Cornell jumps two spots to No. 4 and Miami drops one to sit fifth.

North Dakota is also down one place to No. 6, while Notre Dame remains seventh, Union moves from 10th to eighth and tallied the other first-place vote, New Hampshire is again ninth and Western Michigan moves from No. 11 to No. 10.

Boston University climbs one to go to No. 11, Michigan falls four spots to No. 12, St. Lawrence jumps three places to No. 13, Harvard drops one spot to sit 14th and St. Cloud State gets into the top 15 with a three-spot jump from No. 18 last week.

At No. 16, Northern Michigan rises four, Massachusetts-Lowell falls three places to No. 17, Ferris State climbs one to No. 18, Colorado College gets back into the rankings at No. 19 and idle Minnesota-Duluth drops three places to No. 20 this week.

Additionally, 16 other teams received votes.  The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Tuesday reading: CCHA, WCHA lookahead, web media poll

Here are notes of interest from the CCHA’s weekly Need to Know press release …

Miami- Miami split its CCHA opening-weekend series at Michigan, falling 4-2 Friday before rebounding for a 4-3 win Saturday. The RedHawks’ win was just their sixth victory in 53 tries at Yost Ice Arena. Miami is 6-46-1 all-time at Michigan.  On Saturday, U-M held a 2-1 lead entering the third period only to surrender three straight goals in a 4-3 loss to the RedHawks.

Notre Dame- Notre Dame’s 5-1-0 start this season equals the best start for the Irish since going 5-1-0 to start the 2010-11 season.  The last time that Notre Dame had a better start than that was in 2006-07 when the Irish started that year 6-1-0 on the way to a 9-1-1 start and a 32-7-3 final record.

Western Michigan- After a weekend off, the Broncos travel to Compton Family Ice Arena to take on Notre Dame. Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski made all four starts against the Fighting Irish last season, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

From the WCHA …

The month of November launches later this week with four, two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the docket for Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd as Michigan Tech hosts Nebraska Omaha, Colorado College travels to Wisconsin, Minnesota State visits Minnesota and Denver hosts St. Cloud State.

There will also be one non-conference set contested over the weekend as North Dakota entertains Hockey East Association-member Boston University.

At John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan Tech (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) will take on Nebraska Omaha (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) in a pair of 7:07 pm ET face-offs on Friday and Saturday. The two teams will then conclude their four-game series on Feb. 1-2 in Omaha.

At the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin will play its first regular season home games of 2012-13 as the Badgers (1-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) go up against visiting Colorado College (3-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in back-to-back 7:07 pm CT puck drops. These will be the only two regular season meetings of the two clubs and will also be the Tigers’ first two league games this season.

Defending conference champion and pre-season favorite Minnesota (4-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) will play a home-and-home WCHA set against Minnesota State (2-2-2, 0-2-0 WCHA), with Friday’s contest at 7:07 pm CT at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and Saturday’s match up at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato at 7:07 pm CT. The No. 2-ranked Golden Gophers and Mavericks will then meet again on Jan. 25 in Minneapolis and Jan. 26 in Mankato.

And in the west, unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Denver (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) will entertain No. 18-ranked St. Cloud State (4-2-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) for a pair of league contests at Magness Arena, with game times at 7:37 pm MT on Friday evening and 7:07 pm MT on Saturday night. The Pioneers and Huskies will then meet again in St. Cloud on Jan. 18-19.

Outside the WCHA this coming weekend, No. 5-ranked North Dakota (2-1-1) will play host to No. 12-ranked Boston University (3-1-0) of the Hockey East Association. Face-offs at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks are 7:37 pm CT on Nov. 2 and 7:07 pm CT on Nov. 3.  Through 37 non-conference games so far this season, WCHA member teams stand 20-14-3 (.583) against other Div. 1 teams. Against each of the other leagues, the WCHA is 5-0-1 vs Atlantic Hockey, 7-9-0 vs the CCHA, 3-2-1 vs ECAC Hockey, 2-3-0 vs Hockey East, and 3-0-1 vs independents.

Three teams – Alaska Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA), Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) and No. 17-ranked Minnesota Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – are idle this week.

Looking ahead to the conference schedule for the weekend of Nov. 9-11, North Dakota will play at St. Cloud State (Friday/Saturday), Denver heads to Minnesota State (Friday/Saturday), Alaska Anchorage hosts Minnesota (Friday/Saturday), Colorado College entertains Bemidji State (Friday/Saturday), and Minnesota Duluth visits Nebraska Omaha (Saturday/Sunday). Both Michigan Tech and Wisconsin will be idle.

