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Old
01-01-2011, 09:51 PM
  #276
Dakota Sioux
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Goofs tie Ferris St at 2. Man how minny has fallen.

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01-22-2011, 07:50 AM
  #277
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We're far enough into the season where we can start thinking about potential Hobey finalists from the most feared conference in the land. I know fan voting is underway for HB, but I'm not sure if that's finalized yet so I have no real input on this aside from my own better judgement. Besides, it's been a while since I've provided some good material on here for other bloggers from more prominent sites to cherry pick from, but I digress. I'll go through each team and and list any players that may have a shot at the little bronze hockey man. This list will be comprised mostly of top point getters, we all know defensive prowess does not The Hobey win.

The award has been the Miami duo of Carter Camper and Andy Miele's to lose to this point. Camper has cooled off and Miami is struggling, while several WCHA teams are on the rise, so here is a list of players with potential to keep Hobey in the WCHA.

AA: None. Tommy Grant is the leading point getter with 20 points. He's a good player but not in the mix. I have to give a shout out to AA's coaching and very good freshman class.

The Mighty Beav!: None, but if you watch The Beav you can see Jordan George, Matt Read and Brad Hunt are game-changing players.

CC: Jaden Schwartz was well on his way to being in the mix until he went down with an injury in the WJC. Even if he doesn't play another game he's still the WCHA ROY in my book. Gabe Guentzel is a hell of a d-man, but not Hobey qualilty. Essentially no players.

DU: Drew Shore is having a great year...a lot of DU players are. He and goalie Sam Brittian would be fringe choices, though. Jason Zucker, Brittian and David Makowski have to get ROY consideration. DU's frosh class is the cream of the crap, there isn't a close second.

Tech: Poor Tech gets a big fat goose egg for this category, and many others. Milos Gordic has come out of nowhere to be a bright spot on the team. I'm shocked if Jamie Russell isn't shown the door after this year.

Minny: Jay Barribal (RabidBadger 1st teamer) has been the best player, but not Hobey nom material. Goalie Kent Patterson has done well on a team with no consistency. Final answer is none.

Mankato: Kurt Davis (another RB 1st teamer) is one of the best backliners in the business but not in terms of Hobey voting. I have to give a nom to Troy Jutting for coach of the year, however for taking one of the worst teams on paper in recent history and having them [repared every week.

Duluth: There's a lot of offensive flash on this team that Hobey voters love. Jack Connelly and Justin Fontaine lead the pack. Mike Connelly and very excellent freshman d-man, Jusitn Faulk could be dark horse candidates. Faulk should be in the ROY mix.

The Blais Brigade: This is a solid lineup with no real shining stars. I'd say Matt Ambroz could be a dark horse nom. This team has a very good frosh class...they will be trouble for years to come.

NoDak: Frattin is probably the best choice for the conference, BUT! off ice antics from last year will probably prohibit him getting the trophy as happened to Chief Oshie a couple years ago.. Genoway has caught fire, as I predicted, after a slow start but could end up in the Hat Trick. Aaron Dell has been shaky lately, but could be a dark horse.

St. Cloud: Drew LeBlanc is the only guy who showed up the first half of the season. With some help he might have been able to be in the mix. He and the freshman class have been the only bright spots the entire season. Props aside, no candidates.

Wisconsin: Justin Schultz continues to amaze and is the top candidate on this team and top 3 for the conference in my book. Hobey voting is not kind to underclassmen so I doubt he'd win. Craig Smith has caught fire, but has had some questionable on-ice antics this year and last. Scott Gudmandson could be a dark horse, he's top five in pretty much every goalie category. To me, Brittian and Dell have been the better goalies in the conference, though. Jake Gardner has the best chance of pulling a Ryan Duncan Hobey win...he does all the underated things to help Schultz be so dominant.

