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RabidBadger 12-28-2007 10:33 PM

WCHA Thread
 
Since there are a lot of WCHA fans on this board I thought I'd start a thread for general chat on our favorite conference. Most of the talk about the Colorado teams, UMD, Tech and Mankato is relegated to other boards so it's time they have their own forum.

My first sentiment in praising the WCHA is extending congratulations to Michigan Tech for taking out MSU in grand fashion. I hope they take the GLI and get their season back on track. I'm also hoping the other Huskies in St. Cloud go into to Columbus and come out on top. It would be a great showing for the conference if both teams won their respecitve tournies after being dealt the most difficult seed. GLI and the Ohio Hockey Classic pretty well favor OSU and Michigan. Oh yeah, Miami and MSU fans can make a case for being dealt a low card as well...but both are playing a couple hours from their home rinks in their own states so I don't think I'm being paranoid in saying these series are stacked against WCHA teams. And yeah, Tech is playing in their "home state" but anyone familiar with Michigan knows the yoopers are practically their own country...Let alone if a Yooper team is from another conference.

It will be a great showing for the conference if both Husky teams come out on top this weekend.

RabidBadger 01-27-2008 09:44 AM

Michael-Lee Teslak was back in goal for Michigan Tech this weekend and was pretty impressive. That's a pretty good tandem in net with Rob Nolan, who was great last night. 3 points for Tech this weekend against #3 CC...there's still some hope for The Huskies season.

guinness 01-27-2008 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RabidBadger (Post 12224076)
Michael-Lee Teslak was back in goal for Michigan Tech this weekend and was pretty impressive. That's a pretty good tandem in net with Rob Nolan, who was great last night. 3 points for Tech this weekend against #3 CC...there's still some hope for The Huskies season.

The Huskies are frustrating sometimes...I was at the game against UofM at the GLI, and they could've very well won that game, 2OT, Nolan was awesome, PK was great too. A win over UofM would've been splendid, but...

And a couple weeks later, swept by NoDak, then take 3/4 against CC at home. As an alum that was at Tech during FireWatters and Sertich era, I'm pleased with Russel, and the team has been improving year after, since I graduated, but a string of wins in a row would just be fantastic.

Can't complain too heavily, they aren't pushovers any more, and they can kick ass at home.

RabidBadger 02-02-2008 09:45 AM

Man, Minnesota State and their homely uniforms are on a tear lately. They played a respectable series againt the surging Sioux, took it to St. Cloud the following weekend, and quashed Denver last night. They were a bottom feeder in the conference a few weeks ago and now they'll likely end up in 5th at the end of the weekend.

They have a tough schedule ahead of them against Wisc, CC and Tech. If they don't make the playoffs they may be able to play spoiler in the WCHA tourney.

Jori 02-02-2008 10:36 AM

Denver is on their second half swoon. They are dealing with the flu bug and Brock Trotter's absence (due to unknown reasons at this point). They haven't been as sharp defensively or disciplined as they were earlier in the season. Hopefully it doesn't cost them like the last two years.

RabidBadger 02-07-2008 06:19 PM

Brock Trotter is out of DU: http://gdrinnan.blogspot.com/2008/02...r-on-move.html

It was looking good for the Pioneers this year with a strong start and a chance to to get to the Frozen Four in their own back yard and now this. Denver still has plenty of firepower but this is a blow to their season. This is also getting to be a tiresome trend with blue-chip players bailing mid-season. It's bad enough they leave after a year or so, but they should at least honor their commitment until the end of a playing year.

MN_Gopher 02-08-2008 11:02 AM

First KO and the Trotter. The NCAA is going to have a field day. Intialy i think they could be persuaded by the it was one guy in a long time. Now with two signing half way through. it will really add to the fire.

I know there is the excuse that he was going to leave school anyway. But when players have that door a little cracked in the back groud. It gets bigger and bigger. If there were no choice for KO or Trotter maybe they would have put themselves in the postion they went into. Same thing should go for departing to juniors.

