Monday reading: Badgers, MacNaughton race, Bachman, AHA, polls

bachman maskThe 19th-ranked Badgers play North Dakota for the last time this weekend in WCHA action, but their nonconference play will resume during the 2014-15 season.

Wisconsin’s Derek Lee suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over Anchorage. His status for this weekend’s road series at No. 7/8 North Dakota road series is unclear judging from this quote from coach Mike Eaves:

‘Well, talked to Mr. Hrodey this morning, and he passed his cognitive test. That’s step one. He still has some residual headaches, so those have to dissipate before he can get on the bike.

At this point, we’re hopeful. The fact that he passed the cognitive was a good step. He won’t go on the ice today, and tomorrow we’ll come back and see where he’s at.”

The Gophers beat writer says SCSU, Minnesota and Omaha have the best chance at the MacNaughton Cup regular-season title.

Former Tiger Richard Bachman’s “The Shining” mask, pictured, continues to draw rave reviews.

Here is a brief look at the Atlantic Hockey Association race with an eye on the Niagara at Air Force regular-season finale.

The latest USCHO.com poll is in as is the WCHA web media poll.

Tuesday reading: Testwuide, NCHC, 3 Things, polls

Testwuide adirondackIt is a quiet week news-wise with most teams inactive until Dec. 24 or later depending on their schedules. CC returns to practice on Dec. 28 since the players take block finals on Wednesday and then leave for home.

Here are a few offerings.

Former Tiger Mike Testwuide, pictured, took advantage of his first pro game as a center after being a healthy scratch for six of seven games with the Adirondack Phantoms. He may get more ice time after friend Ben Holmstrom of Colorado Springs went down with a knee injury requiring surgery.

Here is an NCHC-oriented weekend review and a polls update.

Here are the USCHO weekly poll and the USA Hockey rankings and Tyler’s take on last weekend.

The WCHA media blog poll will return after the holiday tournaments and games (Dec. 27-30):

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) North Dakota (8) 140 2 8-5-3 1 2
2) Minnesota (4) 130 1 11-3-3 1 4
3) St. Cloud State 125 5 9-7-0 2 3
4) Nebraska Omaha 102 4 10-5-1 3 6
5) Minnesota State 96 6 9-5-2 4 6
6) Denver 90 3 9-5-2 4 7
7) Colorado College 67 7 8-8-2 6 9
8) Minnesota Duluth 62 8 5-8-3 7 9
9) Wisconsin 45 10 2-7-5 7 11
10) Bemidji State 40 11 4-8-2 8 11
11) Michigan Tech 26 9 4-8-3 9 12
12) Alaska Anchorage 13 12 3-7-4 11 12

Friday reading: Holmstrom, WCHA column, predictions, Kerdiles

HolmstromColorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom will miss much of the season with a knee injury.

Here is this week’s WCHA column from USCHO and my and Tyler’s predictions.

CC hopes the road proves kinder than its recent homestand.

Puckato’s Morning Skate provides links to previews from around the league.

Wisconsin 5, Alabama-Huntsville 0

MADISON — Junior forward Michael Mersch and freshman forward Nic Kerdiles each scored two goals to lead Wisconsin to a 5-0 victory against Alabama-Huntsville on Thursday night at Kohl Center. It was Kerdiles’ first college scores after a tough offseason.

Thursday reading: CC, TV, WCHA, UAA, CCHA, Hockey East, Army

TV imageCC fans: Please remember to bring a new or gently used stuffed animal for Saturday’s Teddy Bear Toss during first intermission of the Minnesota game.

Here are the preview notes for CC, including news that ROOT Sports will broadcast Friday’s game as will FS North and FS Southwest.

UM freshman goalie Adam Wilcox is the national Rookie of the Month for November. UNO’s Ryan Walters (15 points) was the player honoree, beating out a strong candidacy for CC senior Scott Winkler (14 points).

Minnesota closes out the first half of the season in Colorado Springs. Here are the preview notes.

Here is this week’s USCHO column on the WCHA, including a short feature on UND captain Andrew MacWilliam.

Bowling Green’s struggles are the subject of this week’s CCHA column.

Alaska-Anchorage lost a little-used walk-on player to Canada or the Division III ranks, where he can play more often.

The Hockey East coaches’ letters to Santa were intercepted once again by the USCHO columnist.

The Army captain is a Rhodes finalist.

CC falls to No. 19 in USCHO poll; stays sixth in blog rankings

HamburgA weekend home split to North Dakota hurt both Colorado College and UND with CC dropping from 17th to 19th in the weekly USCHO.com poll while UND went from No. 7 to No. 9. CC received some votes in the USA Hockey rankings.

Western Collegiate Hockey Association-leading Denver dropped one spot to sixth in both polls.

North Dakota dropped to No. 9 in both rankings released on Monday.

Nebraska-Omaha is 14th in both ratings. St. Cloud State fell to No. 17 and Colorado College dropped one spot to No. 19 according to the 50 USCHO voters. Both received some points from USA Hockey’s 34 voters.

Here is this week’s WCHA media blog poll:

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (9) 139 1 9-4-1 1 3
2) Minnesota (2) 131 2 10-3-2 1 3
3) North Dakota 113 3 7-5-2 2 6
4) Nebraska Omaha (1) 111 5 9-4-1 1 5
5) St. Cloud State 102 4 8-6-0 3 6
6) Colorado College 87 6 8-7-1 5 7
7) Minnesota State 65 8 7-5-2 6 11
8) Minnesota Duluth 51 10 4-7-3 8 10
9) Michigan Tech 48 7 4-7-1 7 10
10) Wisconsin 46 11 2-7-3 7 11
11) Bemidji State 25 9 3-7-2 8 12
12) Alaska Anchorage 18 12 3-5-4 10 12

CC falls to No. 18 in USCHO poll

After a home tie and loss, Colorado College dropped to No. 18 from No. 14 in the USCHO poll and still received some votes from USA Hockey.