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02-26-2011, 07:23 PM
  #278
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Who's going to the Final Five? Wife and I will be there

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03-02-2011, 05:53 AM
  #279
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It's time to start thinking playoffs (NCAA) with the season finale coming up. It's looking like the WCHA will be pretty well represented once again with 3 teams that are locks, NoDak, DU, and The Red Steers and Duluth having a pretty good shot unless they implode. There is still a chance for teams low in the pairwise to steal a Broadmoor Trophy and get an autobid. I'll weigh their chances here.

Tech: There's higher probability you'll win the lottery on the same day as getting struck by lightning. I'm counting on my date with Selma Hayek more than I am counting on Tech to go on a miracle run.

Mankato: Troy Jutting has done a phenominal job with the weakest team he has had in years, no doubt. They can put together some impressive weekends but don't have enough in the tank to go on a streak against the best in the conference.

AA: Mankato of the tundra...nuff said.

The Mighty Beav! they have the personel and the speed to pull it off. There's a lot of guys on this team that were on the improbable FF run 2 years ago. Maybe 5th time would be a charm if they play NoDak again?

Wisconsin: They are in a skid, to say the least. If they can regain mid-season form and Guddy stands on his head they could do some damage. Never count Bucky out.

Minny: The talent is there, if not the chemistry. TDon's head is in the noose and he might pull out all the stops. Kent Patterson can certainly steal some games for them.

St. Cloud: I think these guys have more potential than the others to steal a Broadmoor ala Duluth 2 years ago. They caught fire at the right time and playing DU the final weel should be a good playoff primer for them.

CC: The team is finally healthy, and at the right time, but I don't trust their goaltending. I can see them going down tooth and nail in the second run.

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03-05-2011, 10:55 PM
  #280
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MTU@UND
MSUM@DU
BSU@UNO
SCSU@UMD
UAA@UMN
UW@CC

Out of that, I'll pick UND, DU, UNO, SCSU, UMN and UW

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09-10-2011, 10:27 PM
  #281
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Time for the last WCHA (as we know it) preview Needless to say by the emoticon I'm not a fan of the direction things are heading. Big10 Hockey has no appeal to me, the poorly named "Super Conference" should be pretty great, Miami is a nice addition to the remaining WCHA schools in that conference, and the WCCCHA will be...ehhhh.

What's done is done, let's hope for a barn-burner of a final season for the greatest conference ever to grace college hockey. I'm usually 1st to do the season preview but I saw some other Badger fan had one my colleague, BigChief, posted. It feels like the W will be a little weaker as a whole this year but still has some contenders to defend the throne it took back from Hockey East last year. I'll go alphabetical and I'd appreciate any input from other fans about any freshman coming in because I haven't dedicated much time to recruits. Without further ado...I give you AA!

The Seapups

The biggest surprise about this team to me last year wasn't that they made the Final Five, okay, maybe it was. Aside from that they had a pretty good freshman class led by playmaker Jordan Kwas and power forward Matt Bailey. Brett Cameron was another frosh to finish top 10 in scoring for the team. They started the year with some very gritty 1 goal losses and hit their stride at the end of the year rattling off 5 wins, including the shocker of beating Minny to get to the Final Five. They finally lost to a CC squad that was really firing on all cylinders.

There is a large incoming class of freshman which I really know nothing about other than they seem to be huge, Shyiak tends to recruit the hosses in his program. 3 of the top 10 scorers are gone including standout Tommy Grant. It remains to be seen if there are some surprise recruits this year like there was last. They'll be returning both starting goalies, both of whom posted decent GAA but not so much in the save%...which leads me to the real weakness of this team, the defense. Until AA starts to get some mobile guys on the backline they won't make much noise in the conference (at least until most of the good teams leave).

This will probably be a rewind of last year without the Final 5 trip; gritty hockey, some quality wins, and a finish near the bottom. AA is nothing, if not consistent.

For an entertaining and informative look at AA hockey go to Donald Dunlap's AA fan blog. You can usually find it featured at College Hockey News. It's most entertaining during North Dakota week. Trust me!