Gwozdecky and Lucia have been around for a while. its not the first time they lost players either. Fast and O'Brien recently. So i am sure they enjoy their programs big time success. ANd will want to find a way to protect their players.

Horsehouse 02-09-2008 03:02 PM

I can understand the NCAA getting miffed over KO's signing but there's not much they can do about Trotter's and it would be silly of them to make a stink about it

RabidBadger 02-09-2008 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horsehouse (Post 12428247)
I can understand the NCAA getting miffed over KO's signing but there's not much they can do about Trotter's and it would be silly of them to make a stink about it

I agree: KO flat out abandoned the team whereas the other notable departures of Motherwell from BC and Trotter from DU were due to extenuating circumstances. The latter two were axed for the season whereas KO could have very well finished this year.

Yet, I can understand the knee-jerk reaction from the fans. No one likes to see top-flight talent leave a program no matter what the circumstances. If this had happened with, say, Rau, Turris or Oshie you could imagine the reaction and fallout.

BerSTUzzi 02-13-2008 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RabidBadger (Post 12434257)
I agree: KO flat out abandoned the team whereas the other notable departures of Motherwell from BC and Trotter from DU were due to extenuating circumstances. The latter two were axed for the season whereas KO could have very well finished this year.

Yet, I can understand the knee-jerk reaction from the fans. No one likes to see top-flight talent leave a program no matter what the circumstances. If this had happened with, say, Rau, Turris or Oshie you could imagine the reaction and fallout.

Ray,Turris and Oshie have class though, none of them will leave till their season is over. All will leave actually when their season is over.

RabidBadger 02-15-2008 06:15 PM

Series of the week: well, they're all pretty good but I have to give the nod to NoDak and Denver. This is one of the all-time most evenly matched series in the WCHA. They don't like each other and have recent bad blood (notably Punk-avich's cheapshot on Bina). NODak is rolling and DU is spiraling. The Sioux will play balls out to make a statement and DU should be desperate to stop the skid. Should be nasty.

Overall it's a good WCHA weekend: The Badgers and Mavericks will be looking to get ahead in the standings, Tech and Duluth will be a goalie battle and AA/SCSU should be good since Anchorage is a tough place to play.

Dakota Sioux 02-17-2008 10:24 AM

SIOUX had a statement weekend sweeping DU and are now tied with CC at the top of the league.CC has 2 games in hand but it wasn't to long ago where people were handing them the league championship already.Not so fast because the SIOUX have made it interesting.

Colorado College 16-5-1 33
North Dakota 16-7-1 33
Denver 13-8-1 27
MSU-Mankato 10-10-4 24
Wisconsin 10-10-4 24
Minnesota-Duluth 8-9-5 21
Michigan Tech 7-11-4 18
St Cloud St 8-11-2 18
Minnesota 6-11-5 17
Alaska Anchorage 3-15-5 11

Anton Skinner 02-17-2008 10:41 AM

there are, what, 3 weeks left to the season before WCHA playoffs? UND has Bemidji State (a good team in recent years, seems to give UND a tough time recently) next week, then UMD, then St. Cloud. I can see UND winning all 6 of those games, but I think that any of the 3 teams could steal a win from UND, but I am hoping it will prove untrue. a 17 game unbeaten streak to end the season would be quite wonderful ;)

Dakota Sioux 02-17-2008 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ecusiouxcanesguy (Post 12558105)
there are, what, 3 weeks left to the season before WCHA playoffs? UND has Bemidji State (a good team in recent years, seems to give UND a tough time recently) next week, then UMD, then St. Cloud. I can see UND winning all 6 of those games, but I think that any of the 3 teams could steal a win from UND, but I am hoping it will prove untrue. a 17 game unbeaten streak to end the season would be quite wonderful ;)

Bemidji always play the SIOUX tough and if they were to lose a game I would rather it be the beavers than SCSU or UMD,since the beavers are non-conference.

