Monday, October 13, 2008

What Have We Learned?

The first weekend of real games is in the books, and we've gained a little insight about most teams this year. Here's a few brief thoughts on the teams that got their season started last weekend.

Fans didn't have to wait too long for the first CCHA shootout. In the first league game of the season, Miami and Ohio State finished their overtime tied 3-3, and the Buckeyes won the shootout to earn an extra point. As far as I know, the world didn't stop spinning and no old ladies fainted at the sight of the shootout. My only problem with it is that the OSU/Miami series ended up being worth 5 points this weekend instead of the traditional 4 points.

Mercyhurst is not goodSt. Cloud scored seven goals in each game, while going 44% on the powerplay against a clearly overmatched Mercyhurst team. Remember when Lake Erie caught on fire in the late-1960's? That's kind of what Mercyhurst's defense was like.

Mark Mitera is hurting. Next time you hear somebody say 'I've never heard a player regret coming back for an extra year of college hockey,' you can probably bring up Michigan defenseman Mark Mitera's name. Mitera suffered a serious knee injury in Michigan's first game of the season that will likely keep him out for the duration of his senior season. Michigan did manage to win two very close games with St. Lawrence despite going 1 for 19 on the powerplay.

North Dakota's goaltending struggles North Dakota lost both games of the Icebreaker tournament last weekend. Scoring three goals over two games isn't great, but the bigger concern is in goal. Brad Eidsness gave up 5 goals over 33 shots on Friday, and then Aaron Walski gave up three goals on 16 shots in the second game. North Dakota outshot Massachusetts 42-16 on Saturday night and still lost. The Sioux are known for sleepwalking through the first part of the season, but if the goaltending doesn't turn it around, they may struggle against WCHA teams.

Impressive win for DU Denver took on Notre Dame in the Hall of Fame game, in a match-up of two teams that should be near the top of their respective conferences and Denver had a decisive 5-2 victory. Notre Dame was missing a few players due to suspension, but the Pioneers were the better team. Goalie Marc Cheverie earned high marks in his first real test as full-time starter.

Jeff Lerg is going to be busy Michigan State split their first two games of the season with a win over Massachusetts, and a loss to BU. After building a 3-0 lead in the first two periods of their first game, Michigan State didn't put a single shot on goal in the final twenty minutes of play. Lerg stopped 12 of 13 shots to preserve the win, however. He had 36 total stops for the game. On Saturday, the Spartans were outshot 29-13, but only lost 2-1.

CC gets the job done. Colorado College had two fairly pedestrian wins over a weak Alabama-Hunstville team. Richard Bachman got his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 win on Friday. Despite the close score, CC had a huge advantage in shots on goal. On Saturday, Drew O'Connell got the start in goal and CC won 5-3.

Rough times in western Michigan Ferris State dropped a game at home to Canisius, while Western Michigan tied Niagara and lost to RIT.

Wisconsin struggles The Badgers lost to two pretty good eastern teams in BC and New Hampshire. Jamie McBain started off the season by going -5 in his first two games, while Ryan McDonagh is -3.

Mavericks that aren't losers Minnesota State swept Bemidji at home, giving MSU their first ever 2-0 start to the season since joining Division I.


Anonymous said...

Did you mean Denver?
Denver Suspends Four Players

CHN Staff Report

DENVER — Denver coach George Gwozdecky handed down suspensions to four players, meaning they all sat out Saturday night's season-opening exhibition game against the University of Alberta.

Senior captain J.P. Testwuide, sophomore defenseman Jon Cook and sophomore forward Dustin Jackson were all suspended one game. Junior defenseman Cody Brookwell was given a four-game suspension.

Testwuide, Cook and Jackson should be available to play in the regular-season opener against Notre Dame in the U.S. College Hall of Fame game.

The reasons for the suspensions were not disclosed.

Anonymous said...

You hit on my biggest beef with the shootout scoring; some games are worth three points while others are worth two.

Why take any offensive chances late in a game when both teams can sit back and guarantee they each get one point, with the opportunity for a second point in the shootout?

Anonymous said...

Chris. Just wondering if you were at the DU game and who your source is for the disciplinary issue for ND. The ND paper had reported that the players missed due to injury.

The Ankle Biter said...

WMU didn't tie Niagara, they won 4-2.

Anonymous said...

Come on, didn't we also learn that St. Clown is the awesome? They only gave up 5 goals. So the defense is "much improved." Roe has seven assists, Lasch who wasn't even trying this weekend has four points is still great, Swanson has four goals, all against the 40th best team in the country according to Pre-season rankings. And remember that's 40th out of 58 teams. Imagine how good Mercyhurst would be if Wayne State still had a team.

All I can say is hope you own stock in Hanes or Fruit-of-the-Loom if the Husky women do well against the Gophers this weekend. I'm hearing there petitioning the WCHA about the possibility hanging a banner if they sweep and then just fold the program. Go out like George Costanza, on a high note. Knowing it will never get any better.

On to more serious topics, shoot-outs suck. If they don't kill old ladies or at least daze them, why use them? Oh that's right, you might please the stray bouncyball fan who are used to only the last two minutes of a sporting event mattering.

Joe Grav said...

BC is "pretty good" ? Really? :D

Nice writeup as usual

Anonymous said...

