Jan 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET as No. 12 Dartmouth takes on No. 19 Union College.
This weekend turned out to be a bad one if your favorite team was a Top 5 team in the polls. Friday night in particular was brutal as No. 1 Minnesota, No. 3 Boston College, No. 4 New Hampshire, and No. 5 North Dakota all suffered losses. BC wound up being swept by Maine while the others recovered to win or tie to salvage points.
Is that a sign of trouble to come? Not a chance.
As Joe Meloni at College Hockey News put it perfectly, there are no upsets in January. Surprise results, sure, but the grind of the college hockey season is all about getting things right for the run towards the NCAA tournament in March. Working through the bulk of the conference schedule can get, for the lack of a better word, boring for top programs. For those chasing them, they will take full advantage of gunning for the top dogs. That kind of situation makes surprise results more likely.
Think about it: Would you believe Boston College is in trouble while they’ve got some injuries on defense mid-season and coach Jerry York missed a handful of games after having eye surgery? If you’ve seen them steamroll through the Hockey East tournament and NCAAs in recent years, you know what the right answer is.
It’s all about being ready for the stretch run and getting the team in prime shape for the conference tournament and beyond. Dropping a game here or there mid-season is only a big problem for a team if they’re thinking short-term.
Likely No. 1 with a bullet: I’ve been tracking Quinnipiac and their red-hot play here almost every week and after this weekend’s results through the Top 5, they’re more than likely going to be the new No. 1 in the polls. Fans in the WCHA won’t like seeing an ECAC team atop the pile but keep in mind a couple things: A) Polls are pointless and crying about them is a waste of time. B) Go double-check the Pairwise Rankings and settle down. They’re at the top for a reason.
Penn State winning to get noticed: The Nittany Lions’ first season in Division I has been bumpy. They’ve had some awkward losses to the likes of Arizona State’s club team as well as to Division-III Buffalo State and Neumann College but they’ve shown progress by knocking off some big name schools. This weekend they took out Michigan State and they’ve also earned wins against Vermont, Ohio State, Air Force, and RIT. No one said making the jump to D-I would be easy, but coach Guy Gadowski will get that program rolling sooner than you think.
Bucking Broncos: Western Michigan isn’t a team you think about right away when it comes to college hockey, but Andy Murray’s team is on fire. Over their last 17 games, WMU is 11-3-3. Over the weekend they swept Red Berenson’s Michigan Wolverines sending them spiraling further down in the CCHA. With Notre Dame struggling lately, Western Michigan and Miami University are setting up for quite the rumble down the stretch. That is if the Alaska Nanooks and their polar bear of doom don’t take them all out.
(Photo: Hockey East Online)
Dec 4, 2013, 12:39 PM EST
We came up with three big ones.
Dec 4, 2013, 12:31 PM EST
“We felt we have players ahead of him, simple as that,” said head coach Randy Carlyle.
Dec 4, 2013, 12:24 PM EST
List also includes a number of first-round draft picks.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:28 AM EST
Injuries to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk opened the door.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:13 AM EST
Mike Babcock says pushing back the deadline is “really beneficial for us.”
Dec 4, 2013, 10:52 AM EST
No Zetterberg or Datsyuk for the Wings equals an opportunity for the Flyers.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:43 AM EST
He’ll back up Curtis McElhinney for the time being.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:13 AM EST
He’ll be 39-years-old when it expires.
Dec 4, 2013, 9:52 AM EST
The actual number may have been even worse.
Dec 4, 2013, 9:33 AM EST
These two teams met in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.
Dec 4, 2013, 8:10 AM EST
That and all the links ahead to start the day.
Dec 4, 2013, 1:02 AM EST
He’s ahead of schedule, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Dec 4, 2013, 12:46 AM EST
Phoenix embattled them 6-2 on Tuesday.
Dec 3, 2013, 11:49 PM EST
He believes his problems are concussion-related.
Dec 3, 2013, 11:33 PM EST
That happened during Vancouver’s 3-1 win against Nashville.
Dec 3, 2013, 10:58 PM EST
Dallas is generating villains left and right.
Dec 3, 2013, 10:42 PM EST
San Jose beat them 4-2 on Tuesday.
Dec 3, 2013, 10:07 PM EST
Two consecutive OT defeats for the Isles, too.
Dec 3, 2013, 9:47 PM EST
Jeff Skinner fueled Carolina’s win.
Dec 3, 2013, 9:39 PM EST
This year’s spin-o-rama.
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 0
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 21
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 32
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 13
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- NHL on NBCSN: Can battered, slumping Stars rise above Blackhawks? 8
- Video: Harding’s diving save highlights Wild’s win 5
- Varlamov expected to enter plea on Jan. 22 7
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Video: Malkin, Penguins win wild, controversial one over Leafs (40)
- ‘It’s like Groundhog Day’: Schneider frustrated about backing up Brodeur (35)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Red Wings challenge division-leading Bruins (32)