Jori 02-17-2008 11:49 AM

DU probably needs to win four of their last six to make the tourney. Friday night was a blown opportunity. Ruegsegger is supposed to return next weekend. It'll be a welcomed addition.

RabidBadger 02-17-2008 02:30 PM

I wouldn't be surprised to see NoDak take the conference AND come full circle to finish #1 in the polls. The biggest hurdles are that Bemidji has nothing to lose and will be up for the series and Stalock from UMD can steal any given game, not to mention UMD needs to fight tooth and nail for a playoff spot. CC has a tougher finish against said Stalock, surging Mankato and the in-state finish with DU.

Yeah, DU is going to have to turn it on the last 6 games so they don't draw The Badgers, who basically cost them a playoff spot last year, or Mankato in the WCHA tourney. It's going to be an interesting finish for all the playof hopefuls.

Rabid Husky 02-17-2008 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dakota Sioux (Post 12557928)
SIOUX had a statement weekend sweeping DU and are now tied with CC at the top of the league.CC has 2 games in hand but it wasn't to long ago where people were handing them the league championship already.Not so fast because the SIOUX have made it interesting.

Colorado College 16-5-1 33
North Dakota 16-7-1 33
Denver 13-8-1 27
MSU-Mankato 10-10-4 24
Wisconsin 10-10-4 24
Minnesota-Duluth 8-9-5 21
Michigan Tech 7-11-4 18
St Cloud St 8-11-2 18
Minnesota 6-11-5 17
Alaska Anchorage 3-15-5 11

Just to update this

Colorado College 16-5-1 33
North Dakota 16-7-1 33
Denver 13-8-1 27
MSU-Mankato 10-10-4 24
Wisconsin 10-10-4 24
Minnesota-Duluth 8-9-5 21
St Cloud St 9-11-2 20
Michigan Tech 7-11-4 18
Minnesota 6-11-5 17
Alaska Anchorage 3-16-5 11

RabidBadger 03-20-2008 10:18 PM

Things are getting REAL interesting in the WCHA right now. Minnesota is in the midst of a great run, they should give CC all they can handle. Denver has also come around after losing Brick Trotter. The DU/NoDak game should be pretty nasty. DU finished strong and NoDak has looked human against SCSU and Tech. A big bonus is that these teams have recent bad blood and pretty well hate each other. The stage is set for the best conference tournament in college hockey.

So far it's looking like CC, NoDak, DU, Mankato, The Goofs and probably St. Cloud will make the playoffs which gives the conference a good chance of sending a team to the finals. My preseason pick was NoDak in the finals, which i still feel good about. However, I can't discount DU wanting to play the finals in their own backyard. Maybe we'll have a rematch of the 2005 finals?

As my Badgers will likely sit out the playoffs, I wish all the WCHA teams still in it the best of luck. But, I'm going to be biased and pull for St. Cloud or Mankato, teams that have not won it all yet.

MN_Gopher 03-26-2008 01:34 AM

I am liking the WCHA alum that are really looking good. Brian Lee just played his first NHL game and by reading a good number of accounts he looked like he belonged. kposo with three points in 4 games, Goligoski with 2 assists in three games. Niskanen and Raymond are playing great. Toews playing solid. EJ not looking to bad. Borer managed to crack the NHL for 11 games. Skille played a hand full of NHL games.

I think i read Tom Gilbert is going to the world hockey tourney. With other two year alum, Carle, Pavelski and Stastny all playing well. Kessel, after cancer, is doing just fine. Potulny has been back and forth. Stafford and Zajac playing regular. Smaby cracked the line up this year.

In the last two years you could have. In no real order.

Zajac-Stastny-Pavelski
Towes-Kessel-Raymond
Stafford-Okposo-Skille
Potunly-Burrish-


EJ- Niskanen
Gilbert-Lee
Smaby- Goligoski
Borer- Carle

Elliot-

These guys are not just big names anymore. They are having NHL success. or at least a taste. And yet teams like Calgary wanted Chucko out so bad. And Snow with Okposo. Makes me wonder what they are looking at? In two years good chance that list doubles. With Oshies, Butlers, the WI M&M border jumpers, Wheelers etc.