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Old
09-11-2011, 12:53 PM
  #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidBadger View Post
Time for the last WCHA (as we know it) preview Needless to say by the emoticon I'm not a fan of the direction things are heading. Big10 Hockey has no appeal to me, the poorly named "Super Conference" should be pretty great.
It is what it is. As a Badger fan, Im ok with Big Ten hockey because it means the Badgers should have a fairly easy NCAA championshop birth every year because really the only good team they will have to beat every year is Michigan,which is nothing compared to Denver, Colorado College or North Dakota.
If the Big Ten is going to invest money to promote college hockey, Im all for it. It will be sad to see things change but change but college hockey isnt going to grow if we leave things the same.

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Old
09-11-2011, 04:56 PM
  #283
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The Mighty Beav!

Last year was a growing year for the Beav being newcomers to the WCHA. The road started out tough having their 1st 3 tilts against NoDak, Duluth and St. Cloud. They hung around most of the season in some close games then caught fire in the conference playoffs. It looked like they might start working the same mojo that took them to the FF a few years back when they swept Omaha, beat eventual Champ Duluth, only to have DU break the hearts of The Beaver Faithful.

This year will start out rough as well with 3 of the first 4 series coming against Miami, CC and Duluth. The difference will be it is a much younger squad this year. They lost 6 senoirs, including Matt Read, an awesome player to be sure.

The Beav should have plenty of punch with with the footspeed Serratore builds his teams around. Think of them as Boston College Lite. They return leading scorer, Jordan George up front but will need guys to step up on the other lines. The defense is actually one of the better ones in the conference led by standout Brad Hunt. They're mobile and have a good veteran core that should keep them in most games. Goaltending will be questionable with neither Dan Bakala or Mathieu Dugas showing anything exceptional. I know nothing about incoming frosh, Andrew Walsh.

I don't think there will be much to look forward to for the team unless the large group of freshman REALLY gel together. It will take a run through the WCHA conference to get them in the playoffs. They are always fun to watch, though.

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09-11-2011, 05:13 PM
  #284
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CC

These guys had a good season last year to grow on. Laying waste to the defending National champs and narrowly losing to eventual 2nd best Michigan was a strong finish. A lot of the key elements are back; I don't think I need to mention The Schwartz is strong in this team. Is that Spaceballs? I've only heard it paraphrased but couldn't really sit through that celluloid turd. Stephen Schultz and Tyler Johnson are big losses up front but there were plenty of underclassmen that put up double digit points last year. It should be fun to see how many points Jaden will get if plays a full season this year.

The defense is pretty deep with Gabe Guentzel at the helm. I've always held Guentzel in high regard...not quite Kurt Davis material, but a real asset to the backline. This will be a veteran squad that can rely on Joe Howe to bail them out when they do mis-step.

This year's CC squad kind of reminds me of last year's Duluth squad: high profile scorers with good depth, a mobile blueline that can chip in offensively and solid, but not spectacular goaltending (although I'd say Joe Howe is better than Kenny Reiter). No one would argue Duluth had a satisfactory season last year.

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09-11-2011, 05:30 PM
  #285
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DU

These guys are the cream of the crap this year, no doubt. How do you spell stacked? D-E-N-V-E-R. The shore Bros, Zucker, Salazar, Bennett...these guys have a lot of punch up front.

The defense is young and will be hurt by the departure of Matt Donovan, but super sophmore David Makowski looks ready to take the reigns. Goaltending will be a question with Sam Brittian on the shelf for a good chunk of the beginning of the season. Adam Murray was pretty highly touted when he came in but never really produced. He'll get his chance now. If he's solid DU will be set, as they always seem to be in net. I'd say they've produced the best line of goalies the past 8 or so years.

Anything less than a FF would have to be a disappointment to the Pio-Nation. One thing is for sure; the state of Colorado will be the toughest place to pick up wins this year.

