Friday, November 09, 2007

Week 6 Breakdown.

#12 Notre Dame v. #1 Miami U. (CCHA)
Fri./Sat., Steve Cady Arena, Oxford, OH; 7:35p/7:05p EST.

The Miami RedHawks (8-0-0, 6-0-0 in the CCHA), without question, are playing an absolutely crazy brand of hockey. Undefeated in the CCHA, the Redhawks have won all but one of their conference games by at least three goals, tallying as many as nine in a game against Northern Michigan last week. Two players for Miami have notched points in the double-digits – senior Ryan Jones (8g-3a-11pts.) and freshman Carter Camper (3g-7a-10pts). Junior forward Justin Mercier has notched seven goals and a pair of assists thus far this season as well for Miami.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame had a rough start to the season in non-conference play, going 2-2-0 with losses against Wisconsin and Denver. However, since those opening two weeks, the Irish have settled down a bit, going 4-1-0 in conference play with a win at Bowling Green, a series-split at Ferris State, and a series-sweep against Lake Superior State. Senior forward Mark Van Gilder has notched six goals and three assists thus far in the early season, and sophomore Ryan Thang has netted five goals for the Domers.

#15 Minnesota-Duluth v. #9 Colorado College (WCHA)

Fri./Sat., World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO; 7:35p/7:05p MST.

Woof. One of the surprising developments in the WCHA thus far in the season – Minnesota-Duluth is heading into Colorado Springs looking quite strong. The Bulldogs are 4-1-1 thus far in the season – a record which includes a conference win against Denver, a sweep of conference foe St. Cloud State, a victory against the CCHA’s Northern Michigan, and a tie against the CCHA’s Lake Superior State.

And the thing is, thus far, it has truly been a team-effort for Minnesota-Duluth. Not one Bulldog has flashy statistics – five skaters have scored a pair of goals (with four of those players notching at least a pair of assists). It also helps that UMD sophomore goaltender Alex Stalock has been nothing short of stellar, tallying a near-microscopic 1.65 GAA in six starts.

Woof? Woof, indeed, my friends.

It’s been no bed of roses for Colorado College thus far (3-3-0). After playing a pair of exhibitions, the Tigers have taken on a “who’s who” list in college hockey – Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Dakota in consecutive weekend series. But despite the tough schedule for CC thus far, the Tigers have found a way to keep their heads above water in the WCHA, going 3-1-0 for 6 points. Two players for CC have tallied four goals – sophomore Bill Sweatt (4g-3a-7pts.) and junior Eric Walsky (4g-0a-4pts.).

Niagara v. Robert Morris (CHA)
Fri./Sat., RMU Island Sports Center, Moon Township, PA; 7:35p EST.

A really good series that you’ll, sadly, not hear a lot about coming up in CHA, as the 5-2-0 Niagara Purple Eagles make the trip to Moon Township, PA, taking on the 4-2-0 Robert Morris Colonials for a weekend pair.

Robert Morris started the season shocking the college hockey world, winning the 2007 Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage, beating conference foe Wayne State and Boston University in consecutive nights. After getting trounced twice against Wisconsin in non-conference play, the Colonials bounced back, taking a weekend sweep in CHA action against Wayne State. Robert Morris has a trio of very good upperclassman – senior Ryan Carruthers (3g-4a-7pts.), junior Chris Margott (1g-6a-7pts.), and junior Jason Towsley (4g-2a-6pts.).

The season for the Niagara Purple Eagles, a team projected to, by many, take the CHA this season, has been characterized by book-end losses against season-opener Merrimack and conference-opener Bemidji State, and a five-game winning streak which included wins against Bowling Green State (thus far, a modest surprise in the CCHA at 3-2-0) and Western Michigan (in a weekend sweep). NU senior forward Matt Caruana has tallied five goals and three assists thus far in the season.

#4 North Dakota v. #10 Wisconsin (WCHA)
Fri./Sat., Kohl Center, Madison, WI; 7:05p CST.

North Dakota, at the end of last week, was looking very un-North Dakota-like in a 4-1 loss to Colorado College. That was the bad news for UND. The good news? Well, they’re still North Dakota, and thus, are still chock-full of talent. Linesmates and juniors T.J. Oshie (5p-2a-7pts) and Ryan Duncan (3g-5a-8pts.) are still fantastic players, and senior goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, still, is having a fantastic early-season, only giving up seven goals (GAA of 1.06) on the strength of a .958 SV%.

Meanwhile, things have been awkwardly quiet out of Madison as of late. The Badgers have played six games total (no exhibitions), going 4-2-0 with non-conference wins against Notre Dame and Robert Morris, and one lone in-conference win against Michigan Tech. They do have one heckuva freshman – forward Kyle Turris has notched five goals and eight assists in Wisconsin’s six games thus far.

Massachusetts v. Boston U. (Hockey East)
Fri., Agganis Arena, Boston, MA; 7:30p EST.

Home, sweet home… possibly. It almost seems as if Boston U.’s played just about everywhere this season except Agganis, having semi-disastrous results regardless of which rink they play at. BU’s season began in Anchorage at the Nye Frontier Classic, taking a disappointing third place with a tie against Alaska-Anchorage and a loss against Robert Morris. Following the tournament, the Terriers went back to Boston for a drudging against New Hampshire, then, back on the road to Ann Arbor, losing a pair against non-conference Michigan at Yost. But recently, the Terriers have begun to turn things around, taking a pair of games at Providence and at home against Mass.-Lowell.

What do we know after all of this for Boston U.? Good question. Well, we know BU’s offensive output has been, as of late, balanced, with seven Terriers scoring at least two goals in the early-portion of the season.

What do we know about UMass? The Minutemen have had just as crazy, if not, a crazier season. UMass has tallied a record of 3-2-2, with a conference win against Merrimack, draws against Mass.-Lowell and Providence, and losses at Providence and at non-conference Clarkson. Five players for UMass have tallied at least two goals in the early-portion of the season.

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