Here are more details from the Tech Hockey Guide WCHA Web Media Poll for Week 3:

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (7) 138 2 4-0-0 1 3
2) Minnesota (5) 136 1 4-1-0 1 3
3) North Dakota 120 3 2-1-1 2 4
4) St. Cloud State 109 7 4-2-0 2 5
5) Colorado College 74 6 3-3-0 4 10
6) Wisconsin 72 10 1-2-1 5 11
7) Michigan Tech 69 5 2-4-0 6 10
8) Minnesota Duluth 64 4 2-3-1 5 11
9) Bemidji State 55 11 2-1-1 5 11
10) Nebraska Omaha 52 8 2-3-1 6 10
11) Alaska Anchorage 29 12 2-2-2 6 12
12) Minnesota State 18 9 2-2-2 10 12

Saturday reading: WCHA roundup, Miami, NHL lockout

From the WCHA …

No. 4 North Dakota 4, Alaska Anchorage 1

GRAND FORKS — Senior forward Danny Kristo registered an assist on three of North Dakota’s four goals to help lift his team to a 4-1 victory against Alaska Anchorage at Engelstad Arena on Friday night.

No. 5 Denver 5, Michigan Tech 1

DENVER — Junior defenseman David Makowski and junior forward Nick Shore each had a goal and an assist to lead Denver to a 5-1 victory against Michigan Tech at Magness Arena on Friday night.

Wisconsin 2, No. 14 Minnesota Duluth 0

DULUTH — Sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel made 29 saves and junior forward Mark Zengerle had a goal and an assist to lead the Badgers to a 2-0 shutout against the Bulldogs on Friday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Bemidji State 3, Nebraska Omaha 3 OT

OMAHA — Senior forward Aaron McLeod scored a goal and an assist while sophomore netminder Andrew Walsh made 39 saves to help lift Bemidji State to a 3-3 tie against Nebraska Omaha on Friday night at CenturyLink Center.

St. Cloud State 5, Minnesota State 1

ST. CLOUD — Ben Hanowski scored a pair of goals and Drew LeBlanc added a goal and three assists to lead St. Cloud State to a 5-1 win against Minnesota State on Friday night at National Hockey Center.

No. 2 Minnesota 2, USA U-18 2 OT (exhibition)

MINNEAPOLIS — Junior forwards Tom Serratore and Nick Bjugstad each scored a goal to help Minnesota skate to a 2-2 tie against the USA Under-18 Team on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

From the CCHA …

No. 6 Michigan 4, No. 3 Miami 2

ANN ARBOR — Michigan senior forward A.J. Treais tallied two goals to power the Wolverines to a 4-2 win over Miami. Sophomore defenseman Mike Chiasson and sophomore forward Alex Guptill both recorded 1-1-2 scoring lines while freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba had two helpers.

For the RedHawks, sophomore forward Cody Murphy scored a goal on the power play and sophomore forward Austin Czarnik netted a short-handed tally. Michigan freshman goaltender Steve Racine stopped 30 shots, while Miami’s tandem of freshman goaltenders Jay Williams and Ryan McKay combined for 31 saves.

In the pros, frustration continues to mount as more NHL players are giving up on the season to find work overseas, as former Tiger Mark Stuart points out.

Tuesday reading: Crabb, UND injury, Mankato, Tech, Hockey East

Former Tiger Joey Crabb will be in Colorado to take on the ECHL Eagles this weekend. Tim Hall should be making the trip as well. The Eagles include Arthur Bidwill.

No update available yet on Michael Parks‘ injury on North Dakota’s exhibition game on Saturday.

A new line centered by freshman Bryce Gervais has Mankato coach Mike Hastings talking about considerable depth. Here are more details.

This might be a good idea from Michigan Tech for CC to consider at Honnen Ice Arena: a short intrasquad scrimmage that serves as a fundraiser for a charity.

Here is more on the Nic Kerdliessuspension.

Here are capsule previews on Hockey East which includes future CC foes UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire.

From the CCHA …

Miami- Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik scored twice and four other RedHawks added single goals in a 6-2 exhibition win over Western Ontario on Sunday. Miami opens the regular season on Friday against Colgate at Steve Cady Arena.

Western Michigan- The Broncos fired 46 shots on goal and freshman forward Nolan LaPorte and senior forward Dane Walters scored in a 2-2 exhibition tie against Western Ontario on Saturday. Western Michigan opens the regular season by hosting St. Lawrence in non-conference action this weekend.

This Week in the WCHA …

Games for Thursday, October 11: Michigan Tech at Lake Superior (NC), 7:35 pm ET.