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09-12-2011, 07:03 PM
  #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigchiefwantdacup View Post
It is what it is. As a Badger fan, Im ok with Big Ten hockey because it means the Badgers should have a fairly easy NCAA championshop birth every year because really the only good team they will have to beat every year is Michigan,which is nothing compared to Denver, Colorado College or North Dakota.
If the Big Ten is going to invest money to promote college hockey, Im all for it. It will be sad to see things change but change but college hockey isnt going to grow if we leave things the same.
I'm not really seeing any decisions being made to help hockey grow with the power schools joining forces to get bigger media exposures while leaving the lesser schools to scrabble for footing...not mention Huntsville is being hung out to dry. And what growth? Big Ten forms so maybe Illinois and Iowa add programs? Those schools and Penn State can't replace the rivalries with the WCHA teams for years to come. I'd rather watch Bucky in a dog fight with four other teams for a playoff spot than watch them play mediocre talent. Badger Hockey should be about taking on all comers and let the best team win.

But, yeah, it is what it is so onward, or "Forward", rather, with being a Badger Fan.

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09-15-2011, 08:33 AM
  #287
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Tech

The Houghton Huskies started out pretty well last year after a tuning up for the season playing a nifty exhibition schedule against pro teams in Europe. Then they began to live up to their low expectations the second quarter of the season. They did have some critical injuries, including scoring machine Brett Olson (the dude would be a star on one of the major programs). In the past Tech could play some tight games before losing ala AA and Mankato...not so much last year. They got beat down by multiple goals, the team quit and Jamie Russell was summarily shown the door.

New coach, healthy roster, new season...all welcome changes for the Huskies. They are only losing 3 senoirs and one of their top 10 scorers. If the underclassmen build on what was a decent season collectively for them last year, there should be relatively decent scoring depth. The problem is there hasnt been a consistent netminder in Houghton sonce Mike-LeeTeslak was between the pipes a few years ago. We'll see how the new coaching change pays off in regards to tightening up the defense and goaltending. This could be a decent year for Tech.

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09-15-2011, 02:33 PM
  #288
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Minny

Well, last year I was accused of yellow journalism because my review (which was quite fair, balanced and mighty awesome) of the gophs didn'tsit well with someone. We'll see how it goes this year.

Last year wasn't overly awful for the team, it was just awful by their standards. Okay, the inexplicable meltdown to Alaska (lovingly known in Madison as "the first round warm up in the WCHA tourney) This team has not been the same the past few years (notably when Guenztel left as the D coach)which puts a collective shudder through the Dinkytown faithful. There has been a fair share of drama to go along with the poor showings as well. There is no question the talent has been there all along, but there hasn't been the chemistry.

This year's team is pretty good, no doubt. There were some losses of key players but they have a lot coming back. Erik Haula and Nick Bjustad has flashes of brilliance making it known why they were such highly regarded recruits, they should only improve this year. The team has seven senoirs, including two in net. Goalie Kent Patterson doesn't seem to have wilted under the media scrutiny like a string of his predecessors did. He can steal some games, no doubt.

On paper, this could be a team that can make a deep run in the playoffs. The problem is the past 3 year's squads have fallen into that same category. A FF appearance is not out of the question IF they can gel. I can't see glory being restored to The Mooch as long as John Hill continues to run the once vaunted blueline into the ground. I'm scratching my head as to why tDon keeps him on staff. Maybe he has a latent desire to be axed. A repeat of last year shold guarantee that.

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09-15-2011, 07:35 PM
  #289
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Jon Hill was replaced in July by Mike Guentzel.

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09-17-2011, 01:27 PM
  #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW View Post
Jon Hill was replaced in July by Mike Guentzel.
Thanks for that info, shows you how out of the loop I am...this is my least inspired/informed review ever. Guentz sure gets around! This should go a long way bringing Minny back to, ahem, respectability.

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09-17-2011, 01:40 PM
  #291
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Mankato Purple Steers

Troy Jutting did a pretty good job making last year respectable given that was a horrible roster he had to work with. There isn't much to be excited about in Mankato this year so fans (have we ever had a Mankato fan on this board?) will have to rally around moral victories.