Here is the latest Pairwise rankings, which show the Tigers (19th) are 0-6-1 against teams under consideration for the NCAAs. That has to change.

Minnesota is the top-rated WCHA team at No. 3 in both polls. New Hampshire moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in both rankings while Yale made its first appearance in both.

The future National Collegiate Hockey Conference teams had seven of eight ranked. Idle Miami moved up from No. 5 to No. 4 in both polls while Denver dropped three spots to No. 5 in the two weekly rankings released on Monday.

North Dakota, CC’s foe this weekend, stayed at No. 7 in the USCHO rankings but fell to No. 8 according to USA Hockey’s 34 voters.  Idle Western Michigan dipped one spot to No. 10 in both polls.

Nebraska-Omaha is 13th according to the 50 USCHO voters and 14th in USA Hockey’s estimation.  St. Cloud State fell to No. 14 in USCHO’s poll and No. 15 in the USA Hockey ratings.

Thursday reading: WCHA column, Winkler, Heil, Rothstein, Enga, Slavvin

I started new irregular features in the weekly WCHA column on USCHO, one focusing on an “unsung hero” for Bemidji State who has a young daughter and wife and still manages to find time to be a league academic honoree and log a lot of quality ice time for the Beavers. The Series Spotlight segment, naturally, deals with CC and Denver this weekend starting the annual battle for the Gold Pan Trophy, pictured.

CC senior Scott Winkler has the best numbers of any NCAA prospect for the Stars, especially in plus/minus.

Chicago Steel forward and CC commit Christian Heil scored two goals in 34 seconds during the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Indiana.  It gives the 18-year-old five goals over his last four games and pushed him into a tie for third in the USHL with 10 goals this season.

Future Tiger Sam Rothstein scored two goals for the Sioux Falls Stampede Saturday in the team’s USHL-leading eighth home win.

Former Tiger RJ Enga and CC commit Jaccob Slavin played key roles in Team USA’s World Junior A challenge championship. Enga served at an assistant coach while Slavin was an assistant captain.

Former Penn State club coach Joe Battista penned this column praising Air Force coach Frank Serratore and hockey people in general.

CC moves up to No. 14, Denver now No. 2 in USCHO poll

Colorado College enjoyed the biggest improvement of any WCHA team in the weekly USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, jumping five spots from No. 19 to No. 14 this week.

Denver improved from No. 3 to No. 2, passing Minnesota. North Dakota remained at No. 6.

St. Cloud State remained at No. 15 while Nebraska Omaha re-entered the rankings at No. 18. Minnesota Duluth fell out of the poll.

Thanks to an eight-game win streak, Boston College received all 50 first-place votes and retained the No. 1 ranking. Previously unranked Dartmouth (5-0-1) of the ECAC made its poll debut at No. 12.

Friday morning reading: Previews, videos and features

Here are the weekly USCHO predictions.

No. 2 Minnesota (5-2, 2-2 WCHA) at Alaska-Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1)

The Gophers hope the long plane trip will help them focus on better play. UAA’s Scott Allen and his offensive contributions are featured.

No. 3 Denver (5-1, 3-1) at Minnesota State (3-3-2, 1-3)

Denver junior forward Nick Shore is enjoying a good start and is featured here. There are a couple MSU stories available through links at Puckato, the MSU beat writer’s blog.

No. 6 North Dakota (3-2-1, 1-0-1) at No. 15 St. Cloud State (5-3, 3-1)

Here is video of the weekly UND press conference with head coach Dave Hakstol and players Corban Knight, Dillon Simpson and Andrew MacWilliam.

SCSU’s Garrett Milan is featured by his hometown newspaper. Nic Dowd is benefiting from hard work this summer. You can see he has grown out his hair for the Locks of Love charity in the picture with the St. Cloud Times article. Here is a radio interview of coach Bob Motzko about the upcoming series.

Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1) at No. 19 Colorado College (5-3, 2-0)

Here is CCTigers.com’s weekly preview. The BSU players hope to rengain momentum after a bye week following a four-point weekend at Nebraska-Omaha in late October. This link goes to Thursday reading, which has a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore, a CC preview and a feature on Eamonn McDermott.

No.  20 Minnesota-Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1) at Nebraska-Omaha (4-3-1, 2-1-1), Saturday-Sunday

Here is the Duluth News-Tribune’s preview and the UMD preview notes. Here is College Hockey News’ praise for Nebraska-Omaha. The Omaha World Herald examines the strong UNO penalty kill. The Mavs’ Matt White, who sat out last week due to academic issues, will be available this weekend.

Michigan Tech and Wisconsin are idle

Thursday reading: McDermott, WCHA column, picks, BSU video

CC defenseman’s Eamonn McDermott stretch passes in transition has helped him  emerge as a potent offensive player in his junior season. The Tigers are happy to be home for nine of the next 10 games

The following link is to the weekly USCHO WCHA column I share with a colleague. He wrote the larger piece on goaltending and more on Denver while I handled the rest.

Here are the Gophers beat writer’s picks for the weekend. Picking a home sweep for St. Cloud State versus North Dakota was a bold call.

Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore held his weekly press conference about upcoming opponent Colorado College.