RabidBadger 09-22-2008 01:54 PM

I'll do anything to avoid studying so I'll do a cliff-notes season preview of our favorite conference:

Alaska- Everyone should be wiping their feet on the conference doormat again this year...but they are always tough at home. They could play spoiler to a team with playoff aspirations.

CC- CC was caca in the playoffs, like most of the WCHA last year. They have a deep team so it will remain to be seen if they have anojther post-season meltdown. I think the addition of Guentzel will be a lift for CC and may come back to bite Minny in the ass. CC should win the conference.

DU- This is one of the few teams that can compare with BC in terms of dynamic forwards. The defense will be pretty good. Goaltending is a concern but Gordy G. always seems to get that taken care of. They could challenge for 1st in the conference and make Colorado the toughest state to pick up a win this season.

Michigan Tech- Teslak is gone but Rob Nolan was every bit as good as him last year. If they live up to their potential they could earn a playoof spot. If they wallow in mediocrity again then Jamie Russell may be replaced as coach.

Minnesota- Not as strong as in recent years but a team you can never count out. Decent offense with a suspect defense. Fisher needs to be THE MAN on the backline and Kangas needs to avoid a sophmore slump.

Minnesota State- Most of their team is back so they should be tough after getting cheated out of a playoff spot last year. I expect them to play the season with a big chip on their shoulder. They won't have the element of surprise on their side.

Duluth- Man they need some scoring! They were pretty pathetic last year. If they can increase the points defense and they very good Alex Stalock will take care of the rest.

NoDak- Goaltending is the big question for the Giouxns this year. The other question is who the leadership will come from without Chief Oshie? Good recruiting class and a solid defense helps but I think they are 1-2 years away from being a contender again.

St. Cloud- The Huskies could be the best team in the conference if everything jibes for them and they are consistent. They have al sorts of firepower up front and a veteran D...they just need to show up when it counts.

Wisconsin- The defense is peerless with 3 1st rounders in the mix. The offense should be good but not great. Derek Stepan has potential to be a star. Goaltending may be a concern with Bill Howard stepping down as goalie coach, but the Badgers are solid with Connelly and Gudmandson in net.

The Lowdown: Last years playoffs was abysmal for the WCHA so the conference has something to prove this year in terms of being the conference to beat. The conference should be very competitive with CC being the only true standout team in the preseason. 2nd through 6th place will be a logjam with there being another crop of competitive teams.

Oilers Chick 09-29-2008 10:29 PM

Rabid:
 
That's a pretty good assessment and I agree with much of what you've said. But I don't think the Gophers are going to be as bad as you're making them out to be. And two immediate reasons come to mind: 1) Ryan Stoa's return. He's going to bring a lot to the Gophers this year, and it's not all just going to be on the scoresheet either. 2) An excellent, albeit VERY large freshman class. Once the youngsters get adjusted and acclimated to the pace of the college game, they should become indispensable contributors that will provide added depth at all positions. Don't be too surprised at the end of the year to see Schroeder and Ness on the All-Rookie team and battling for WCHA Rookie of the Year honors.

In addition, they may have lost Mike Guentzel (props to CC for picking up one of the best assistants and all-around good guys in the WCHA), but they gain Mike Hastings. If you've ever followed Hastings when he ran the show in Omaha (USHL), you'd know that he gets results.

One question I do have for you in regards to your boys is this: Do you think that the Huskies will be able to balance out their scoring more upfront this year, especially with the losses of Nodl and Hartman? Why or why not?