Supremely awesome backliner, Kurt Davis, who led the team emotionally and on the ice is gone. Best of luck Kurt. You've been one of my favorites in recent years.

Well, I just can't excited about Mankato. The goaltending is decent (Phil Cook may steal some games this year), some key scorers are back, Matt Leitner looks to be a promising frosh...2nd to last or last is about where they should end up.

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09-18-2011, 10:30 AM
  #292
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The Defending National Champs

What a season for The Dogs last year; no one swept them in the regular season and they maintained a consistent level of play that culminated in a title over WCHA killer Michigan. They lose a lot of key components from the title team but there is still reason for hope in the frigid climes of Duluth.

Scoring machines Jack Connolly, and JT Brown are back up front as is sturdy pivot Travis Oleksuk. They'll struggle a bit for scoring on the lower lines but a team built on speed makes good things happen more often than not.

Losing Justin Faulk on the blueline is a blow, for sure, and it seemed losing Dylan Olson mid-season would be disasterous to a title chance and we see how that turned out. It's a bit much to expect the same results as last year but The Dogs are definitely capable of making some noise this year. Brady Lamb and Wade Bergman will serve as good anchors to a fairly young backline. There will be adjustments and a learning curve for the younger guys but they should be decent on defense.

Kenny Reiter and Wisconsin cast off Aaron Crandall give the team a very solid 1-2 in net. Reiter was clutch in the playoffs but he won't have quite the scoring punch in front of him this year. He knows what it takes to win at a higher level and he should be able to win a few of those one goal, uh, dog fights.

The W is not stellar as a whhole this year so even with the subtractions Duluth should be more toward the top of the conference and a playoff team. It will come down to guys stepping up on the scoring and generating offense from the backline. I can see them making the second round of the NCAAs in a best case scenario, worst case scenario sees the team chemistry broken up because of the significant losses ala Wisconsin the year after their championship season (those were the days!)

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09-18-2011, 10:50 AM
  #293
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The Blais Brigade

Omaha wasted no time stepping in to a stacked WCHA last year and showing they belonged in a big way. They steamrolled through the season before inexplicably laying down to the Mighty Beav in the WCHAs and losing a dog fight with Michigan in the NCAAs. I don't need to tell anyone this is a well coached squad and there is a lot of talent coming back. Losing Guentzel on the coaching staff hurts, but no one should expect him to stick around more than a year, eh? They should not be underestimated as a title contender.

The top 3 scorers are gone to graduation but there are plenty of guys waiting in the wings to step up. They had 6 freshman and 2 sophmores score in double digits last season. Depth will not be a problem on the prairie.

There is only one newcomer to the defense. This backline is BIG having only one player (barely) under 6 feet. They play pretty tight and have very solid netminding to fall back on...an embarassment of riches really with Ryan Massa coming in.

There aren't really any weaknesses to point out and these guys should be contenders for the next couple of years. A Frozen Four appearance or seeing Blaiser add a 3rd title to his impressive resume wouldn't surprise me on e bit.

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09-18-2011, 11:12 AM
  #294
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The Green Giouxns of Grand Forks (or whatever their name may become)

Man, all the pieces were in place for The Sioux last year; a stacked roster, great recruiting class, solid in all three zones and no sign of that darn BC in the Frozen Four, until Michigan came along leaving Sioux fans heart broken after being so close yet again. If there is an achilles heel to the program it's adjusting to teams built on speed. Michigan is built very similar to BC, it's no coincidence why those two programs make the NCAAs every year and go deep in the bracket. Maine, the only team to sweep NoDak last year emphasizes this point.

There were some major losses in the offseason, notably super stud Matt Frattin, the best player in college last year, and the heart and soul of the team, Chay Genoway. Best of luck to both.

The Sioux reload. Aaron Dell and Brad Eidsness make up what is likely the best goalie tandem in the country. Dell was a surprise break out and if he turns out to be a flash in the pan Eidsness is more than capable of carrying the team.