Watch out for Denver. If they get decent goaltending they will be scary good. Col College is still the team to beat in the WCHA though.

Mercyhurst is a pee wee team at best.

zooomx said...

anon 9:45...

what are you reacting too? The post basically says Mercyhurst is not that good. So why the rant? I don't know, maybe talk up your team? Tell us about how you won it all 6 years ago. You can still ride that for a few years like a Packer fan would.

I am happy to see the Huskies win, but you are right that it is too early to gloat, and Mercyhurst is a blah team from a blah conference.

As far as the shootout, I would agree with you. Not a big fan of it in College Hockey.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin is missing Kluby and Drewiski more than then some fans thought they would and they have some sophs. that will definitely make the bad boyz list.

Anonymous said...

so what is the team rule, after three minors and two riding a motorcycle with an illegal passanger and abuse of an office you sit one game. Mentor who is teaching accountability. The SPIN is making me dizzy.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how, except in the fevered mind of an SCSU fan, pointing out who St. Clown's next opponent is qualifies as talking up my team.

I am reacting to ridiculous level of optimism that has been expressed on several blogs and message boards by many Jan Brady fans. When someone points out how unrealistic this hubris is the Jan Bradys whine like UND fans about the refs. St. Clown has a good offense which will likely miss Nodl, a good goalie, and a suspect defense until the three new guys prove otherwise.

BrettB in STL said...

Per UND write-up, I'm not too worried about the Goal-tending, mainly defenseman. Also crazy that UND had 40+ shots on net, and could only bury 2. But then again it is still preseason according to Hak and crew, they don't start playing untill February.

Anonymous said...

So St. Cloud fans have a good series, are happy about it, and proud of their teams acomplishments this weekend and you feel the need to rip them and the team by calling it a "ridiculous level of optimism."
I have a feeling if the roles were reversed, it'd be gopher fans like you talking up how unstopable your team is and how SCSU has no chance.
I'm not seeing any Husky fans saying the Gophers have no shot just that they are impressed their team show up for both games this weekend when that hasn't been the case in recent years, and that guys that weren't expected to start out well did so.
There is nothing wrong with that and you need to take it down a couple of notches.

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo! We got ripped by a mean guy on an Internet message board.

I'm sure an official UND fan club package has been dispatched to your mom's basement. They hang out, where else but aka

St. Clown fans would do themselves and everyone else a favor of they could address what is said instead of some hypothetical that they make up. Sarcasm not withstanding of course.

I agree about Denver, if they have a reliable goalie they'll be tough.

zooomx said...

Ok, I am unsure where you are reading all of the "ridiculous optimism", but it sure wasn't on this blog. Are you one of those who go onto the Huskies blog just to get all worked up? Of course they will be optimistic on their own blog.

Also, I didn't say you were talking up your team, I said maybe you should talk up your team instead of ripping the team that just won 7-3 and 7-2.

But alas, your program isn't performing up to standards the past few years, so you must turn to childish rips on everyone else. The tone of your comments de-validate your opinions.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know I have never visited an SCSU Blog, certainly not recently. I am well aware of WCH's allegiances. I am referring to fan responses on this blog, on the Strib Blog, and USCHO message boards for a start.

While the Gophers did have a poor season last year, how much better was St. Clown? Three points better. Wow, that Fourth place finish was really impressive. The season before (06-07) the Gophers won WCHA tournament and the WCHA regular season. Winning both isn't a good season?

If you weren't verging on illiteracy, you might have noticed I did not rip your team. I ripped your team's idiot fans and their extreme overreaction to any criticism. Kind of how you've reacted. Hate to dent your solipsism but ripping on Jan Brady fans is not by definition ripping on "everyone else."

I like to see my team play before I start talking them up, unlike you Husky women. To save you the trouble of trying to think what I mean, the same things you dopes were crowing about after beating Mercyhurst, the St. Clown fans were screaming about before.

Alas, your comments are invalid due to both you being a whiny crybaby and because you are incapable of getting even simple facts right. Certainly you must be an alum.

zooomx said...

really... re-read the comments... you attacked UND fans, as well as Huskie fans. You are angry, childish and bitter... are you John McCain??

Anonymous said...

I never denied ripping the SCSU fans, you clueless crybaby. Ripping the pie-in-the-sky Jan Brady fans was my whole point. You might want to take a course in reading comprehension if such a thing is offered at St. Clown.

Once again for you, because you're apparently learning impaired, you accused of me ripping the SCSU team. I did no such thing. I was actually complimentary to several aspects of your team, but since I chose to also see the flaws, you did exactly what almost everyone from your fan-base has done, act like they are a team with no weaknesses. Which is what the sarcastic post was about in the first place. Is that clear enough for you, Barack.

Also I never denied ripping the Susies fans. I've noticed you rather have a straw man argument where you get to invent what I've said, rather than actually respond to my points. I can see why you're such an Obama fanatic. Not too interested your own actions, just whine about how bad the other guy is.

zooomx said...

thanks anonymous... point proven!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for admitting I had proven my point.

It's nice of you to admit that you are delusional, hypocritical, and learning impaired.

You are hereby "much improved." Maybe you can take a shift on the SCSU blue line.