Games for Friday, October 12: Michigan State at Minnesota (NC), 6:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at New Hampshire (NC), 7:30 pm ET; Minnesota State at Alabama-Huntsville (NC), 7:00 pm CT; * Wisconsin vs Northern Michigan (NC), 7:05 pm CT; Ohio State at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; USA Under-18 Team at North Dakota (EX), 7:37 pm CT; Clarkson at Colorado College (NC), 7:37 pm MT; # Army vs Nebraska Omaha (NC), 9:00 pm CT; & Canisius at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 8:07 pm AT.
* Resch Center (Green Bay, WI); # IceBreaker (Kansas City, MO); & Kendall Hockey Classic (Anchorage, AK)

Games for Saturday, October 13: * Notre Dame/Maine vs Nebraska Omaha (NC), 3:30/6:30 pm CT; St. Cloud State at New Hampshire (NC), 7:00 pm ET; # Lake Superior at Michigan Tech (NC), 7:07 pm ET; Minnesota State at Alabama-Huntsville (NC), 7:00 pm CT; & Wisconsin vs Northern Michigan (NC), 7:05 pm CT; Ohio State at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; USA Under-18 Team at Bemidji State (EX), 7:07 pm CT; Clarkson at Colorado College (NC), 7:07 pm MT; Michigan State at Minnesota (NC), 8:07 pm CT; % Air Force at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 7:07 pm AT.
*IceBreaker (Kansas City, MO); # Hall of Fame Day; & – Resch Center (Green Bay, WI); % Kendall Hockey Classic

Here is a college hockey teaser for NBC Sports Network that may get your blood pumping.

Thursday reading: Year in review, WMU, NCHC season ticket prices

Here is the Mankato Free Press beat writer’s look back at the past year and the huge changes to the college hockey landscape. Seeing it all in a few hundred words is a good reminder of how different things became so quickly.

A big change for Western Michigan is the financial commitment the Broncos must make as a member of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The story linked does a good showing that as part of a four-part series on the WMU athletic department budget.

Of interest to other NCHC fans is a box comparing season ticket prices for the eight member schools in the WMU article:

NCHC Season Ticket Prices for 2012-13

    • Denver: $360 – $624
    • Miami: $275 – $565
    • Nebraska-Omaha: $235 – $415
    • Colorado College: $149 – $409
    • Minnesota-Duluth: $400
    • St. Cloud State: $325 – $400
    • North Dakota: $390
    • Western Michigan: $190 – $210

Monday reading: AFA, Denver advance; BGSU shocks Ferris State

I took a break from college hockey Sunday night so here are that night’s Game 3 results.

AHA No. 1 seed Air Force 4, No. 8 UConn 3

The Falcons came back from two one-goal deficits to advance to the AHA Final Four in Rochester, N.Y. this weekend.

WCHA No. 3 seed Denver 3, No. 10 Wisconsin 2 OT

DENVER — For the second consecutive game, senior forward Luke Salazar scored the game-winning goal – this time 1:40 into overtime – as Denver skated to a 3-2 victory against Wisconsin in the final game of a WCHA best-of-three playoff series on Sunday night at Magness Arena.

WCHA Final Five at Xcel Energy Center

Thursday, March 15
Quarterfinal: No. 6 Michigan Tech vs No. 3 Denver, 2:07 pm CT
Quarterfinal: No. 5 St. Cloud State vs No. 4 North Dakota, 7:07 pm CT

Friday, March 16
Semifinal: Michigan Tech/Denver vs No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, 2:07 pm CT
Semifinal: St. Cloud State/North Dakota vs. No. 1 Minnesota, 7:07 pm CT

Saturday, March 17 Broadmoor Trophy championship game, 7:07 pm CT

CCHA No. 11 seed Bowling Green 4, No. 1 Ferris State 3 OT

Bowling Green came back from a three-goal deficit to top Ferris State in overtime and move on to the CCHA semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. The last-place Falcons are the lowest seed in CCHA history to make it to the CCHA Championship Tournament.

Bowling Green freshman forward Dan DeSalvo scored three straight goals, including the game-winner 2:38 into overtime, to top Ferris State, 4-3. Bowling Green junior goaltender Andrew Hammond made 28 saves in the win. At the other end of the ice, Ferris State senior goaltender Taylor Nelson stopped 33 shots.

Bowling Green will face Michigan in the semifinals next weekend and Miami will battle Western Michigan in the other semifinal matchup.

The top four seeds advanced in the ECAC while No, 7 Providence downed No. 2 UMass-Lowell 1-0 Sunday night to advance to the Hockey East semifinals.