Forbert, MacWilliam and Ben Blood are a pretty deep top three on the blueline to mentor the younger guys. This years recruits aren't as heralded as last year's but I'm pretty sure they will aquit themselves well.

Scoring won't be much of a task with guys like Kristo, Knight and and Brock Nelson returning to the fold. No Sioux review would be complete without mentioning Rocco Grimaldi...nuff said.

Goaltending...check, solid blueline...check, scoring depth...check, another good recruiting class...check, pressure to win it all...this could be the difference. I had this converstaion with D-Sioux upstairs. The pieces are in place but the expectations aren't there like they were last year. Maybe not having that monkey on their back will be the difference. They still have to deal with that neutralizing speedy teams though. A trip to the finals would not surprise me a bit.

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09-18-2011, 11:32 AM
  #295
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The Other Huskies

What a let down for these guys last year! The team was stacked and not picked to finish below 3rd in conference in any pre-season poll. They limped out of the gate in very uninspiring fashion, cut out some bad seeds mid-season and, viola, began to play closer to expectations.

New season, new set of possibilities for this team. One of the lone bright spots, Drew LeBlanc, a RabidBadger 1st-teamer will be returning. LeBlanc never quit game in and out. He and the underclassmen carried the team last year. Speaking of, a lot of the top scorers are back this year so the scoring depth is potentially there. There are also a whopping 10 freshman coming in so there is a big influx of new blood. Motzko has made a habit of bringing in largely unheralded but very solid recruiting classes, most of whom turn out to be very serviceable 3-4 years players.

The defense looks pretty good with a mix of veterans and good underclassmen, notably Nick Jensen (the next Garrett Raboin?). One knock on the defense is a lack of killer instinct which doesn't cut it the black and blue trenches of the WCHA. If they can assert themselves more then they should take care of business, if not talent will only carry them so far.

The only truly heralded player in the rpogram is Mike Lee. A lot of the team's fortunes will rest on his shoulders in terms of how far they will go. Sometimes he has looked like a world-beater, sometimes, well, not so much.

This team is a real wild card. No one really has lofty expectations after last year's melt down. If they can build on the second half of the season there is no reason to think they won't be a playoff team. Which Husky team will we see

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09-18-2011, 12:09 PM
  #296
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Time for the two most exciting words in sports; BADGER HOCKEY!

So it won't be that exciting, in fact this year may be another building year in Madison. Last year's team played with some good grit but could never really get the ball rolling. There are many questions surrounding this year's team that make the outlook cloudy at best.

Goaltending is the most obvious question. For years the goal crease was passed from a veteran to an emerging underclassmen who played as backup: Brucklund to Elliot, to Connelly, to Gudmandson...now Guddy and his backup, Brett Bennett are lost to graduation and the netminding duties are being handed to freshman Joel Rumpel. this situation is unique, to say the least, in Badgerland. I have a good feeling about Rumpel, but the WCHA is not kind to freshman goalies with a decent, but not great team in front of them. You can point to the success of Sam Brittian last year but he was on an awesome team, you can also point to his heralded partner, Adam Murray who was used as a shooter-tutor the year before on an equally stacked team.

Up front the loss of Craig Smith will be huge. He was a balls out player who left everything on the ice. Jordy Murray's 18 goals will be sorely missed as well. The cupboard's aren't bare though. Super playmaker Mark 1st Star Zengerle will be back in the fold as well as promising forward Tyler Barnes (breakout season?) and emerging power pfrward Michael Mersch. If Derek Lee rebounds from a forgetful season The Badgers should have 2.5 solid scoring lines. The guy who needs to bust out is Jason Clark. I've heard comparisons to Blake Geoffrion when this guy's name is mentioned. Geoffrion didn't do much his freshman season either, then, well, the rest is history. Let's hope the parallel remains the same.

