RE: Other college hockey (BSU, UND, SCSU, etc) - 2/18/2020 8:31:50 AM
Here's an article on Bemidji State from the Mankato Free Press:
Before going into its final break of the season, the Minnesota State men’s hockey team probably thought it would have a good chance to lock up a third straight MacNaughton Cup on its home ice once it returned from a weekend off.
The first-place and third-ranked Mavericks host last-place and two-win Alabama Huntsville this weekend in their final home games of the regular season.
Following its home sweep of Northern Michigan, Minnesota State probably thought the Wildcats would return to the U.P. intent on getting a much-needed win or two against Bemidji State in a series between the WCHA’s second- and third-place teams.
Let them beat each other up, the idle Mavericks probably thought, and another league championship and home ice throughout the postseason would be all but theirs.
But that didn’t happen in Marquette.
Instead, Bemidji State remained one of the hottest teams in the country, going on the road and impressively sweeping Northern Michigan 5-0 and 5-1 to remain within five points of Minnesota State and lock up no worse than a second-place finish in the WCHA.
It’s now a two-team race with four games to play.
While the Mavericks could clinch and keep the MacNaughton on Saturday night — either right after the game or later on that night with Bemidji State playing at Alaska Anchorage — it sure seems like the race for the championship will come down to a regular season-ending series between them and the Beavers in Bemidji on Feb. 28-29.
Bemidji State goes to Anchorage this weekend in a matchup between the second- and eighth-place teams in the WCHA.
The Beavers should be the favorites, but they’re also going to a place where only one visiting team has taken all six points this season.
If the Seawolves can keep the Beavers from securing more than four points, Minnesota State can clinch the title with a sweep of the Chargers. If Anchorage can do the damage on Friday following a MSU’s hopeful victory, the Mavericks could win it with their fans still in the building on Saturday.
That might be a lot to ask for.
On Dec. 29, Minnesota State defeated Bemidji State 2-0 in the third-place game of the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis.
Since then, both the Mavericks and Beavers are 10-1-1, with each team’s only loss coming against the other in a series split Jan. 24-25 in Mankato.
Bemidji State, has since moved up to No. 12 in the Pairwise (where MSU ranks second) and 13th in the opinion polls. In mid-January, the Beavers also were in second place in the WCHA but unranked in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll, while MSU, Bowling Green, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech all sat among the top 20.
That was on the heels of four straight wins over the league’s bottom two teams, Ferris State and Alabama Huntsville, and some observers said the Beavers’ schedule was the reason for their record and just wait until they started playing the WCHA’s upper-division teams.
Since then, the Beavers took five points against Tech, split at Mankato and swept Bowling Green at home and Northern Michigan on the road.
They were told, “Prove it,” and they did.
Bemidji State has kept the pressure on Minnesota State, and that’s probably a good thing for the Mavericks, who don’t want to be coasting into the postseason.
The Mavericks are still in the driver’s seat, but the Beavers are in their rear-view mirror and gaining on them.
55% of Republicans think the Earth is 5,000 years old. All kinds of people believe all kinds of crazy things. You just gotta move on, man.
-James Carville - 12/15/20 - The Beat with Ari Melber