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09-22-2008, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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.
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