On a personal note, keep an eye on my favorite player, Ryan Little, a forward converted from defense. The kid is the perfect agitator you love to hate. He became my favorite after watching him explode his body into Mike Hoeffel leading to the beatdown of Pat White (never pull Ben Grotting's helmet off!).

The Badger Backline reloads. This year's squad will be led by The Badger's 2nd Hobey Baker winner, Justin Schultz. John Ramage and Eric springer lend a veteran presence while guys like Frank Simonelli and Joe Faust, who represented very last year, continue to grow. Jake McCabe should be a nice addition to an already deep blueline. One might question how well Schultz will perform minus Jake Gardiner, his linemate from last year. Both had outstanding seasons so the answer of who made who will be answered this season. Schultz also benefitted from playing with hobey Candidate Brendan Smith his freshman year. He won't have that calibre a player this year but I expect nothing short of awesomeness from #6.

The incoming class, like last year's, is solid but not stacked like other recent classes. I like the outlook for the next couple seasons when the kids grow up and gel together, there should be a good core of 4 year players between this and last year's newcomers.

If the team plays to its potential there is an outside shot at the playoffs. This will require serious growth from the sophmores and for the frosh to be good as their predecessors...there is the goaltending thing as well. I'm at least expecting this team to be a pain in the *ss to play against and maybe serve as spoiler during the WCHA tourney.

**** 'em, Bucky!

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09-18-2011, 10:26 PM
  #297
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Tech

The Houghton Huskies started out pretty well last year after a tuning up for the season playing a nifty exhibition schedule against pro teams in Europe. Then they began to live up to their low expectations the second quarter of the season. They did have some critical injuries, including scoring machine Brett Olson (the dude would be a star on one of the major programs). In the past Tech could play some tight games before losing ala AA and Mankato...not so much last year. They got beat down by multiple goals, the team quit and Jamie Russell was summarily shown the door.

New coach, healthy roster, new season...all welcome changes for the Huskies. They are only losing 3 senoirs and one of their top 10 scorers. If the underclassmen build on what was a decent season collectively for them last year, there should be relatively decent scoring depth. The problem is there hasnt been a consistent netminder in Houghton sonce Mike-LeeTeslak was between the pipes a few years ago. We'll see how the new coaching change pays off in regards to tightening up the defense and goaltending. This could be a decent year for Tech.
Apparently Pearson was a great recruiter at Michigan, so while I'm not expecting much this season, with addition of Steve Shields as a goalie coach and some improved recruiting classes (gotta start nabbing more kids from downstate), I'm hoping for improvements later on.

Nothing can be quite as bad as last year though.

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03-03-2012, 11:39 AM
  #298
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SO with the WCHA as we know it coming to an end I thought I'd weigh in on the chances of the conference bringing home another championship before the big split. The CCHA is the probably the most competitive conference from top to bottom, but I'm thinking only the usual suspects of Miami and Michigan will be a real force this spring (Sparty could be a surprise FF showing).

Who may take it all:

Minnesota- This team will be sick if they keep everyone on board. Yes the Goophs are worth hating again thanks to the return of John Hill. There hasn't been many setbacks aside from a sweep at the hands of DU. they need to finish strong against Bucky tonight to get some momentum. Youth may be a problem but talent-wise they're stacked as anyone in the NCAA.

DU- I picked them to win the MacNaughton even without Sam Brittian. I think these guys are really reching there potential now, they just have to get over the post season chokes that have plagued them the past several seasons. They looked good pasting BC earlier in the season.

Duluth- They're playing better now than they did last year coming into the post season. Sandelin is coach of the year in my book getting so many guys to step up. they have the same formula as last year; high end scorers, mobile D and solid goaltending with speed at every position....I'm picking them for another FF.

NoDak- They're getting stronger at the end of the season in true Hak-stolian fashion. The talent is there, they just have to not shoot themselves in the foot and self destruct at the worst possible times. Scoring depth is a problem, someone aside from Rowney needs to step up.