RabidBadger 09-30-2008 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oilers Chick (Post 15624753)
That's a pretty good assessment and I agree with much of what you've said. But I don't think the Gophers are going to be as bad as you're making them out to be. And two immediate reasons come to mind: 1) Ryan Stoa's return. He's going to bring a lot to the Gophers this year, and it's not all just going to be on the scoresheet either. 2) An excellent, albeit VERY large freshman class. Once the youngsters get adjusted and acclimated to the pace of the college game, they should become indispensable contributors that will provide added depth at all positions. Don't be too surprised at the end of the year to see Schroeder and Ness on the All-Rookie team and battling for WCHA Rookie of the Year honors.

In addition, they may have lost Mike Guentzel (props to CC for picking up one of the best assistants and all-around good guys in the WCHA), but they gain Mike Hastings. If you've ever followed Hastings when he ran the show in Omaha (USHL), you'd know that he gets results.

One question I do have for you in regards to your boys is this: Do you think that the Huskies will be able to balance out their scoring more upfront this year, especially with the losses of Nodl and Hartman? Why or why not?



I could take a crack at that question but "my boys" are in Madison and RabidHusky did not do the preview. Maybe my dog avatar and rabidness threw you off. Bucky's offense will be nicely balanced, however:thumbu:

MN_Gopher 09-30-2008 04:49 PM

One nice thing about the gophers is alot of those freshmen are comin in more mature. Matson is 20 and Miller is 21 i think. Dorr, Hansen, Sacchetti played USHL and Lofquist and Schroeder plyed in Ann Arbor. Pat White showd great signs and i expect alot out of him this year. Hoeffel was hurt when he played in Ann Arbor. Last years class just lacked experiance.

Rabid Husky 10-01-2008 03:32 AM

Coaches poll is out

38th annual Herald

WCHA coaches poll

1. Colorado College (8) 78
2. UND (2) 67
3. Denver 62
4. (tie) Minnesota 53
4. (tie) Wisconsin 53
6. St. Cloud State 48
7. MSU-Mankato 38
8. Minn.-Duluth 24
9. Michigan Tech 14
10. Alaska-Anchorage 13


Preseason player of the year votes

3 — Richard Bachman, G, Colorado College
2 — Tyler Bozak, F, Denver
2 — Ryan Lasch, F, St. Cloud State
2 — Alex Stalock, G, Minn.-Duluth
1 — Chad Rau, F, Colorado College


Preseason rookie of the year votes

3 — Jason Gregoire, F, UND
3 — Jack Connolly, F, Minnesota-Duluth
2 — Aaron Ness, D, Minnesota
2 — Jordan Schroeder, F, Minnesota

Rabid Husky 10-01-2008 03:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oilers Chick (Post 15624753)
One question I do have for you in regards to your boys is this: Do you think that the Huskies will be able to balance out their scoring more upfront this year, especially with the losses of Nodl and Hartman? Why or why not?

I'll take it RB. ;)

I think the scoring will be more balenced this year and I expect SCSU to score a lot more even strength goals than they did last year.
Nodl is the big loss but he never shows up in any big game SCSU played and that really hurt us. Hartman is a loss as far as hustle but not really for scoring, he only potted 7 last year. Dey put in 10 but he could have had a lot more if he'd realized he had more time to shoot than he thought he does.
What SCSU does have is a guy in Aaron Marvin who should be the #1 center this year after playing on the 3rd line all year. He'll also get a lot of PP time and with his hands and size he could be a huge asset up front.
Also I think SCSU has 2 freshman who could make huge impacts in LeBlanc and Christian. Leblanc is a playmaker who could fit in wonderfully with Lasch and give him a puck feeder he's never had on his line. He's also got decent size (5'11 180) so he should have no problems with the riggors of the league.
Christian is a player in the Lasch mold, smaller but not afraid at all to into high traffic areas and pot the puck. He was the focal point of his junior team last year as he was basically the only one who could score but no one seemed to stop him. Both of them should hit the ground running.
Add in returnees like Mosey and Swanson and SCSU could have more depth up front than we've seen in years and we certainly have the most talent we've had at forward since guys like Hartigan and Malone left.


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