CC- They're sitting in the same spot Duluth was last year and have a very similar composition to that Champion Dawg team. They've been sputtering lately but if they recoup they can make some noise.

My FF picks: Miami, Duluth, BC (can't bet against those schmoes)...and someone else. I'll get back to ya at bracket time. Cheers!

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03-05-2012, 02:06 PM
  #299
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Originally Posted by RabidBadger View Post
SO with the WCHA as we know it coming to an end I thought I'd weigh in on the chances of the conference bringing home another championship before the big split. The CCHA is the probably the most competitive conference from top to bottom, but I'm thinking only the usual suspects of Miami and Michigan will be a real force this spring (Sparty could be a surprise FF showing).

Who may take it all:

Minnesota- This team will be sick if they keep everyone on board. Yes the Goophs are worth hating again thanks to the return of John Hill. There hasn't been many setbacks aside from a sweep at the hands of DU. they need to finish strong against Bucky tonight to get some momentum. Youth may be a problem but talent-wise they're stacked as anyone in the NCAA.

DU- I picked them to win the MacNaughton even without Sam Brittian. I think these guys are really reching there potential now, they just have to get over the post season chokes that have plagued them the past several seasons. They looked good pasting BC earlier in the season.

Duluth- They're playing better now than they did last year coming into the post season. Sandelin is coach of the year in my book getting so many guys to step up. they have the same formula as last year; high end scorers, mobile D and solid goaltending with speed at every position....I'm picking them for another FF.

NoDak- They're getting stronger at the end of the season in true Hak-stolian fashion. The talent is there, they just have to not shoot themselves in the foot and self destruct at the worst possible times. Scoring depth is a problem, someone aside from Rowney needs to step up.

CC- They're sitting in the same spot Duluth was last year and have a very similar composition to that Champion Dawg team. They've been sputtering lately but if they recoup they can make some noise.

My FF picks: Miami, Duluth, BC (can't bet against those schmoes)...and someone else. I'll get back to ya at bracket time. Cheers!
Well, I'm not making FF picks just yet, but the WCHA Final Five should be a good one all around. I really think that if there's one lower seeded team that can upset a higher seeded team, my vote would go to Tech. When they're playing at the top of their game, they've shown that they can be tough to beat.

BTW, I think you mean the return of Mike Guentzel, who replaced Hill.

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03-05-2012, 06:17 PM
  #300
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Well, I'm not making FF picks just yet, but the WCHA Final Five should be a good one all around. I really think that if there's one lower seeded team that can upset a higher seeded team, my vote would go to Tech. When they're playing at the top of their game, they've shown that they can be tough to beat.

BTW, I think you mean the return of Mike Guentzel, who replaced Hill.
*GAG* Can't believe I typed that...was in a big hurry. Glad you were around to start my upset watch prognostications.

CC can't like this matchup facing them two weeks in a row. Tech has shown some zing sweeping Bucky at the KC (Badgers were nothjing special this year but 4 points at the KC is never easy for anyone), they also beat Minny, Duluth and DU this year. I'm expecting a hard fought three games outta this one.

The Mighty Beavers! Talk about a team that has been marked by late season heroics! They made a nice little run last year before DU spoiled the ride. They split the season with NoDak. Serratore will have his boys ready, I'm sure.

AA- We know what happened last year...that likely won't happene this year. This is a much improved and focused Gopher team. Much as I'd like to believe there will be another meltdown in Dinkytown I can't go out on a limb on this one. But one never knows in the WCHA.

I weighed in on Bucky/DU upstairs. The Badgers will have to be firing on all cylinders with the freshman playing out of their minds. I just hope they can make DU panic a little.

Can't really predict an upset with The Huskies and Red Steers. St. Cloud has looked better down the stretch than The Mavs so I'll give them the nod. I never like to bet against the Mighty Blais, though.

Duluth beat the Purple steers like a pinata this season and I look for that to continue. I will say Minny State should have a promising future in the new WCHA. There's some pretty solid underclassmen on the roster.

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